Author Archives: Two Tiny Blue Lines

I’ve Moved!

My blog has moved on to bigger and better things!

Ok, not really, I just moved it so I could have my own .com. What? At least I’m honest.

Follow me over to tinybluelines.com.

Advertisements

No Shame

What in the world?

What have I taken a picture of and posted so unabashedly in my blog?

Drumroll please….

It’s my first check for writing.

The first time I have made money for the craft. Well aside from the time my mom paid me 50 cents to type up a paper for her graduate class…that doesn’t really count.

So the check was for articles written on Botox.  So the articles won’t even have my name. So the editor I worked with will read this post and chuckle at me.

I am still proud.

And yes, I did post the check up on my refrigerator, right up there with Ada’s arts & crafts paper Easter basket and cross. It’s a small step, but it’s a step nonetheless.  I have hope that someday, somehow, I can stop digitally removing fecal matter from people (if you don’t know what that means, think carefully: your fingers are called ‘digits’.  Now do you understand why I have to stop working as a nurse?!)

I have hope that I can change my life.  That I can become a successful writer.  Even if that means starting making twenty-nine dollars for five Botox articles and blogging about it…

Ain’t no shame in that.


A Sprig of Hope

I’m not really much of a gardener.

I wish I was, I really do.  I envy those people who claim that digging around in the dirt is therapeutic and relaxing.  To my lazy bones, it sounds suspiciously like work.  I get overwhelmed by the planning involved.  Which plants to put in at which time, which ones need shade, which need full sunlight. Do I put fertilizer on? What is a compost pile?  Do I need one?  How am I supposed to weed my garden with a baby on my hip?

But last week I took my first step.

Ada and I planted a strawberry plant.

The gardener in you should prepare, because I will tell you that my mom actually bought me the strawberry plants a year ago, but I never got around to planting them.  So ignoring the fact that they are probably not safe to use after a year of sitting in my kitchen cupboard, I took the kids outside, dug up some dirt from around my rhubarb, (those came with the house) and poured some of the strawberry bag in.  I couldn’t really tell where the actual strawberry plants were, so I grabbed a handful and hoped for the best.

I placed my delightful little pot o’ strawberries on my sunny kitchen counter and have diligently watered it every day.

And two days ago, lo and behold:

I was more excited than Ada, I must admit.  It was thrilling to see that tiny little sprig, reaching for life after a year of recluse behind my baking supplies.  I felt proud….ok, so I didn’t have much to be proud of, considering I just threw some dirt in a pot, but still, it was somewhat of an accomplishment for me.

I get what you gardeners are all about.

Planting seeds, tending a garden–it’s an act of faith.  Weeding, spraying, fertilizing.  Praying that your hard work pays off in the end, that your efforts will be rewarded by the first shoot, pushing through the damp earth. The thrill of seeing that first sign of spring, of fresh, green life.

A sprig of hope after a long, dark winter.

That’s what tomorrow is all about, isn’t it?

Happy Easter everyone!


Beer Bread

If you are like me, that strange person who does not enjoy the taste of beer, I can guarantee that you will still enjoy the recipe that I am about to share with you.

I have fond memories of this bread.  I first made it on St. Patty’s day, paired with a white chicken chili I made in the crock-pot. Delicious.  The best part of it? I didn’t even make it. Instead, I sat the recipe and the ingredients out on the counter for my husband and got my hair done. [Gleeful laugh here] I came home to steaming piles of savory chili and this beer bread–sweet, thick, crusty, and just right for dipping.

We’ve made it several time since then, and it is really an easy recipe for bread.  It’s perfect for a day like today–combat that rainy, yucky drizzle outside by curling up to some soup and bread, fresh from the oven.

Beer Bread

Ingredients:
3 1/2 c. flour (white or wheat works)
3 Tbs. sugar
1 Tb. baking powder
1 1/2 tsp. salt
12 oz beer ( a darkish beer works best)
1 beaten egg (optional)

Lower the oven rack to the lower-middle position and preheat to 375 degrees.  Mix flour, sugar, baking powder, and salt in a big bowl.  Add beer and stir until just combined.  Turn the dour on a floured surface; knead quickly to form a ball.  Place the bread on a baking sheet and confidently slash an “X” on the top with a knife.  Brush the loaf with the egg wash if desired.  Bake about 45 minutes, or until golden brown.

I love bread. Especially crusty bread.  It’s just so cozy.

Hope you enjoy!


When Is It My Turn?

