This morning I read a post by Krista over at This Inspired Life and it put into words so much of what I think and feel and desire for my own family and our relationship with Silas. Here's a little excerpt:
"Parenting doesn't have to be as hard as our culture makes it out to be. Yes, it's hard to get our needs met while raising in a society that divides people, closes doors, separates extended family, encourages consumerism (and thus two incomes, both parents working...). But it doesn't have to be a battle every day between parents and children. Love, respect and compassion don't need to run and hide in the shadows. Come together, get on the same team, view everyone's needs as equally important, express feelings openly, honestly (without blame), and embrace the feelings of others with an open, uncritical heart."
So please, go check it out.
Let me preface this little trip down memory lane by saying: girls today have such an easier time being pretty and funny and stylish. I'm jealous. They live in the age of digital cameras, photoshop, personal style and wardrobe remix blogs... they can just order hair dye and clothes online if they want to, research the look they want to have and then just... have it. I had to drive about an hour to get to a mall and it was a pathetic mall, at that. My camera was a falling apart 110 film hot-pink thing. When I turned in my film to the one hour photo, I got what I got. If half of the pictures were of my chin instead of my face, well, too bad. These girls today... they have it so good and I'm pretty sure they don't know it.
Ok, now that I've gotten all of my old-hag anger and bitterness out of the way, let's revisit my high school and college experience.
Summer of 99 on the swings behind FBC (the church I went to growing up)
Summer of 99 in the kitchen of my parents' house
early Spring of 99 out at Lexi's house ( my best friend in the later years of HS and also college)
At the PA Speedway, supporting the family racing habit. Summer of 99
Dressed up as Austin Powers in thrift gear, Spring or Summer of 97, I think. Why? I don't know.
1996 at my grandma Daphne's home in Packwood, WA
My brother Jacob must have only been 4 or just turned 5.
Petey was a doll I bought at a garage sale. I made him/her a duct tape suit, did some crazy facial tattoos and piercings, and chained him/her to my gas mask bag. WTF guys? Were we really this odd? Yes.
I think either Britta or Lexi took this picture. I can't even keep track of how many photo shoots we all did in my room. I was like... so edgy and unique.
This is probably late 98 or early 99.
My mother refused to pay for senior photos, so Lexi and I got creative with my camera. Nothing panned out, but the pictures are fun to look at.
Note the thrifted swacket (sweatshirt/jacket, duh) and styling cargo pants from Zumiez. Nice.
Teen Jam Spring of 98, I think. May have been 99. The only two people in this picture that I actually remember are my on-again-off-again HS boyfriend, Randy, who is draped across the front, and one of my best HS friends, Britta, who is wearing the checkered shirt and silver jacket.
Ice skating in Feb of 98 with the youth group. I loved that cardigan. Who knew I'd still be addicted to cardigans. Atleast I no longer wear the "Girl of God" shirt. *shudder*
It was VERY VERY cold, hence the weird face. If only my gloves had made it into the picture. They were black with leopard fuzzy cuffs. AWESOME.
Also, note the random thrifted beads, workman jacket, and purple hair. Dude.
Me pretending to shoot Becca. 30 Hour Famine w/the youth group at FBC, 99
More photoshoots... this was probably the same day as the picture w/Petey. Must have been on Lexi's camera, the photos were big & glossy whereas my camera at the time was one of those crappy rectangular 110 film cameras.
Nice moonboots and Switchfoot poster. Yikes.
Me, Britta, and that Andy Simmons guy. This was in the photo booth in the old DQ that Lexi worked at in that waterfront mall place. The Landing.
Shooting a different Rebekah. :P This must have been the same year as the purple hair, because that weird pinky/orange color is what I ended up with when the purple faded.
up my nose. and I look like a boy.
We clearly weren't thinking of the staging of this picture at the time... it's unplugged and the cord is draped over it IN VIEW. I also think I was sick that weekend. Not sure why we took my picture when I was all sniffly and dying.
mugshot. And no, that is not a wig. I had that hair.
So much glitter, why?
18th birthday party, August of 99
I'm on a boat.
18th birthday party, August of 99
Lake Crescent, WA
I posted these winners on my FaceSpace last month and was expecting kind of a "Oh! haha! Look how funny and dorky we all were!" reaction from friends who were tagged in some of the pictures. What I got was a mixed bag. A couple of people were nostalgic and commented, but one friend was downright upset with me and untagged herself in all the pictures. Guys, we're almost 30. We were in HS in the dismal and disappointing 90's. Can't we all just get over it and be secure in who we are and who we were and have a laugh?
posted by Jasie VanGesen at 9:29 AM
I'm giddy and nervous and preoccupied and excited and elated and scared witless. Keep your eyes open and ready, because Kelly and I are embarking on a project. A really badass project. A joint blogging project regarding body acceptance, equality of all people, feminism, cultural critique, parenting and finding the good things in this messed up world of ours.
posted by Jasie VanGesen at 9:13 AM
Our little apartment has served us well for the last year and a half, but as our yet-to-be-officially-named closing date nears, I've starting counting my chickens in a big way. Not only have they not hatched, they haven't even been purchased or had a coop built for them. I know I tend to get ahead of myself and get preoccupied with the future... but DUDE, we're buying a house! If I wasn't planning and dreaming and getting my mind wrapped around it, what would I be doing with my time and energy? Probably something productive. Heh.
