Add to Your Rolodex: Sean O’Halloran for Film, Editing, Photography, Sound . . .

I rarely blog about it, but a few readers know that I sometimes take on private writing or editing projects.  Most recently I got to work with Sean O’Halloran from SO’ Creative on a film project for a small parish group.  We were both working pro-bono — he did the filming, I was the primary author on the script.

Lesson learned: This is a guy you want on your short list.

He doesn’t monkey around.  Even though he was working purely as a volunteer on this one, he was 100% professional.  I’m not sure Sean even knows how to do something halfway.

He’s good at bringing your idea to life.  Sean took everything the group brought to the project, and then he worked with the team to help them achieve their goals.

Some examples of how perfectly he did this:

  • I had a basic script, but no clue how to turn that into a screenplay — so Sean took my draft and converted it into a set of working documents that could be used on the set.
  •  The parish group had a good director on the project, Carol Pelster from Catholic Playscripts; Sean had no trouble working with her on the set, understanding the vision she had for the film and what sorts of extra shots to propose to capture that vision.
  • As the group was filming, when the actors would improvise bits of characterization, Sean knew how to direct the all-amateur cast so that their ideas read well on film.

It never ever felt like The Professionals Have Arrived, Get Out Of The Way.  The entire process was more like, “We know what we want, but how do we get there?” and Sean helped the group get there.

You won’t meet more gracious people.  I run in some of the same circles as the O’Hallorans, and I’m continually impressed by how down-to-the-bones courteous this family is.  When I go to an O’Halloran event, I’m in awe at how seriously Sean and his wife Tracy take their work of hospitality.  On the film set, Sean was disciplined and professional, but always completely calm, patient, and polite.

Sean donated an enormous amount of time to this parish project, and when I spoke to his wife about how the group could thank him, she said, “As many referrals you can send his way as possible!”

To see if the kind of work you need is the kind that he does, scroll down on the SO’ Creative website and click through on each project-type to view the corresponding portfolio.  Edited to add: You can also view some of Sean’s graphic design work at the SO’ Creative Facebook page.  Tracy gave me her quick list of the kinds of projects he does most:

  • Graphic Design
  • Photography
  • Editing
  • Retouching
  • Sound Design
  • Videography/Cinematography/Director/Producer

Sean takes on projects of all kinds.  In addition, Catholic readers should know that the O’Hallorans are faithful, committed Catholics — so if you are working on a project that involves the faith, Sean is in a position to make sure your message comes across clearly and accurately.  Give him a look, and please recommend him to your friends.  Thanks!

 

File:Secretary at typewriter 1912 (3192197470).jpg
A rolodex is a thing that was invented to make this lady’s life easier. It did what your “contacts” list does, except that it still works even when your phone isn’t charged.

Photo by Snyder, Frank R.Flickr: Miami U. Libraries – Digital Collections [No restrictions or Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons

Time for a New Novena: What’s Vexing You?

The Nine Annoying Things novena has been very successful, but we need to take it up a notch.  TEE was normal (for me – nothing there that should be causing my problems, I’m told), and we’re waiting to hear back on the labs measuring arterial blood gases.  Follow-up appointment is on the 26th, so that gives you a perfect nine days of vexation between now and then. 

Because this situation is more and more vexing by the moment.

Which means we need to invoke: Mary Untier of Knots.  (Warning: If you click the link, it plays music.  Turn your volume down first.  I just went with the first link I found.  Sorry guys. St. Google could help you find a different link if you aren’t already familiar with this particular devotion.)

Advanced pray-ers, have at with rosaries and chaplets and everything else in your arsenal.  Junior team, here’s how the Nine Vexations work:

  • Identify something vexing. An unsolvable problem.  A thorny situation.  Anything that’s too big for you.
  • Invoke the help of Mary Untier of Knots for your cause, and offer up your vexation for mine.  She’s Mary. She can help more than one person at a time.
  • Repeat nine times.  If your life is vexatious, you might have nine different vexations.  If your life is particularly tranquil, you might just have to pray nine times over for someone else’s vexation.  Any kind of mathematical arrangement is fine, and in any case it isn’t a math quiz.
  • Just like the Nine Annoying Things, you’re allowed to offer up your vexations retroactively.  We don’t do scrupling around this castle.

