July 17th, 2013
This week Jad and I get into a short discussion about children.
Jad and his wife are preparing for the birth of their first child and Jad is especially interested in avoiding a life of corporate slavery in hopes that he can provide a thorough education to his soon-to-be daughter. As a trained educator and former teacher, he’s especially excited about the opportunity.
The conversation is a little shorter and lighter than usual, but hopefully inspires one to consider what their child might be learning in these formidable years.
Kevin: Hello, and welcome back to the JK Podcast, an antiauthoritarian free speech podcast dedicated to liberty, humanity, and equality. This week, Jad and I get into a short discussion about children. Jad and his wife are preparing for the birth of their first child, and Jad is especially interested in avoiding a life of corporate slavery in hopes that he can provide a thorough education to his soon to be daughter. As a trained educator and former teacher, he’s especially excited about the opportunity.
The conversation is a little shorter and lighter than usual, but hopefully inspires one to consider what their child might be learning in these formidable years. I’m Kevin Ludlow and as always, joined by the co-host of the show, Jad Davis. Welcome back to the JK Podcast.
Jad: I could start a new topic.
Kevin: Hit it.
Jad: So we were talking about education and you know, whatever, so I really don’t want to work full time and hand off care of my child to a stranger, so and this is one of those things I had meant to do forever and I’ve done nothing about it, but I never really do things until the time comes to do them you know, until it’s like now I have to start now if I ever want to finish it in time, so I’m trying to think if I can do contracting work.
I mean, I can’t possibly imagine making the same amount of money I am now, but all I would have to make is like 20, 30, $40K to supplement Elisa if she goes back to work. Then I could just do 20, 30 hours a week on my own schedule, and then the rest of the time I could be facilitating the development of my child. And my only touchstone for that kind of thing is you, so I’m probably going to bother you about it a lot.
Kevin: Well fucking bother away. It will be no bother at all. I mean I think one way [?] to do it besides the contract thing is – well not besides the contract thing – but rather than do all the take home work, which you can make a shit ton of money still doing that, you just gotta market it a little bit, but I’m pretty confident that you could do it. I actually got offered a job a couple of weeks ago and the job paid $130 an hour, so that annualizes to about $282,000 –
Jad: That’s pretty good.
Kevin: – and it was only a 3 month gig. I mean if they had said it’s a one year gig I would’ve walked right up to Chris and said, “I’m real sorry, man.”
Jad: But I gotta go.
Kevin: I am not turning that down. So it’s like a 3 month gig right, but the thing is you do something like that, you could work for 3 months, take the next 9 off because in 3 months out of $280,000 salary, you’re still going to pull in – you’re going to make like $90,000 –
Kevin: Which is crazy to people, but you make $90K to work 3 months of the year and then you’re fucking done.
Kevin: Opportunities like that come up quite a bit. Now that was a particularly high one which is why it really caught me off guard, but there’s a lot of opportunities that come up like that a lot that’ll be for shorter term contracts. Usually they pay pretty well because you’ve gotta pay for the brevity of the contract.
Jad: Sure. Right. Right.
Kevin: So that’s typical.
Jad: Yeah. Part of what I want to model – I’ve told you this before I think – but pretty much the only thing you can do for someone – especially a child or whatever – if you want them to be interested in X as an adult is to do X, and then they’re gonna want to do what you’re doing and that kind of thing. So I definitely want to model not what I’ve always done like wage slavery and you know, reluctant working.
I want to model entrepreneurship, like you said, self-marketing, all that sort of stuff is kind of the you know, “I know you can’t take your kid to work every day” sort of thing, but that’s kind of like the model of child rearing that I have in mind is kind of the you know, pre-19th century one where they’re learning how to do whatever it is you’re doing because they’re there and you’re doing it and they’re watching you, and then eventually they –
Kevin: It’s more of a trade at that point, right?
Jad: Yeah, something like that. Yeah.
