7 Quick Takes Friday: Volume 12

Ah, blessed Friday, with its built-in blog post format. I needed you today to jump start AIRY5.

Please visit Jen at Conversion Diary. She started the whole thing 95 Fridays ago (give or take), and you'll find links to everyone else who is playing along. And happy Friday to you all!

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1. It's safe to say my world is rocked. Homeschooling, like most of my life, is not for the feint of heart. We've had some great moments, some lovely, brilliant, affirming moments, and we've had some "run for the hills" moments. Homeschooling has temporarily impeded my ability to blog, that's for sure. I want to write more about how it has gone for us, but I'm overwhelmed. I am thinking of starting a second blog, one devoted to our little academy here, and one my kids can post to. That's a whole lesson right there! Anyway, at this point, I have hundreds of ideas and very few clues about how to implement them. Good thing life is a journey, that's all I have to say at this point.

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2. My son knows a kid who frequently uses racist language with other kids. "Johnny" has, according to my son, referred to an Asian boy as "yellow" and has called an African-American kid his "slave." He also pretended to beat the African-American boy, and he announced that a black women these kids know of smoked during her pregnancy because she is black, implying that she is stupid because of the color of her skin.

We do not know this kid or his family well. My son asked the two recipients of Johnny's hateful speech if this bothers them; they both said that it does. He also told Johnny he shouldn't say those things, and got the famous "What? I'm not trying to insult them!" response.

Yesterday, Sam asked me why racism exists and if Johnny is a racist. I told him that racism comes from ignorance and fear, and that Johnny is using racist language and expressing racist, despicable ideas. I told him that I hesitate to call an 11 year old kid a racist, because he is probably repeating things he has heard from adults and because he might not be old enough yet to really consider what he is saying. I also told him that if Johnny continues to behave that way, then pretty soon, he will in fact be racist, but that I was unwilling to simple resign him to that category at his young age.

So tell me, why does racism exist? Can an 11 year old be racist? And what else would you have told your child if he or she asked you these questions?

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3. I heart Craigslist. We gave our son an ipod touch for his birthday, which was a "touch" extravagant for us, which actually means that I think we are crazy for doing so. BUT! We found one, brand new and still in its box, for 40% less than we would have paid retail. The sky opened up, the angels smiled down on us, and we were able to give him something he's wanted for over a year. I know there are some crazy stories about weirdos and whatnot on Craigslist, but I've always had great experiences buying and selling this way, and this time, some guy named Carlos in San Francisco really came through for us.

Now, if I could just find another Carlos whose got two sets of nice solid bunk beds, a couch, and some great storage options, all for $50 (or so: I'm not unreasonable!), I might actually reverse my early ruling that our culture is in decline.

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4. We had an earthquake here yesterday, a 3.3 jolt. That's not much, in the grand scheme of earthquakes, but it was centered in my city. We were sitting at the dining room table, doing math (Seriously, we really were!) when it felt like someone picked our house up off the ground just a scooch and then dropped it. It's an unnerving sensation, to say the least.

For those of you unfamiliar, there are different kinds of earthquakes. There's the rolling kind, that sort of makes you feel like your internal navigation system is all messed up. This one seems to last a little while, as in more than a few seconds. Then there's the jolt. Quicker than its rolling cousin, the jolt feels like the earth collided with some other very large object and makes you wish that life came with air bags.

While I was explaining what an earthquake is to my five year old, I made a connection I had not made before. I told her that quaking means shaking, and realized that there are both Quakers and Shakers in the rolling hills of Pennsylvania. I thought that was interesting. Maybe you do not.

My older kids were all "Earthquake? Whatever. Big deal. Who cares. Do I really have to do my chores today?" Such is the life of a California kid.

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5. The countdown to preschool has begun. In 6 days, for 15 blessed hours per week, Tallulah will be someone else's problem responsibility. Her fearlessness, her tenacity, her disregard for limits, her headstrong ways will, I am sure, serve her extremely well in her life. She will go far, probably while running -- with scissors -- and she will be unstoppable in any pursuit of her choosing. Being her mama is a singular challenge, and I'm not afraid to admit that I mother her better when we have a little distance from each other. So preschool, welcome to my village. I saw her future teachers the other day and gave them one piece of advice: Rest up while you can.

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6. My house has been invaded by ants. Homeschooling assignments notwithstanding, I hate them. I hate them. I hate them.

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7. Here's an entertaining YouTube video about St. Ignatius of Loyola. You know what I love about YouTube? It provides constant evidence that people do funny, amazing, creative, interesting things and put them out there for the rest of us. I love that. Hmmmm...further proof that we might not be headed for a cultural crash and burn?

I hope you watch and enjoy!

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FairyLover said…
Racism was one of the reasons I pulled my son out of Pre-K. I just didn't think he should have to be told, "I can't play with you cause you're not white." Or be called the "N" word. We talk a lot about race with our son. He know that mommy and daddy have light skin and his is a bit darker brown. He also has friends with a yellow tone to their skin and friends who have much darker brown skin. I think it's fine to talk about all the different races and where they come from. But no four year old should have to be told he's not good enough because his Latino skin is too brown.

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