Starting my family (albeit not exactly on purpose. ahem) at the ripe old age of twenty one, I’ve heard all the popular lamentations of the benefits of young motherhood:

“Oh, you’ll never regret having kids so young,” my co-worker crooned, “Just think of all the fun you’ll have when you’re my age!”

Or, “You have so much more energy in your twenties, it’s the best time to have kids!”

And my personal favorite, “You just couldn’t wait, could you? Well, at least you’re getting it over with early!”

In the midst of a dinner-time meltdown, with the three year old whining because she doesn’t like her food, and the 11-month old crying out of exhaustion because she missed her nap today, my husband and I will exchange looks and smile a secret, distant smile that says “Yes. Someday, this too shall pass. Someday we will be forty and retired, our kids will be grown, and our sanity restored.”

Yup, someday it will be my turn to grow up.  To find out what I want to do with  my life, that doesn’t involve whipping my boob out every two seconds, exploding diapers, and endless rounds of “Old MacDonald Had a Farm” (bet you didn’t know he had a zebra! Or a T-rex!)

Someday I will have time to myself.  It’s a goal all mothers, all parents, in some way or form, dream about.

But is it the dream we should be focused on?

Should the  “me time” be so important?

Well, for one, of course, it makes us better mothers.  It’s important to rest and rejuvenate, to understand what our triggers are as moms when we-just-can’t-take-it-another-second and need that break so we don’t scream at a toddler who really doesn’t get it yet.

But sometimes, I worry all my focusing on the “me time” actually reveals a weakness about myself.  A selfishness, a lack of realization about what makes life worth living.

The truth is, life is never free of obligation and demands that sap our time, energy, and mental capacities.  At any minute, we could lose a loved one or get diagnosed with a life-threatening illness.  I will more than likely be that mother who, at the age of forty-five, feels she has finally survived raising her family, only to look down at  a positive pregnancy test one last time.  The task of aging parents and health problems is one many of us will eventually have to deal with.

These things are not the anomalies in life; they are life.

My biggest hope is to face my responsibilities in life not with dread, not with the attitude of “when will it all be over?”, but with joy. Real, actual, palpable joy.

Life is so so short.  Why do we focus our energies on complaining about our children and the demands they bring into our lives? Why do I sigh when Ada wakes up in the middle of this posting and interrupts my blissful, early morning coffee and writing time? Why can’t I be happy to see her beautiful, sleepy face and princess-pink pajama arms reaching out for me to hug her?

I definitely don’t want be preachy, or unrealistic about how downright hard it is to be a mom.  We sacrifice everything, we really do.  Our bodies, our time, our mental energies drained into planning the next meal-up, trying to fit in cleaning while entertaining kids, fighting a desire to just have a minute of silence with the constant babbling and bickering of sisters.

I want to realize that those things are the things that make life, life.  The things that are little by little, breaking down a selfish, stony exterior to reveal a more loving, more joyful soul.

I don’t want to live in the attitude of “someday, my life will start….”

I want to live in the here and now.

I want to embrace all of it, whatever that may bring me.

Last night at the hospital, my patient’s daughter tucked her mom in and said good-night.  She pulled me aside in the hallway, explaining “We are really trying to help her learn to get through the night by herself…that’s ok, isn’t it?”

This woman’s family had been by her side almost 24/7.  Happily. Cheerfully. I had never seen anything like it, and I told her that.

She blushed and started stammering, “Well, it’s, you see…”

I realized she thought I was reprimanding her and rushed to explain myself, “No, no, I think that’s wonderful. It’s so nice to see a family taking care of each other.”

She beamed. “Oh, well, yes, I can do it, so why not?”

Why not indeed?

Taking care of our loved ones. Sacrificing.  A constant back-and-forth from caring for ourselves and for others.  It never really ends.

It’s my turn to find the joy in that.


What Kind of Mother?

I have never rocked my baby to sleep.

Are you shocked? Horrified? Disbelieving?

Join the club.

Since the moment she first laid in my arms, my Mya has resisted any and all of my attempts at snuggling.  I entered the hospital this second time around, dreaming of the sleepy aftermath of birth, when I could hold my sweet baby girl to my chest and breathe in that brand-new baby smell while she slept contentedly.

