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Longest Apologia On Record


Not really. People have devoted entire books to what they designate as apologias or apologies for their lives. But this is long enough in blogdom to qualify and it gives me a pretext to comment on the sin being apologized for.

READ THE APOLOGIA AT I BLAME THE PATRIARCHY

A second motive is to introduce you to the above site, which is also to be found as a link on my sidebar.

The author admits after an extensive introduction that she was wrong to call public schools a concentration camp. She had written: “don’t imprison kids in some bleak concentration camp of a school.”

My reaction was self-referential, as I suppose all reactions are. As a parent who remembered at least some schooling as highly unpleasant possibly as life-threatening, the language above did not offend me. Death trap, lethal, suffocating, whatever.

But the statement did remind me that the issue is not what an adult thinks a school is, but what the child thinks. This is why, as a parent, it was gospel to me to frequently tell my kids that if they ever decided they did not want to be in the school they were in, they had merely to speak and they would be out. We would find some other school or no school at all. It was simple, cut and dry.

I am a radical individualist. I believe the world is structured around us in such a way that what any one person thinks has a value equal to the thought of another person.

Say what?

I mean by that that we relate out of self-reference, no matter whether we do so as wise persons or as idiots. We are a spectrum, from one end to the other. What this means to me is that, unless I am impacted in a way that I cannot abide, I will concede the right of another — even a child — to say whether a school is deadly or OK.

I will out of my own self-reference say that their judgment is sacrosanct. For had I had the option of leaving the school I attended, it might have made all the difference. I might have stayed out of choice. Or I might have left. Twice in my own life I had the experience of being controlled schoolwise. I would not permit that to be the fate of my kids.

If a child feels a situation is lethal, the job of a parent is not to hem and haw but to offer the dignity of a real choice.

Hey, this was not to take so long!

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