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Tuesday, August 3, 2021

Charlotte Mason Language Arts, Part 3

In years 4-6 for Composition and grammar, Miss Mason had her students learn the parts of speech, and do some assigned writing. The assignments and topics came from their reading, and were in addition to regular oral or sketched narration of all their readings. The older children (fifth and sixth grade) might be asked to write stories from  Plutarch readings, the fourth graders from The Pilgrim's Progress.  Young children who couldn't easily write could narrate orally. In other terms 4th and 5th graders might be asked to write compositions, or stories, from their readings in Citizenship and Reading, or, from events of the day, etc. The fourth graders were only asked to write about their literature or stories selections for school, not from other subjects. 

Those children "who cannot write easily may narrate part."- so if you have a reluctant writer, you still have him write a little bit, and then finish orally. In another term's programme this was listed under composition: Occasional letters with family news. Miss Mason also encouraged the children to contribute compositions in verse or prose to the Parents Union School magazine. In the fifth grade, you might begin some specific instruction on certain types of writing- letters, for instance, invitations (both sending and accepting), and the children would write about field trips they'd taken, or vacations (particularly the locations visited), and holidays.  Instruction in this type of writing is extended gradually, over quite some time; the sixth graders are still writing these sorts of things, and still getting a suggestion or two for improvement in small bites over time.  The main thing is steady progress. 

 This is also true of learning the parts of speech and grammatical skills- more on that in another post.  But the majority of the 'instruction' came from their regular reading of excellent books and the practice of copywork and studied dictation. I find it helpful to look at exams for a given grade, and see what the students were expected to be able to by the end of a term.  You can use these assignments to sort of reverse-engineer a simple approach to writing and composition for a term for you student in the same age group.

  Here are some examples from an exam she gave- the students were to choose just two or three of these topics and then write on them: Describe your favorite scene from The Tempest. Quote some of your favorite lines from Marmion, or, Horatius. Tell a story in prose, or verse, about one of the following,--Iduna, Daedalus, Ariel, Mrs. Bedonebyasyoudid. Describe a scene in Julius Caesar in which Mark Antony appears. An account of "The Wedding of a Princess," or, the Burial of Sir E. Shackleton. Tell a story in prose or verse about one of the following:--King Arthur, Svartheim, Achilles, Beowulf, King Olaf. An account, in prose or verse, of one of the following,--the journey of the Price of Wales, the City of Tyre, Ulysses, Odin. Narrate, in writing or orally, a scene from Coriolanus or from Hereward the Wake.

 Here are examples of exam questions from other terms: Other options for composition assignments in years 4-6: 
 1. Describe your favorite scene from The Tempest. 
2. Quote some of your favorite lines from Marmion, or, Horatius. 
3. Tell a story in prose, or verse, about one of the following,--Iduna, Daedalus, Ariel, Mrs. Bedonebyasyoudid.

 Again, from another term:
 1. Describe your favourite scene in Macbeth. 
2. Describe the visit of the prince of Wales to one of the Indian cities. 
3. Tell a story in prose, or verse, about one of the following,--Baldur, Orion, "Mowgli, "Tom Brown, Lord Roberts, an aeroplane. 

 And yet another term: 1. Describe a scene in Julius Caesar in which Mark Antony appears.
 2. An account of "The Wedding of a Princess," or, the Burial of Sir E. Shackleton. 
3. Tell a story in prose or verse about one of the following:--King Arthur, Svartheim, Achilles, Beowulf, King Olaf. 

1. An account, in prose or verse (not doggerel), of one of the following,--An autumn day, Camilla, Heimdall. 
2. Describe a scene from (a), King John in which Constance appears, or, (b), from The Foresters in which Robin Hood appears. 
3. Write about one of the meetings in the desert described in The Talisman, or describe your favourite scene from The Prince and The Page. 

 While these are exam questions, you could use them as a model for composition assignments during the regular school week- have them write a scene from their Shakespeare play, to describe a favourite scene from a book they are reading, to write about a scientific discovery of the day, or something in the news. 

 Meanwhile, the children are continuing to be exposed to excellent writing  in their daily copywork and regular dictation work.  When they check their work, they are observing the proper use of capitals, commas, periods, and more in their natural habitat. They continue foreign language study, which also helps with grammar. They are reading excellent works, which helps with style.  So really, the only thing that is somewhat new to these grades in composition is that they children are being asked to write some of their narrations, and they have begun some formal grammar instruction. 

