I was lucky enough to be able to spend yesterday with my daughters. If there's no school, I don't work. (I don't get paid, either, just so you know.) I picked up my older daughter, we went by Bon Fresco to get food, then back to our house to watch a movie and eat lunch.
We watched the orginal 1988 version of Hairspray. This is John Waters all the way, before it was prettied up into Broadway musical format. It was truly educational. The story is far more Baltimore, more raw, more weird than you think it is if you've only seen John Travolta put on a dress and fake a Balmer accent, hon'.
Afterwards we discussed the film while having dessert at the kitchen island. We talked about issues of race and how à propos this movie seems right now as we are mired again in issues of race, police brutality, and civil rights. We wondered whether John Waters had been subjected to the kind of quackish conversion therapy that he portrays in the film--only aimed instead at his homosexuality rather than race.
Somehow the conversation wandered to other topics. In the course of the afternoon we discussed:
- The implications of belief systems that focus on "waiting for marriage" to have sex.
- How different churches address teens and sexuality.
- School dress codes and what they say to teens.
- Bras: do they do any good? Is there any point to wearing them?
I must say it was a no-holds barred conversation, and one I am grateful to be having so easily with my kids. Well, I did draw the line at delving into the subject of STD's while we were still eating. But other than that, I found it amazing that we could have this conversation. The younger daughter was less forthcoming on some topics, but had plenty to say on others.
Her participation in the OWL Human Sexuality curriculum at the Unitarian Universalist Congregation in Columbia has given her a voice. She feels confident in examining issues of sexuality and talking about them. It is fascinating to see her compare what they are learning at OWL and what is presented at school. We are really shortchanging our kids at school, folks.
So we had a day off from school. No "academic work" was performed. But a whole lot of learning was achieved anyway.