Utterly Meaningless » Blog Archive » LETTERS OF THE DAY
  • LETTERS OF THE DAY

    Filed at 8:28 am under by dcobranchi

    I’m going to reproduce here several (not a permalink) providing feedback on the Wild Child piece from a couple weeks back:

    Child neglect by any other name: Give me a goddamn break! A mother who lets her kids run wild for 18 years with no formal education is worthy of some sort of praise? (“Wild Child,” by Glenna Whitley, October 27.) She should be in jail for neglect or abuse! Let’s see, she’s got a daughter who is “financially independent” and a son who’s trying to be a male model. What happens if we all try to “unschool” our kids? Do we end up with a society full of Zoolander male model wannabes? I’m not suggesting that every child needs to be a doctor, lawyer or engineer, but saying that a child should be able to “choose” their education is absurd. I chose not to take piano lessons as a child, and it’s something I’ve regretted ever since. I would be a much better guitar player now if I had learned the basics of music back then. This article illustrates why the hippie movement was such a failure the first time around. It consisted of a bunch of lazy-ass folks sitting around doing nothing while the rest of society was forced to take up the slack! Let’s outsource all our skilled professions to India, Asia, Mexico, etc. Maybe we can set up a job exchange and send them all of our “unschooled” male models!

    James Allman

    Dallas

    Take it from Einstein: I just wanted to thank you for your excellently written article on unschooling. I am an unschooling parent of a nearly 11-year-old boy, and we have been unschooling since the get-go. If I had been wrestling with a decision of whether to unschool or not, I think your article would have helped me reach a good decision. I especially liked your use of quotes from Einstein, Emerson, Edison, et al.; they’re good quotes, and they will certainly help folks look deeper into the truth behind them.

    Marji Zintz

    Florida, New York

    Irresponsible and selfish: Unbelievable! Parents who are proud to have raised three (three?!) admittedly uneducated kids. And Barb was “worried” when one of them didn’t express interest (excuse me, INTEREST?!) in learning to read until the teenage years. And that ridiculous quote about there not being any one thing that everyone needs to know…hogwash! There is at the very least one thing, and it is basic reading! What the city of Dallas did NOT need was three more illiterate and unemployable adults. It appears that with Dad’s high-paying job, it seems unimportant to the Eakers for their children to develop the requisite skills for survival beyond the childhood home. Quinn seems to have adequate funding for trips to Hawaii to “dumpster-dive” with homeless people (perhaps his future peers?). Wow–that’s a powerful argument in favor of child-directed learning.

    I am appalled and disgusted that any family would take such an irresponsible and selfish approach to child-rearing. My consolation comes from knowing that if any of these three young adults ever succeeds at becoming employable, their minimum-wage incomes (Wal-Mart greeter? Street peddler?) will never be adequate to allow them to become MY neighbors! Thank goodness for the laws of “what goes around comes around” and “you reap what you sow.” Sorry, Hawaii. You guys might need to consider a bond issue for a new homeless shelter.

    Melanie Klutts

    Dallas

    Radical and loving it: Well, that was just badass! We are radical unschoolers of younger kids (2 and 4) and have met Barb Lundgren and Quinn Eaker at the Rethinking Education conference. Your story was so well-written and shed the most positive light on our lifestyle. I really appreciate it. Thanks for getting the word out so eloquently.

    Geneva Goza

    Dallas

    Tip credit: Rikki

    21 Responses to “LETTERS OF THE DAY”


    Comment by
    COD
    November 6th, 2005
    at 9:13 am

    You left out one letter 😉

    The hate and anger in the letters from the statists is sort of scary, or maybe it’s just sad. Why do they care so much? How these kids weee raised will likely never have any impact on their life.


    Comment by
    Daryl
    November 6th, 2005
    at 9:21 am

    How’d that happen?

    The missing letter was sent directly (supposedly) to the reporter. It wasn’t supposed to be a LttE.


