Tuesday, March 25, 2014

Random Thoughts on Homeschooling (aka Why We're Homeschooling)

I know there are long-time readers of my blogs that are probably wondering if I am on drugs because of the shocking and surprising news that we chose to homeschool our only child this year.

I also know there are other long-time readers of my blogs who are smugly smiling to themselves, thinking, "I knew it would end up like this. She was headed for homeschooling from the very first instance when she started ripping on homeschoolers."

And both sentiments would be correct.

So, yeah, we're eight months into homeschooling first grade. Are we straight-up on-track? Of course not. See previous post and consider if you would be right where you needed to be if you had the kind of past year we have lived through. Nonetheless, we persist and press onward. Besides, I don't know a single homeschooler who is totally on-track. Wait, yes I do. Those two people totally annoy me.

In a nutshell: It's a mega-trial that I don't mind and sometimes actually enjoy. I'm assuming this is normal.

I have times when I feel super-excited about homeschooling, but just because I said that, don't look for me to get all happy-clappy about it like some blogs out there; for example, the ones that cleverly don't ever show you the ugly side of life, but then offer commentary getting all upset that people might actually gasp! horror! find something critical to say about your very public outlay. (OK, she has really great ideas and I've used her book lists more than once. But for God's sake, please stop making it look so easy and perfect; it's really off-putting to the rest of us. Oh, and stop making apologies for the 0.0000001% of photos in which your daughters are wearing pants because the modesty squad doesn't care and neither does God.)

Am I being mean? Perhaps. But my thoughts about that homeschooling blog somewhat echo the thoughts I have whenever I am at a homeschool event, which is, thankfully, not that often. I made a personal executive decision when we switched to homeschooling that I would not purposely torture myself with the sorts of homeschooling activities and get-togethers that I know will automatically drive me nuts.

That being said, every other Monday I bring Alan to homeschool gym class and every other Monday I look around and wonder lots of things, like:

-Do I belong here, really?
-Seriously? You're wearing that? Have you looked at a calendar? It's 2014, not 1992.
-Note to self: Alan will never come here in mis-matched, dirty clothes. (Although I admit I don't know what it's like to get seven kids out the door, so don't accuse me of being heartless; I acknowledge there are things I can't possibly understand.)
-Wow, Char, are you like the biggest bitch ever for thinking these thoughts?
-Would anyone here talk to me if they knew we were family singing "Bohemian Rhapsody" and "Edge of Glory" on the drive over?

So, OK, the good news about homeschool gym is that other parents - who also happen to be friends - who were also at Alan's school (the one that closed) - are also in attendance. Which means I have people to talk to who I think are "normal," and thus, I don't feel alone and deserted in a sea of modest piousness. I've decided that these folks, including myself, represent "hope" in homeschooling - a second or third generation of homeschooling parents who have moved beyond the Catholic Ghetto mindset. At least that's what I'm betting on.

So, anyway, why did we do it?

A big part of it was Common Core. The Milwaukee Archdiocese has all but officially adopted Common Core and it's bullshit and I don't mind saying so in such harsh language. The more I read about it the more outraged I become at the idiocracy that is our government and educators - and sadly - many, many bishops and archbishops. When Alan's school closed we were left with, basically, two (2) parish schools in the entire archdiocese that we found acceptable and those two schools, while not having completely jumped on-board with Common Core from the onset, made it clear that they couldn't fight it off forever. Our attitude about this was: Wow! We can pay X amount of tuition to get Common Core at the Catholic school alongside watered down Catholicism or we can pay nothing and get Common Core at the public school. Gee, what a difficult decision! Not.

The next deciding factor was that the remaining independent, authentic Catholic schools in the Milwaukee area represented a number of issues for us. The one that we were seriously considering suddenly experienced a problematic situation that made us uncomfortable, alongside never really fully cutting ties with its Legionaries of Christ/Regnum Christi beginnings. The other school - also problematic in its administration and also way too far to drive out to.

Oh wait. There is a third school. Everyone who attends there goes to the Latin mass or is SSPX. Yeah, I don't think so.

