One of the perks of homeschooling, besides sleeping in, is that my son isn’t the only person getting an education. Oh sure, my mind is already seeping with Final Jeopardy Question answers, film noir trivia and the names of all my fourth grade classmates. But don’t ask me the rule for doubling the final consonant when adding a suffix, the formula for calculating the area of a trapezoid or what the amygdala does in my brain.
But I (re)learned all that information during this, our sophomore year of high school. Granted, I emphasize the importance of knowing how to find the answer vs. memorizing massive amounts of info. (That’s why Al Gore invented the Internet, right?) But there is something invigorating/challenging about actually reading a fact/formula and using it to concoct/calculate an answer. It’s the little things, darling…
My most recent “Did You Know?” moment came last week when we were interpreting the Declaration of Independence. Most of us (let’s hope) remember the incongruity of its catch phrase, “all men are created equal.” But did you know that in Jefferson’s first draft the white guys’ certain unalienable rights were “life, liberty, and PROPERTY?”
That’s a slave plantation owner from Charlottesville for you. So the aristocratic signers of the Declaration decided to throw a bone to the cities’ poor and westward bound frontiersmen by replacing tangible “property” with the elusive “pursuit of happiness.”
Of course, a line like that prompts my mind to call up Johnny Carson’s late night sign-off, “May the bluebird of happiness fly up your nose…” But that’s a baby-boomer from Baltimore for you.