Several weeks ago, someone on Twitter asked people to name a book they know they should have read but are ashamed to admit they haven’t. Answers ranged from To Kill a Mockingbird, Jane Eyre, and A Tale of Two Cities (I salute this last person) to whole genres in general. Russian literature got a huge shoutout as a major gap for many people.
I am often plagued with nightmares. They are vivid, violent, and visceral.
The other night, I dreamed that I was in a public plaza full of people: Some were milling around, some were protesting, and some were rioting. It was chaotic and loud. I was trying to leave with a group of people, and something made me turn around and head back. When I did, a man with a gun came after me. I grabbed a chair and held it up between us, but he knocked me to the ground, put his gun to my neck, pulled the trigger, and then walked away.
Dear parents who suddenly have their schooled children at home,
A Quiet Place has become one of my family’s favorite movies over the past few years. Anytime we have a house guest, my children’s first question to them is, “Have you seen A Quiet Place?” If the answer is no, that guest had better be prepared to get their pants scared off because my children will force them to watch it.
What can I say? My children are homeschooled and therefore unsocialized—not much I can do.
A couple of months ago, one of my logic students told me that she didn’t need to take my class to be successful. It’s a tough class with a highly specific vocabulary and skill set, and they have it at the end of the school day, which hurts their brains. She said that her father never took logic in high school, and he is successful, so she doesn’t need to take logic to be successful, either.
I was overjoyed by the statement. Now we could have some real fun. I responded, “Do you think I teach you logic in order for you to be successful?”
No one questions the whole idea of homeschooling more than a homeschool mom in February. February is a notoriously hard month for homeschool moms. It’s the month most of us want to throw in the towel, quit, hide under a pile of fun books, and send our children to boarding school. In Switzerland.
My daughter, Mary Judah, has very strong opinions about paintings by Georgia O’Keeffe. MJ cannot stand O’Keeffe’s work.
We did the audio tour for the O’Keeffe special exhibit at San Francisco’s De Young Museum years ago. One of the stations on the tour included a recording of O’Keeffe herself talking about art and what makes good art. She said something along the lines of how good art has fewer and fewer details and distractions.
“The campus of Justin may be a haven from the war, a haven from reality, but when reality is so grim, to be a haven may be a virtuous thing. Soon, only too soon, reality will burst the walls and swell the gutters of the school to boiling livid streams, but the interim is ours and is not the interim as real as reality?” —Louis Auchincloss
A common critique lobbed at homeschoolers is this: Homeschooling shelters children from the “real world” too much. I shouldn’t have googled this concept. That’s a rabbit hole I wish I hadn’t gone down.
Last year, I spent the Sunday night after Thanksgiving in the ER.
My husband, Joshua, had been battling persistent pneumonia for months and had finally been cleared right before the holiday weekend. That Sunday, a mere ten minutes before friends arrived for a Thanksgiving leftovers dinner, Joshua started not feeling well. He became nauseated, had trouble breathing, and started having violent chills and a fever.
Proverbs 26:4 says, “Answer not a fool according to his folly, lest thou also be like unto him.” The very next verse says, “Answer a fool according to his folly, lest he be wise in his own conceit.”
The whiplash while reading wisdom literature like this often leaves one wondering what she ought to do. Do I answer the fool, or don’t I? The answer, of course, is this: It all depends. Sometimes, both happen at the same time.
In Ovid’s Metamorphoses, we get some good samples of folly.
Now that we’ve been back at school for several weeks, there is a certain type of Facebook post that has become commonplace amongst my friends whose children go to school: the drop-off and pick-up line angst post.
This should really be a Facebook post genre in its own right, up there with posts about politics, extreme weather, and arguments about obeying the gods.