That didn’t happen.  Instead, she took to barfing.  A lot.  With a first baby who nursed happily through a time in my life when I worked the night shift and survived on gallons of caffeine, I had no experience with colic or a “fussy” eater.  One kind nurse, trying to be helpful, suggested we suction out her little belly, hoping relieving it of mucus would cure the problem.  Against my mom gut intuition, I agreed.  Mya ended up with a gashed throat from the suction tube, which we didn’t discover until her one-week check-up, when we realized, through our sleep-deprived comas, that our baby had not, in fact, been screaming for a week straight just to torment us; she was in pain.

Moms, always trust your gut.  Even in the little things. We just know.

So, she spent the first couple weeks of her life miserable from the sore in her throat. Then, I contributed to the misery with a double whammy of over-dosing on the coffee I had missed out on during my pregnancy while simultaneously eating cartons of fruit in an effort to get a jump-start on losing the baby weight.  She threw up everything she ate, every time she ate. Cringe away, but I will again remind you that my first baby had NO problems with nursing.   The whole watching-what-you-eat thing with breastfeeding was completely foreign to me. The caffeine I was able to figure out pretty quickly, but I can admit that it was news to me that fruit, especially those of the heavily seeded variety, such as raspberries, blueberries, or strawberries, are major gas/colic contributors in babies.  After the “oh, maybe what I’m eating is affecting her” lightbulb went on, I stopped at nothing. I cut out everything–all caffeine, dairy, fruit.   If you’re thinking of going non-dairy, I highly recommend Blue Diamond almond milk, Silk is better for soy.  I especially enjoy chocolate soy milk, and I guarantee you that a two year old doesn’t know the difference…

So my baby had an upset tummy for a while.  She never slept well because she was so miserable.  It was a rough couple of months.  Everyone in my family took their turns in doing laps with Mya on their shoulder. It was the only thing that calmed her.  I think that’s where it all began–somewhere in the ceaseless laps, in the guilt I felt for bringing the pain about to her, she learned that I was not the person to rely on to rock her to sleep.

Oh sure, she’ll go to sleep for me if I nurse her.  But try to hold her or rock her, and she literally stands on end, pushes me away with her chubby little hand, and bellows at the top of her lungs.  It’s utterly heartbreaking.  All I want to do is rock my baby girl.  The true wrench of the knife, however, is the fact that she willingly and happily snuggles and goes to sleep for my husband, my sisters, grandmas.  Basically, everyone but me.

“Oh, you’re just stressed,” my mom said, waving off my complaints, “She can sense that.”

Well, yes, I’m stressed. I can’t do the one thing that moms are supposed to be able to do–comfort my baby.

Right now, at this moment, my husband is putting her to sleep. I tried to nurse her and she didn’t even want that.  I tried to go in her room and hold her, soothe her, rock her.  I’m like a dog; I never stop trying for her affections. She swatted at me, arched her back to get as far away from me as possible, screaming.  Almost every night of her life, my husband has put her to sleep or she has cried herself to sleep.  I feel like a murderer admitting that.  I don’t know what I do wrong.

It breaks my heart. My baby will be in one in a month.  She won’t be a baby for that much longer.  I feel like such a bad mother.  Mothers are supposed to be the nurturers, the ones kids want to come to for comfort and snuggles.  I’m plenty comfy enough for snuggling, I can be sure of that, so what is the problem?

What kind of mother can’t rock her own baby to sleep?


A Poem? What Poem Would That Be?

That’s a Matilda movie quote, for those of you who haven’t seen it. It’s my dad’s favorite movie.

I had a productive morning so far. I got up at 5 AM after feeding Mya, and decided to take charge of my life. I’ve decided I want to become a freelance writer.  To think that some people make a living out of just writing about anything and everything? A-mazing.  That would be a dream come true for me.  Work from home, explore different topics, still have time to play with my kids whenever I feel like it.

The problem?

To be a freelance writer you have to actually you know, write. Like real articles and stuff.

Hmmmm…

So I tried to make good on my promise this morning. I signed up for an online magazine article writing class, drafted an article a nursing magazine (put that BSN to some use!) and actually submitted an article to Skirt! magazine.  Impressive, no? I can hardly believe it myself. And all before 8 AM.

Now it is time to get the kids up and dressed and off to church. I think it is promising to be a delightfully warm day and I am inspired and feel spring-y.  Also, I don’t have any more time left to write a blog post, so I’ve decided to leave you with a spring-y poem that I wrote a while back for a poetry contest (the poem won second place. Out of six. Ahem).

Blossoming

The dusty road of yesterday
Wearily passes by
Suddenly—unexpected hope.
Perched upon the grass, a “For Sale” sign swings gently.
Planning, dreaming.

