Thursday, January 25, 2007

I think about the Future

... and it scares me sometimes. Last night, I was reminded of my tendency to worry about things too much, and I was tempted to blog on it a little today. For now, though, it's no problem.

The thing that made me worry for the future today was a thread I was reading in a homeschooling forum during lunch. Granted, Derek and I aren't even thinking about education for Rachel right now (at least, formal things like school and what-not), much less homeschooling, but the forum was on the same site as the clothdiapering forums, and the Rose Thorns forums aren't as active enough for me to use them as spontaneous reading material.

The thread was started by a mother who wanted to start homeschooling her two children. She was interested in resources for homeschooling, as well as why her two-year-old didn't seem interested in learning her ABC's.

There was something wrong with this. What was wrong with this, you ask?

1. The opening post was in direct violation of English grammar rules. The entire post is written with ellipses replacing periods and commas, allowing fragments of sentences to exist all over the place. There were no spelling mistakes, but she did sprinkle some net abbreviations into the paragraph (if it could be called one).

2. She was amused at the thought of her two-year-old being only interested in pink, as if there was something else she should be interested in at that age.

I don't pretend to know a thing about homeschooling, nor do I like questioning the teaching capabilities of someone I've never met, but reading that post, and the comments after it, made me cringe. It reminded me of the many people I've encountered on the internet who seem to think that they're perfectly understandable to others even if they OMGHATEENGLSHIDONTPLAYTHISTOLERNGRAMAR.

Are people like this deciding to pull their kids from public schools to teach them how to communicate like that? Why is the ellipsis being so blatantly misused? Are we waiting for the day when telepathy will eliminate the need for punctuation? I'd like that; this way, I'd be able to beam thoughts of "WHY DO YOU PASS ME ON THE RIGHT SIDE, YOU IMPATIENT" [expletives omitted] to the people who think that they're somehow more important than everyone else on the road. Yup, definitely looking forward to the day when we all end up with our feet in our mouths for unrestrained communication.

I'm glad to know a few successfully homeschooled people, so that I will remember not to make too many generalizations. This doesn't stop me from fearing for the future, not one bit.


Shae said...

Since when are two-year-olds supposed to be learning the alphabet? I too am worried. I worry because we intend to homeschool our children, but people like her will ruin it for the rest of us. The state is already talking about making stricter homeschooling laws; now I see why.

Don't get me wrong; I don't expect people to use precise exact grammar all the time online. However, it seems a little crazy.

I am still very mistrustful of the public schools though. The children around us seem to be missing very basic parts of their education. And the city wants to spend $600 million to improve the school buildings! How is this going to solve the problem?

Loree said...

Apparently school buildings need the money more than the teachers. People don't seem to realize how important teachers are (old rant, but still valid).

On a whim, I looked up the area schools, and am content to see that they aren't in any educational danger zone. We're still planning on public schooling (benefit-of-the-doubt line of thought), but I'd be up for homeschooling if we need to. I respect you for the decision, because I'm pretty sure you're capable of doing a good job of it. ^^

Oh, no, I don't expect perfect grammar on the internet, but her post still made my head hurt. How do people talk like that?