Date   

Re: And yet another new one

Julie <jlist@...>
 

Julie (jlist@redjellyfish.net) wrote:
<<We visit my parents there several times a year. Did you grow up in Jamestown?>>

Dawn wrote:
<<I did. Went to ps here. I graduated in '78.>>

I graduated from JHS in 1990, and my dad taught English in Lincoln Junior High & then the high school. You graduated right about the time my dad tried to pull my sister and me out of school (after reading John Holt & others), but then the school system threatened a law suit and he backed down. Times have changed... :)

Julie

----- Original Message -----
From: Dawn Bennink
To: AlwaysLearning@yahoogroups.com
Sent: Saturday, October 18, 2003 12:44 PM
Subject: Re: [AlwaysLearning] And yet another new one


Julie wrote:

> It's a small world, Dawn. My hometown is Jamestown!

Get out!

> We visit my parents there several times a year. Did you grow up in
> Jamestown?

I did. Went to ps here. I graduated in '78.

> My husband was born and raised in Endicott, and his dad was an IBMer,
> too. We live minutes from the Endicott exit on rte 17, so feel free
> to stop by if you need a break on your way to Kingston. :)

Thanks!

>
> I'll definitely check out www.nyhen.org and join the list. Thanks!

You are most welcome. I think you'll find it extremely helpful.

Dawn



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Television

Nanci Kuykendall <aisliin@...>
 

This issues is a bit different if your child has
special needs. My older son, Thomas, is extremely
sensative and lacks a lot of filtering ability that
most people have. He is definately what would be
described as a "special needs" kid and takes special
consideration. More and more kids now are being born
with "special needs" similar to our son. Why is that?
Chemicals in our food and environment? Other
environmental changes? Some sort of evolutionary
spin? All of those? Who knows..the point is that
when some families say that they "HAD" to cut out tv
or certain programming, you can't judge them all by
the same standard. Not all kids are the same. This
is what happened with Thomas.

When he was younger (3-4-5) we had to "ban" certain
movies/shows at home, not by choice, but out of
necessity. It was a mutual ban, where we talked with
him about how his behavior was being affected and how
maybe he should wait a while before trying those
programs again and he agreed. We could afford cable
at that time and tv watching was really profoundly
affecting all our lives in a negative way. We didn't
limit their choices at all, and the results for us
were scary. Our younger child has always been of a
patient and gentle disposition and doesn't have the
special needs of his brother, so filtering and
behaviors never became an issue for him personally.
His brother's behavior affected all of us, however,
him most of all.

What shows? Well Disney's 101 Dalmations was one of
them. The most colorful and impressive character on
that show is of course Cruella. Our son was emulating
her behavior, slapping his little brother full across
the face, calling him or us "You Idiot!" and
"Imbiciles!" and emulating other of her behaviors.
There were also shows which gave him horrible
nightmares, which he is prone to, and were causing
sleepless nights and a lot of stress for all of us.
There were other shows in which the main problems were
violent or uncontrolled behaviors emulated. These
were not one time "experimentation" things. We tried
talking with him about the behaviors. Without fail,
each time he viewed the shows, there would come the
behaviors afterwards.

He still does this today, emulating what he sees in
games, in videos, or hears in stories, running to
invent a game based on things he's just been exposed
to. I know that's normal for kids, and now he does it
in a more normally selective way and is better able to
understand what is socially acceptable behavior and
what is "bad guy" stuff, although we still sometimes
have to talk to him about that.

Current examples of ongoing problems from tv: It's
NOT ok to spit on people when you are really angry
with them, even if the hero does it to the bad guy in
a movie (particularly when you are talking about
someone with an explosive temperment who is mad a
lot)... It's NOT ok to punch/kick/bite/head butt/etc.
others because they are saying something you don't
like, which is not just about teasing but also when he
doesn't get his way or we're not doing what he
wants....Dropping your pants in public, or in other
ways exposing yourself at home, is not funny, even if
it seems really funny in a movie (this is from a
somewhat nudist family where we believe skin is
healthy, and the boys still bathe together, and we
don't hide in shame when we're dressing and we let
them run around naked in our private forested home in
the summertime or swim in their little pool naked -
but I'm talking about imappropriately being nasty - so
much so that he is currently not allowed to go without
pants at home because when the pants go, his humanity
seems to go also....Cussing people out and calling
names (he's picked up some doozies from tv) is not
cool, funny, or acceptable at home or elsewhere - this
from a family that doesn't believe in "bad words" and
has no problem with the kids cussing at home and
playing with words, but I am talking about being
hateful and hurtful to people, like when you tell your
kid there is no more ice cream and he screams that you
are a stupid fucking pig bitch, well, that's a
problem....