Kevin: No, I mean I think it’s totally cool. I’m very much in favor of that and I often question – because I really would like to have kids sooner than later, which is an obstacle for me at the moment for obvious reasons – but I do often think about what I would do in that situation as far as specifically what you’re talking about. Not just with the education but with what type of job I would work, how it would work, because I kind of feel like I would do something very similar to what you’re talking about and my sister tells me that she thinks it would be very difficult because she always tells me – I’ve seen it when I go and visit her – she’s like, “you really don’t understand how time consuming a child is.”
Kevin: And [?] it is, but she’s like, “you can’t just put a kid on the floor. It’s not like a dog where you can just let it roam around and it’ll just have fun, it is going to seek your affection.”
Kevin: And she’s like, “it’s unreasonable for you to think that you can sit there and program your computer and the kid’s just gonna hang out, that’s not gonna happen.”
Jad: Right. No, I totally – that totally makes sense. And I think there’s an age component there too, but yeah I mean I guess the 20 or $30,000 I was planning on making in the first 3, or 4, or 5 years of life would be you know, when Elisa comes home and is able to provide child care, then I would go do my 4 hours a day of programming or whatever – more that sort of thing. The other part when they’re actually know – if they’re going to do anything with computers, they’re gonna have to be literate in things, so it’s a much later in life component.
Jad: But man, the first time I can get them to be programming and making money so that I can take a breather, that’s gonna be great – just kidding. The other thing I always think about is trying to do education, you know? Again, as long as my goals are limited to a very small amount of money, like trying to do like education for multiple kids or whatever, in an informal, blackmarket environment.
Kevin: Didn’t you teach? Were you teaching somewhere?
Jad: Yeah, I’ve got – I’m a fairly well-credentialed educator. I taught high school in Austin.
Kevin: Yeah, I thought you did.
Jad: I taught college for years – college courses – and you know I’m pretty good at that kind of thing.
Kevin: Yeah, I think you are.
Jad: And then I spent a lot of time reading about un-schooling, and home schooling, and different methodologies of pedagogy or whatever, but that’s more of a fantasy than anything else, but something I always – I’ve been thinking about too.
Kevin: Well so is home schooling a big you know, is that something that you guys would think about or –
Jad: Oh, for sure. The model I had in mind is beyond home schooling. I think I’ve told you what these guys are for, but there’s a guy named John Holt, and then there’s a bunch of educators from the 50s came up with this point that you don’t need to teach kids much of anything, the child’s native state is to be voraciously curious about everything –
Jad: – and so all you really need to do is to provide them with answers to questions, provide them with resources to do what they wanna do, and they’re going to learn to read and learn to do math, and learn – as they wish to accomplish a task, they’re going to very rapidly learn all of things they need to accomplish that task –
Jad: – and in a much quicker time than if you just start teaching them things in some sort of random order that they may or may not care about at that moment.
Jad: That model is kind of wasteful of time, really.
Kevin: Yeah, we did speak about John Holt. In fact, he’s in one of our recordings, the one where we talk about education and upbringing, and you were really championing those ideas. No, I’m a big supporter of that. I mean, just intuitively, having seen it and having experienced it and I think a lot of the things that I’m capable of doing, I got from the exact same sort of upbringing – not history and things like that, but more practical hands on sort of things. I mean, I just think – I fully believe the cliché of kids being sponges and I’m a big fan of anything like that, and I think it’s pretty simple.
I mean you know you surround yourself with people who are highly intelligent, highly worldly, and capable of providing answers to things which I think it’s highly rewarding, providing answers to children. A lot of people probably see me sometimes as a somewhat impatient person – I don’t really think I am but I think other people might – and when it comes to children, I find that I have an exceptional patience and particularly because they’re learning –
Kevin: – and who the hell wants to deny somebody the ability to learn something?
