Being the change.
A has a Genetics test in Brooklyn this morning. Last night I got barraged with questions about somatic chromosomes and gametes and haplodiploidy in bees and wild brown dominant alleles in drones crossed with F1 progeny of g-d-knows-what combination.
"Mom, I know all the mitotic phases!"
That's great, son!
"Prophase, Metaphase, Anaphase, Telophase, and do you know when cytokinesis happens?"
Let me guess.
"Late anaphase or telophase!"
Man, I used to teach that stuff to wide-eyed 18-year-old college freshmen.
Which is funny. The majority of homeschoolers in the co-op here are incredibly studious, nerdy, geeky, or just plain scary. In a good way. A's Law class is comprised of kids who look dead-serious as they walk into class, ready to attack the "issues" of the cases they are given. Big, tall, kids whose 2006 hormones make them taller than the tallest teens I ever encountered, some with buttons on bags and hats and clothing that read things like, "Question Authority" or "Be the Change You Wish to See in the World - Gandhi".
I sometimes wonder if mixing all ages of teens together in one room to study the same class material is a problem for A. So far, he seems to actually like it, and doesn't mind if the older teens are better able to understand the class material than he is. He knows if he doesn't "get" it one day, it will come later. Because I am the secondary teacher, and I can break things down ad nauseum until he does get it. Ah, the beauty of the Classroom of One.
Which brings me to another thing about flexibility in homeschooling. Unfortunately, A was not accepted to the International Center of Photography Teen Workshop for this Spring. Someone at ICP, who I will call "Tim" left a voicemail message on A's cellphone that went like this:
Tim: Hi!! This is Tim at ICP!! And I have news about you and the Teen Workshop! Call me as soon as you get this! I'll be in the office until 7 tonight!!
It was nearly 6 p.m. when A retrieved the message, and we were on the street. In Times Square. A got incredibly excited. "It's ICP! It's ICP! I have to call them NOW. NOW. Before it's too late." He got Tim's voicemail. Tim returned the call to A, after much sweating and adrenaline-rushing, by 6:55 p.m. The conversation went like this:
Tim: Well, you know, this is a very competitive program, and you're very young, I see that you're 13-years-old, and, we're supposed to take high school kids, so we just don't have a place for you. Try applying next year.
A to me: "Does that mean I wasn't competitive enough?"
My imaginary e-mail to Tim:
Hurry up and get rejected? Lotto-Winner syndrome before being tossed? Is this a New York thing? Puhleez, darling. Send an e-mail when rejecting an applicant to your program. And, include the bit about high school enrollment as a requisite, in your literature. You otherwise are just getting their hopes up for nothing. You are evil. Go back to Mordor.
Very truly yours,
Later, we called up our photographer friend, the one whose images are in numerous coffee-table photo books and on too many t-shirts to mention, and asked if he could teach A how to work in the darkroom in his studio and maybe learn some photography technique. His reply? "Sure. What's your schedule like?"