These days he will ask us for help in making decisions
about movies to watch. He will ask us "Is this too
scary for me?" or "IS this ok for kids?" Which is
his way of asking if it's ok for HIM in particular.
Lot's of gore (ie: Gladiator, Braveheart, etc) or lots
of terror/tragedy he cannot handle. The oddest things
give him horrible nightmares (like the Wizard of Oz,
or Sleeping Beauty, which he still will not watch) and
then incongruous things never seem to bother him at
all or cause any behavior problems (like Conan, The
Mummy, Air Force One.) He will stop us partway into a
movie he has not seen before and say "I don't like
this" or "It's scaring me" and turn it off. He will
sometimes stop us partway through movies he HAS seen
before and say the same things, as though he is at a
developmental stage where it bothers him now, where
before it didn't. He may watch a movie all the way
through and then not ask for it again for years, which
is another indication that he was not ready for it.

Anyway my point is that not all kids are exactly
alike. Some are more impressionable, or less able to
decipher the complex social clues in movies to
understand what is satire or what is not ok in real
life. Some adults are like that too, for that matter.
It's not a matter of intelligence levels, but of
intelligence types and different ways of absorbing
information. It's especially important for people
like that to have early practice deciphering those
clues and understanding socially acceptable behaviors
because it's not as natural for them to understand and
they NEED more practice. But it's also important not
to drown them with stimuli (which is not hard to do
when they lack filtering tools and self control) while
they are trying to learn these things.

Nanci K.


Re: tv watching

nellebelle <nellebelle@...>
 

We sometime pick peaches or cherries at an orchard near our house. It's really hard for me to stop picking. I always see one more that looks too good to pass up!

Mary Ellen

----- Original Message ----- It's hard for me to leave a bar or restaurant where there's live music I'm enjoying. I don't know if the very next song is going to be one I don't want to miss.


Re: television

Betsy <ecsamhill@...>
 

**Well, isn't this why I'm hear to broaden my views and opinions.
**

I think that's a wonderful reason to be here.

Some people find having their ideas critiqued to be pretty shocking. Occasionally people react as if their personal boundaries have been ambushed and violated. Almost as if someone had pulled down their pants and told them their underwear was ugly -- they seem that shocked and startled to hear a contrary opinion.

::: end bizarre analogy :::

(I'm talking only about the most extreme indignant reactions we have seen on unschooling lists. And I'm grossly overgeneralizing. I honestly don't mean any one particular person, so please don't think I mean any of you personally.)

Betsy


Re: tv watching

Paula Sjogerman
 

on 10/18/03 11:12 AM, SandraDodd@aol.com at SandraDodd@aol.com wrote:

<< Tv is a series of 600 black dots that light up in sequence over and over.
This is damaging to the brain development to children under age 7. >>

Says who?

And what about the computer screen? Same CRT technology, right? Without the
benefit of music an d good acting.

<<Tv lowers the brain waves to the pre-sleep state, so things that are going
in hypnoticcally and it's really hard to make a conscious choice to turn it
off. >>

I've read this in two books, and heard it parotted by "educators," but I
haven't seen it seem true with kids who weren't limited.

I'm an adult and I've experienced this with both the television and the
computer. I can and do turn them off, but I'd be lying if I said it wasn't
hard sometimes. I think it's doing some parents a disservice to say that
that their kids might not experience this also. It might not be universally
true for all humans, but it could be true for some.

I'm not advocating big TV limits, but I do think that some people need more
help regulating than others.

