The Friar, the Dalai Lama, and Homeschooling
So last night I decided to have dinner in the East Village with a friend and her friends at Frankie's Pizzeria. One of the friends was a woman from San Francisco, who I will call "K." Somehow, I guess by way of K.'s "where does your child go to school?" question, that for the life of me, I cannot figure out why anyone would ask as a matter of course - except to perhaps find out one's status - the conversation turned uncomfortably to:
"What? ISN'T THAT REALLY HARD TO DO???!!"
Erm, not for us, no. [And maybe it's summer now so I am forgetting if it's hard, but that's beside the point]
"No, I think that's really hard. How can YOU POSSIBLY MANAGE ALL THAT WORK AT HOME?"
Well, a lot of it isn't even done at home. Homeschooling is sort of a misnomer.
My friend, C., who invited me to dinner, tried to steer the conversation to schools in New York City. We agreed that the public schools weren't that great. C. inquired, "And some schools do specialize, no? I believe there is a visual arts school -"
K: "No, there are no such schools in New York City."
Husband of friend: "No, I think there are. Bronx Science, for example."
K: [silence. Then she notices a picture on the wall of a friar who looked like the photo here] "Is that the Dalai Lama?"
K. then proceeded to talk to me about Catholic school education. "It's a really, really good education."
And a Capuchin monk can be easily confused for the Dalai Lama. Yeah, I'm sold.
Is it me, or does the "Where does your child go to school?" hook open conversation to places that homeschoolers simply do not wish to go? Is it a status question, an empty "what do you do?"-type question, or really a question about what sort of schooling choices we make?