I’ve been selling books at the Midwest Homeschool Show the past two days; tomorrow is my last day. Before I say anything, know this: I was homeschooled until 8th grade and I liked it. I have six siblings, and I had really long hair and liked to wear dresses that my mom made. And I consider doing the same thing to my children. If you are unaware of how stereotypes from the ’80s involving homeschoolers, jean skirts, and long braids continue to thrive, then it probably won’t make sense that I’ve spent a good bit of my life trying to make amends between the two parties (party #1 Impossibly jaded public school kid. party #2 Hopelessly cheerful dorkathon.).
So when I tell you that the dirty looks from the ladies down at the “Modesty Matters” booth convinced me to wear linen pants today instead of ever showing up in that skirt again, do not think I am purposefully misconstruing the situation. Nor when I say that there was a fellow exhibitor whose chosen cause was convincing all Christians to pull out their kids out of public schools. Even after standing on my feet and smiling for for ten straight hours, I thought it was a worthwhile idea to cheerfully banter with (read: frantically try to dissuade) this young man about his goals.*
When we started hedging around the topic of health care (I did stay in the banter category here) the only thing I could think of was an anniversary I missed announcing on this blog yesterday: The WPA.
Perhaps someone in a burrowed office in the pentagon thought the extraordinarily over-endowed advertising campaign for the 2010 Census was compensation enough. As we all lament, it was not.
As I romance it, the days of the WPA were the fabled promise land. Artists were paid to create posters with helpful messages. Photographers were paid to document daily life across America. And writers were funded to travel among the people and tell of what they saw. Unless the government is somehow behind this American craftsmen project, I can think of no modern equivalent.
So Happy Anniversary WPA! from one confused homeschool expatriot in Cincinnati, OH.
*(On the other hand: by golly these Midwesterners are friendly!)