Friday, October 11, 2013

Interviews and Unschooling

Image by popturfdotcom here

Yesterday, Mum and I made a movie together. We settled down in the living room and set up out tripod, a dining room chair with a pile of out-of-date encyclopedias sitting on. I sat in one of the big armchairs. Mum set up the camera on the 'tripod'. Today Mum would be interviewing me about being unschooled and about studying at university.

I glanced at the list of questions I had sitting in my lap. We discussed what I was going to say. Was this a good idea? It felt a lot like public speaking, which scares me. I'd much rather sing to a crowd than speak to them. Taking a deep breath, I waited for Mum to start filming. The little red light appeared on the camera. I smiled at my non-existent audience and began to speak.

Once I got going, it wasn't too scary after all. Every so often we stopped the camera, discussed what I was going to say in the next segment. Mum took a rest from holding onto the camera.And then we carried on. I talked for what seemed to be ages before we finally got through all the questions and finished filming.

Then Mum took the video to her room, downloaded it onto her computer and started editing it into something acceptable for other people to see. As I passed her room occasionally, I caught snatches of my own voice, babbling on about one thing or another, and winced. There is nothing so humbling as hearing your own voice. It didn't take long for Mum to have the movie finished though.

"Do you want to see it?" Mum asked me.

I shook my head at once. "No thanks. I don't like listening to myself talk."

But even though I didn't watch it, other family members told me that it was good. It seemed that me sitting in front of a camera and attempting to talk about my experiences unschooling and now studying at university had ended up with a fairly good video. Already we're thinking about the next movie. Now that I've been interviewed once, I wouldn't mind too much doing it again. My brothers and sisters might have a turn too. Who knows what we might come up with next?

If you're interested in hearing what it was like to be unschooled, and what it's like to study university over the internet, then please check out my interview. You can find it here: Imogen Talks about Unschooling and University

Thursday, October 3, 2013

Feeling Like a Jane Austen Heroine

Photo by Ben Sutherland on Flickr

Right now I feel like one of Jane Austen's heroines. Except not quite so witty and elegant. Or maybe Cinderella, except I have both my shoes and I don't go around covered in ashes. Why? Because one of my kind friends has invited me to go to a ball. I've never been to one of those before, but I've read enough Jane Austen to know I'm in for a good time.

Finding accommodation, shoes and jewellery is the easy part of getting ready for the ball. I exchange a few emails with the college holding the ball and hey presto, I have a room reserved for me. No, the real challenge is trying to find a dress for a five foot something girl who's rather interested in having at the very least, thick straps on her dress.

We search for a dress. Many hours hunting on internet shops and walking round real shops tells me two things. Ball gowns with sleeves or thick straps are hard to find. How on earth would one ever be able to keep a dress with no straps on? And finding a ball gown that fits a short person like me perfectly? That's impossible. By the time we find a dress, I felt about three feet tall. Surely I am not that small. It is only thanks to my amazing mum that we find a dress at all.

The dress arrives less than a week later, and I try it on. It's a pretty silver blue, with three layers of shiny, slippery fabric and jewels around the neckline. And it's long. Very long. To even walk I have to hold up huge handfuls away from my feet. Just one look at the dress and we can all see, it's going to need some serious altering to make it short enough for me to wear. We measure it, fold the hem, measure it again. Finally, after hours of work, we reach a decision. I have to have exactly half a foot lopped off the end of the dress. And with such a complicated dress to turn up, we have to get a professional tailor to do it for us.

But the hard parts are done, and the ball is looming closer and closer. Soon my beautiful ball gown will come back from the tailor. Soon I'll be able to try everything on properly and see exactly what it all looks like. Soon I'll be off to a ball with my friends, dancing, having a good time, and feeling rather like a Jane Austen heroine.

My mum has also written a post about me going to a ball: Wanted: One Prince Charming. Please pop over and share her humorous post about finding a Prince Charming.