We were supposed to spend Monday this week at the science museum. It was our third attempt to get there: The first we opted out of on account of the crud, the second was snowed out, and Monday? Well, chalk Monday up to my carelessness in failing to check the museum hours. They are closed on Monday.
So my friend suggested we spend our science museum time at the state capitol since it is near the museum. The kids were not quite as enthusiastic about a day immersed in government after the letdown of being unable to dip their hands into whatever science fun is made available Tuesday-Sunday. But we had a good time anyway. Well, except for the defending our stance on homeschooling part. But when you're visiting a state capitol colored in blue, what is one to expect?
Actually, if you look beyond the political colors, the capitol building is one of the most beautiful I have ever seen.
Our tour guide was a super-nice, expressive, enthusiastic, knowledgeable lady who was fantastic, except that she was a little bit transparent in her views on homeschooling. These views began to become obvious from the very start of our tour in the Public Hearing Room.
Here in the Public Hearing Room, our guide invited my friend to come forward in a mock hearing in which a new law banning homeschooling is being considered. Our tour guide explained that if such a law was considered, folks from both sides would meet here in this hearing room, and any who wished to speak their mind, would sit in the hot seat where my friend had been invited to sit.
And then she began "questioning".
The most entertaining moment by far came when our guide asked my friend on the stand, "Are you an expert in all subjects? For example, are you a whiz in calculus and trig?"
My friend, an engineer, answered without hesitation, "Yes."
"Oh...well...but you aren't an expert in every subject, are you?"
My friend calmly and eloquently went on to explain that she is not, and that is why she considers herself a facilitator, one with the ability to actively seek experts in fields in which she may be lacking.
Surprisingly, our tour guide stated that her mind had been opened a bit, and she was learning from us. However, she was definitely still not convinced. She explained that she was a former public school teacher (it didn't seem to phase her when I told her I am as well) and that she felt parents have too much of an emotional connection with their children to also be their teachers.
Anyway, of course this bill outlawing homeschooilng was hypothetical, but the scenario continued as she explained that after the hearing, a bill might be proposed and sent on to the Senate. We moved on to the room where the Senators would meet to vote on the bill that would take away my parental rights.
The kids each got a turn sitting in the Lieutenant Governor's big chair.
Our hypothetical bill derailing homeschooling passed the Senate, and we moved on to the House of Representatives to put the bill to a pretend vote.
We pretended the bill passed the House and moved on to the Governor. And, finally, someone with some sense in his head. Our tour guide explained the governor had the power to veto. Of course, she also explained that even if he vetoed it, it could still be overridden.
Our tour guide really was very nice, and I very much appreciate the time she gave to us today. However, there are just a couple of things she should keep in mind: First, as a small group of homeschool kids out today, we had the opportunity to experience Connecticut government firsthand rather than through a textbook propped up on a desk. And second, if such a hypothetical bill ever became reality, I would have to follow through on what I told her when she asked what I would do if such a bill was ever proposed: Fight it!
I know I wouldn't be alone.