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31st December 2012, 21:28
Having been critical of this practice on another thread, I’d like to admit to being guilty of it myself. I had a rather chastening experience this past year, when I picked up a book about a period of history I’ve always been intensely interested in and saw in the writer’s biography that she was a devout Mormon and taught at a Mormon university. I rather dismissively said to myself “Well this should be interesting,” but what I found was one of the most scholarly, fair-minded, superbly written books I’d ever read. I’m embarrassed to say that I found this at all surprising, and I had ample opportunity to be reminded of my prejudice during the recent presidential campaign, since I so often got to witness the most despicable and bigoted treatment of Mr. Romney (I mean as regards his faith) by our “liberal” media. Really, why do we do this?

When my wife and I home-schooled our children we were looked at askance, and even laughed at, since the stereotype (over here at least) portrayed us as mouth-breathing Troglodytes. Our children nevertheless ended up attending prestigious schools and excelling at them. At our second-oldest’s commencement we were surprised to see (before the ceremony) that her cap and gown didn’t match the one everyone else was wearing, and we afterward discovered that she had won the highest academic honor conferred by her school, which is one of the great universities of the world. As we saw our beautiful, self-effacing daughter leading in the faculty with its smattering of Nobel laureates, I couldn’t help but recall the ignorant, nasty comments we’d been treated to over the years. I’ve never told anyone about this, and I doubt that anyone here in our little town knows of her accomplishment, since even her siblings don’t (that’s how she wanted it), but I’m mentioning it here because of the topic at hand. One would think that our society might have become more accepting of people like us, if only because we’ve so increased in number, but just a few years ago we were watching Saturday Night Live, a rather smarmy “comedy” show that celebrities (even a lot of British ones) are always dying to host, and were stunned by a skit that treated home-schoolers as hopeless morons. If it had been at all subtle or clever or funny we might have, well, found it so, but it was simply crude and hateful, as most manifestations of prejudice are, and of course the audience loved it.

Anyway, the point is that having been on the receiving end of condescending judgement (in a number of areas) I should be all the more cautious myself, and as usual I’m vowing to open my heart a bit more in the New Year, and hoping that I’m more successful this time around. Best wishes to all you wonderful people on this forum. You're always expanding my vision.

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31st December 2012, 22:29
Jeez (sorry THEA) aristo!

I'm going to have to come back for a more considered response. I seem to have something in my eye...
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31st December 2012, 23:01
The bearing and raising of children is the single most important thing we do. It's what we're (put) on this planet to do. Our sole function. But we get to do all the other stuff as a bonus. I was about to say that I wish we could have home-educated our kids, but of course we did. Everything begins in the home and it's so important for real values to be available to our children to counteract the prevailing attitudes outside the home, but it would have been nice to have done the job full-time. It's one of the reasons I'm looking forward to being a grandfather.

I didn't realise this was such a big deal to some people over there. I mean, it's not as if you're gun-toting survivalists!

I haven't finished yet, so if I don't make it back for a while, here's to 2013 - may it at least give us a break!

I'm obviously assuming you're NOT gun-toting survivalists...
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31st December 2012, 23:30
I've read this wise and thoughtful post several times, aristo. I think you are being a bit harsh on yourself- do we not all tend to create stereotypes from our experience? I am scared of "hoodies" because some once threw stones at me. In my heart I know that most would do me no harm but my adrenal glands (LOL) say "no, get out of here, now." I've stereotyped a group of people for the actions of a very few but it's difficult to change.I'm not about to hug one!

A few years ago someone told me they liked me because I was non-judgemental. I decided to try and become so, though I doubt I've succeeded. I'm going to try harder this year.

I've always thought that anyone who undertakes to school their own children is brave indeed and much to be admired. For me at least it would involve a lot of re-learning and for anyone a huge amount of time. Well done indeed. your daughter sounds absolutely brilliant and extraordinarily modest.

Happy New Year, now 30 minutes away. To anyone who'd like to feel better about themselves, I recommend doing some "Random Acts of Kindness." Works a treat.
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1st January 2013, 10:01
I have suffered stereotyping ever since my hair turned grey. I am old, female, use a stick. So of course I am invisible, batty, just not a part of society.
A friend home schooled her son - an only child. He did well, got into a top
university, but found it very hard mixing with others and living away from home. Aristophanes, you are to be congratulated - but I think it works better with several siblings.
Happy new year to you all.Mags.
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1st January 2013, 14:39
I don't get it, magworth. When you put all those attributes together, what's not to like? A mature woman with a stick, admirable enough, but battiness requires creativity and even courage, and for me at least seals the deal. Are you ever free for lunch? Skip the invisibility though; too many times have I been escorted from a restaurant for talking to myself. Happy New Year!
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1st January 2013, 14:47
Oh Aristophanes - you`ve made my year already !! An even happier New year to you, now !
Mags xxx
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1st January 2013, 14:51
It never ceases to amaze me what you can come across on this site!
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2nd January 2013, 13:22
I know, redcoral! It's like an online dating service. I can't wait to meet magworth.
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