Monday, November 29, 2010

Today on Tuesday

I am finishing up my last two weeks of school before
we take our break. I have enjoyed teaching about
the Renaissance and the Reformation. When studying
about the Reformation I never knew who was contemporary with whom.

While studying about the Renaissance I love learning about
the artists and painters and I loved learning about the
men that were behind the easel if you could say that.

This week we have finished up Mary Tudor (Bloody Mary)
Elisabeth the first and today Mary Queen of Scots. I loved
reading about that firebrand John Knox and the ins and outs
of history during that time.

Mary Tudor

Elisabeth the First

Mary, Queen of Scots

What I wanted to share though about 100 years after that time lived
a painter named Diego Rodriguez de Silva y Velazquez. This week I
have been reading out-loud to my boys the book called I, Juan De Pareja
by Elizabeth Barton deTrevino.

I have loved this book and I look forward to reading it out loud and
since I won't be passing this way again teaching school it might be the last.
My fifteen year old wants to graduate early and my 17 year old will be graduating
in June so we will see.
I wanted to share this part as My new friend Billy Atwell did a post on humility
and it made me think of his post when I read this. His blog is at For The Greater Glory.

" This dwarf, the Nino de Vallecas, had been found in the country and brought to
the court, for the King(King Philip IV of Spain) was constantly searching for such little beings. He
was greatly deformed in body, very twisted, and suffered intermittent pain.
I often gave him massages to try to soften and slacken the tense muscles of
his crooked legs and of his humped back. He was not overly intelligent---
I think suffering drove learning from his mind--- but we became friends and he lived
seven or eight years in the palace before he died."
The Dwarf Francisco Lezcano

"We are brothers," he used to say to me in his strange, deep voice like a man's,
"you and I, because we are enslaved by reason of the way were born. You
were born strong, a fine normal being, but black, I was born as I am, a man in the body
of a little creeping child."
" Why did God put this burden on us, Juanico?"
"To make us humble, maybe. Our Lord was despised and rejected, you remember.
He Himself told us so. And he said, "He who exalts himself shall be brought low,
and he who humbles himself shall be lifted up."

Later on in the story, we are told that Velazquez painted these little people with
such care. Juanico reasons this, "For some time I resented the meticulous way
Master painted these deformed and pathetic beings. He was making obeisance to the
truth as he saw it. He had explained that to me often enough. And yet it seemed
to me cold-blooded, even cruel. But later, when I looked at those portraits
years after, I saw what he had done, and what glossing over their deformities
could not have achieved. He had painted, in every case, a soul imprisoned."

I also read today from "The Shaping of The Christian Family," When from every
side the message is "if it feels good do it," it takes constant reiteration of
the practical and joy-giving principles of self-denial and purity and
obedience to counteract it. (p. 182)
Juan de Pareja
Juan dePareja

I love this book, I, Juan de Pareja because as the main character is a slave, he was born a slave
and was inherited as one would inherit a table or a chair. He lives his life
with the family in slavery, and yet the attitude is, his job is to make the life
of everyone around him better. It reminds me that love is willing to be
inconvenienced. In a sense, a model of how to live, my life for yours.

I keep thinking about this I guess because I have been thinking of the
young girl who said to to the angel Gabriel, "Behold the handmaid of the Lord,
let it be to me according to your word."

I wish so much I could be that kind of servant when the Lord asks. So just
things I have been reading about today.
I hope you have a lovely Tuesday, This last Tuesday in November.


7 comments: said...

Oh I love teaching this time period also...we are now doing Rome. I will have to put this book on my list for next will probably be my last time to teach this time period. Congratulations to your boys for graduating early...WOW!!!
Wonderful post....thanks so much!
Have you ever read the "The Hawk and the Dove"? That book reminds me of what you have written.

Julia said...

Kim, I love your post this evening. What an interesting book. You have tied all the elements of what it is to serve others like Jesus' mother and Jesus himself. Congratulation on your boys graduating and on a job well done by you. JB

Kessie said...

No, this isn't the last time you teach it, because I need you to loan me all your books and teach me!

I love all the pictures. I've seen lots of Velasquez's work in years since, and always think of that book, but I couldn't remember what it was called. Thanks for posting about it. :-)

Miss Debbie said...

A beautiful and thoughtful post.Thanks for sharing this bit of history and your insights with us!

Debbie said...

Wow what an interesting book and post...and you have drawn some wonderful teaching anaologys from it. Can you honestly imagine having the kind of servants heart that Mary did? How awesome would that be...Have a wonderful day. I am thinking your boys are quite blessed to have you as their teacher. HUGS

Dawn said...

So very interesting!
I just feel like I received a wonderful art/history class...and it was wonderful:)
Thanks for sharing (and learning so we can too:)

myletterstoemily said...

you're the best history teacher i ever had! thank you
for the sweet lesson. if only i could have had you for

have a sweet day!