Thursday, November 09, 2006

I Voted Today

The place where I vote is a Catholic church situated on the Ohio River. I have never really understood how they got such great real estate, and it is beautiful, but there it is on the mighty Ohio river, up high, yet right on the banks, away from flooding. It is a beautiful building, and for a country that believes in separating church from state, quite a statement to The Kid who is currently studying the US constitution in depth.

Voting Tuesday in Southern Ohio was rainy, so we weren’’t assaulted by the usual mob of campaigners, who by the way I am sick and tired of.

As we approached the Gothic structure, The Kid reminded me of The Virginia Statute for Religious Freedom co-authored by founding fathers, Jefferson and Madison, where “No man shall be compelled to frequent or support any religious worship, place, or ministry whatsoever...”. I often wonder why he can’t remember his multiplication tables. I told him it was actually the bingo hall that was our destination, so it really wasn’t a religious worship place. The Kid continued, he wanted to know why the rest of us had to vote on gambling and slot machines but this place was allowed to have bingo...sigh... the trials of mentoring this sort of human being.

The Kid is in general very Liberal in his politics -- who wasn’t when they didn’t have any money to call their own? The Kid takes great delight in harassing his Grandfather and anyone else who speaks of anything conservative. A friend recently shared this story:


A young woman was about to finish her first year of college. Like so many others her age she considered herself to be a very liberal Democrat and was for distribution of all wealth. She felt deeply ashamed that her father was a rather staunch Republican which she expressed openly.

One day she was challenging her father on his beliefs and his opposition to higher taxes on the rich and more welfare programs. In the middle of her heartfelt diatribe based upon the lecture she had from her far left professors at her school, he stopped her and asked her point blank, how she was doing in school.

She answered rather haughtily that she had a 4.0 GPA, and let him know that it was tough to maintain. That she had to study all the time, never had time to go out and party like other people she knew. She did not even have time for a boyfriend and did not really have many college friends because of spending all her time studying. Furthermore, that she was taking a more difficult curriculum.

Her father listened and then asked, "How is your friend Mary?"

She replied, "Mary is barely getting by,"

she continued, "all she has is barely a 2.0 GPA"

adding, "and all she takes are easy classes and she never studies."

But to explain further she continued emotionally,

"But Mary is so very popular on campus, college for her is a blast, she goes to all the parties all the time and very often does not even show up for classes because she is too hung over. "

Her father then asked his daughter, "Why don't you go to the Dean's office and ask him to deduct a 1.0 off your 4.0 GPA and give it to your friend who only had a 2.0."

He continued, "That way you will both have a 3.0 GPA and certainly that would be a fair equal distribution of GPA."

The daughter visibly shocked by the father's suggestion angrily fired back, "That would not be fair! I worked really hard for mine, I did without and Mary has done little or nothing, she played while I worked real hard!"

The father smile and said, "Welcome to the Republican Party."

The look on The Kid’s face was classic and the backpedalling was interesting.

But to get back to our adventure, in general I take The Kid with me when I vote so he can see what goes on and understand the process a little. This day, The Kid accompanied me because I was certain he would be able to figure out how to use the electronic voting machine even without reading the instructions. These kinds of things escape me and frustrate me to no end and that’s why we make such a great pair.

Later that day in TaeKwonDo, The Kid’s Master told me that she was so proud of him, she continued “it’s so cool to see kids excited about politics, he said he couldn’t wait until he was old enough to vote.”...If she only knew...

Wednesday, November 01, 2006

Who Knew Adams County Was so Beautiful?

It’s been a while since we’ve written. Our “school” year started and we have been wrapped up in many new courses of study. We always have time to think and plan new adventures of course. Once we have our study topics for the year the “field trips” get easier to think about. We’ve enjoyed the theater as part of our travels in our own back yard so far this“school year”. We saw the Cincinnati Playhouse in the Park production of Nobel Prize-winner John Steinbeck’s “Of Mice and Men”. It was an excellent production. We also saw “Spamalot” a “musical lovingly ripped off from the motion picture 'Monty Python and the Holy Grail'. Also a great production.

As usual as part of our Autumn studies, we go to the Ohio Renaissance Festival in Harveysburg, OH. There’s really not much in Harveysburg, OH, I suppose you could check out the Caesar Creek flea market if you really wanted to make a day of it, but we go for the Renaissance Festival. At the Renaissance Festival you can always catch a sword fight, but being the theater animals we are, our favorite is naturally the “Theater in the Ground” where one may just luck in and see a great production of Beowulf. The actors perform in a mudpit, yes, hard to imagine, but nonetheless, worth the trip to Harveysburg, OH.

As civilized as all the theater talks sounds, we just can’t help ourselves, we’d rather be paddling. As our luck would have it, we were fortunate enough ot get to Adams County, Ohio. Near the Ohio River yet far enough away from the city to be able to see thousands of stars at night. The kid and I got the opportunity to paddle Brush Creek in early fall and boy was it beautiful. An unspoiled creek that has the occasional cabin perched on the hills and home to that illusive Kingfisher I have been trying to photograph all summer. Brush Creek dumps into the Ohio, but instead of that treat, we paddled up river. The Kid stopped to fish and I explored with a camera. No fish but great pictures - though no pictures of the Kingfisher...maybe next year.

In our future we are planning a trip to Southern Europe and soon we are heading to the Caribbean for some sailing in the French West Indies. We are in the process of planning other trips as part of our homeschool so stay tuned! When you take your homeschool on the road, life is an adventure!