I never can remember Karl Rove’s face. Rumsfeld is easy. When I think Rumsfeld I think Wes Craven’s “Hellraiser”. Rumsfeld has always, always been “Hellraiser” to me. But Rove? Nothing. A suit with a zero for a head.
My son can draw like crazy. This is not one of his drawings-drawings. This is my son doing a quick deliberation on what he was at that moment considering andwhat he was considering was evolution. He brought it in, dropped it in husband’s lap, said, “This is a picture of evolution,” and went on to sketch something else.
He has about as much problem with the idea we arose from an ancestor common with the apes, as he does with our having crawled out of the briney ocean on our bellies. Which is zero. One will note that the stick-human is carrying something. A suitcase. I guess more important than us having a heavy investment in making tools is the fact we move around and carry them from place to place.
We have talked about this and read some to him on it in a casual manner. Then he was asking about all this last week and we spent a while talking time, long stretches of time and mutations upon surviving mutations, and really long stretches of time. Because for him, at seven, there’s the matter of context to be absorbed which in this case is lots and lots of time, and it’s that he ended up trying to comprehend.
Anyway, we homeschool. In red state Georgia. And we believe in evolution.
And because we homeschool I thankfully don’t have to put up with this kind of shit, (via Pharyngula) Beauty Dish being called down to the school to pick up her son who was being suspended for the day for the following:
So she told me what he did. And as she told me, I started to laugh. I didn’t laugh a little, either, but I belly-laughed and grabbed my stomach. My son stood with his class this morning, put small right hand over heart, faced the American flag, and recited his own personal pledge of allegiance:
I pledge allegiance to the flag of the United Federation of Planets, and to the galaxy for which it stands, one universe, under everybody, with liberty and justice for all species.
“Mrs. Jaworski. This isn’t humorous. The Pledge is an extremely important and patriotic moment each morning in the classroom. I am ashamed of your son’s behavior, and I hope you are, too.”
I wanted to say, Hey Lady, it’s a big universe. Why should we pledge allegiance to a mixed-up country? Why shouldn’t my son embrace the potential of stardust? But I stood, extended my hand, apologized for my laughter, slung my purse over my shoulder, opened her door to find my son, 8, red-eyed sitting on the wooden bench bordering the World Map wall.
And there you have one of the reasons for which my son is homeschooled, because had it been me, I wouldn’t have extended my hand and apologized, I would have said something off-the-top-of-my-head down the order of, “Well, rather than being ashamed of my son I happen to be proud of him for exhibiting a measure of sanity and pledging to honor the idea of affinity universal rather than mindless acceptance of imperialist lies and subservience to the slaughtering greed of slave-hungry corporations. My son is learning to measure actions against words and make calls on what’s proven specious and rather than being brainwashed into accepting two and two makes five, believe me, he’s going to call you on it every time. He does it at home, I will not tell him not to do it here. And if you have a problem with this then you and your teachers need to put on the seatbelts and get ready for a hell of a ride, but at least his peers will get an education.”
That’s what I would have done. Ask my husband. Ask my public school teachers, who hated me with the exception of a precious few. Ask the individual I knew from high school, who eight years ago, before son H.o.p. decided to show up unexpectedly, saw us with a van and said everyone he knew who’d gotten a van ended up with a kid in a couple of years and he wanted to be there when I showed up at the PTA meetings.
And I would not have then opened the door to find my son sitting red-eyed on a bench because I would have demanded that he be present at the conference as he should be there to hear exactly what was said about him and be able to voice his side.
I am not criticizing how Beauty Dish did things. I’m just saying what would have happened had it been me, and I don’t even like confrontation. Which is a reason why we homeschool. The school would want to deal with me about as much as they’d want to deal with a boy who doesn’t, in the first place, have the disposition to sit hours at a desk being lectured to and told what to do. He doesn’t like being fed knowledge. He likes being shown what’s available and then pursuing it on his own with someone there to talk to him about it (me or his dad), asking someone to go through it with him on different points (me or his dad), and then he’ll say that’s enough for now and mull and return to it a day or a week or three weeks later to learn and mull some more, or he’ll sit with it for four days straight mulling on one point alone.
I seriously doubt people like Karl Rove had that opportunity, if they so desired it, when they were 6 and 7 and 8 years of age.