A Day in The Life of an Unschooler

I am sitting on my bed in front of my computer, which is resting on a chest of drawers that doubles as my bedside table. My mother told me yesterday that sitting less than twenty centimeters away from your computer is bad. It can make you especially susceptible to cancer, she said. Something to do with radiation. I will have to look that up. My back is slouched. That is also bad. It is slightly uncomfortable and, apparently, can prevent your spine from setting straight if done excessively in your formative years. I keep telling myself to straighten up, but this takes effort and is also slightly uncomfortable, so I opt for the easier option: slouching. I will sit up straight later on at dinner.

Speaking of which, I am hungry now. I can hear the clashing of pots and pans in the kitchen. I believe that is a signal that dinner is being made. From the sound of it, my father is cooking. I know it’s him because firstly, he slams things and works with a speed and urgency I believe is unnecessary; the dishes sound as if they are being bashed against the counter and the chopping of carrots resounds throughout the house like a series of distant executions. Secondly, my mother’s voice is closer to here than it is to the kitchen, so I know that she cannot be in there cooking. I have a feeling I should be offering to help. I will go to help.

I offered to help and was told to put away my clothes instead.

I put away my clothes. I had some mild and some not-so-mild digs made at me. I had dinner, which was rice noodles fried with vegetables. (I think I forgot to sit up straight!) I re-watched a film with my family called A Long Way Down. It is about four strangers who become acquainted with one another on New Year’s Eve at the top a building they plan to jump off.

This morning I went for a run. It was not a satisfying run because it mostly consisted of short self-conscious stretches of running interspersed with long self-conscious stretches of walking. However, it was a start to an attempt at fitness. It gave me a vague feeling of achievement.

The next thing of relevance that I did was copywork. Now, copywork, for those unacquainted, is a writing exercise where you copy passages from good books to improve your writing. The idea is that the grammar, punctuation and sentence structure get embedded into your brain, and you naturally widen your vocabulary. It is something I actually find quite fun. This is why: I only copy from things that interest me.

After that, I had a phone conversation with my friend. We discussed birthdays, reading and the POSSIBILITY of an upcoming trip to Paris. We both have our birthdays in the next few months. She says, “If you can’t do something exciting on your birthday, then do something vaguely exciting.”

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