Paula


Re: And yet another new one

Dawn Bennink <dbennink@...>
 

Julie wrote:

It's a small world, Dawn. My hometown is Jamestown!
Get out!

We visit my parents there several times a year. Did you grow up in Jamestown?
I did. Went to ps here. I graduated in '78.

My husband was born and raised in Endicott, and his dad was an IBMer, too. We live minutes from the Endicott exit on rte 17, so feel free to stop by if you need a break on your way to Kingston. :)
Thanks!


I'll definitely check out www.nyhen.org and join the list. Thanks!
You are most welcome. I think you'll find it extremely helpful.

Dawn


Re: television

Kelli Traaseth <tktraas@...>
 

**(Peach paused, in the air, with her parasol, above her**

Oops, Zelda paused, got my Smash Bros characters confused! <g>

Kelli~




One
character in this game is Zelda, a princess type character in a pink
colored gown. Well, Matrix met Mary Poppins right now, in its own
dimension. (Peach paused, in the air, with her parasol, above her)
<G>

Love it! What great connectiveness for a family!


Kelli~





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Re: television

Kelli Traaseth <tktraas@...>
 

----- Original Message -----
From: <SandraDodd@aol.com>
**Because we don't have age milestones and requirements and threshholds for
things, she didn't have to put aside playing with Barbie and Ponies to
watch R
rated movies. So she will do both on the same day.**

Yes, I love this.

Like right now-- Alec (10), Abbi (9) and their cousin (6) are playing Super
Smash Bros, on the Gamecube. When you pause the game with a character in
mid air its really funny because it looks like the Matrix type of action
shot. And we get a kick out of doing that quite a bit. <g> One
character in this game is Zelda, a princess type character in a pink
colored gown. Well, Matrix met Mary Poppins right now, in its own
dimension. (Peach paused, in the air, with her parasol, above her) <G>

Love it! What great connectiveness for a family!


Kelli~


Re: television

H B <emkaysmommy@...>
 

Sandra wrote

"Literature pretty much exists for us to exercise our biochemistry and
imagination on "what ifs." Like an amusement park for brains, scary stories
stimulate the parts of us that usually don't get a workout unless there's a real
fright, and love stories stimulate parts that are usually quiet and still unless
we're currently really involved with some crush/romance, and so forth."


So true!!! As a children's librarian with 9 years experience, I see this all the time! Film and literature stimulate different pats of the brain, and both are valid forms of art. My young patrons love to discuss the latest movie-of-a-book they've seen, and are very critical in their reviews. They were disgusted by the film version of "James and the Giant Peach" b/c the ending was so contrived. They disliked "Stuart Little" b/c the entire flavor of the story was cartoonish, which is so NOT E.B. White's writing style. They thought "Holes" wasn't nearly as exciting as the book, especially since you don't get the same feeling of epiphany at the end of a movie that you get from a book. Even the "Harry Potter" movies, which are as true to the story as any I've seen are fodder for the little Eberts.

Keep in mind the majority of kids I work with are schoolers. Kids are so smart. They know movies are not the same as books. They understand the difference between what they read and what they watch, and are capable of sincere criticism even of their beloved media. Give them some credit for how much they understand!




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Re: tv watching

Retta <rettafontana@...>
 

My kids, 10 and 15 have tv freedom. I talk to the 10yo about things that I feel necessary, but that trust factor takes over in the end. I trust that she's working something out that I don't know or understand at that moment. I think they sometimes want to see how awful people can treat each other at a safe distance and live vicariously.

They both watch more than I would like, lots of days we (thier dad and I) ask them to turn it off so we can have some quiet. That is about us and what our need is at the moment rather than a judgement about tv or their behavior. (The tv is placed pretty centrally for when we all want to watch - probably not the best place for it.)

Tv lowers the brain waves to the pre-sleep state, so things that are going in hypnoticcally and it's really hard to make a conscious choice to turn it off. But afterwards, the 10yo will realize that that isn't how she wants to spend her time and she sees how addicting it can be.

Tv is a series of 600 black dots that light up in sequence over and over. This is damaging to the brain development to children under age 7.