Thanks everyone!  I haven’t dropped dead and I’m still sane, mostly, so we know your prayers are being heard.

Bleg – Starting High School Homeschooling Mid-Year

From a reader in the comboxes:

Hi Jennifer,
We have decided to start homeschooling mid year for our son who is in 10th grade. He previously attended a private high school.
I am a newby and i am looking for structure without stress.
Any ideas?
peace~anne

Any suggestions?  Post in the combox or at your place and leave Anne a link so she can find you, please! 

Rebecca Frech I am talking to you.  Bearing, you’ve got a mind from these things, speak up. 

Everyone, Who else should we tag? Darwins?  Brandon? Anna? Christian? Anyone?  Bueller?

***

My thought would be to take his course load from school, and do a subject-by-subject picking of a decent text book?  Something like this:

Math:  Pick an appealing program, ideally something that uses DVD or computer instruction so you aren’t doing it yourself.  Figure out where to start mid-year by doing sampling of the end-of-chapter questions until it gets to new stuff.  (You may need to back-up and review select topics from early chapters that the school was going to introduce later in the year.)  If money is tight, math books is where I’d risk the biggest investment, if you come across something that is good but expensive.

Science:  Do part 2 of his current-year subject (biology probably?), using a text book that meets his general aptitude.  As you read reviews, you’ll hear about some that are more rigorous, some that are “too easy”, etc.  Try to aim for a ‘just right’ for his science abilities, challenging enough to be interesting, but not overwhelming.   If he’s already in chemistry, either continue with it if he’s strong in the subject and knew what was going on, but if he was flailing, abort that mission and proceed with a different subject for the second semester — either morphing in “physical sciences” or going with something like astronomy (just do the first semester of a year-long program.).  I would not try to remediate Chemistry mid-year.  This is the second subject I’d invest in, in terms of quality of materials.

History: Pick up where he left off, time-wise, and just keep on moving.  This is low-stress.  Pick a book or books he likes, and have him write a paper a week (the infamous 5 paragraphs) on what he studied that week.  If there’s no final exam (for example if you just do library method, where grab books on topic and read ’em), have him do a term paper or oral presentation for his final.  If he was doing the government/economics two-semester combo, do the other subject this semester.

English:  If he was doing a particular study (“British Literature” “English Literature”, etc), you can keep going with that, or morph into a generic “English 2”.  You’re looking for a combination of literature study (reading good stuff and thinking intelligently about it), plus vocabulary practice from a vocab book in preparation for the SAT, and a grammar book and/or composition book to work the writing/editing skills.  You may be able to just continue at home with whatever vocab book he was using at school.  I’d look around at the various curriculum providers (Kolbe, MODG, etc etc.) and see what appeals to you and fits the budget.

Cheap alternative:  Go to your library and check out Grammar Girl or an equivalent; one good beginner’s writing book written for aspiring writers (watch for foul language, there are some excellent writing books that have a touch of potty mouth); and a pile o’ classics that are of interest, and work through those for 2nd semester.  There are also some curriculum out there such as the Literacy through The Lord of the Rings and so forth, that build a one-year or one-semester literature curriculum around a single work or genre. (I have not reviewed the curriculum, FYI.)  If you find one that strikes his fancy, this could be a good way to finish out English 2 and cultivate an appreciation of literature that doesn’t involve too much penance.

Foreign Language: Your #1 concern is meeting the college-entrance foreign-language requirements.  So take into account what he’s already studied, how much time he has left, and figure out whether you need to continue with current language, or if you can start a new one, or if this is a subject you don’t need to worry about this semester.  Pick a program that appeals to you and roughly matches up to his current level.  It’s okay to do, say, “Latin 1” or “Italian 3” spread out over odd-semesters, as long as he completes the necessary units of study.  So don’t panic over this one.