Strolling about the home-to-be
Two apple trees beckon
Laughing, we pluck a taste of fall.
Words fade amidst September’s harvest, a future?
Crunching, wondering.

Cradling an expectant swell
The wind holds a promise
Seated upon the porch, I smile.
A bright April brings apple blossoms and a dream.
Waiting, hoping.

Standing beneath the apple tree
The air is crisp and cool
Warm against my cheek, my daughter.
Overhead the branches mimic a sweet embrace.
Loving, living.


The Why Behind the Turkey

If you stayed tuned (ha! another one!) from yesterday, we are answering the important question:

Why do they call it “quitting cold turkey?”

What does a turkey have to do with quitting? And why is it cold?

If you were able to restrain yourself from Googling “why we say quitting cold turkey,” last night I have, at long last, the answers for you.

From American Idioms:

The expression originates from the goose bumps and pallor which accompany withdrawal from narcotics or tobacco. One’s skin resembles that of a plucked, cold turkey…

Hmm…I’m a bit disappointed. That wasn’t as exciting as I thought it would be.  Let’s keep going…

A chip on your shoulder
“The phrase ‘a chip on one’s shoulder’ is reported as originating with the nineteenth century U.S. practice of spoiling for a fight by carrying a chip of wood on one’s shoulder, daring others to knock it off. This suggested derivation has more than the whiff of folk-etymology about it.”
Let the cat out of the bag
This “relates to the fraud of substituting a cat for a piglet at markets. If you let the cat out of the bag you disclosed the trick – and avoided buying a pig in a poke (bag). This form of trickery is long alluded to in the language and ‘pigs in a poke’ are recorded as early as 1530.”  Basically medial marketmen would display a nice juicy pig, then pull a switcheroo with a not-so-tasty-cat. Sneaky.
It’s raining cats and dogs
Apparently, this is a much debated idiom.  Who knew? According to one source, “the much more probable source of ‘raining cats and dogs’ is the prosaic fact that, in the filthy streets of 17th/18th century England, heavy rain would occasionally carry along dead animals and other debris. The animals didn’t fall from the sky, but the sight of dead cats and dogs floating by in storms could well have caused the coining of this colourful phrase.”
Hold on to your horses
Military origin. In  Hunt and Pringle’s Service Slang: “Hold your horses, hold the job until further orders. (comes from the Artillery)”
Riding shotgun
From stagecoach days. The passenger literally had to carry a shotgun to ward off highway robbers.
Spill the beans
“The derivation of this expression is sometimes said to be a voting system used in ancient Greece. The story goes that white beans indicated positive votes and black beans negative. Votes had to be unanimous, so if the collector ‘spilled the beans’ before the vote was complete and a black bean was seen, the vote was halted.”
Brand spanking new
Doctors used to spank those babies straight out of their mommas.  Thus, brand spanking new!
Busting your chops
“At the turn of the century, wearing very long sideburns—called mutton chops or lamb chops — was en vogue. Lamb chop side burns also made a comeback in the late 1960s. A bust in the chops was to get hit in the face.”
In the crapper
“Thomas Crapper of England is credited for the design and implementation of modern indoor plumbing (including the flushable toilet). Although there is conciderable evidence to the contrary, restrooms/bathrooms are still often referred to as “The Crapper.” This word (among others) was introduced to America by their World War I soldiers returning home from Europe.” Ok, I somehow was not aware of this little fact of life.  The guy that inveted the toilet was named crapper?? Who doesn’t believe in destiny now?
Crocodile tears
“It was often thought that crocodiles shed tears that slid down into their mouths, moistening their food and making it easier for them to swallow. Hence the tears appear to be an expression of emotion but are in fact a means to make it easier to swallow (possibly the observer).”
Dead as a doornail
“Nails were once hand tooled and costly. When an aging cabin or barn was torn down the valuable nails would be salvaged so they could be reused in later construction. When building a door however, carpenters often drove the nail through then bent it over the other end so it couldn’t work its way out during the repeated opening and closing of the door. When it came time to salvage the building, these door nails were considered useless, or “dead” because of the way they were bent.”
Dressed to the nines
“Common lore has it that a tailor making a high quality suit uses more fabric. The best suits are made from nine yards of fabric. This may seem like a lot but a proper suit does indeed take nine yards of fabric. This is because a good suit has all the fabric cut in the same direction with the warp, or long strands of thread, parallel with the vertical line of the suit. This causes a great amount of waste in suit making, but if you want to go “dressed to the nines”, you must pay for such waste.”
Three square meals a day
British war ships in the 1700s including the HMS Victory did not have the best of living conditions. A sailors breakfast and lunch were sparse meals consisting of little more than bread and a beverage. But the third meal of the day included meat and was served on a square tray. Eating a substantial meal onboard a ship required a tray to carry it all. Hence a “square meal” was the most substantial meal served.”