My parents were tv addicts and we "slept" through my childhood with the tv on every waking moment. I still feel sad about that.

Retta



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Re: TV - question, please don't flame me

Norma <athomeopathy@...>
 

--- In AlwaysLearning@yahoogroups.com, Irsue@a... wrote:
<>If your child chooses to watch something along the lines of
borderline pornography, or full blown pornography, do you put an end
to that, or are you letting them watch it or has that not become an
issue in anyone's home? I guess that is something I wouldn't want to
walk in and see my kids watching and I would hope that other parents
would feel the same. Again, I am just asking a question, not trying
to start an all out war. Susan<>

Susan:

Good question! My daughter has always had the opportunity to watch
movies and occasionally TV where nudity or lovemaking happens. We
have talked about pornography. Easy to do since it comes to most
free email accounts all the time. We have discussed how it uses
women and often denigrates them, turning them into pleasure objects
for men. Yes, I know there are all kinds of variations of
pornography, but 99% of what sells is men using women to satisfy
themselves. And we have talked about and watched some films in which
people make love, usually just a clip within the movie, but if it is
done very well, it can be quite beautiful. I want her to know that
good sex is beautiful and enjoyable for both parties.

So, yes, she is allowed to see these things. More often than not we
watch together. And until recently (she's 16) she did not have much
interest in this type of thing. Now she does, so we watch from time
to time. No, we do not rent adult videos, or even some of the X
rated popular films. She has never expressed an interest in these
and on a few occasions when she has been at friends' homes and they
put these kinds of videos on (mostly teen boys do this) she has left
the room because she did not want to watch. But we have watched
quite a few R movies.

One of my favorite films is a very scary murder mystery titled "Don't
Look Now" with a young Donald Sutherland and Julie Christie. Besides
being so scary my husband won't watch it, it has one of the nicest
love-making scenes in all of filmdom, I think. One of Dd's all-time
favorites is "Pretty Woman," and another is "Flashdance," and yet
another that she has watched many times is "Dirty Dancing." Her most
recent favorites are the French film, "Amelie," and "Center Stage."
All of these have sex scenes, and she loves all of them. And she is
no more inclined to go out and try sex than she was before watching
them.

On the plus side she is not inclined to be interested in any of the
very exploitative TV shows about men and women getting together,
especially these "reality" things that have men selecting women or
women selecting men.

The real bottom-line, however, is time. She really doesn't spend
much of her time in front of a TV. She is a very busy teen, with
hours of figure skating practice each day, a part-tim job at the
library, and many activities in which she is involved. Often she
will start to watch something then drift over to the piano and start
working on a piece she is practicing. Or she will have the TV on
while she is working on her clothing designs, sewing. Or she will
prefer to listen to her favorite CDs, dancing and working out. TV is
just background noise more often than not. So I just don't worry
about it. She has a good head on her shoulders and I think she can
handle whatever comes along. So, yes, we do watch many different
things on TV and on videos, but only when we have time, when we are
so inclined, which is not very often.

Norma


Re: television

emkaysmommy <emkaysmommy@...>
 

My dd is 22 months, and I am amazed about how much she retains from
what she watches, and in such a short time span!!! She can act out,
and say lines EXACTLY on cue with the characters from some of her
videos after watching them only 3-5 times!!! To me, this is
amazing! She understands the plots and will sit still through an
entire 1.5 hour movie. To me, that says a lot about attention span.
She will tell me things about what she sees, saying "Oh, no!"
or "Happy" or "sad." This has transferred to our everyday life as
well.

For example, we were taking the cat to the vet and the poor cat was
in her carrier on the front seat and was meowing up a storm. My dd
announced, in a serious tone, "Mommy, kitty scared, kitty scared."
To be able to understand the feelings of a cat, first of all, and one
whom she can't even see, and whom is meowing in a mournful tone, to
me is pretty amazing.

Did she get this all from TV? No, probably not. But do I see TV
expanding her comprehension of her world? Definetly.