Jad: Sure. Yeah I know, totally. I find myself in that same spot all the time. My peer group, their kids are usually like mostly under 3 –
Jad: but there’s occasionally like you know, kids older than that, but like yeah, and they wanna know answers to questions and their parents are like, “don’t worry about it, we’ll talk about it”, or whatever because they’re trying to have a conversation with another adult or whatever.
Kevin: It drives me crazy.
Jad: It’s like yeah, why are you wasting your time talking to a stupid adult when there’s like – this kid’s gonna take everything you say and it’s just going to become a part of their world view and their belief structure and that’s where [?] that, “why? Because I said so” – that kind of shit, just drives me nuts. I’m like – that’s wrong. You’re doing something wrong there.
Kevin: Yeah, I agree. There was a girl I dated about 4 or 5 years ago and she had a niece, and after we broke up it was one of the things that she told me, she’s like, “you know, you’re not a very patient” – in fact, she even wrote this somewhere online where other people saw it and it was very endearing to me – but she’s like, “you know, Kevin is definitely not a patient person, however, he is amazingly patient with children”, and I took it as a huge compliment because she was a teacher herself and I thought a very good teacher, and she really praised me a lot when I was around her niece because you know, when I would see her I mean, I could – she could ask me 12 straight hours of questions and I’m not gonna tire out. Now, I get to go home and so that’s perhaps why.
But you know the fact is is that I just really enjoy it and it was just the most trivial of things. The one that always stands out in my mind – which I love telling people – is that we – this one time, we took her to the Children’s Museum downtown and God knows, there’s a million different little things to explain to a kid at the Children’s Museum, and they’re just running around having a grand ole time and the thing that she liked the most was the train room. They’ve got this train and it goes all around. And so two things that happened that day is that after this whole experience, we went outside and she saw a parking meter and for whatever reason I had a bunch of change on me, and she asked me what the parking meter was. Well try explaining what a parking meter is to a 3 year old.
Kevin: It’s really fucking hard, but so I let her start playing with the thing and swear to God I think she was far more mesmerized with this thing, then the hours we’d just spent in the Children’s Museum – just the nature of it you know is just a curiosity to her is like, what is going on here? But then because of her interest in the little trains I was like, “you know what? Fuck that; let’s take this to the next level.” So we drove over to the train yard and just stood out there until a train came and when she saw the thing she was like, “oh my God, this is insane.” And shit man, I could do that all the time.
Jad: Yeah man.
Kevin: It was highly rewarding.
Jad: So you’d have to multiply the number of children by some number, I think that’s ideal educational experience, just like traipsing around like, where do you guys wanna go?
Jad: Let’s go to wherever, “okay”, jump in the van, let’s all go there.
Kevin: Well there’s the little things that come out of it too, right? I mean like, I think I have a fair amount of knowledge about things in the world, and so what’s fun about that is you’re sitting there in front of this giant train which I mean to her is I mean, fuck, I think it’s cool as shit to see trains go by – their huge. But for this little kid to see it I mean, just blowing her mind. And it was right over by the power plants, so I mean it’s going real slow. It’s like where that whole exchange is by the Amtrak station.
Jad: Oh right, yeah.
Kevin: And anyway, but you can just start explaining all sorts of little things about it. You just don’t – I mean I just never really realized until that point in my life I think, just how many questions you’re able to answer, like, the level of education you’re able to give a kid in those brief little interactions –
Kevin: – because why is there smoke, why does it sound like that, why is it so loud, why are the wheels turning like that, why do they have to be a metal – what is that metal, the questions that come from it you would never think of, but you would have a really good answer for every single one of those things, and you can explain real easily how steel works and the nature of shit like that. So it’s just cool.
Jad: Yeah, I agree.
Kevin: And that’s about where we left it. Thank you so very much for tuning in to the show and as always, we would love to hear from you. If you have any questions, comments, or ideas, please contact us at www.JKPod.com. You could also contact either of us through our personal websites. Jad and I are at Jad-Davis.com, and KevinLudlow.com, respectively. Thanks again, and we’ll be back next week.