Thursday, October 30, 2008

Outed

AnnaBeth started swimming lessons at the Fish level for this session at the Y. This is pretty exciting stuff -- it seems as though she's been a Minnow forever and ever.

Of course, beginning a new level meant going to the Y at a different time. And having a different teacher and different kids in the class.

Much is the same, though. Same routine of changing into the swimsuit, stowing stuff in lockers. I change into flip flops, same as before (no street shoes on deck). I take the same items with which to entertain myself -- my Latin and my knitting. My personal routine is 30 minutes of Latin, then the rest of the class knitting.

As I open up my notebook and my Henle Latin text another mom glances at me.

"Is that Henle?" said in that tone -- you know, the one with the subtext of "I can't imagine a sane person voluntarily lugging that around."

"Umm. Yeah. I never took it in school, so I'm trying to catch up now."

"Oh. I recognized it because my son had a class."

I reveal that my daughter is studying Latin, and I'm trying to keep up. She says that she tried to study it some, too, while her son took it. Although she admits that she's forgotten a lot of it now. Yes, I agree, while staring at the page wondering how I am expected to translate "on account of the welfare of the tribes" into Latin given that I have no memory whatsoever of seeing the Latin word for "welfare" before.

I give up on "welfare", and decide to fill my time writing propter at the beginning of every phrase that starts with the words "on account of", since that's sort of a gimme. A few moments pass.

Finally, she asks, "Do you homeschool?"

Ack. Do I look like some weirdo? Is that why she's asking? Well, of course I look like a weirdo -- we've already established that. I'm reading Henle, for pete's sake. But I had this faint hope that she'd think I was just a really, really involved public school parent. And not one of them. Because, you know, when someone asks if you homeschool they are likely to have an agenda. It's beyond a simple yes/no question. Way beyond. When a stranger asks you this question, they're likely to have strong views on the subject that they will feel compelled to share with you.

But, aha, it turns out her family homeschools. And the class her son took was simply a class in Latin he was taking while otherwise homeschooling.

I'm thinking, perhaps we can list this as another reason to study Latin -- carrying around Henle texts allows you to find other, sympathetic homeschoolers. It's sort of like our gang symbol.

2 comments:

Ami said...

Don't you think it would save a lot of time and angst if we all simply wore t shirts identifying us as homeschoolers?

We could even refine it further. Gray shirt for classical, blue shirt for eclectic, tie-dye for unschooling...

Public school parents could wear an identifying shirt, too. Parents whose children are in a private school could wear a very tight top, aka, stuffed shirt, parents whose children attend public school could perhaps sport a picture of Alfred E Neumann...

You know, the possibilities are endless here, despite the fact that I twice typoed that and made it 'pissibilities'

Staci at Writing and Living said...

"gang symbol" *snort*