You could also wait a few months and do your 2nd-semester foreign language in ‘summer school’.  Language-learning can be brain-intensive, and some students benefit from focusing 100% on the language for a time, and essentially completing a semester or year’s worth of classes in a shorter more concentrated period.  Picking the exact right book/program is not important in 10th grade second semester.  Language-learning is cumulative in a networked, whole-brain way.  Whatever he uses will benefit him, and you can refine your choice next year.  If you aren’t sure what to do, beg a free loaner book off someone to start with, and invest after you are confident of your choice.

Religion:  If you’re looking for suggestions, give us some more details on what he’s done already?  Kids are all over the map in terms of background knowledge, interests and abilities, and you want to strike a good balance in difficulty-level and topics, in order to keep it interesting and appropriate.

Other electives:  What can you knock out this spring that you’ve got to do in order to graduate / get into college, without making anyone cry?  My thought would be to pursue a hobby that he loves and would consider rewarding, ie if he loves to draw than take an art class, or if he plays sports, join a team and give him credit for PE. But I wouldn’t pursue the extras this semester when you are transitioning if it’s going to stress you out or make him miserable.  A man should be made miserable in moderate doses.

If there’s a pre-packaged curriculum that just seems like the perfect thing, go with it.  If not, compile your course of study a piece at a time.  My advice would be, when you read about the curriculum, does it make sense to you?  Can you get your head around it?  You’ve got so much suddenly on your plate, this is probably not the time to slog through an academic approach that is going to stretch your brain to snapping point.  Look for stuff that makes you go, “Oh yes, that! Perfect!”

***

Okay, that’s my guess.   Other people, correct me, hmmn?   Any personal experiences to share?  Cautionary tales?  Bits of encouragement?

Homeschool Bleg: Our Lady of the Rosary School?

Anyone have any experience with Our Lady of the Rosary School?  A friend asked for my opinion, and I know nothing.  Please share!  Thanks.

[FYI: I’m not considering them for myself.  Quite happy with our current method.  Just in case someone felt the need to talk me off the ledge . . . my friend has a very different personality and set of needs, and it looks like it might be a fit for her, if they are indeed a reputable group and all that.]

Bleg: Which Calendar?

I need a new calendar.

The current one has these features, which must stay:

  • Week-at-glance
  • 6.5″ x 9.5”, and not fat.  Fits in a purse.  I could go as large as a spiral bound notebook, depending.
  • A place to stuff odd papers.  I guess I could duct tape one of these on, if I find the almost-perfect calendar.
  • Punch-dot corner thingie so it’s easy to find where you are (some other equivalent technology is acceptable in theory).
  • Not silly expensive.

I don’t need to impress anyone. I don’t need it to inspire or entertain.   Ideally it would not have goofy cartoon characters on it.  It can be academic year or calendar year or tax year or whatever.  But here’s what I do need:

Lists.

The multi-tasking around here has exceeded the capacity of the current calendar.  I need a place I can stick a grocery list and about ten different independent-of-each-other to-do lists.  They are not the ready-made lists that come with “Family Organizers”, unless your family organizer has pre-made tabs for “Manuscripts to Edit” “Notes – Book A” “Notes – Book B” . . . “Catechism Prep” “Creatures Needing Medical Attention” “Figure Out Why The Tomatoes All Rotted” etc.

The all-purpose running to-do list isn’t covering it any more.  So I guess I’m looking for one of those binder-ish calendars, that lets you can add in your own tabs and sections and stuff?

(Curiously, my mother had one of those by the time she was my age.  Go figure.)

So:  What do you, or your spouse, or your secretary, or that other sort-of-pulled-together person you know (but not the super-organized neat-n-tidy one) like to use?  Recommend away.

Thanks!

 

PS: I do not care about your digital device.  I will be very patient and kind if you must tell me about your little electronic love.  But I’m a paper person.  Tried digital several times, no luck. My brain is not made for that.  Paper.  Paper.