Part II:  More about that formal grammar instruction. Basically, at this level they learned the parts of speech and worked with that using examples from their reading. There are only 8 or 9 parts of speech in English, the number depends on your system. According to ThoughtCo, those parts are: "nouns, pronouns, verbs, adjectives, adverbs, prepositions, conjunctions, articles/determiners, and interjections. (Som"e sources include only eight parts of speech and leave interjections in their own category.)". It doesn't need even half an hour a day to do learn them. 

Mason's approach is unusual for today. The TLDR summary is that they don't learn the parts of speech in isolation.  They learned them in their reading. There was no "give me three verbs.  Tell me two nouns. Is doggy a noun or a verb?  That's because for many words, which part of speech they serve is determined by the role they play in the sentence, by context.  Not in isolation. And that was nearly all the formal grammar they did for several terms beginning in year 4.

  Here's how I figured out what her approach looked like in practice. First I read what she had to say about grammar in her six volumes- you can find that here on AO's website where Leslie has put together a nice topically arranged collection, to make it very easy for the rest of us. Except that was too easy for me. 

 In searching for Miss Mason’s approach to grammar and composition after the for older children, I began by darting all over the place in the six volumes. Like a hunting hound that has lost the scent, I amassed a good deal of unconnected and loosely connected material, blurred my vision and clouded my thinking and after weeks of this nonsense, I chucked it all and started afresh from a different perspective. I finally realized that what I really needed to do was to go back and do what I had done the first year I really began to understand Miss Mason’s approach- look at what she actually did to see how that reflected what she said about the philosophy behind it. 

 So I looked over the PNEU Programmes I could find online, matched what I found there with the textbooks themselves wherever I could find them, read them, thought about them, and made page images of them to read with more comfort to my eyes, and in the end, summarized what I found for my personal understanding, and then, at last, whipped what I summarized for me into something I hope makes sense for you.

 In other words, I departed from philosophy as found in the six volumes, and examined praxis (application, practice) instead. Only this very funny thing happened as I did that- when I looked at praxis, the philosophy began to glimmer through- particularly when I read the prefaces to the books Miss Mason chose.  . 

 When coming to terms with Miss Mason’s philosphy, it helps to remember that she refined her methods over many, many decades, working them out with real children and real parents and teachers. So what you see in the beginning is not always precisely what we find in the final years. 

 Here’s a look at Form II (roughly grades 4-6) in the programmes we have.
 Form II is further divided into IIB and IIA, thus: IIB (age 9), 1 year, roughly grade 4 IIA (age 10-12), 2 years, roughly grade 5 and 6.  And in the programme for term 1, the very first year the PNEU schools were in existence, this is all that we find under English Grammar for grades 4-6 (form II): 
 ENGLISH GRAMMAR. – To be able to pick out nouns, verbs, and adjectives in a given paragraph. And that’s all she had. Well. Alrighty, then. We can stop reading and thinking about this and just go pick out those three parts of speech in some of our reading.

 That’s actually a good place to start, though, scant as it is on information. Around fourth grade, after you’ve had the foundation Miss Mason gives with reading good books (doing the reading themselves as much as possible so they are seeing the words on the page), copywork, dictation, recitation, and narrations, set a selected paragraph in front of your kids and explain what a noun is, and then go through that paragraph and pick them out. Do that a few times over many days or maybe weeks. Then explain verbs and go through a paragraph from the reading for that day and find all the nouns and verbs. Do this on a regular basis, slow and steady, small bites, over a period of time. 

 Of course, some parents will take to the explanation of the parts of speech far more easily than others will.  Plenty of parents will want something extra, like Grammar Songs (You Never Forget What You Sing) by Kathy Trexel, which is what I used with most of mine. There may be better ones, I don’t know. That’s just what I had. There are a lot of grammar song options on youtube. Beware, though, some of them are done by students and they have more filler than info. Grammar Rock is also on youtube. Some people love Winston Grammar Basic Complete Set, I have never even looked at it, so I can’t tell you. But people I respect like it.
We used Mad Libs a lot, and also the original Learning Language Arts Through Literature: The Red Teacher Book. I think the first sets, comb-bound, without accompanying student workbooks, were much better than the ‘new and improved’ later versions, but that’s just me.  Probaby many of you have your own preferred method of teaching the parts of speech. (yes, those are affiliate links)