 

Don’t you feel smarter? Now you can amuse all of your friends at the next dinner party.  Or on your next hour and a half drive home with your sister..

 


Quitting Cold Turkey

Last night, my sister and I took in a charming little theater performance.

No, we are not theater (fancy accent here) people.  But my sister did have to watch a professional play for her college class and asked me if I wanted to tag along.  Of course, I accepted, as I jump at any sisterly bonding experiences.  We both were a bit skeptical about the whole thing, but ended up being pleasantly surprised.

The play was about a couple’s struggle with having a baby, and wow, did the play have it all–infertility and infidelity, abortion and adoption, death and even yes, a dominatrix.  We were a bit stunned by the amount of leather and whips involved in a play about a baby (actually now that I think about it, I guess that makes sense…) but we were even more stunned by the reaction of some audience members.

After a particularly frisky scene closed the first act, the lights went off the in the room and the sound of robust clapping filled the air.  “Wow,” we snickered. “Someone really liked that!”  Imagine our surprise when the lights revealed the source of the applause–a frail, bespectacled ninety-year old man in a powder blue sweater.  Apparently, gramps has a kinky side.

Anyways, overall we enjoyed our foray into the world of theater.  It was a fun and different experience, and I have to say, it really is totally different than just watching a movie.  I may even consider attending another someday.  Although at 25 bucks a pop, I may opt for Redbox instead…

Following the two plus hour performance, we set off on our journey back home, which unfortunately, was a good hour and a half away.  We didn’t get out of the play until after 10 pm, which put our ETA at waay past my bedtime.

Thank goodness my sister came up with the ultimate form of amusement for the drive.

We drove along, my headlights cutting into the unusually dark night.  We passed billboards to proclaimed the golden arches were just ahead.  I yawned.  She yawned.  And then….

Shelby cocked her head to one side.  A thought was formulating…

“Why,” she asked, “do they say ‘quitting cold turkey’? What does that even mean? How do turkeys quit anything? And what does being cold have to do with it?”

Why indeed?

How had I never stumbled upon such a profound thought?

And so began a string of seemingly mysterious idioms to ponder.  We are dorky like that.  And now, I pass that dorkiness on to you.  Following is a maddening series of common idioms that we came up.  I promise you will be amazed that you have never before questioned these everyday phrases. It kinda makes you wonder what else we are not realizing in our lives…

A chip on your shoulder
Let the cat out of the bag
It’s raining cats and dogs
Hold on to your horses
Riding shotgun
Spill the beans
Brand spanking new
Busting your chops
In the crapper
Crocodile tears
Dead as a doornail
Dressed to the nines
Three square meals a day

Are you going crazy yet? Stay tuned for the answers tomorrow…


It’s a Virtual World

Yesterday I was listening to the radio while sitting in the Meijer parking lot, awaiting second child’s prescription to be filled.  (We are now both the proud owners of ear infections.)  Although my children were not happy at having to be strapped in their car seats when they should have been tucked comfortably in bed for naps, I managed to hear the radio over their loud protests.

The show discussed “virtual” schools that can take the place of traditional schools. They interviewed a high school junior who had chosen to switch to a virtual school after attending public school.  He professed that the traditional classroom had failed him because his teachers hadn’t devoted that one on one time that he needed to learn.  In virtual school, he claimed, he has made friends, joined an online chess team, and can IM chat with his teachers and classmates, as well as sit in a  live video stream classroom if he needs.  He claimed he does not miss any part of school and again emphasized that he was not getting the one on one time that he needed in public school.

