Learning through Movies: The Hero's Journey

Teach with Movies is an educational website based on the philosophy that "carefully selected feature films could supplement curriculum and foster social-emotional learning". 

They have movies and lessons plans that touch on English, social studies, science, math, music, arts, sports, and more.


One of the topics in their recent newsletter was "The Hero's Journey" as key theme in stories throughout history and include these resources to use with several movie choices:

There are some great infographics at The Writing Cafe that help explain and visualize the path and stages of the hero on the journey.


Fan Girl points out that the traditional Hero's Journey has come out of a male oriented point of view and that the path is not compatible with the Heroine's journey.

In the series, The Heroine's Journey, Fan Girl and company lay out several concepts and features of a female hero as it is seen in several contemporary movies.

Gray Rose also discusses the difference between the male and female monomyth and how the Hero's journey does not fit within some literary traditions either.

So there is much to think about and compare when discussing the Hero's Journey and how storytelling can take a different path in other cultures and settings.

Breaking rules. I'm painting my trim white!!

It may take forever but, yes, I'm painting ALL the trim in our house white.

Having lived in a hundred year old house with gorgeous wood trim painted over a thousand times and walls plastered with millions of layers of paint and wall paper, I swore I would never (1) paint wood trim (2) wallpaper anything or (3) paint over wallpaper.

Believe me, I have tried to avoid it. But the time has come for me to break promise #1.

Why would I do such a fool hearty thing when we have perfectly good acceptable real wood trim?


We replaced our flimsy 1970's original windows with the best better replacement windows a few years ago.*

Unless you have a big budget you can choose replacement windows in white, white, white, or some really fake looking wood stuff.  Even my decor-challenged self knew that we would probably have more options with white.

I love the windows. They aren't drafty. They make the house so much quieter. And I can clean them from inside which makes me all giddy.

But the contrast between the wood trim and the white windows has always irked me.

I tried covering up all the white with with wood blinds but that didn't do the trick.


The sun is blindingly bright outside and I have to turn on a light at 3:00 in the afternoon to see.

If I could paint every surface to reflect light I would probably do it.

White would probably beat out walnut trim in perking up my spirits any day.

3. OOPS.

Who can turn down their kids' enthusiastic efforts to learn how to paint and acquire a real world skill?Not me.

We had fun painting together. And now both kids KNOW why we think very hard about our color choices before painting.

Neither of them are anxious to paint another ceiling again anytime soon!

But somehow I missed all the cool marine blue on the trim until it was too late.

So if you are already sanding and having to fix the trim...


The most dangerous home improvement words ever.

If I painted the wood trim around all the windows, then all the rest of the trim in the house wouldn't match, and that would annoy me.

And then the cabinets, doors, ceiling beams, and bookshelves that matched the trim wouldn't match.

So that first brushstroke would lead to a huge project that I couldn't knowingly undertake without some guidance.

My husband already calls me Lucy because of my big ideas and their low rate of success. hehehe


She suggested that painting the trim white to match the windows is a good thing.

Her decorating blog assured me that I couldn't go wrong with a timeless white kitchen should I start down the path of transforming the trim and ending up painting cabinets.

Her blog and ebook even guided me to picking the right color white.

Armed with all the information and design advice, I'm ready to boldly and courageously begin the transformation.

Knowing this could take a while I'm really glad to know that white is timeless and will still be stylish whenever I do finish!

Some tips:
-- How to paint trim when you have carpet
-- How to paint kitchen cabinets
-- How to select paint for kitchen cabinets

*Disclaimer. If this was an older home with historic windows I would have wanted to keep the character and charm and avoid the landfill by restoring them.  My friends have pointed out that it's not the old windows that leak, so much as it is the sealing around them. During any remodel please consider taking the old items to a local Habit for Humanity ReStore.

Obsessed with lights in DC

Sometimes when I travel I get fixated on one thing.  In Colonial Williamsburg I kept noticing gates and took lots of photos of them.

In a recent trip to DC I noticed light fixtures.

Capitol building outside

Capitol building inside

Library of Congress outside

Library of Congress

On the way to some Smithsonian Museum

On the way to another Smithsonian Museum

And then some natural lighting courtesy of mother nature on the way to those many Smithsonian treasures...

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