It's encouraging to discover that Miss Mason must have also run into the issue of some parents and teachers needing more handholding than others on this topic, because in later programmes we find the grammar section gets fleshed out quite a bit more. The next program I have for this age group is not until programme 42 (three programs a year, so a little more than a dozen years later): 

Students continued in copywork or transcription, dictation, and foreign language study, which always includes some grammar.
They also were assigned written and oral composition (narrations) from

“Stories from work set in (a) Citizenship and Reading, or, (b) events of the day, etc.” (form IIA), or “Stories from reading. Children in B who cannot write easily may narrate part” (Form IIB).

A New Handwriting for Teachers, by M.M. Bridges, 2/8; practice pages 1, 2, 3. Two perfectly written lines every day. Transcribe, with page 6 as model, some of your favourite passages from Henry V.

Two pages at a time to be prepared carefully; then a paragraph from these pages to be written from dictation, or, occasionally, from memory. Use The Story of the British Empire (see Geography).

Write stories from (a) Plutarch (Aristides), (b) The Pilgrim’s Progress (Partridge, 9d.), pages 67-105 (to the Valley of the Shadow of Death). Young children who cannot easily write may narrate.

English Grammar.
A Short English Grammar, by Professor Meiklejohn (Holden, 9d.), pages 152-161. Parse and point out Subjects, Verbs, Objects.
BEGINNERS, Arnold’s Language Lessons, Book V. (3d.), pages 5-22.

 I have more to say about Meiklejohn and Arnold's later.

Next we have Programme 43:

Write stories from (a) Plutarch (Coriolanus), (b) The Pilgrim’s Progress (Partridge, 9d.), pages 105-141 (to Trial at Vanity Fair).  Young children who cannot easily write may narrate. (again, I address the composition here)

English Grammar.
Arnold’s Language Lessons, Book IV. (3d.), pages 20-33.  Parse and point out Subjects, Verbs, Objects.
Beginners, Arnold’s Language Lessons, Book IV. (3d.), pages 5-19.

 Arnold’s Language Lessons are thus far unavailable to me, but I haven't looked in a couple of years.

Next we come to programme 90, around 1921, and now we are gettingg somewhere:

A & B A New Handwriting,* by M. M. Bridges (P.N.E.U. Office, 5d. a card): practice card 3. Transcribe, with card 6 as model, some of your favourite passages from The Tempest. Two perfectly-written lines every day.

A & B Two pages at a time to be prepared carefully: then a paragraph from one of these pages to be written from dictation, or, occasionally, from memory. Use the books set for reading and history.

Composition (written and oral).
A Stories from work set in (a) Citizenship and Reading, or, (b) events of the day, etc.
B Stories from reading. Children in B who cannot write easily may narrate part.

English Grammar.
Parse and point out Subjects, Verbs, Objects.
Meiklejohn’s Short English Grammar* (2/-), pp. 1-18; 106-118.
How to Tell the Parts of Speech,* by E. H. Abbott (Seeley, 2/6), pp. 55-74. Teacher study preface.

As an aside, this Parts of Speech book set me on a pretty little goose chase for an hour or two.  It is what she (or one of her employees) wrote in this Programme, but there’s a small error. It’s not E.H. Abbott, but E.A. Abbott,  (who also wrote Flatland). This is not uncommon when searching through her writings.  She was very widely read, and sometimes she tossed things off from memory rather than checking her references, and of course, she lacked google. I’ve found a handful of mis-attributions of this sort in her books.

You see, there is an E. H. Abbott who also wrote, but he wrote mostly magazine articles which were largely published in an American weekly news and opinion journal called The Outlook (which first published Booker T., Washington’s Up From Slavery in serial form, and then later it was published as a book). So it took me more than a few web searches, using various permutations of title and author, and finally I tracked down the book by E.A. Abbott. . (Naturally, by then it was time feed my family and get a kid to swim practice and help another child with something else, and I was too tired to think about grammar anymore that night). 

 I can only find the American version online at googlebooks.  I believe some of the exercises are rather different, and I know the page numbers are, so that won’t be much help when looking at the assignments.  However, Miss Mason stressed that teachers needed to not just read, but study the preface of this book, and I do believe those would be essentially the same.

