Monday, October 2

I'd Like to Thank the Public School System

Your Social Anxiety Level: 60%

You have moderate social anxiety.
It's possible that you have a serious social anxiety problem.
But it's also likely that you can help yourself, by getting out more and trying new, scary activities.
No one's secretly judging you. So be yourself, and if you screw up, just laugh.
Are You Socially Anxious?

(Planting tongue firmly in cheek...) I'd like to thank the public school system for its role in my socialization skills. The guidance and supervision they provided when I was in school were priceless. And you get what you pay for.

Honestly, being picked up by the sides of my head on a regular basis may have been a wonderful show of S. B.'s strength, but did nothing to help me understand proper boundaries. Being stabbed in the knee with a pencil for asking a boy why he was doing his homework on the way to school taught me not to ask questions. Having my hat and books kicked and tossed around on the bus and muddied and spat upon taught me not to feel safe in a crowd. Being insulted and rejected daily by "friends" taught me not to reach out or speak up, and to consider carefully who I call "friend." Being told repeatedly by my best friend that I look like a bug when I wear sunglasses made me very cautious about trusting my sense of style. Trying and failing in front of my peers and being mercilessly ridiculed year after year taught me that sometimes it really is better not to try.

Thanks to the socialization I received in public school, I know now that being smart can be a curse. (I have since given it up.) And being short is a horrible thing. I still feel self-conscious around tall people, and breathe a sigh of relief when I'm around someone shorter than I am. I even secretly (until announcing it on the www) worry that my own children will treat me differently when they are taller than me.

I know now that no one is secretly judging me. Their judgment has never been a secret.

You ask of my homeschooled children, "What about socialization?" Yes, I wonder, too. How different will their lives be for not having learned those lessons in public school? How will their lives be affected by interacting so often with adults who discuss relevant topics or conduct transactions without insulting or tormenting them? How will they understand life if they spend time with other children, most of whom are also denied daily age-segregated socialization? And what does it say of their character if they respond to the occasional bully either by being kind in return or walking away? How will they form relationships with people who are different from them if they don't see prejudice every day? How will they stand up for what's right if they don't spend their days surrounded and bombarded by what's wrong?

Gosh. I don't know. But somehow I think they'll be very well adjusted compared to their mother.


  1. Ahhh, the warm memories of yesteryear.

    Makes you wonder if there's another reason your dh's interviewees seemed so clueless.

  2. {{{{hugs}}}}

    Having had some of the same stuff done to me, I empathize... Not all of it and not the majority, but enough to know how you felt/feel.

    I think your paragraph wondering how your hs'd children will do is actually very very telling... I read somewhere recently about some irate ps school teacher would never want hs'd children to become the leaders of this country... She has no idea... I just hope the generation we are raising will be the new "order" of things... but if not, they will certainly be better grounded in refusing the mark of the beast.

    I love you, dearheart, and think so highly of you. Don't ever sell yourself short! (Sorry about the unintended pun--LOL--at least being 5'1" I'm in the short crowd already.)