Re: television

Fetteroll <fetteroll@...>
 

on 10/18/03 7:42 AM, fishierich@aol.com at fishierich@aol.com wrote:

Well, isn't this why I'm hear to broaden my views and opinions.
Not necessarily! ;-)

People join lists for all sorts of reasons, like support, contact with other
adults, a place to spout off. People who come to grow and change, who are
open to seeing things in new ways will get the most from this particular
list.

Joyce


Re: television

AM Brown <ambdkf@...>
 

I did limit my son's TV content a bit when he was this young. He was
very
sensitive to what he saw. He would act like the characters and have
nightmares
if he watched something intense. When he was this young, that just meant
not
having the TV on a channel where this might show up and not bringing
those
videos into the house. I feel like it was more management than anything.

I have learned, especially from the last two SOS conferences, that we all
fall into the *extremely* sensitive arena. Something we try to emphasize
is listening to our bodies, for when to eat, when to sleep and also when to
turn off things that make us feel unpleasant. I think there is still
important learning there. We went to see the IMAX called Coral Reefs and
it was literally every night for months my oldest would be brought to tears
by the destruction of the reefs. We used that to talk about the feelings
and what we could do. It was still very painful for her. She empathizes
in this same way with characters being mistreated or harmed. They saw Nemo
whenever it first came out and every night as we are lying in bed talking
about 'happy and sads' for the day one of her sads is always "I'm sad that
Nemo's mom was eaten". I think when she was watching a lot of 'kid's'
programing she was becoming overloaded and talking about how we were all
feeling really helped them set boundaries from themselves about what was
important to them and the effect outside stimulation can have on all of us.
This is not always easy for adults to do either, so I think it is great
they are starting to really hear their bodies at such a young age. I do
think it will change over the years and I look forward to a time when we
can enjoy all types of movies and the discussions they bring.

Anna


Re: do unschoolers get good jobs?

Julie <jlist@...>
 

leschke@shaw.ca wrote:
<<I have gotten several comments on my blog from a girl who is SURE
that Gary won't be able to get a good job if he doesn't go to school. Does anyone have any info or links about unschoolers who went to college or got a really good job?>>

Here is an excerpt from Growing Without Schooling as quoted in Grace Llewellyn's Teenage Liberation Handbook.

From Growing Without Schooling, issue #100, Darlene Lester of California writes about her son Ely:
During his years at home he discovered and developed his talent for drawing. He took art lessons, drew every day, and delighted us with his increasing skill. He had a great love for Disney-style art and spent a lot of time drawing Disney characters. He got astonishingly good. At twelve he was earning money doing "quick sketch" portraits at parties. He learned how to do this from a retired artist who had worked at Disneyland...

[Later, when Ely started researching schools,] He found out that they were all horrendously expensive. Finally, he discovered a life drawing class in L.A. that was taught by a retired Disney animator. He signed up and made the two-and-a-half hour trip once a week. He met some people in the class who told him about an ROP animation class held at a high school in the area. He signed up for that, too, and said he felt like he was in the right place...

This ROP program funnels talented people into the animation industry by creating internships with the various animation studios. Ely just recently interview to become an intern at Film Roman, an animation company in L.A., and he got the internship. He will train there for about a month, and if they like him, he'll be put on the payroll...

The beauty of all this is that while Ely's artistic peers are grinding away in universities or at expensive art schools, with no guarantee of work in that field, Ely will be busy training in the nitty-gritty of his chosen career.

Steve and I have always told the boys that we've both had a wonderful life, each of us doing what we love to do (and getting paid for it), without having attended college. Instead, we move directly toward our goals with as few middlemen as possible. It was definitely a quicker and more enjoyable way to go, and it always seemed much cheaper. We are clear now that many kinds of work can be entered directly through some kind of apprenticeship arrangement, or through a trade school, or by simply working on your own, getting tips from mentors or books when you get stuck. We are more sure than ever that college is not for everyone, that for many kinds of work it is not the best route, that it is shamefully overpriced for what you get, that it doesn't guarantee you a good-paying job (or any job, for that matter), and that its hard sell given routinely in high school is not deserved.


Hope this helps!

