Today I listened to a Permaculture Voices “Creative Destruction” series episode called “Two Fathers Talking Unschooling, Raising Kids, and Life with Author Ben Hewitt” (CD10). I didn’t find a link when I looked real quickly just now, but there probably is one. It was a great episode. (I listen to it on Soundcloud)
It reminded me of a conversation I had at my weekly visit to the gym the other night, with a woman who’s a 2nd grade bilingual ed teacher. She told me about all the difficult kids in her class- the defiant ones, the ones who can’t sit down, etc. I was like, “those kids need a different model.” I wonder if that 66 year-old teacher who’s nearing retirement even gave that statement of mine any consideration.
I sometimes think about my education and how something different might have produced a more independent, self-starting person. (When I was in the early years of elementary school, I got B’s, perhaps because I wasn’t challenged enough, or because the classroom environment wasn’t quite right for me). I did great while I was in high school and keeping busy with sports, clubs, and work (and of course, lots of TV, music, and books), but once I got to the nearly totally unstructured university life, and especially once I quit sportsing, I was totally lost. I only stayed with it because the full-tuition scholarship did not allow for taking any time off. When I started at the junior college in 2010, I was much more focused. Perhaps this was partly because I knew what I wanted to do with what I was learning. It was also because I was able to nearly completely focus my life on school. During the 1st 8 months, though, I was living in an intentional community. There was structure/an outlet in terms of community meals, meetings, and work days. After that, I had a commuter room. I really did my 40 hours during the workweek and then went home to Z in Berkeley on the weekends. I’m so grateful that I didn’t _have_ to work during that period. I did a few brief jobs, but sometimes I don’t do very well working for other people. I’m temporally-challenged, for one thing. Speaking of that, I need to get to bed.