Friday, September 12, 2008

Interesting Question

"Isn't Catholic School all about conforming? E"

I know she asked in jest, but E raises an interesting question. Looking from the outside in, I suspect that many people believe that or something similar about the Catholic school system.

My priorities for sending our kids there mainly surround giving our children an academic education as well as one in faith. I am certainly fortunate that I live within a decent school district, but I feel there needs to be more to an education than academics.

My first choice would be to homeschool like E does. I envy her ability to do that, but I know my limitations. I may be walking around with a 142 IQ, but brains alone are not enough to teach others. E is not only blessed with brains, she possesses the self-discipline and organizational skills required to successfully coordinate the education of her children.

If I homeschooled, my children would still be lingering in pre-K.

But, anyway, back to conforming. Yes, there's a nice bit of conforming when you're in a group that's all dressed alike and walking the halls in neat little lines, but there's still plenty of room for individuality with school activities. Long dead are the teachers and nuns who felt it necessary to beat your knuckles until you fit the mold.

So far, the "conforming" part of school works for Precious Daughter. She's a natural-born worrier, and she has a tendency to hide on the sidelines instead of jumping into the fun. The uniforms, visually speaking, give her the illusion of a more even playing field. Fitting in is very important to her, and I suspect we'll have problems later with her following the crowd's ill advice just to please them.

Mighty B. doesn't care about what others think. He charges on ahead with his own goals in mind, leaving those too slow to get out of the way bobbing helplessly in his wake. I wonder and often worry about how Mighty B. will handle the structure. I wonder if it's too restrictive for him and whether he'll find it necessary to rebel.

On Back-to-School Night, The Oracle finally met Precious Daughter's teacher. His "radar" didn't go off, which is a good thing. The Oracle, in my view, is an excellent judge of character. His first impressions have always been deadly accurate, even when I desperately hoped and prayed he was mistaken.

He said she looked a bit like a redheaded Larry "Bud" Melman. Oh, dear.

Instead of multicolored tennis balls, The Oracle presented Mrs. Melman with breast-cancer-awareness pink. Who could refuse tennis balls purchased to support breast cancer research? She graciously accepted them after briefly lamenting the fact that they weren't cut with an X to pop over the chair feet.

Precious Daughter still needs a yellow highlighter. Drat.

The Oracle forgot to check on the pencil sharpener.


Anonymous said...

I think school uniforms are an excellent idea and all schools should have them. Individuality can and should be expressed but when it comes to clothing, school is neither the time nor place. JMHO.

Thanks for the complement about my homeschooling abilities but to keep it honest sometimes I feel like I'm flying by the seat of my pants.

Now back to the original question. I guess any "organization" (visualize fingers making quotation marks) has to have some form of conformation expectations or you would just have a free for all and there wouldn't be any organization.


Anonymous said...

I forgot to comment on the pink tennis balls. I love it!

Is this teacher satisfied with anything? Does she want you to correct her papers for her too?


Just Me said...

"Is this teacher satisfied with anything?"

I guess so. I haven't received any critical emails or notes thus far, and Precious Daughter isn't coming home upset.

Her mood is truly the barometer here. If she's unhappy, there's a reason. She works very hard to get everything just right, and she takes constructive criticism personally.