Worldschool Fall Semester 2012: Urban Planning

September 2 – 3
Pompei, Herculaneum & Mount Vesuvius, Italy

Nature always wins, eventually

Lots of folks want to know how we educate our kids while remaining location-independent. It’s a fair enough question in its own right, although, for the moment, it really only pertains to Oliver, seeing as how he is the only member currently in our company who is school-aged.  As for Kendley, well, we’d be elated if she could just manage to clue us in prior to when she decides to poop in in her pants.  Words and themes, such as “socialization”, “curriculum” and “assessments” are frequently mentioned as arguments against homeschooling as a method, but despite initial reservations, I’d say whatever it is that we’re doing is really working out.

Barista, circa 79AD

Early last month on our way around the Bay of Naples, we visited the two cities of antiquity that were sealed over by the 79AD eruption of Mount Vesuvius.  Pompeii, and lesser known but better-preserved (IMHO) Herculaneum presented tactile evidence of the ancient communities that once thrived behind the tephra-coated walls.  As we inched our way along the corridors and thoroughfares of the cities and poked our noses into crumbling villas to glimpse still-intact frescoes on the walls; the way these people lived, nearly 2,000 years ago, became even more evident.  Bath complexes still bore the cubby-holes where bathers stashed their togas before entering the tepidarium (warm room), on their way to the caldarium and frigidarium  (hot and cold baths).   Ollie pretended to serve us up cappuccinos from the dolia (earthenware jars) at the various thermopolia where Pompeians once had their lunches together, and we all lingered before the doorway at the House of the Tragic Poet, where a mosaic in the floor depicted a ferocious dog and the iconic warning: “Cave Canem” (Beware of Dog).

Bay of Naples from Mount Vesuvius
View of the Bay of Naples from the crater rim of Mt. Vesuvius

And for good measure, we later made the pilgrimage to the crater’s rim.  The sheer size of the smoldering beast replete with plumes of sulphur-smelling steam, settled uneasily on our nerves, especially when we shifted our perspective to the urban sprawl that spread across the plain below.  Even Naples with its millions didn’t seem out of reach, were Vesuvius to awaken again.  It had a profound impact on Ollie, who made model volcanoes in the sands down the Campanian and Calabrian coastline for weeks.

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  1. Sis, oh what a wonderful blog. And I can read it right from my phone. I miss the sweet kiddos , and when Ollie went to grab for Kendley it made me feel like I was still in Italy with you guys. Miss you lots and lots. Xoxo.

    1. Thanks, Sissy!!! We wish you were still here. Ollie constantly compares my sorry Angrybirds skills to Auntie’s (mine are far inferior). Lots and lots of love from all of us. xxoo

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