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The Day I Became an Autodidact - Open Knowledge — LiveJournal

Jul. 30th, 2003

03:07 am - The Day I Became an Autodidact

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http://www.billsbest.com/peautodi.html

An autodidact is, simply, a self-educated person.

Kendall Hailey is the author of an amazing book, entitled, The Day I Became an Autodidact. It's a journal of her decision to begin a life of self-education. It's amazing because it begins in her junior year of high school and traces her choice to finish high school early and her self-educational adventures. As her friends head off to college, it's obvious that they won't be getting a tenth of the education that Hailey is giving herself.



Hailey's father is a playwright and her mother a novelist, and you'll understand how heredity works when you read her clear, direct prose. It's like sunshine poured out onto the pages. She's a literary lioness who devours the Greeks, the Russians, and the Romantics with equal fervor. She expresses her views on writers, genres, and entire cultures with an authority all out of proportion to her years. This is one scary kid, but one that you will want to know better.

She has become the poster child for home-schooling. Advocates point to her book as though it explained or justified their decision to abandon the school system. Let's be clear here: Hailey is self-educated, not home-schooled. There's a world of difference.

Hailey began her quest for self-education in 1988. Today she's a writer and actress who has received some good reviews for her work in modern and classical plays. The only danger to reading The Day I Became an Autodidact is that you might compare your energy level to hers, your reading list to hers, and come away with the feeling that you've somehow wasted your life.

Comments:

From:s3nsational
Date:July 30th, 2003 07:24 am (UTC)

Yay, Kendall Hailey!

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I read her book when I was in high school and she really inspired me. Shortly thereafter, I quit school and became an autodidact myself. :)

She's quite an amazing person---I'd love to meet her someday.
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From:crasch
Date:July 30th, 2003 02:10 pm (UTC)
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Awesome. I'd like to meet her too!
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From:theolive
Date:March 12th, 2004 01:04 am (UTC)
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hmmm...where did you read about Kendall's acting? I seem to remember exactly ONE play, one her mother had written, that she appeared in, and that was over 15 years ago...the internet movie database lists no credits for her at all, either as an actress or writer. I read the book when it came out, and wondered what she'd done since.
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From:crasch
Date:March 12th, 2004 02:23 am (UTC)
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I don't remember where I found the essay now. I also don't know what she's done since the book was written.
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