25 Random Things About Me (Part 1 of 5)

My friend Abi asked me to write a page about myself and the way-too-many things I do. Shortly after that, another friend posted a list of 25 random things about herself. It looked like a fun way to fill Abi’s request. I wrote all 25 before realizing that no one in their right mind would read it all in one sitting. I’m that long-winded.

So I divided it into more palatable bite sizes which I’ll post every Tuesday until they’re done. Here are the first five, in exactly the order each occurred to me:

1. We unschool because we believe in it. And because I’m lazy. So most of the time the kids run wild and amaze us with the things they manage to learn despite us. But every few months I get in a terrified frenzy because they haven’t read any Shakespeare yet or done any calculus or learned to speak a second language fluently. I gather up every piece of curriculum I’ve ever purchased, draw up elaborate schedules, and purchase on-line subscriptions to learning websites. I then torment the children with several hours of lessons a day for about a week before we all burn out and go back to wild-as-usual.

2. I read my first Shakespeare play when I was 11. I bought a copy of it at a second-hand store in Hay-on-Wye in Wales, which is the coolest place in the world for a book nerd. Street after street of nothing but book stores. Dad would give me a 10-pound note and set me loose. My hundred-year-old copy of All’s Well that Ends Well came with the pages still uncut. I read it on the drive home, cutting each new page open as I went, unlocking each new trove of words with the delicious sound of tearing paper. The piece is an edifying story of a woman who falls in love with a man who hates her. So she does the only sensible thing: She disguises herself as a prostitute, steals his ring, and becomes pregnant with his child so he’ll have to marry her. Then they live happily ever after. Somehow it managed to hook me on Shakespeare anyway.

3. My parents raised llamas when I was a teenager and I pretended to hate it because I needed a reason to hate my parents. Yes, that was the best I could come up with. Then I decided I wanted to like the llamas so I devised to fall madly and inexplicably in love with the next baby that was born. It worked beautifully. The time and training I lavished on that sweet boy convinced my parents to buy me an expensive show llama which I then promptly ignored for the rest of his life. Sorry, Mom and Dad.

4. I like tower defense games. My favorite is Gemcraft at armorgames.com. I also have played World of Warcraft (super cool for a while, boring swiftly thereafter), Civilization, and various games on the Kinect. None of which are tower defense games but I like them anyway.

5. I don’t like television or movies. I hate not being able to scan forward if I’m bored or go back if I missed something. And I’m always missing something , mixing up the characters, and getting lost. Then I drive Carey crazy asking him questions about really obvious things so that he misses critical dialog and then we’re both lost.

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9 responses to “25 Random Things About Me (Part 1 of 5)

  1. “1. We unschool because we believe in it. And because I’m lazy. So most of the time the kids run wild and amaze us with the things they manage to learn despite us. But every few months I get in a terrified frenzy because they haven’t read any Shakespeare yet or done any calculus or learned to speak a second language fluently. I gather up every piece of curriculum I’ve ever purchased, draw up elaborate schedules, and purchase on-line subscriptions to learning websites. I then torment the children with several hours of lessons a day for about a week before we all burn out and go back to wild-as-usual.”

    That’s awesome! I used to live in Maryland where they had an official unschool school. LOL It looked pretty good and the children there were brilliant, taking on challenges and moving way beyond what is normally expected of their ages. Here’s a video from the school:

    • Ha ha! Yes, I love the whole unschool school idea. They’re also called Sudbury Valley or Democratic Schools because the children generally have as much voice in the running of the schools as the adults do. There’s a new PUBLIC charter school in New York that is a Democratic School. Which is so totally awesome. Probably what’s different about the way we unschool is that the children don’t always even have an adult to facilitate for them or find resources for them, because we are working SO many hours lately (we’re here, in our office, so don’t call Social Services please, lol–just not very available to them often). But it seems to work all right anyway–they have to take end-of-grade exams just like everyone else in NC and they always do just fine–WAY ahead on some subjects, a little behind on others, and about average on some. But they have an incredible depth of knowledge on the topics they’re interested in and they love to read and learn and explore, so I think we’re doing just fine. 🙂

      I couldn’t get the video to go–the download was too slow–it’ll probably work better later. Looking forward to seeing it, because I always learn from how other schools and homes are doing it. Thanks so much for the link & the comment! 🙂

  2. Children need to learn to facilitate their learning…I think if parents hover too much over their children the kids turn out too needy and insecure. They often will have a very difficult time making sound choices for their lives and will be timid to try new things. We need to give our kids the permission to explore their world, question, and think outside the box.

    • Oh yes, I completely agree. But there is always a balance between too much attention (hovering) and too little attention (neglect). I think when Carey and I err, we tend to err on the side of neglect… ack that makes me sound like a bad parent. But again, I think we’re doing fine overall–maybe even really well–the kids are wonderful little humans, anyway, which is the important thing. 🙂 And it’s so great to hear someone else saying similar things–I can tell from your pond-digging video that your little one is not afraid to explore!

  3. I love this list, and would have happily read all 15. You unschool in the same way I do! I am mainly just lazy … but my child really does learn more without my intervention anyway. The Shakespeare book sounds wonderful.

    • Awww, thanks!! Splitting them up, of course, also means I can post more often with almost no extra effort. 🙂 The next installment is scheduled for Wednesday (I think).

      I’m so glad to hear I am not alone in my unschooling… (ahem) style. One of the best-known unschooling bloggers spends nearly every waking hour with her kids, facilitating their projects, answering their questions, teaching them the things they want to know, helping them find things they want to find… every time I read her, I feel inadequate. Sometimes just thinking about her makes me feel small.

      Sooo… thank you for your comment. It means a lot!

  4. I surfed on over to armorgames.com to find Gemcraft after reading this — fun, in a takes-me-back-acade-games sort of way.
    You mentioned also liking Civilization — I’m curious which version you played?

    • Thanks for posting! I think it was Civ IV, but honestly I don’t remember. It’s been a really long time, but I still love that style of game. Maybe I should look into it again…

  5. Pingback: 25 Random Things about Me (Part 3 of 5) « Curiosity Cat·

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