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Archive for November, 2011

In the first episode, Dan starts out trying to be good, but it is hard. He and Tommy get caught talking in class and are told to mend a fence as punishment. They only get part way through. The others are busy building fishing rods to go fishing with. Dan thinks this is boring. When he sees Mr. Bhaer’s prize cow he gets an idea. Okay, Demi had been reading about bull fighting and talked about that, but Dan was the one who with Tommy went into the pasture to provoke the cow. At first nothing happened, but then she got mad and the boys scrambled. Then she broke the pasture she was in. By the time the boys managed to catch up with her, she had a hurt shoulder. Even Dan is dismayed at this. Mr. Bhaer is not pleased, but does allow Dan to speak. Dan said he didn’t realize bull riding was against the rules. Mr. Bhaer didn’t realize they needed a rule for that^^; Mr. Bhaer is most disappointed that Dan would treat another living creature in this way. So Dan’s punishment is to take care of the cow until she is better.

In the next episode, things start well. For several days Dan studies, takes care of the cow, and is relatively nice. Jo is optimistic. Asia doubts it will last. Mr. Bhaer has a business trip overnight to Boston. Unfortunately it is just about this time that Dan starts getting restless. Late that night he gets Nat up and Tommy to sneak to the attic to drink, smoke, and play cards. The drink gets spilled, and the boys aren’t too good at cards or smoking. They are too tired anyway. I think Dan regretted doing this, realizing such past-times weren’t really as fun as he remembered. Demi notices Tommy isn’t in his bed but the others manage to get back to their rooms before he comes back with Jo. This is where things might have ended except Tommy ended up with the cigar but he doesn’t realize it is still alive and he falls asleep. When Nan gets up in the middle of the night she notices smoke coming from Tommy and Demi’s room . . .

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In the first episode, Dan doesn’t come to breakfast, doesn’t help with morning chores, and when he is brought his text books he tears them up. For Emil this is the last straw. He can’t stand to have his beloved Aunt insulted, so he challenges Dan. Fighting is not allowed and Demi soon spreads the alarm, but not before Dan and Emil have really gone at it. Actually, Dan thought Emil would back down at the first hit, but this doesn’t happen. Dan is surprised to find that Emil is sincere in how he views his aunt. In fact. Dan keeps Emil from getting into real trouble. Later, Mr. Bhaer talks with Dan who says he thought the other boys were wimps for not fighting. When Mr. Bhaer asks if he still feels that way, well let’s just say he doesn’t. As for his punishment, Jo tells him she will put a new flower by his bed every day until he feels part of their family and pins the flower on himself. Nan tells Dan she saw how he was in the fight and while she still doesn’t like him and will tell him things he does that she disapproves of she will now also tell him his good qualities.

In the next episode, Dan is nice to Teddy, who is the youngest at the school. He gets into a fight with Nan though when she compliments him on it and she is rude back. Rob goes off flying a kite and Teddy wants to as well but there is only one kite and he is told he is too small, which makes Teddy quite upset. Nan goes off to make Teddy a kite, but in the mean while he annoys her and so he wanders off to where Dan is. Dan is actually quite taken with Teddy. Unknown to him. Mr. and Mrs. Bhaer notice this. Dan sends Teddy off when the kite is finally done, but the kite flies off. Dan goes and gets the kite down, which Nan also sees much to his annoyance. Still, it seems Dan does have a softer side after all.

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In the first episode, Nat and Nan are being taken to a concert by Mr. Lawrence, Jo’s old friend and Plumfield’s benefactor. Nat I can understand but I wonder how Nan got to go. They both look great – yes Nan can dress up nicely. That doesn’t stop her from still acting like her normal clumsy, tomboy self though^^; Once in town they stop at a store first. Nan wanders off and sees a boy take some fliers and money to deliver the fliers, but he leaves them behind. Nan chases after him outraged, but before things go too far some other boys show up and the first boy fights them. Nat and Mr. Lawrence come looking for Nan and Nat is surprised to see his old friend Dan. Nat thinks Dan should come to Plumfield. Nan thinks that is a horrible idea. When Dan is noncommittal they go off to the concert, but Nat is distracted. It turns out Dan was one of the few people who was kind to him when he was  a street musician with his father. That night Dan is in another fight. This time it is with men and he comes off the worse. So he does go to Plumfield, but his attitude is not promising. Still, Mrs. Bhaer decides Dan can stay, much to Nan’s consternation.

