O is for One Hundred Days

So Donald Trump may be trying to suggest that the one hundred day mark of his glorious administration is not a big thing (can’t imagine why!) but I am here to tell you that it is. My evidence? This…

This is Child 3’s creative way of marking her 100 days in first grade. Since she is in sixth grade now, it has been a while since she made it. And I know for a fact that this ‘assignment’ is common throughout schools here at some point in kid’s first or second full-time year in school. So where does the 100 day thing come from?

I’ve read a couple of different accounts – one citing the fact that it took Napoleon 100 days to return from exile, re-establish himself as the ruler of France and start the war against the Brits that would end at Waterloo – but the origin of this as a US phenomenon seems to lie firmly with FDR.

Ever since Franklin Roosevelt’s charge into office with the New Deal, among other achievements, the concept of the importance of 100 days as a marker of importance has become part of US culture. And that’s despite the fact that, “Presidents since Roosevelt have been held up to a standard that not even Roosevelt achieved,”

That said, the 100 day mark is arbitrary. It has a cultural significance but doesn’t define a school year or a presidency. It merits buttons and not much more.

But for those interested in what Trump has or has not achieved in his first 100 days (and yes, I did think about making a sheet just like Child 3’s buttons and putting a photo of Neil Gorsuch in the first box and leaving the rest blank!), here is a link to Fox News’ review. Since Fox loves Trump and Trump loves Fox, I think it makes interesting reading…

Trump’s first one hundred days in numbers



C is for Chorus and Chorale

Here is a report of a very recent chat between me and Child 3 who, now eleven, has recently started Middle School.

Me: “So, did you have choir today?”

3: “Mom. It’s called chorus.”

Me: “Oh, yeah. I knew that. Sorry. It’s a British thing.”

3; “It’s fine. I understand. And I know what you mean. Just don’t say it in front of anyone else or they’ll think you’re weird.”

Actually, that’s probably funny enough in itself, but it gets worse. Child 3 has also auditioned and got a spot on the school’s vocal ensemble and when I was telling Child 1 about this in the car on the way home from wherever, we had a conversation that went like this:

1: “Oh, yeah. They have that in High School too, except it’s called ‘corral’.

Me: “Corral?”

1: “Yup.”

Me: “Seriously?” (sniggers a tad)

1: “What’s funny about that?”

Me: “Well isn’t that something you do with horses?”

1: (witheringly) “It’s spelled C-H-O-R-A-L-E”

Me: “Really? I’m looking that up when we get home.”

It turns out that he is correct of course. Which means that Child 3 has opened the door to another world of linguistic intrigue and surprise for me. Chorale? Pronounced like corral or core-Al. Who knew?

But the best part of this debacle was (for me anyway) yet to come. Googling around for a picture of some choir (chorus or chorale or who cares what you call them) to illustrate this post, I came across this:


These are the Sutherland Sisters! I love them! I had already come across the sisters and their six feet or so of hair each, somewhere or other on the web, but I didn’t realize that they were first famous as a singing group!  Even better, by 1884, these seven sisters from Niagara County, NY, were part of Barnum & Bailey’ Greatest Show on Earth. Yes!! Because not only do I have a thing about writing about Barnum, I also have an interest in writing about sisters. And now here they are helping me out with my other little hobby of linguistic difficulties.

Such a happy day 🙂