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My latest essay: A Reason for Cursive Writing

The book pictured on the right is The Unprocessed Child: Living Without School by Valerie Fitzenreiter, my mother. My upbringing of unschooling and attachment parenting is the subject of the book. Naturally, I encourage you to check it out.

I learned to read at age seven and I learned long division at age eighteen. I learned keyboarding at age eleven, and I still haven't learned to write in cursive. I've been writing HTML since age sixteen, and I'm still pretty sketchy at telling time on an analog clock. I graduated summa cum laude from a university, and I don't have a high school diploma or equivalent.

Hey, that's what happens when kids get to choose what they learn.

Some have called it the most interesting thing about me. Some have said that it would ruin my life. Some have said that I'm lucky I'm smart, because it wouldn't have worked for everyone. Most people seem to have an opinion about my unschooled childhood.

Honestly, I'm still forming my own opinion. As a professor once said, I'm "comfortable with ambiguity."

Let's go over the basics. I didn't go to school all through childhood. We had no curriculum. No, seriously -- we didn't "do" school. My first test was at the Department of Motor Vehicles (I passed). I decided to skip getting a GED and just went to college, because they accepted students on ACT scores.

College was great. I went every semester, including summers, so I graduated a semester early (Fall 2001). I would have finished with a 4.0, but I must have jinxed myself, because I messed around and fell two percentage points short of an A in a freshman-level History telecourse my last semester. I'm still really bitter about that B, even though I know it's ridiculous to dwell on it.

While I was there I won some awards, scholarships, and distinctions. Who's Who in American Universities and Colleges, Juliet Hardtner Women in the Arts & Humanities Scholarship, Business & Professional Women's Club Scholarship, President's Honor Roll (4 times), Alpha Lambda Delta, Phi Alpha Theta, and Phi Kappa Phi. I was also the president of the only expressly feminist organization on campus.

TV Commercials

Do you ever rethink your television viewing habits based on the commercials that air during the shows? I guess I'm watching too much "guy" stuff, because I've been seeing a lot of natural male enhancement commercials lately. I can't help it--Comedy Central is funny. Then on other channels, I'm inundated with diaper commercials. Then I try to watch some Little House on the Prairie (shut up), and I get commercials for Rascal scooters and life insurance.

But I knew it was truly time to reexamine not only my TV viewing habits, but my life, when I saw several commercials for Bikini Bucks and also Juicer Elite Club over the course of one weekend. I've tried checking those websites online especially the one focused on juicing and helpful tips came up. See for yourself at  and

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