There was also the reality that when Alan would walk into any first grade classroom, public or parochial, he would automatically be ahead of the curve. Sounds like a good thing, right?  My husband and I didn't think so because our own personal experience was that teachers typically teach to the middle. So if you're high-functioning, you tend to get ignored. And we believe that most kids, not knowing any better in a group setting with other kids, will want to go with the herd - performing at a basic, in-the-middle level. We didn't want Alan to lose the great head start he had when he left kindergarten; a kindergarten that had completed Saxon Math Grade 1 and that had him reading at Grade 2 level.

The nail in the coffin was what I experienced and learned last year when Alan attended kindergarten at his now former school. For six months I volunteered to work on re-documenting the school's entire K-8 curriculum, down to each individual textbook, publisher, novel, and workbook. That process opened my eyes to the true nature of a classical, traditional curriculum, especially and including the Catholic part. Once I saw it and started thinking about it, there was no turning back. Alan had been fed caviar, if you will, and there was no way I was going to feed him junk and crap after that.

In many ways, I feel our decision to homeschool smacks of elitism and I occasionally worry about that. Thing is - like all of us, like all of you reading this - we only have one chance with our kids. I'm just not willing to sacrifice Alan as a Common Core guinea pig, even while I feel bad that others have no choice in the matter. Believe me, I have wonderful parent friends who post on Facebook about the horrors of Common Core math assignments that are coming home, but they just don't have the resources or options to do anything about it. I feel for them, but in the end analysis, it doesn't do me any personal good to worry if I'm coming off as elitist to them simply because we decided to get out of the fray.

There are many days where I deeply, deeply regret the decision to homeschool and it has everything to do with the fact that Alan is an only child and nothing to do with academics. Anyone who understands homeschooling and has been around homeschooled children knows that 90% of the time, the anti-homeschool arguments about the kids not being properly socialized are just bunk. However, in our case, it is my number one worry, given that Alan is alone with us almost 100% of the time and he's very aware of it and very lonely. Some days his behavior screams "I need to be with other kids!" and I can't disagree with him. But when I think it through to its logical conclusion, sending him to a school (of any kind) so that he can have approximately 45 to 60 minutes of playtime with other kids in the form of recess seems to miss the mark entirely. More seasoned homeschool mothers have told me it will get easier when Alan is old enough to participate in more activities. Sometimes I think that day can't come soon enough, and then other times I think such advice translates into my endlessly carting him around everywhere and that's something I can wait on.

Right now Alan goes to Tae-Kwon-Do twice a week, and Cub Scouts is on the agenda for next fall. Will hopefully get piano lessons in there sometime soon. We fit in a few "playdates" (gag, I hate that term) with kids from his old school when it works out for everyone involved. Other than that, it's us and Sponge Bob.

When our life is more settled - OK, get ready for this - I want to get to the point where we could go to a morning mass maybe once a week. This possibility has had to cook and evolve for a long time, given that I still cringe at internet goody-goody homeschoolers who gush all over about how they get to mass EVERY DAY! and if you're not doing the same, well then, you're doing something wrong. Turning off what other homeschoolers do, say, and opine is a big struggle for me.

Like when we recently tried - yet again - going to mass at the parish where more than 50% of Milwaukee area Catholic homeschoolers all congregate. Trust me, I'm gonna blog about that someday. Let's just say I walked out - yet again - wondering if I had landed on a foreign planet? Which makes me feel deeply insecure that not only do I decidedly not "fit in" with the rest of these people, but also makes me wonder why I'm so different from them, yet we've all made the same decision to homeschool and we all care deeply about our shared Catholic faith? AGAIN I had to wonder if I had missed the frumpy modesty memo. AGAIN I had to wonder if I had missed the missive on the absolute necessity of Latin chant and reciting the St. Michael prayer immediately at the close of mass. (Hey, I'm not saying these things are bad. Hardly. What I'm questioning is why all these folks seem to "get it" and I don't.)

