Tuesday, August 21, 2007

Signs of the Times

So we're trying to get our 16-year-old enrolled at the community college as part of home schooling him. In some ways, our experience with him is a story as old as adolescence itself ... which means about 150 years.
Say what? Sure, parents and children have had their struggles throughout human history, but the distinct stage of adolescene is a relatively new thing, a product of industrialism, the growth of child labor restrictions, and universal compulsory education. We can't just marry off or employ away our teenagers these days.
So we have to struggle with them through school. Perhaps it is a sign of the times -- times of shifting epochs -- that bright, creative kids find public schools such desultory places. Such kids are like the canary in the mine of postmodernity -- they tell us the gases are getting too thick for good health.
So we try to tunnel out, to find fresh air, to recreate space for growing up in a world that seems often a very different place from the one in which we grew up. Hang on. It's going to be a bumpy ride.