My Dinner With Gilbert (Fortnight: Day 03)
Sometimes, you have to travel a certain distance to find sufficient numbers of your intellectual equals in the same room, for the purposes of breaking bread. I got off work early, took three hours to drive fifty miles along the busiest highway east of the Mississippi, and had dinner in Fredericksburg with the local chapter of the American Chesterton Society. ACS president Dale Ahlquist sat at one end of the table, while English-American author and scholar Joseph Pearce sat at the other. We had a great time discussing the effects of contraception on the downfall of European civilization, why Muslim immigration would not necessarily result in their takeover of the continent (confirming the prediction of at least one prominent futurist), and why American college students, with the exception of those having been homeschooled, could barely construct a sentence.
I was very fortunate. Dad earned his degree in classical languages at Xavier University in 1948, and briefly taught English and Latin in public high schools east of Cincinnati. In kindergarten, I could already read books. In fact, I was actually taken to other classrooms at Milford South Elementary, and was invited to read in front of the other students, especially the kids in the back who required some sort of motivation, namely me. (To this day, I cannot imagine how that worked.)
Today I attend the annual IHM Catholic Homeschooling Conference, being held here in Fredericksburg. You would think that I would be a fish out of water attending a very family-oriented event. After all, I'm no Ozzie to anyone's Harriet, right? And you'd be right, but only to a point. This is one event where I can be at home with the like-minded, buy a few old books here and there, make kids of all ages laugh at my stupid jokes, and every now and then, have someone come up to me and say, “Hey, you’re that guy with the blog!”
It never gets old.