Monday, January 11, 2010

Geography Bee

Each year thousands of schools in the United States participate in the National Geographic Bee using materials prepared by the National Geographic Society. The contest is designed to spark student interest in the subject, and increase public awareness about geography.

Here are some sample questions from the National Geographic Bee, along with ideas about how to look for clues within the questions that can help you figure out the right answers.

Which state has a climate suitable for growing citrus fruits—California or Maine?
You know that oranges and grapefruit are citrus fruits and that they grow in warm places. Since California's climate is definitely warmer and sunnier than Maine's, you correctly answer California.

Which country has the world's largest Muslim population—Indonesia or Mexico?
If you have studied maps showing world religions, you will know the answer immediately. If you haven't, you might reason that Mexico was settled by the Spanish, followers of Christianity not Islam. Either way, you correctly answer Indonesia.

The North Atlantic current brings warm waters from the tropics to the west coast of which continent?
From studying physical maps you know that the North Atlantic is the area of the Atlantic that lies north of the Equator and that the entire west coast of Europe borders the North Atlantic, so you correctly answer Europe.

Congratulations to all our participants in grades 4-8. Congratulations to Jessica in 4th grade! She earned the most points in today's Bee and will represent our school at the State level. We are very proud of Jessica and thank all her teachers, family, and friends that helped her to learn all that she has to win today.

Wednesday, January 6, 2010

Chalking the Doors

Thank you Father Robert for visiting campus today and blessing each classroom and the office with the holy water you brought from the Jordan River. May your blessing bring us health, peace, and joy during 2010!
Since the Middle Ages there has been a tradition in many Christian households that on (or near) the Feast of the Epiphany we pray for God’s blessing on our homes, marking the doorpost (lintel) with chalk (an incarnational image reminding us of the dust of the earth from which we were made). We mark the main door of our home
with the initials of the Magi and the numerals of the new year, connected with crosses: 20 + C + M + B + 10
The initials remind us of the legendary names of the Magi - Caspar, Melchior, and Balthasar - and also stand for the Latin motto: Christus mansionem benedicat (May Christ bless this house) In the Book of Exodus, the Israelites marked their doors with blood so that the Lord would pass over their homes; but in this ritual, we mark our doors with chalk as a sign that we have invited God’s presence and blessing into our homes.