Sunday, May 15, 2005

Traveling Feet and No Curb for the Garbage

When you homeschool, it’s pretty easy to get moved into a new house. Or is it? My mother just can’t understand why I haven’t got all the boxes unpacked yet being at home all day. Allow me to explain.

My student is a visual spatial learner, so that involves a high level of discussion on most topics. I would imagine that by the time I die or my student goes off to college (which ever comes first) I will have uttered trillions of words. This year we started Latin, Philosophy, Algebra and for fun, Sacred Geometry. Sure I use books, videos, other people and travel, but the fact remains that my student feeds his brain verbally and through pictures. Reading is a godsend. My student is a sponge when fed appropriately. This learning style however puts quite the damper on honing writing skills. I remind my middle school age student constantly that the SAT now requires a written essay. We painfully work on writing. We immensely enjoy the Jim Borgman cartoon named “Just Shoot Me Now” that hangs in our “classroom”, and use it as our inspiration imagery. We work on Grammar.

This morning in the New York Times was an article that leads one to believe that the essay portion of the SAT is not going to be considered seriously by some of the top Universities because critical thinking cannot be measured in a brief essay. Can critical thinking be measured in the interview instead? We would happily skip writing and go back to reading and unpacking boxes. Perhaps I’ll put the “Times” out on the curb before my teenager comes down for breakfast. Wait, there is no curb today.

I told my student that when we got our house all settled, we’d go see Niagara Falls. Little did I know that the City had other plans for us. The day we moved into our house there was a sign on the street that said “No Parking between 8 AM and 5 PM”. This range didn’t leave much of a window to unload a moving truck. The Historic District is having the original gas lines replaced, I was informed. The Painted Teenagers were moving into the 21st Century. Needless to say I got to know the foreman on the project very well. He allowed the moving truck access to my door for the two days it took us to move in. Logistically our move could have been a nightmare. I was moving stuff from an apartment and from a storage bin to this house without a driveway in the city, in the Historic District. The nightmare started when it was our turn to have our curb, sidewalk and front lawn removed. Where does one put 2 moving trucks worth of packing material and today’s New York Times when the City decides to remove your curb?