I transcribed the preface below.

To recap just a bit before we do this, one thing has remained constant for form II in Grammar- they are learning parts of speech, and they are learning them by finding them as used in a sample paragraph from their reading.

Keep in mind, too, that form IIB is the youngest group of form II children- the 9-10 year olds.  They begin in this term with Abbott’s book and the parts of speech, and their teachers read the preface in order to give them the philosophy and perspective they need to teach this topic.

Which brings us to this- if Miss Mason wanted teachers to read the preface (after previously not asking anything of them but teaching nouns, verbs, and adjectives at this level), it would behoove us to take a peek at that preface.

So…. drum roll, please!  Here is the Preface which Miss Mason wanted the teachers to study from Abbott’s Parts of Speech book:

PREFACE: The conviction that any child can be taught “how to tell the Parts of Speech” in any sentence that he can understand, has induced me to publish this little book. I believe that a very young child may be taught, almost without knowing that he is being taught, first to classify English words according to their function in the sentence and then to infer the nature of each word from its function, or, as a child would put it, to tell you first what the word does and then what Part of Speech the word is. The principal mistake in teaching English grammar hitherto seems to have been the attempt to assimilate it to Latin grammar. All the grammatical nomenclature of the inflected Latin language having been imported, as a matter of course, into the teaching of the uninflected. English teachers next set to work at finding English things for the Latin names. For example, they first imported into English the Latin word, “Gender,” which represents a Latin reality, and then, inventing an English unreality to correspond to the Latin importation, they insisted on making their pupils repeat, as an important point in English grammar, that “hen” is the feminine of “cock” and “she-goat” of “he-goat.” In the same way, a whole system of syntactical concords was invented, not because the concords existed, but because their names existed, having been obtruded into English grammar. This has given a sense of unreality to elementary English teaching, from which even now we have not quite extricated ourselves.”

Now, most of that part of the preface no longer applies to us, of course, because every writer of grammar textbooks for English speakers has moved on from trying to obtrude Latin grammar into English. Pay attention to what he says about form and function, however. Set those ideas over on the little warming tray in your mind, let the connections start to work a bit. We’ll be coming back to that.  The next page of the preface:

“The following extract from a paper read before “the Birmingham Association of Teachers of all Grades” will serve as an exposition of the remedy suggested and aimed at in the following pages:

“The reform that I would suggest is based, 1st, upon honesty, a determination to approach the subject with a single eye, to discard all one’s hampering Latin notions, and not to say one sees in English what one really does not see; 2d, upon experiment, guiding a boy from his own language (not from poetical examples, nor from choice classical prose) to see the necessity of certain words; 3d, upon reasoning, teaching him to reason out what part of speech each word is for himself.

“Of these three principles honesty needs no comment nor does experiment need much (though some teachers seem to be hardly aware how valuable a lesson English grammar may be made in the way of enlarging a child’s stock of words and notions by experiment): but how is a boy to reason out what part of speech a word is? Thus: he is to be taught for some time to tell you what a word does, before he is asked or even permitted to tell you what the word is. The fundamental principle of English grammar may be stated with little exaggeration as being this,  that any word may be used as any part of speech. It is therefore the force and meaning of the word, as gathered from the meaning of the sentence, that must determine what part of speech the word is; for example, whether ‘considering’ is a Participle, an ordinary Noun, or a Verbal Noun, a part of some Tense in a Verb, or a Preposition.* We must, therefore, not allow our pupil to tell… (cont.)

*For example, in the words ‘Considering your youth, it is possible your fault may be pardoned.’ If this sentence is English, which can scarcely be denied, it is the merest pedantry to deny that considering is a Preposition here. See Morris’s “Historical Outlines of English Accidence,” p 200.

Incidentally, I love the mention of honesty.  How often do adults teach children things they do not themselves truly believe, merely because of so-called experts? Here’s how I am understanding the ‘what do I do?’ part of this: So we spend some time presenting him with sentences or paragraphs, and asking him to look at the sentences and point out a word and ask him to tell what that word is doing- it would probably help to give some examples.  Happily, the pages Miss Mason assigns contain many such opportunities.

Preface cont:

“[we do not allow our student to tell] us what part of speech the word is till he has told us its function, or, in his own words, what the word does.

