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elizabeth's mfa (fonda)

updated tue 27 jun 06


Marcia Selsor on sun 25 jun 06

> One of the best experiences I had during my MFA quest was the
> Friday night free lectures by Buckminster Fuller, the resident
> artist at Southern Illinois Univerisity in Carbondale. His geodesic
> dome dominated off campus architecture..and life experiments like 8
> hours cycles to go into orbit. It was all wonderful. Campus life
> and real university experiences are difficult to surpass.
I went to Southern Illinois University in 1970..directly after the
Kent State riots on many campuses. University life back then was
extremely intense.
I dropped out for a year and returned to finish my MFA. I found it
to be a fantastically intellectually stimulating and challenging
expierence. I guess I am a die hard academic.

Marcia Selsor

primalmommy on sun 25 jun 06

Fonda, more power to you, giving your energy to the kids in your
classes. Teachers rock. Me, I never knew what to do with the kids who
were passed into my class when they really should have been helped to
catch up(or held back) several grades earlier. We do what we can, and
let go when we have to, I guess.

As for regulations where you live, though, just because they are
selectively enforced doesn't mean they don't exist. You can find
Tennessee's requirements at

There are two categories of options in TN involving church-affiliated
homeschooling, and a third, more general one, with very specific
guidelines. They include attendance requirements of "180 days per year,
4 hours per day" -- homeschooling adults must "administer a standardized
test in grades 5, 7, and 9; must be given by commissioner of education,
his designee, or a professional testing service approved by the local
school district."

Minimal requirements for homeschooling parents "For grades K-8: High
school diploma or GED For grades 9-12: baccalaureate degree (or an
exemption granted by the commissioner of education)"

Tennesee is considered a "moderately" regulated state (some are less,
some are more.) There's a US map at that site with all the states.

Often whether or not regs are enforced is up to the
superintendent-du-jour. This is little consolation, as people move from
district to district, supers change, and authorities can use existing
regs to go after specific individuals they don't happen to like.

A lot is left to interpretation. That can be good, or bad. For example,
the faith-based homeschoolers in my town print their forms on the same
color paper, and assure others that they get preferential treatment over
"secular" homeschoolers. A school secretary confided to me her concerns
about a family submitting paperwork because, "they're Mexicans, you

Older homies here remember a time when homeschoolers stayed indoors
during school hours, and police cars pulled up with lights flashing,
scaring the kids, if neighbors reported them truant. Everybody memorizes
the Ohio revised Code that guarantees our rights, to answer those who
try to intimidate or challenge us, or demand more than required. It
happens more often than you might think, especially in small rural

Enough off-topic stuff, though. I appreciate your perspective and
concerns. There are certainly those who should not homeschool, just as
there are those who should never have had children to begin with. The
problem is what you and I, realistically, can be expected to do about

Kelly in Ohio

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