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On Talking to Heather Doney and Rachel Coleman About Child Abuse, the Quiverfull Movement and Homeschooling Policy Reform

This is so interesting -- I just responded to an acquaintance on Facebook who homeschools her two children. She'd posted this article about a German family that applied for asylum in the U.S. to homeschool their 8 children (Germany apparently bars homeschooling entirely):

http://www.foxnews.com/opinion/2014/03/04/christians-outraged-over-team-obama-assault-on-german-homeschool-family/

Her take was that this was evidence of the existential threat to homeschooling everywhere. I pointed out that the family weren't denied asylum because they were homeschoolers, but because their case didn't meet the legal threshold for asylum. She wrote back to agree, but I had no idea that some homeschooling families feel so threatened.

That said, I feel that there should absolutely be some checks on homeschooled children. While there were always one or two in every admitted class at my competitive college, I've also tutored a fair share of kids that had been homeschooled for a couple of years by well-meaning parents and were consequently far behind the rest of their grade. Good intentions don't equal expertise, particularly if your child has problems with a particular field!

Posted on March 6, 2014 at 12:57 pm 1

On Spite Houses, Ranked by Spite-ness

@Julie the T, I lived in a rowhouse apartment in DC for a few years. In front, the houses were flush, but between each house in the back was a 3-foot alley. So our apartment had windows in the front and back, plus a series of windows looking into the side alley. Admittedly, the alley windows also looked directly into windows of the neighboring apartment, but we had more windows and light than people generally assumed rowhouses could have.

Posted on December 16, 2013 at 3:49 pm 0

On Weird Help

I haven't read the piece and am currently slightly tipsy after pouring myself a bourbon after a LONG day, but: ten years ago next month, I met my husband in a bar. It was the Front Page in Washington, DC. Neither of us had ever been there before. We never went there again. He walked up to me and said "Hi." We chatted for a bit and exchanged numbers. We've been married for almost 4 years; right now, he's cooking me dinner. Which is all to say that bar connections can be the best thing to ever happen to you.

Posted on February 19, 2013 at 7:53 pm 1

On Toiletries

According to my Russian teacher, the slang word for a toilet in Russian is "Unitas," from the brand of toilet that was originally imported to Russia from Spain. Not to be confused with the word "туалет", which is pronounced similarly to "toilet" but means restroom or lavatory.

Posted on January 17, 2013 at 10:43 am 1

On Bones, Ghosts, and Paul Koudounaris

@HeyMatilda Ha, my favorite part about that ossuary (besides all the bones) was the guy at the front door:

Me: How much is it to enter?
Guy: 500 lira donation.
Me: Donation - so it's free?
Guy: The donation is required.
Me: So it's not free.
Guy: 500 lira.

I don't recall the exact amount of lira, actually, but it was so worth it.

Posted on December 12, 2012 at 5:18 pm 2

On B-I-N-G-O Home, Everybody. Party's Over.

I just created a card for my family. It includes entries like "X talks only to his brother," "Y doesn't show up," "Y shows up and brings bootlegged DVDs", "Z is ungrateful", "Q discusses a bad life decision...."

Posted on December 11, 2012 at 2:38 pm 2

On The Wedding Photographer

Matt Mendelsohn was my wedding photographer in 2009! He is exactly as thoughtful, caring, and talented as you think he'd be, based on this article.

Posted on December 4, 2012 at 10:13 am 4

On TOWANDA!

BEST. MOVIE. EVER. "If I was gonna kill you, I'd use my hands." I say that to my husband all the time. Probably more often than is seemly.

Posted on August 13, 2012 at 10:34 am 5

On Friday Bargain Bin: What to Do With Your Allowance This Week

"Grow up, Anthropologie" is basically how I feel about Anthropologie all the time, except when I find something on sale.

Posted on July 27, 2012 at 12:03 pm 41

On Ask a Med Student

I'm seconding the urgent care recommendation -- in my case last week, they sent me to the emergency room for my gnarly GI issues and abdominal pain. Finding out I didn't have appendicitis was definitely a good thing.

Posted on July 13, 2012 at 12:08 pm 3