The next episode is Dan’s first day at Plumfied which does not go so well. Dan is frankly rude to everyone, especially the adults, which worries Nat. He also doesn’t find the other boys to be very interesting, making fun of their makeshift circus. However, while at first he is insulted Tommy at least becomes quite impressed because Dan is very physically skilled and is overall cool. Nan of course is disgusted with this. Dan plays a trick on Tommy which violates the spirit of the law even if it keeps the letter, but Nat gets Dan to return Tommy his pocket knife. When Dan is sent out into the field to help Silas, he doesn’t last long. Mrs. Bhaer tries to talk with Dan, but he insults her. He hasn’t met too many adults who genuinely  care for him. Mrs. Bhaer is just happy Dan is staying since he certainly needs an environment like Plumfield.

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We finish getting the fallout from Sawako and Kazehaya publicly declaring that they are dating. Sawako gets some unexpected help from Kurumi, and Kurumi and Sawako come to an understanding of sorts. Kento is rude to Kurumi. Pin gets some new found respect for Yano. Ryu says something unexpected to Yoshida. And Sawako and Kazehaya go on their first official date. From Sawako’s perspective, she has a lot of catching up to do for Kazehaya – Christmas, Valentines, his birthday . . .

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Saiunkoku Manga #5

In this volume, Shuurei gets sick and everyone from the Uncle she doesn’t know she has to the emperor himself overreacts. Actually, in those two cases overreacting is expected, but even cool Minister Kou shows up. And in fact is a good thing since a boy from Shuurei’s school blames himself (he does have some fault since he caused Shuurei to fall in the water), and so all these resources end up being used to help rescue the boy when he runs off. Then the capital seems extra busy and for good reason – the imperial examinations are coming up and applicants are showing up. Shuurei meets a young man named Tou Eigetsu, but trouble seems to have a habit of following him. . . Fortunately Shuurei herself has friends in unexpectedly low places. We then are treated to two side stories. One shows what things were like when Shuurei was young. Yes, Reishin was just as bad if not worse about her back then^^; But we get some surprising insight into Shouka. In the other we get an idea of what Ryuuki was like before Shuurei showed up and how he viewed their first meeting.

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In the first episode, Jo collects a ton of broken toys for the children of Plumfield to repair to give to less fortunate children. Ordinarily Jo lets each of her students choose one toy they may keep, but an orphanage burns down so the children decide to give everything. This is a bit of a problem, though. Nan works really hard to repair a teddy bear. Although he teases her a lot, Tommy actually really likes Nan and so decides to carve her a nice box. It is a wrench giving it away. The problem comes when Rob and Teddy fight over the bear and break it. Tommy takes the blame, and Nan is furious. However, the truth comes out and Nan for gives Tommy, who she discovers trying to repair the bear.

In the next episode, Jo is having trouble getting her students to bed. Some like Daisy and Demi are mostly up just because the others are and because it is noisy. Others like Nan and Tommy are leaders in mischief. Jo is so furious she hardly says anything except that they can go to bed whenever they want. Nan, Tommy, and Nat especially like this. They want to see what it is like to stay up until midnight. Not everyone is so enthused, and the later it gets the fewer remain. Meanwhile, Jo worries about how she reacted. In the end they decide to begin again. If the students follow regular bedtimes, Jo will let them stay up late and have a pillow fight on Saturday night. If not, they then forfeit this treat.

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In the first episode, it is Nat’s first day of school. Fritz, Professor Bhaer’s oldest nephew, takes him aside and begins teaching him the basics of reading. This comes out, and some of the others are surprised, but Professor Bhaer points out that Nat knows things they don’t, like how to play the violin. He encourages everyone to help Nat to learn what he doesn’t know and to learn from Nat what he does know. The other students take this to heart. Nan decides to help by giving Nat one of her favorite books, Robinson Crusoe. Franz thinks this is a bit beyond Nat, but the story speaks to Nat so much that he ends up surprising everyone.

Poor Daisy is bored. She doesn’t like playing ball or other games played by the boys and Nan doesn’t like dolls. Even Rob and Teddy get tired of playing with her. Nan of course is front and center playing any active game. Jo is inspired to get a new game for Daisy and Nan to share. Tons of packages are brought to Plumfield, though Daisy and Nan aren’t allowed to know the surprise until it is ready. It is a miniature kitchen for these two ladies to learn how to cook. Nan loves thinks like pounding dough or potatoes and Daisy has already picked up a bit by watching Asia. Their first experiments in cooking are perhaps less than ideal, but since both girls enjoyed themselves the experiment is I think a success.

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