    Comment by
    Stephanie
    November 6th, 2005
    at 12:56 pm

    … still trying to reconcile the fact that one of the kids is already financially independent, with the idea that they’ll need to be in homeless shelters … there’s logic for you.


    Comment by
    MH
    November 6th, 2005
    at 1:24 pm

    Quinn is a selfish. He uses people and situations until he is bored then he ditches them and runs home to Mommy. Two weeks playing at homelessness in Hawaii does not give someone insight into the homeless plight. He was able to fly home to a nice home in St Louis.

    He goes from one place and one job to another as he pleases. Life is not about being happy or entertained, it is about people. His life is about himself.

    He enjoys the shock factor: dropping out of high school, homelessness, dumpster diving, joining the army, hair style and dress. Once the novelity of the shock wears off , he is onto the next item.

    He is the worst example of unschooling. Unschoolers can and are sucessful at producing caring, responsible, decent adults. Quinn fails in all these catagories in my book.


    Comment by
    COD
    November 6th, 2005
    at 2:59 pm

    //Quinn fails in all these catagories in my book.//

    Why should Quinn, or anybody else, give a damn about your book? As long as he isn’t a financial drain on society, I really don’t care what he does, and you shouldn’t either.


    Comment by
    Anonymous
    November 6th, 2005
    at 4:11 pm

    I’m utterly annoyed that anyone chooses to construe a young man’s self-sufficient, joyful, sane, and healthy life as “selfishness.” We should all be so “selfish.” If your life isn;t about yourself, who is it about? Why are other people always supposed to be worthier than you?

    My ex-boyfriend’s younger brother, about Quinn’s age, used to ship out on commercial transport ships since he was 15, working his passage for fun and to see the world. For all I know, he still does it. Such a beautiful, noble, happy, fearless, and compassionate person I never met before or since. He and his brothers had been unschooled, even though their parents probably had never heard the word. All four of them are strong, good, self-sufficient men with unusually consistent ideas of morality and decency and equally unusual intelligence and capacity for feeling. (The fact that I can say this about an ex-boyfriend should tell you something, eh?)

    Does MH even know any unschooled kids? Does MH like people who are different and happy, or does MH want everyone to be boxed into the same little cage? Does MH just want to pontificate from the direction of the excremental orifice? I think that sort of pitiful whining comes from scared little trapped souls who want to pull the wings off of butterflies because they themselves refuse to fly.


    Comment by
    speedwell
    November 6th, 2005
    at 4:12 pm

    Yeah, that was me, as if everyone couldn’t tell. Sorry 🙂


    Comment by
    COD
    November 6th, 2005
    at 6:00 pm

    I bow to your brillance Speedwell. I’m not worthy, I’m not worthy 🙂

    Well said!


    Comment by
    speedwell
    November 7th, 2005
    at 6:52 am

    You know, I woke up this morning thinking about this; that’s how ANGRY it made me. Some people are about the ant, and other people are about the anthill, to use a metaphor from my guy’s animation industry, some people value the individual and some don’t, as I’m coming to realize as I near 40.

    But gather ’round, kids, and let’s look at the real pathological organism that I have wiggling on my forceps: the person that sees someone happy and functioning. and immediately and in so many words wishes them to be unhappy. Someone who can see a free man accomplishing extraordinary things, and devoutly want him to live a static life of quiet desperation like himself. What’s WRONG with people like that? I’m not a Christian, so if I get a quick mental image of crushing the venomous snake with a rock, you’re going to need to forgive me.

    But it’s not Christianity that makes people like MH. Jesus is the same “wild child” who slipped away from his parents to go study with the philosophers at the Temple. Can’t you see it? Gamaliel, at the height of his manhood and professional reputation, taking Mary and Joseph aside and asking them, “Son and daughter of King David, I can see the glory of God and of his ancestry in this boy, and how wonderful that you don’t stifle him!”