Julie


Re: television

Shyrley <shyrley@...>
 

Julie Solich wrote:

When we watch Eastenders they are interested in why teens on that show don't speak to their parents or why pupils on Grange Hill bully each other.
Shyrley
I haven't seen Grange Hill for years. Is it still going or are you talking about old repeats?

Julie

I've been watching videoed repeats. No idea if they are still making it.
It's like having a window back into the 80's :-)

Shyrley


Re: tv watching

SandraDodd@...
 

In a message dated 10/18/03 11:01:59 AM, sjogy@sbcglobal.net writes:

<< I'm an adult and I've experienced this with both the television and the
computer. I can and do turn them off, but I'd be lying if I said it wasn't
hard sometimes. >>

Hard because you're hynotized by 600 black dots, or hard because it's
interesting?

It's hard for me to leave a bar or restaurant where there's live music I'm
enjoying. I don't know if the very next song is going to be one I don't want to
miss.

It's hard for me to leave a restaurant when I'm having fun with friends or
family and there's still anything left in my glass (tea, soda, anything). I'm
not mesmerized, I'm engaged.

I have to force myself to put a book down, lots of times.

I often sit in the car with the radio on until a good stopping place in the
song.

When I visit friends, I'm rarely anxious to go home.

When I get seeds off the morning glory vines (which I've been doing lately,
because first I wanted to give my sister some, and now we're planning to "plan
t" Holly a playhouse next year, a flower-bower), I have a hard time telling
myself "that's the last one, come back tomorrow," and I'm usually right to
stay--I find a few more that would have dumped themselves on the ground by the next
day if I hadn't gotten them.

<<I'm not advocating big TV limits, but I do think that some people need more
help regulating than others.>>

Do you really think television itself is physically holding on to people, and
that it's not their interest in the program or their avoidance of the thing
(whatever it might be) that their mom is wanting them to do instead?

Sandra


Re: television

ejcrewe@...
 

In a message dated 10/17/2003 6:46:28 PM Central Standard Time,
fishierich@aol.com writes:


Do you think at 4
years my daughter should be the one deciding what shows to watch?
What about the influence of commercial TV? Do you not think that has an
affect on the gimmes and yes I did read about 'Magical Thinking and Spoiled
Children' and agree completely. So does that mean I should not worry about
commercial
TV? What about the news or just the news flashes? Regular prime-time news
coverage is not really something a 4 year old needs to hear about let alone
a 29
year old.
My four year old decides what to watch. As does my five year old. They
always have. When I broke my ankle a year ago (has it really been a year?), they
learned to work the remote themselves because asking me would have taken too
much time. They pop in a video or dvd, change the channels, adjust the volume
(usually lower) whenever they want. This morning they watched 101 Dalmatians
and now they are playing with their new-to-them action figures I got at a used
toy sale. Robin just said to Batman "We can go draw a picture, play with
clay, make a house out of blocks or help my daddy paint the steps. What do you
want to do?"

They have never elected to watch the news, it's not interesting to them.
They have chosen opera, ballet and eyewitness movies about dinosaurs or cats,
things like that. They have also chosen Dora, Telletubbies, Arthur and other
non-educational shows. We have GREAT conversations during and after Arthur, but
I don't like the show at all. They enjoy it when Mark and I watch "Whose
Line is it Anyway" aka The Funny Show, because they like to see us laugh. They
aren't as happy with a Ken Burns documentary, but snuggle with us anyway.

My two love the commercials that come on between shows and on the videos, but
have only once asked for something. Sometimes they recognize their own toys
on the commercials. They are learning how to make purchasing decisions.
Better now than when they are young adults with their own credit card debt! They
understand our budget limitations and make choices accordingly. I remember
thinking my mother was just mean for not getting me a particular Barbie, my kids
see how money works. Commercialism surrounds us, better to learn how to deal
with it than avoid it.

Elizabeth


Re: tv watching

SandraDodd@...
 

In a message dated 10/18/03 11:01:59 AM, sjogy@sbcglobal.net writes:

<< It might not be universally
true for all humans, but it could be true for some. >>

Then the verbs "does" and "is" and "creates" and other such universal verbs
should not ever be used when what "could be true" is "might" and "some" and
"could."