I took this information in in different ways. On one hand, it personally upset me because my husband and mom are both public high school math teachers in a state that is basically threatening every teacher’s job, salary and benefits.  Our children spend more time with teachers than any other person, and have arguably the most important job on the planet, but there are those who think taking teachers’ salaries will somehow balance the ginormous state budget deficit. Ok, sure, that makes sense.  Growing up with a teacher mom and now being married to a teacher, I can attest that of course, there are benefits to the job–snow days, summers off, and right now, we have really good insurance.  But those come with a price.  Teachers do not make great money starting off.  This is a common misconception.  I work part-time and make the same amount as him, if that tells you anything…Not to mention, teachers are expected to go back to school.  My husband has to get at least 18 credits in a planned program in the next two years in order to keep his license.  So, on top of getting his pay and benefits cut next year, we are still expected to pay for his Master’s degree…it’s not an option, it’s somehow a requirement.  Then there is the actual job part of it: Teaching is hard work.  They face the impossible task of teaching students who often are not interested in learning. How do you teach someone who doesn’t want to learn?  How do you teach one lesson to 40 different kids who all learn in different ways?  How do you remain a neutral personality so there are no personal feelings for or against you?  How do you stay interesting and engaging to blank faces for 8 hours a day?  How do you find the time to actually teach amidst all the state requirements for paperwork?

Teachers are blamed for a lot, and it’s getting ridiculous.  With cuts in everything, teachers are facing upwards of 40+ students in a classroom, and then to hear this student complain he is not getting the one-on-one time he needs from his teacher is so frustrating.  My husband goes in early and stays late almost every single day to give students that one-on-one time. And more than half of the time, students fail to show up for that scheduled time…so where is the blame to lie there? I just don’t understand how we can lament the failures of our education systems, our poor scores on everything standardized in the country, but simultaneously demand teachers to take on more with less. Have you ever tried teaching? I have, and it was one of the worst days of my life.  In nursing school, we had to come with a lesson plan to that involved our students, challenged them, made them think…you know, the everyday stuff of teaching, and it was awful.  I was so mentally drained by the end of the day I couldn’t even see straight.  It’s exhausting to pore yourself into your students, and most of the time, not even know if your efforts made a dent.  I have a lot of sympathy for teachers, obviously, and to me, it sounded like this student, and probably more so, his parents, were quick to blame teachers for his failures, when honestly, teachers can’t control a lot of the factors that go into that classroom.  On the other hand, they did take steps to correct the problem, but sadly, if every student dropped out and went to virtual school, where does that leave us?

Which brought me to a second fear–are we heading towards virtual school only? Will we see a total dismantlement of the physical school grounds? Honestly, this doesn’t seem like that far of a stretch.  I think people would say it’s important for younger kids to be in a more traditional setting to learn important social skills and have hands-on learning, but when you get older…who cares?  Then I thought, well, why even bother with young kids? Those so-called social skills they learn as youngins may not even be necessary as they find jobs working behind computers, working from home, designing software, etc as adults.  It’s a virtual adult word, so why not have a virtual school world?

I have personally taken online classes for my yet-to-be-completed Masters degree, and as a working and nursing mom, I loved the convenience. No unnecessary time away from my kids, no wasting life driving.  But I still found it harder to learn. I happen to be someone who learns best by reading and writing, so I am an ideal candidate for online learning, but I just found it felt false to me…it’s just not as an invigorating discussion via a discussion board.

THEN I thought, well who cares? So much of education is fluff anyways, isn’t it? Let’s be honest. Half of the classes I have taken have been total fluff.  Ethical leadership?  Nursing theory?  I admit that I found a lot of it interesting, but in terms of practical application…not so much.  How much time do we waste on our kid’s lives with this stuff? Maybe virtual schooling can cut down on some of the crap…

I don’t know where the future is headed. I am scared for our family’s future, and I think a lot about how our kid’s schooling will go.  Honestly, I was not a fan of school.  We just had this discussion in my family the other day…none of us really liked school past the elementary years.  I was done with it after about 7th grade.  Getting up early, trying to make yourself look acceptable enough not to get made fun of, picking out an outfit every single day. (Actually, up until 10th grade, I wore a uniform, which was nice not having to think about, but awful because it was an honest-to-goodness wool kilt. Shudder.)  Then sitting in a classroom, shuffling along to the next, taking in some information, spitting it back out, half of what you learn never making in to your cerebral cortex.  And mixed in all that is the social mess of peer interactions, growing up, fitting in, finding your true self.  It’s miserable. I couldn’t stand school because I felt like it was such a waste of time. I wasn’t hated or bullied, and I had lots of people I was friendly with, but I’ll admit, my weekends were not jam-packed with social activities, so maybe I was just a loser…

What do you people think about school, homeschooling, virtual schooling? Should we looking more at non-traditional options or do you think a “real” school…you know, one you leave and go to, is necessary?