One last WaPo piece

Veeka at a local pumpkin patch

It appears this is my sayonnara article, but I’m glad I could go out the door with a piece about Susan Wise Bauer, an amazing woman who’s been a huge leader in the homeschooling movement. I researched it in July when I was in the midst of planning a move and the Post folks insisted that my first two drafts be done by the time the moving van came. I wasn’t happy with that rule, but as it turned out, things were so nuts when I got to Tennessee, I was happy that I’d been forced to get much of the work done beforehand. This was article #13 for the Post magazine or Style section. Twelve of those articles were done within an 18-month period – not bad for a former Washington Times staffer – so I was on a roll there for awhile. I’m not done with magazine writing, though, as I have another piece pending for an even larger publication.

University of Tennessee agriculture folks put together a display of colorful gourds and pumpkins that came in shapes you've never before seen

Back to Jackson, changes are pending and for reasons I can’t go into here, Veeka is switching schools next week. The reasons are complex and I’m sad to leave the nice place she was at, but certain things just weren’t working out and we all agreed it was best to part ways. I spent Friday afternoon plunking down more than $100 in new uniforms and I’m hoping the new place has a lot more friends than she found in the other school. That’s been one of our chief problems here: the lack of little buddies for her. After three months, she only has one. This move has been good for me, but disastrous for her; something I never anticipated. I’ve tried to brighten things up, by taking her to things like the pumpkin harvest display put on by University of Tennessee horticulturalists of which you can see photos here.

College President David Dockery talks with Cardinal & Cream staff earlier this year/photo by Jacob Moore

What else am I doing with my time? One activity that eats away the hours is advising the campus newspaper: the Cardinal and Cream. We’re now working on issue five. I usually spend much of every other weekend doing massive amounts of editing first drafts. Every other Tuesday is when the paper gets laid out and I usually show up in the afternoon with a stack of doughnuts to cheer everyone up. Whereas students last year commonly didn’t make deadline until past midnight, this year they’re getting their pages done by 6:30 pm, a major feat. Of course it helped that their adviser has a 7-year-old who has to go to bed early, so it was made clear early on that late nights would be a thing of the past. The web site is going to look better shortly as the campus digital media class is re-doing our web site. Last week, I spent an hour with a student learning how to do online advertising so I too am learning new stuff.

Teaching @UU, Veeka, WritingPermalink

One Response to One last WaPo piece

  1. Great article, but the quote at the end was right on. There have always been divisions in the home school movement. I remember the Catholic Division when NACHE was working with the Bishop of Baltimore (Keeler) on home school guidelines and other home schoolers rebelled because of some scandalous stuff going on in the Balto schools. NACHE threw Seton Home School out of their conference and declared that those who opposed the guidelines were somehow less Catholic than they were. Ridiculous! So divisions are nothing new and home schooling parents need to blow them off and develop their own support groups within the movement. If something is good, the devil is always in their stirring the pot to mess it up.