Thursday, March 22, 2012

The perils of lacking information about Adam Smith's personal cat population

I am assuming everyone reading this blog knows I have been the strange vegetarian homeschooler next door for my entire life- you know, that one you quietly whisper to the neighbor on the other side about- "You know the one. I saw her leave the house in a kilt the other day." "Someone should get that kid a math textbook."- but if you don't, now you do.

That's been me for the past eleven grades, (or potentially more or less since I am forever forgetting which grade I'm in- which numbered slot to use as an identifying feature so people think I'm doing some "real" schoolwork.) and now it is The Final One, the One With The Diploma, the One Where People Ask You Constantly About Exactly What Will Happen In The Rest Of Your Life and you reply I Do Not Know, But I Really Like Matt Smith's Hair So Maybe That Is Something I Can Study and they decide that you are probably a lost cause.

And I am doing my first curriculum course ever. That's right, I sit here eating dairy-free yogurt and organic granola with a large and imposing text book entitled Perspectives On Ideology and many official Alberta Distance Learning booklets and modules and instructions on How To Be A Good Student. I have lists of terms I must use and sample outlines for position papers taped to the wall, and I have the refined procrastination skills of a professional Curriculum Goer even though it is my first time.

And it is strange, and it is awful at times, and I laugh at their misspellings that occur just a page turn away from the lecture on proofreading, and I consider writing a snarky paper about how I was unable to complete my assignments because I did not know what the terms "economci freedom" and "private propety" aimed to represent. And some of it is pretty good, and some of it makes me cry for those that have done this for eleven years, and some of it is just work that needs to be done.

But maybe I am learning more about learning that Social Studies, really. I've learned that sometimes you need to stop digging through your book for typos, complaining about the lack of strange and unnecessary facts ("What were Adam Smith's hobbies? Did he have any cats? They're keeping this from the general public! WHY? WHAT ARE THEY HIDING?") and try to make the best of the course. Get the work done, learn as much as possible, and take it for what it is. This is not a lesson from a shoeless raw vegan who is intensely enthusiastic, this is a dry textbook that may be rather biased, may not dance the way Barefoot Bob did to explain mathematics, but maybe, just maybe, it can still teach me something worthwhile.


  1. You my friend win the internets! I loooooved that post. Now I need to know if Adam Smith had cats.

  2. Great article Dorothy. Learning is like dancing. It's easier if there is music and a beat, at least for the people watching, because they can follow the beat and think you are in time with them...but music is not necessary. I like that you dance to the beat of your own and in a kilt. :)

    Also, I am pretty almost quite certain Adam Smith was a dog person. Sorry to burst your bubble.

  3. I love reading your writing! As your mum it has been such a wonderful journey homeschooling with you and I admire you so much for taking on new challenges with such confidence.
    Like the Hobbit I wonder if Adam had any cats and I question the whole dog theory. Do let us know if you find out.
    I think what you are learning is worthwhile, although it likely has very little to do with Social 30. Thanks for a great post Dorothy. Keep posting and being YOU!