Greetings from Paris.
I feel like one of the swans who glide up and down our section of the Seine here. They look so nonchalant and at ease. Beneath the surface of the water, however, they are paddling like mad.
Such is the case for me right now, as we have several projects in the works. I will provide details when it’s appropriate.
In the meantime, I wanted to thank all of you for your comments. I also wanted to respond to a few of them briefly, and welcome more comments based on my responses. (!) I apologize for this change in protocol. I simply don’t feel like I have the time right now to respond individually to each comment as fully as I’d like. And I don’t want to half-ass any of the work I do on this blog.
That’s not fair to you. And I want to say thank you in advance for understanding.
First, I saw in the comments that there were some differences of opinion on some of the posts, namely how the US government is handling the pandemic. I think that’s great, as we need to see things from several points of view.
More importantly, I want to express my appreciation (again) for the diplomatic ‘agree to disagree’ tone that was pervasive in all the exchanges between members of our tribe. Thank you. It not only allows me to read the comments without dread; it sets an example of how everyone should discuss important subjects during this challenging time.
Second, thank you for the kind words about my original song. I wrote the music and the lyrics, but my musical skills are primitive, and my singing skills are non-existent. So I leave the actual playing and singing to the professionals. You can listen to more HERE.
Third, I wanted to offer my perspective on home schooling, especially as it comes to the fore in this age of Covid-19. I have been surrounded by teachers, school administrators, and other education professionals my entire life. As you know, I advocate publicly for education often. You may not know that my family endeavors privately to assist underprivileged students in their quest to get a quality education. We put our money where our mouth is, to paraphrase an old saying.
That said, here’s what I think about home schooling. It is completely understandable that parents are reluctant to send their children to school right now. We’re in the middle of a pandemic. So, obviously, home schooling becomes not only an option, but perhaps a necessity.
The complications and potential drawbacks I see are several. Teaching is a challenging endeavor for professional teachers with years of experience and a network of resources. How effectively a parent can teach their child or children at home would be something to consider. (It’s hard enough for an adult to work at home. So for a child to learn at home…?)
Going to school is about learning, of course. It is also about becoming socialized and interacting with peers. Covid-19 has severely impacted these aspects of education…and childhood. If given the choice, I would opt for children going to school, interacting with other kids, making friends, and learning to thrive outside their home environment.
I think it’s good for children to have demands made of them and rules placed on them by adults who are not their parents. Headmasters, coaches, teachers, counselors, and older students can often motivate a student to do more than a parent thinks is possible, and maybe even more than the student thinks he/she can do.
Also, a child’s tears or tantrums have little leverage with a school principal who’s seen it all before from dozens if not hundreds of kids. The same can’t be said for parents who are understandably emotionally attached to their children and possibly susceptible to their outbursts.
Education in a school environment rounds out a child’s sense of identity. It can forge self-reliance. It can offer lessons in the dangers of peer pressure. It can foster memories that will last a lifetime.
I’m not against home schooling. I think, though, I’m more in favor of school buildings, school teachers, final exams, pop quizzes, passing notes in the classroom, smoking in the boys room, cross-town rivalries, and classmates who become friends for life.
Again, I welcome and appreciate everyone’s comments.