    Comment by
    Andrea R
    November 7th, 2005
    at 8:39 am

    yeah, we can see it speedwell. I thought it was a great story. 🙂


    Comment by
    MH
    November 7th, 2005
    at 8:45 am

    Sorry I made all of you so angry. Gee, is that what you accused me of being? My point is, I would not want to depend on someone like Quinn. He existance is sad. The emperor has no clothes.


    Comment by
    speedwell
    November 7th, 2005
    at 10:51 am

    The only thing sad about it is that it makes you sad.
    _______________________________

    you shall above all things be glad and young
    For if you’re young,whatever life you wear

    it will become you;and if you are glad
    whatever’s living will yourself become.
    Girlboys may nothing more than boygirls need:
    i can entirely her only love

    whose any mystery makes every man’s
    flesh put space on;and his mind take off time

    that you should ever think,may god forbid
    and (in his mercy) your true lover spare:
    for that way knowledge lies,the foetal grave
    called progress,and negation’s dead undoom.

    I’d rather learn from one bird how to sing
    than teach ten thousand stars how not to dance

    – e.e. cummings


    Comment by
    Dennis O'Donnell
    November 7th, 2005
    at 11:07 am

    Live and let live, hoowah!

    So yeah, I’m not an “un-schooler”- I follow and use the “deluxe secular” curriculum from homeschool-supercenter. It’s pretty much what my child could get in the best of public schools.

    I have to say that I find it “less objectionable” to hear of folks that have the erm.. “guts” to unschool as opposed to those who tend to – how shall I put it- “Christianize education”. That said, it’s only MY opinion, which shouldn’t mean jack to anyone else. I applaud ALL who would make the commitment and sacrifices that it takes to remove their children from the broken public school systems. That includes the majority of homeschoolers that are diametrically opposite to my belief system. Here here! We should ALL support each other in this endeavor, no matter what you believe or don’t believe. It should be easy for every one of us to give a cheer to anyone with the convictions to home-school or un-school.


    Comment by
    MH
    November 7th, 2005
    at 11:28 am

    But his last four years of education where in a public school. So why hold him up as a role model for unschooling?


    Comment by
    speedwell
    November 7th, 2005
    at 2:48 pm

    Because birds are characterized by flight miles, not by time in a cage.


    Comment by
    Andrea R
    November 7th, 2005
    at 5:37 pm

    I think you’re (MH) confusing some of their parenting techniques and philosophies with how they view education. A fine line maybe, but there it is. There’s even Christian unschoolers.


    Comment by
    Lynda
    November 8th, 2005
    at 2:30 am

    I do so hate to go wandering through blogs only to find someone who bogs my brain down in metaphors.

    MH, please give it up. We get it — none is so blind as MH who will not see.

    And I shall fade off into the sunset humming the theme song of all those who can’t “see” what unschooling is “little boxes . . . and they all look just the same.”


    Comment by
    MH
    November 8th, 2005
    at 7:23 am

    Why are those who think “outside the box” so protective of the box they build around themselves that any criticism of unschooling means I am a insect killing jesus freak? Your emperor has no clothes.


    Comment by
    COD
    November 8th, 2005
    at 8:06 am

    It wasn’t your criticism of unschooling – it was your holier-than-thou judgement of them as failures becauses Quinn’s path in life (so far) does not measure up to your standards.


    Comment by
    MH
    November 9th, 2005
    at 7:39 am

    Ironic?


    Comment by
    Linda
    November 12th, 2005
    at 3:02 pm

    Speedwell, just an email address? No blog so I can read more of your fabulous words?

    From one of the letters:

    “saying that a child should be able to “choose” their education is absurd. I chose not to take piano lessons as a child, and it’s something I’ve regretted ever since.”

    One of my hugest pet peeves is people who whine about their perceived inadequacies and blame them on not being forced to do this or that as a child. Grow up and take your life into your hands *now*, and stop bad-mouthing those who’ve been allowed to do it all their lives, not just as adults. Your vitriol makes for a poor smokescreen; we can see right through it.