“Perhaps some one may say “Of course, no good teacher would let his pupils say what part of speech a word is without being able to explain why.’ But I submit that this is not quite the same thing. Giving reasons after the answer is not the same mental process as giving first the facts, and then deducing the answer from the facts. A boy that has given a bad answer will generally find little difficulty in supporting it with a bad reason. But if you fix his attention first on what the word does before he has committed himself to an error and while his mind is open to receive the truth, he is more likely to reason in an unbiased and honest way; and besides, he will attach importance to that which is really important, – I mean the functionand not the name of the word.

I should like to be able to go into any elementary school and to be sure of hearing children reasoning thus; ‘Quickly tells you how he came; therefore it is an Adverb.’ ‘Black tells you what sort of a horse it was; therefore it is an Adjective.’ ‘Horse is the name of an animal; therefore, it is a Noun.’  ‘That joins two sentences together; therefore it is a Conjunction.’  ‘Twice; tells you how often he fell; therefore it is an Adverb.  That word ‘therefore’ is a word that might with advantage be indelibly engraved on the heart of every child.

In the use of that word consists the system that I wish to recommend. Facts first,  reasoning from the facts afterwards. I stand here as against the claims of ‘because,’ to advocate the claims of ‘therefore.’

Rather more time and pains than are given at present will perhaps be required to teach a child thus to experimentalize, to reason, and to classify; but the time will probably be well bestowed, and, besides, we may perhaps gain time by dispensing with a good deal now generally taught. (cont. later)

I found this a little bit confusing, so I’m going to cheat a bit and jump ahead and share one of the lesson exercises with you. It think it illustrates his meaning well enough to help us interpret the above instruction about form, facts, and function.  Here is the entire chapter on nouns, in case you are also confused and want to see what that might have looked like in practice.

In CM's schools,  the children do these exercises, and for a few minutes at scheduled times each week,  they find nouns in their daily reading. This could take a few weeks.

This is not to take a long chunk of time each day- we see in the schedule above that the form IIB children only went through 20 pages of this book in a single term.  That’s about two parts of speech per term.

Think of these grammar exercises as vitamins rather than a meal: a very little bit, but that little done steadily, regularly, sustainably over the term.   The children learn through observation as well as instruction, and they use real books to identify what they have learned.

For the parent-teacher, I confess this is a bit more daunting than a canned grammar curriculum from one of the bigger publishing houses, more challenging than an ordinary textbook with that pleasant time saver, an answer key.

For the child, I think this will produce knowledge that is his own, a conceptual understanding of the ideas in such a way that he can more easily apply that knowledge in other areas.

Let's continue with the preface:
Rather more time and pains than are given at present will perhaps be required to teach a child thus to experimentalize, to reason, and to classify; but the time will probably be well bestowed, and, besides, we may perhaps gain time by dispensing with a good deal now generally taught.)

I should be disposed to give up as either superfluous or hopeless the attempt to teach an English child how to speak English out of an English Grammar. If he is ever to speak English correctly, he will learn it by speaking it; if he is ever to use the words loci and cherubim, maxima, and minima,  he will, before he uses them, have learned the correct forms, by hearing others use them. Nor do I see, I confess, the use of making an English boy go through the whole of the Verb ‘I love,’ including such out-of-the-way Tenses as ‘I may have been loving,’  ‘I shall have been loved,’ etc. A Verb thus learned seems to me to convey little benefit, and gives a sense of unreality to the lesson– for the boy uses his Verbs in all probability quite correctly already– and it is a very dull and wearisome task. I would discard the task and all such tasks and make the business of the teacher not to teach the boy how to speak English but how to understand English and how to see the reasons for the anomalies in it. Common faults, if they are common in a certain neighborhood,  such as ‘says I,’  ‘will’ for ‘shall,’ and the like, may be eradicated without compelling a boy to go through the whole of an English Verb,  and the symmetry of the Tenses may be perceived better, not worse, by discarding the drudgery.”*
To come to details– it is hoped that the Exercises may be less wearisome than such exercises mostly are. They have been written with the special purpose of exemplifying the rules of parsing,  while at the same time they have been thrown into the form of little tales or fables. They are intended chiefly as oral exercises,  but may be afterwards written….

*The Tenses are not dealt with in this book.”

