Tuesday, June 3, 2008

Jury Duty

I spent my day at the courthouse yesterday hoping to get out of jury duty. I get that it is an important part of our government, but it is really no fun and not something anyone really looks forward to. The benches are uncomfortable, they don't offer you ANY food and you aren't supposed to take any into the courtroom, and it was freakin' cold! I'm glad I thought to carry a long sleeve shirt in my bag - if only I remembered to carry an apple. I was there until noon and I'm still not free of it. It was daunting to watch the lawyers go through the people and the questions they had to pick the jurors who would serve on their juries. So many questions and people trying to answer honestly, but not wanting to have to serve and wishing they would also get sent home. They didn't get around to me. I have to go back on Friday to see whether they will need me for a jury then. Hopefully, when I call in on Thursday night I will be released. We are supposed to head out of town to Hartwell Lake for the weekend to do some camping and swimming and we were hoping to leave out after lunch. Guess I'll have to pack everything up on Thursday and keep my fingers crossed I'm not stuck in court all day. I did meet an interesting woman. She sat beside me. She was a high school art teacher really hoping to make a difference in some kids lives. Most teachers I meet are distrusting of homeschooling and as we talked she said, "you sound like an unschooler" and I told her we were in the process of deschooling and we were getting there and fully trying to embrace each step. We talked about how much she likes the idea of unschooling and tries to bring some of that into her classroom and frequently talks with other teachers about creative ways to let kids do things on their own in a school environment because unfortunately not everyone is in a position to be able to stay home with their children. I found her to be super intriguing and it was nice to be able to talk openly with someone in education and feel truly understood and supported. It seems to me everyone knows intrinsically that unschooling makes sense, it is just the fear of the unknown and the going against the "norm." But, what is the norm? A prison like environment for our youth with a focus on scores rather than on real education? It's pretty scary. Knowledge is important, but who should determine the knowledge they need to get by in life? Some educator politician, a teacher, a test? Where does self worth fit into all this and the innate desire we all have to learn and expand ourselves. Do we stop being sponges at kindergarten and have to have our brains filled? I think we continue to be sponges as long as we are alive and engaged in something be it TV, gaming, cooking, grilling, gardening, homeopathy, parenting, whatever our interests are. Every moment of everyday we are learning. We don't need someone to tell us what we need to learn, we will learn what we need to learn when we need to learn it if we are willing and we have the trust and confidence in ourselves to go the extra mile and try anything. When I came home, I felt inspired and I know in my heart of hearts we are on the brink of new beginnings in education as these new young teachers with new ideas come into the schools and that there is a push for change. People are realizing our educational system is failing a lot of children and people are getting tired of it. We are getting tired of seeing our children come out of the schooling process broken and disfunctional. I don't homeschool because I think I can provide my children with a superior education, I homeschool because I KNOW I can provide them with a thirst for knowledge and they can be free to be who they are and learn in the way that best suits them.

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