Anyone familiar with the musical “Title of Show” (hi Andrea!) will recognize the title of this entry, since it is one of the songs from the show. This song tells us about the ‘vampires’ – the people who try to tell you that you aren’t creative, your drawings are no good, your ‘songs are derivative’ – and instructs you not to listen to them. It tells you, in very humorous fashion, to follow your passions and dreams despite what people around you might say.
Life learners deal with a lot of vampires, mostly of the ‘education’ variety. Vampires are often disguised as well-meaning acquaintances, family members and sometimes even close friends. Maybe they’ve even told you that they admire you for ‘unschooling’ your kids, but then their tone will become placating – slightly condescending (which means the fangs are coming out) – and they will say something like, “but you do plan to put them in school at some point, right? I mean, how will they ever get into college?”
Sometimes the vampires appear inside my mind. Yes, we all carry vampires around inside us, and they are the worst of the lot. Mine usually appear when a group of homeschooling parents begin talking about their chosen courses of study. Another parent that I know summed it up well when she said, “I always start to panic. Like when someone is talking about how they’ve studied the Ancient Chinese dynasties and I think ‘but we don’t know anything about Ancient China!'” Yep – the vampires start shouting, “You must find books about the Ming Dynasty! What are you thinking? How will your child ever function in the world if they don’t know about Ancient China!?” Thus draining you of all your confidence.
Come to think of it, vampires and school brain are very closely related…
And when the vampires attack, internally or externally, who is the best vampire slayer in our family? Why Joshua, of course. First of all, his whole life is an exercise in the slaying of vampires. He didn’t finish high school in Israel. (He was asked not to return.) He holds no diplomas or degrees of any sort, but is a successful and very savvy business owner. His parents died when he was young, and no one around him expected him to succeed at anything. So he went out and succeeded anyway. Perhaps most impressive is his ability to read people. Sometimes I swear he is a mind-reader, and it serves him very well. (AND he can calculate percentages in his head faster than anyone I know. Well, at least infinitely faster than me.)
He is so confident that our children will learn what they need to know and be successful at whatever path they choose, that on the days when I’ve been sitting in a group of vampires who’ve managed to rouse those in my head, all I need to do is talk to him about it. And the vampires melt away. I think all self-made people must be vampire slayers.
Here is “Die Vampire Die” from the show “Title of Show”, for those of you who have never heard it. Warning: the song is definitely Rated R…