You do not believe in censorship
and yet you sit there and complain that
I accept work with curses. Work that is
about process, about drafting, about stretching.
I do not censor youthful voices
that may want to shout,
to try new language, new words.
We learn about audience and persona
and your child is allowed to stretch her wings
to try on new faces and expressions with me.
She is allowed to find her voice in my class room,
even if her voice
is louder than you like.
Victorian baggage: “Children should be seen and not heard.” That sentence is the most odious in the English language, and should itself be banned.
Well. There are moments… 😉
This particular mama was telling me how her daughter is not allowed to say certain things, and I casually replied that was between her and her daughter, but that I do not censor my students’ voices. Writing is about process and discovery. She interpreted that to mean that I believe she does censor her daughter’s voice. If she does some thinking about the implications of that, it won’t be a bad thing. It’s like Princess Leia said, “The more you tighten you grip, the more star systems will slip through your fingers…”
Writing causes a person to process, to pass words through his/her own particular set of filters. I discouraged my son from blurting mindlessly, so as to prevent the kind of Victorian-style mind violence that seeks to crush the human spirit.
Yes- writing is excellent process.
There are times when I have serious reservations about the ‘seen’ bit, too. Many modern kids would benefit enormously from a spot of Victorian upbringing!
I feel sorry for those poor Victorian parents who missed out on knowing their children because they were raised by nannies and then sent to boarding schools. There is a happy medium needed in there somewhere.
The later period for the less affluent ones did have that medium, although the father’s involvement was usually too little. But then, with two working parents these days, is it much better?
This exactly how I feel about my students and their voices. Great piece! 🙂
It has been a while, and I had forgotten how charmed I am by the vibrance and elegance of your work! Thank you for the like and reminding me. 🙂
My pleasure. Thanks for stopping in!
This is fantastic
Thank you, Rajiv.
I appreciate you stopping by!
how else are they supposed to find their voices? ….well-said!!
I know. It makes me slightly crazy. Kids need safe places to say things that are counter to their parents or their society. They need to be safe to explore their thinking. It’s just practice.
indeed…i bet you make one heck of a teacher..:)