Sandra


Re: do unschoolers get good jobs?

Norma <athomeopathy@...>
 

--- In AlwaysLearning@yahoogroups.com, "Trisha Sides" <Trisha@R...>
wrote:
Hi everyone,
I have gotten several comments on my blog from a girl who is SURE
that Gary won't be able to get a good job if he doesn't go to
school.
Does anyone have any info or links about unschoolers who went to
college or got a really good job? I know it works, but I'd like to
give her some examples.
Thanks
Trisha
http://radicalmama.motime.com/
Trisha:

My Dd is a die-hard unschooler. At 16 she has had her life path
pretty well set for the past 6-10 years, believe it or not. She is
a figure skater, first and foremost, training almost every day. She
aims to be a coach and ice choreographer. She does compete but we
have never gotten into the fierce competition that would put her in
Olympic contention. Costs way too much for our meager means, along
the lines of $34,000-$50,000 a year!!!! With no help from the
exceedingly rich USFSA that has billions in its coffers. We can't
even do it on a shoestring, but instead have managed 10 years of
training and coaching on fierce frugality and plenty of "old baling
twine," as I always say. But she definitely has what it takes to be
a great coach and choreographer, is known for her beauty and grace,
her unique musical selections, and unusual choreography on the ice.
At this point all the other young skaters are trying to copy her
moves, the surest sign of respect and admiration in skating. That's
career loop #1.

Career loop #2 is to get her undergrad degree in fine arts, with an
emphasis on ceramics. She is specifically interested in raku and pit-
firing. She applied for and attended a summer college program for
senior high students this past summer, attending a course in raku and
pit-firing. She received a full scholarship and absolutely loved
Earlham College. Having visited and attended other programs at other
colleges over the past 3 years this was the first time she said that
this was the school where she wanted to get her degree. We will see
what kind of scholarship and financing package they offer her. Since
raku ceramics is not offered at very many colleges she will not have
a lot of choice, so I am very happy that she has already found one
school that offers this curriculum and that she loves. She even
liked the dorms, where she stayed during the hottest month of the
year without air conditioning, hanging out in the exceedingly hot
kiln room, covered in slip. And she loved the dorm food! Wow! That
was a big surprise, since she is usually the pickiest eater around.

She also loves clothing design and has been doing that since she was
8 years old, winning the state trophy in 4-H when she was 10 for one
of her outfits. She may or may not drift into that as a career
direction at some point. But meanwhile she gets lots of satisfaction
out of designing and making her own unique clothes.

She also has a school lined up for graduate school and we will go
visit there sometime this year. She will apply to this school,
Alfred University in Afred, NY, for undergrad school, too, but
Earlham is clearly her first choice.

Meanwhile, back in teendom, she worked for two years in the gift shop
at our local Museum Center where she had worked as a youth volunteer,
a great job reference for the future with a letter of recommendation
from the CEO. And she has worked seasonally as a skate guard at her
home ice rink during their busy holiday season every year. Currently
she is working at our local branch library. These are all premium
jobs, hard to get, with very few openings, competitive, requiring
special skills, and that pay well for teens. The library job is
especially good, guaranteeing her 12 hours a week at well above
McDonald's wages, all the while learning and being around great
people, great books, great educational resources. She always comes
home with an armload of books, CDs, software, sheet music, etc. I
would highly recommend that other unschoolers look into library
jobs. Might also help her qualify for a library job at college.

So, yes, there are great jobs and wonderful opportunities out there
for "unschoolers." Many, like my daughter, will be best suited for
more unconventional careers. Even the college she chose is listed in
The Fiske Guide To Getting Into The Right College as one of the
top "nonconformist" colleges, which seems quite appropriate. And her
second-choice college is listed as one of the "best-kept secrets"
colleges, greatly respected in the world of ceramics.

So don't think that unschoolers can't find their niche. On the
contrary, I think they are the best candidates for truly finding
their own way in the world. After all, they have been doing it all
along.

Norma