Sunday, August 05, 2007

clouds in a big clear sky

Out the window of our highest room, the library, this morning.
I could have taken the photo from the yard, but to show that we can see that from inside the house seemed cooler. Kirby was asleep up there, so I very quietly opened the venetian blinds. Yeah. That's never quiet. But he courteously pretended to still be asleep (or maybe slept through it).

Marty wasn't home this morning, so we figured he stayed somewhere, and we speculated this and that. After a couple of hours I called him. He's at my friend Jon's house, housesitting. Oh yeah! I had forgotten, and he had never told Keith-the-dad. He wasn't in trouble, we were just curious. We're short cars; he has one. There was an aspect of practicality, too.

Tomorrow/Monday, Marty finishes his 15 hours of community service. He's working in the Red Cross office. Last week he cleaned the yard and trimmed bushes or something, and inventoried all their furniture. The reason Marty was sentenced to do community service is that he was playing on steel slides in a city park late at night. He knew there was a closing time on the parks. He knew they could've run when the police car pulled up (as one of the four people who were there suggested). But he didn't. And they were the third group he'd had to run off from that park the same evening, so he ticketed them all. Because they went to different judges, one had to pay $51 court costs. One had to take a class to improve her character and pay for it ($100), and two got community service (with the option to take the class, or to pay costs or fees and do five hours of roadside weeds and trash). They both chose the 15 hours and no fees.

So Marty is some kind of criminal, who left a party where there was liquor and music to go to a quiet, dark park to play on the slides. I can't be very ashamed of a criminal like that. They weren't drinking or using drugs or making out. They were playing on the slides. Three of them were 18 and one was 21. And Marty was very responsible about showing up to court dressed nicely and all that. It's all a learning experience.

But the best part was when he was first talking about having chosen the Red Cross office over doing 15 hours of data entry for another The American Cancer Society (as Brett chose), he was totally cheery about it. He said "Maybe I'll meet the girl of my dreams, or maybe I'll discover I like working for the Red Cross."


Happy Campers said...

I love your perspective on the "criminal acts" your son committed. Shows he's got a GOOD head on his shoulders, & it's beautiful to see how you reacted. I wish I had grown up in a house like yours, & I try to keep things like that in mind when raising our brood!

Babette said...

Wow, lucky that he got to choose an interesting community service, rather than a class for improving his character. That could be a cross between time wasting mental torture and downright comedy. I'm sure he'll think hard before he sits on anymore playground equipment...

Sandra Dodd said...

I think he'll just look at a clock and think before he plays in an Albuquerque city park after 10:00 p.m.!

Anonymous said...

Hello Sandra Dodd,
How are you? I`m new to unschooling, but I`ve already been on several unschooling lists/forums and on everyone of them you are such a controversial character. I`m going to be very direct and ask, what`s that about?
I`ve unsubscribed to almost all because I got so fed up with the constant bickering about you. Please don`t take this the wrong way. I`m not judging you or blaming you in ANY way. I suspect though that it wouldn`t have much effect on you either way. Again, I say this in a positive light.
Your`s was one of the first blogs I found on unschooling and have benefitted greatly from it. Thanks for all the helpful info.

Sandra Dodd said...

-=-I`ve unsubscribed to almost all because I got so fed up with the constant bickering about you.-=-

Lists and forums are unpredictable running water. Maybe better to read than those, or than blogs, would be people's sites—the still pools where the best parts are collected.
(there are links to over a dozen other people's collected writings there)

It's not about other people after all, it's about your relationship with your children, and the principles on which you base your decisions. Whatever you can find that will help you feel strong and confident in unschooling, use it. If your life isn't going as smoothly as you would like for it to, then go looking for more ideas again.

It seems people often go through phases of acquisition of knowledge and peace, and then another seeking phase, in turns.

Different people react differently for different reasons, and I don't understand them all. Sometimes I have a glimmer, but it's not something I can change about the other people. And it's not something that makes me want to change me or my family about either.

My kids are doing well, and I know unschooling is largely the cause of the peace in our family, and I'm willing to share what I've seen and figured out that sometimes helps other families.

Sandra Dodd said...

I've moved most of the the way-off-topic criticism here:

Jennifer said...

Nice shot. It even makes me miss NM a little (a little). I'll say this. I never lost my sense of direction there due to the mountains. I never know where I am when I'm traveling. Albuquerque is nice in that if you can look up you know where you are.