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I Don't Hate School

By Leo Babauta

I often bad-mouth school, as if it's the most evil thing in the world. I should clarify that -- I think unschooling is a better method for us, and could be for many others, but people who are going to school or who are teaching in school are not doing a horrible job at all.

I have two kids who go to school, and in truth I think they're turning out great. There are lots of good things about school, and what's more, even if I don't agree with schooling in general, kids learn just as much (or more) outside of school as in school, so there are lots of opportunities to help your child learn and be an amazing person even if they're in school.

I also love teachers. My grandmother was a teacher for many years, along with one of my favorite aunts, my wife (and my ex-wife) and others who I think are truly tremendous human beings. Teachers are like saints. They deal with incredible difficulties and help children love reading and science and not hate math so much, and they reach out to troubled kids and they do their best to instill a passion for learning.

That's amazing.

Post #13 - Donely Gunn: My Kindred Spirit

On Notes Too Frank

Dear Reader,

Between not speaking English, living in West Point, MS, and operating a restaurant, there's just not much time or opportunity for my dad to make friends. The few friends my dad has usually come from something work related or from hanging out at the casino (I guess gambling and work are two things that overcome language barriers). One of my dad's friends, Gunn as we call him, ate at the restaurant today. Gunn drinks water with "a lot of lemons" and always sits at the big table at the back, and my dad usually sits with him, drinking coffee, reading a newspaper, and shooting the shit with Gunn.

I don't know how Gunn follows what Dad is saying. As far as I know Gunn only speaks English, while my dad usually has to communicate using some blend of English, Spanish, Chinese, and charades. Dad doesn't even use the right words to describe the right things, but Gunn knows what he's saying nonetheless. I remember one time my dad saying something about a "lavel" and "lawnmower" and then it turned out they were talking about a busted water pipe... Somehow Gunn understood, even though I had no idea.

I don't even really know how these two met, but I remember Gunn ever since I can remember. He's always been around since I was a wee-baby. I remember playing hide-n-go-seek in the restaurant after closing hours. Gunn was "it". He found me and chased me until I was out of breath, giggling as little kids do until tears were rolling down my cheeks. He was also there when we lived in a "shack" behind the restaurant. I still see the pictures Mom took all those years ago, with me and my brother standing around Dad, barbecuing on a broken grill, and I think Gunn is somewhere in there. I always remember him playing games with us. If it wasn't hide-n-go-seek, then we'd be playing basketball with a flat ball on a net-less goal that still hangs behind the restaurant (though the shack is gone and the goal is in a different spot). He was even there to help us build our current house out in the country.

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