We see once more the importance of Miss Mason’s foundational methods- that of exposing the children early and often to literary language, to the stories read from the actual Bible rather than story books, to a good full three years of school spent reading only the best books, copying only the best sorts of writing, studying shorter passages carefully for recitation, writing notations in nature journals where accuracy matters, learning the basics of another language, singing songs, listening to poetry- it's all part of the foundation. 

 Read these sorts of books, do this kind of copywork, narrate from this class of literature, and vocabulary really does take care of itself, and generally, proper grammar does as well.  Done properly, your child is already handling his native language correctly, he just hasn’t learnt the nomenclature to label and explain what he’s doing.. If he does have some grammatical irregularities because family members or friends with whom he is in regular contact with also have weak areas in their grammar, then you focus your teaching on those areas.  If your child’s relatives are not native English speakers and so they struggle with pronouns or use double negatives, then you focus on *those* areas.  Don’t insist on forcing a 7 y.o. native English speaker through grammar lessons on the proper use of a or an when he already naturally uses the correct article- wait until fourth grade or beyond to give him the explanation behind what he already does, or to begin honing in on those specific areas your particular child didn’t pick up naturally.  Don’t force native speakers to conjugate verbs in their native tongue (the exercise has some use in learning new tongues, IMO, and in Latin it’s just fun).  If English is your second language but you've got a clear understanding of the punctuation, don't waste time on lessons on what your child already knows and does- sometime after year 4, give a quick lesson on the right terms, but the bulk of your time allotted to grammar should be focused on short, but deeper lessons and studies in the weaker areas, using the principles and examples above to help you.

 You don't have to do all written work. Remember that oral lessons in grammar, especially when you first begin them, are excellent- and, happily, not terribly difficult for the home-school mom to do. You can ask your child to help you do the dishes and while doing the dishes you can ask him to name five nouns he can see and five that nobody can ever see (cat, dog, dish, cup, water/ freedom, idea, dream, happy, imagination), or three words which can be nouns or verbs, depending on how they are used (shoe, dream, wish, polish…). You can skim over a lesson book together in advance, and while weeding the garden together ask him to tell you ten sentences using verbs about gardening, or dancing, or football, or to make four sentences using linking verbs. 
The preface continues:

“(It seems to me to have been a serious mistake in teaching English Grammar to give young children, by way of examples and exercises,  chips of sentences, always dry,) dull, and uninteresting, and often ambiguous, and to call them “Simple Exercises.” Easy and connected narrative (not poetical extracts, which are full of inversions and irregularities), should be given to a child as soon as he begins to parse. For no child ought to be able to parse a sentence that he does not perfectly understand.

The Specimen Exercises worked out for the child are purposely made more difficult than the Exercises given to the child to work out for himself. The intention has been gradually to prepare the learner to grapple with difficulties in a logical way, and to accustom him to believe that all difficulties can be logically overcome. For undoubtedly there are difficulties in English grammar; there are probably more in English than in Latin and Greek. But the beauty of the difficulties in English grammar is that they can be reasoned about by English children, and that the materials for such reasoning lie in the child’s own mouth: his own speech supplies him with the best foundation for argument. For they are to be solved by appeal, not to inflections, but to the function of each word, which an English boy is quite able to comprehend, provided that the subject matter is suitably simple.At the risk of appearing to practise mechanical, while advocating intelligent teaching, I have ventured to insert “tests” side by side with definitions. Experience has convinced me that they are useful as occasional crutches,  and can easily be thrown aside when no longer needed.

If the book should seem somewhat diffuse, attempting to fill up what should be supplied rather by a teacher than a book, my apology must be that it is intended for parents as well as for professional teachers,  and that most books on this subject hitherto have rather erred on the side of conciseness than diffuseness.”

Function first, name follows- which words in these sentences describe things? What is this sentence about?  That’s the subject.  What does the sentence tell us about what is happening, what that subject is doing? Ah, that’s the predicate, the verb.

There's more of the preface but I am going to stop here and give us time to really think about this- and, as Mason said she wanted her teachers to do, study it.  This is a LOT to think about, isn't it?

 Preface TBC.

 For the above information: I looked at all her programs I could find for several terms in a row over several years. I typed out for my own use a list of the books and pages she covered in each of those books, term by term, and then I looked up the books online and found those pages and took screen shots, transcribed (sometimes by hand, sometimes electronically), wrote summaries, and put it all in order. It took a few weeks, which turned into a few months.  

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