E received her law course results and she got a good pass. The personal feedback about her essay was somewhat disappointing to her until I pointed out that the law students had been set up to fail. Why else would the course demand a rigid word count? My daughter could have (and did) write an essay twice as long as that required then pruned it ruthlessly.
We said, "You have passed a difficult course with a good grade. You were seventeen when you decided to take the course - a University level course - and you passed. This is a magnificent accomplishment so please, please be proud of yourself."
E has great difficulty in being proud of her accomplishments - they are never quite good enough, even though she does exceptionally well. I shall carry the pride for her. I am proud of her huge efforts, her diligence, her determination, her persistence even when she is feeling unwell, her questioning heart and her sense of justice.
She deserves every success. I know it has been hard for her to stand outside the coddling, infantilising cocoon of school and still make her way. No one submits your work for you. No one arranges your exams. It is a lonely road in many respects, but, when you have reached your goals, you can tell yourself that "I did it my way." To do it despite society's pressures must develop your character. To succeed despite the constant chant that 'School is best' is a massive accomplishment.
I salute all home educating young people in their homes, in their friends' and neighbours' and acquaintances' houses as they go about building a real community. I salute them in their places of interest and anywhere they go. They are all magnificent. They are all such examples to us of what people should be. I salute them.
And to their parents: teach your young to recognise, understand and give love. Teach them to listen and watch. Teach them logic. Teach them to respect themselves and other people, and you will have taught them everything of worth that one human can pass to another.
May you all succeed in whatever you choose to succeed in this New Year, and on into the future.
I wish you all happiness and good health, and an exceptionally good 2011.