Without further adieu, I present to you the random things about our little space and our weird little neighborhood that I'm pretty sure I WON'T miss.
- The crazy guy in our neighborhood who takes his 3 corgis on walks (early in the morning, no less) without leashing them and spends the whole time yelling at them.
- The lady in the apartment next to us who, instead of keeping her storage in a separate place, or in her closets, puts it all in rubbermaid trash bins on her back porch. Classy.
- Shared, coin-fed laundry services. 'Nuff said, yo.
- Of course, xylophone man... or vibraphone man. I don't know exactly what he plays and had assumed it was a xylophone just based on my rudimentary knowledge of large, obnoxious instruments. Then a friend pointed out to me that what I was describing sounded more like a vibraphone. I did some looking around online and I'm pretty sure she's right, yet I continue to refer to him as "xylophone man". Whatever. Either way, I will not miss his thumping one bit.
- The family across the street with the angry, yowling mom and the constantly screaming baby. Though they moved a couple of weeks ago, so even if we stayed here, they'd no longer be an annoyance... still, I'm counting them. Because - wow - they were unbearable.
I'm sure we'll have annoying neighbors at the new house. It's a fact of life, especially when you live in a quirky small town and are a bit of a misanthrope. The house to the right of ours is a rental, I'm pretty sure, so we may end up with a revolving cast of hilarious characters. Or we may end up with a loud and obnoxious party house right next to us. It could go either way. My main consolation is that our entire back yard is very nicely fenced in, reducing our day to day contact with all of these neighbors by a significant amount.
Who knows? I may surprise myself. I may end up befriending my community and actually participating in it. I may bake cookies and share them with my neighbors! There may be kids on our street that Silas plays with regularly. I may say hi to people I pass on our street and wave to families driving past. Or I may continue to hermit. I'm not making any promises. Heh.
I've been a very bad bad blogger, not writing or posting for 5 days. The shame. I've been a bit out of sorts and haven't drawn much inspiration from the experience, but I have drawn a bit of inspiration from one of my feel-good pass times... looking for happy go-lucky, life affirming, mood enhancing prints on Etsy!
- A fundamental premise of unschooling is that curiosity is innate and that children want to learn. The child-directed nature of unschooling does not mean that unschooling parents will not provide their children with guidance and advice, or that they will refrain from sharing things that they find fascinating or illuminating with them. These parents generally believe that as adults, they have more experience with the world and greater access to it. They believe in the importance of using this to aid their children in accessing, navigating, and making sense of the world.
- Radical unschooling philosophy places parents and children in a cooperative partnership relationship. The role of an unschooling parent is to support children's interests, trust children to make decisions for themselves, and help children accomplish their goals, which may include answering questions, finding answers, giving instruction or guidance, and locating apprenticeship opportunities or other sources of knowledge and experience.
- Why Unschooling Doesn't Come Naturally by Dayna Martin
- Deschooling a Parent: Learning to Trust by Jan Hunt
- Kids Learn Best When They Are Young by Tara @ TheOrganicSister
- Doing Something Very Different: Growing Without Schooling by Susannah Sheffer
- What is Unschooling? by Earl Stevens
- The Labyrinth of Unschooling by Dayna Martin
- My Case For Unschooling by Tara @TheOrganicSister
"I have used the words "home schooling" to describe the process by which children grow and learn in the world without going, or going very much, to schools, because those words are familiar and quickly understood. But in one very important sense they are misleading. What is most important and valuable about the home as a base for children's growth in the word is not that it is a better school than the schools but that it isn't a school at all."
- John Holt
"The goal of unschooling is not education. It is to help a child be who she is and blossom into who she will become. Education happens as side effect."
- Joyce Fetteroll
"Living is learning and when kids are living fully and energetically and happily they are learning a lot, even if we don't always know what it is."
- John Holt
"The child is curious. He wants to make sense out of things, find out how things work, gain competence and control over himself and his environment, and do what he can see other people doing. He is open, perceptive, and experimental. He does not merely observe the world around him, He does not shut himself off from the strange, complicated world around him, but tastes it, touches it, hefts it, bends it, breaks it. To find out how reality works, he works on it. He is bold. He is not afraid of making mistakes. And he is patient. He can tolerate an extraordinary amount of uncertainty, confusion, ignorance, and suspense ... School is not a place that gives much time, or opportunity, or reward, for this kind of thinking and learning."
- John Holt
"I don’t think we’ll get rid of schools any time soon, certainly not in my lifetime, but if we’re going to change what’s rapidly becoming a disaster of ignorance, we need to realize that the school institution "schools" very well, though it does not "educate"; that’s inherent in the design of the thing. It’s not the fault of bad teachers or too little money spent. It’s just impossible for education and schooling ever to be the same thing."
- John Taylor Gatto
"A child does not have to be motivated to learn; in fact, learning cannot be stopped. A child will focus on the world around him and long to understand it. He will want to know why things are the way they are. He won’t have to be told to be curious; he will just be curious. He has no desire to be ignorant; rather he wants to know everything."
- Valerie Fitzenreiter