So like most everything else in my life, homeschooling thus far is turning out to be another situation where I'm a loner. Will it stay that way?  Probably, since when people ask me what I really think, I respond with what I really think, and then they don't usually have much interest in me. I recently found this to be true when I was asked by more than one person why I don't go to that parish where all the other homeschoolers go? I gather answers that include descriptions like "uber-pious" don't sit well with others. Ha! Ha? It doesn't matter, really - I've never let other people tell me what to do. Yet every so often my inner humanity cries out to be accepted and understood.

I find planning out curriculum easy, interesting, and something I care deeply about. I have loosely stuck with what the first grade curriculum would have been at Alan's former school. But various Facebook Catholic homeschool discussion groups I belong to have intrigued me in terms of exploring more curriculum options. I'm !gag! excited about an upcoming Catholic homeschool conference, though I admit I could care less about the speakers and just want to go so as to examine curriculum and shop. I was recently in a used book store and got all ecstatic about a large selection of kids' dictionaries and it was at that moment that I knew homeschooling may be for me.

But whether it's really for Alan, I don't know.

He is academically way, way beyond where he needs to be. Example - right now he's a first grader reading at a third grade level. We recently caught him in bed reading FOR HIMSELF the first book in the Narnia series! We were bowled over. But......the socialization thing. He is still so much a young, immature six-year-old boy. One minute he's asking us deep, beyond-his-age questions and the next he's talking baby talk and asking me to play mama/baby cat with him.

And also - I hope someone can talk me through this - I'm really excited to be teaching him about his authentic Catholic faith, but feel I am a lousy example, and thus failing at it. You know, the whole do what I say and not what I do thing. I mean, Lent around here is a joke, as usual. My husband routinely tells me to chill out and just give God what little crumbs I can and be satisfied with that until I am able to do better, but then I do things like go hunting for Lent ideas at blogs like the one I highlighted above, and well, you leave those blogs feeling like a lump of crap. Which begs the question, can a family homeschool in a vacuum?

Again, I assume the fears and joys I'm expressing here are normal for a first-year homeschooler. Especially since I have pretty much went at this alone. I didn't join some moms' discussion/prayer group and blubber out all my little insecurities or post a million insecure questions on some forum. I bought the curriculum and just went at it. Well, I did read a little of the Charlotte Mason educational philosophy - which I think(?) I'm totally buying into - but given what's going on in our lives right now, I don't have time to read and learn more. So much for nature walks and narration - the two things I cared the most about are the two things we've done the least.

For now, I look at homeschooling as an experiment. Because that's all it could be at this time. But it's an experiment under OUR control, not under the control of the state, the Federal government, or the Milwaukee Archdiocese.

I plan on continuing next year. (Might as well, since we'll be homeschooling into the summer months and I KNOW I'm not alone on that one,)

I have no plan B if homeschooling doesn't end up being the best choice for our son. Then again, since there's no perfect school and no perfect homeschool, maybe I don't need a plan B. I don't see people with their kids in public school formulating any plan B, so why should I?

Homeschooling is hyper-magnifying our weaknesses as parents and as Catholics. There are times when I feel those are reasons alone to quit. Other times I see these weaknesses as an invitation to change, and can see that homeschooling is so, so much more than academics. Needless to say, the stress of the last year is something that needs to be overcome before I can work on "me." So Alan is being schooled by sinners who, at minimum, are aware of their status as mega-sinners. Tune in next year for a status update.

We do not feel we are superior to anyone who has made any other educational choice for their kids. I mean that sincerely. Although once in awhile I would appreciate an honest assessment by secular types of the obvious problems with educational reforms innovations that are untried, untested, and closely resemble communist ideals. Not to mention some acknowledgment of the dismal social atmosphere that permeates so many schools, with secular and immoral ideologies promoted and accepted all around - sometimes more through the students than the teachers or curriculum.

Family members, as of yet, haven't given us any flack so far, and we don't expect any. Neither, for the most part, have our friends, even while I know some of them have likely talked about our decision behind our backs. The worst we've had to deal with is our new neighbors who are effusive in their support for our town's public schools and who keep reminding us that the grade school Alan would be attending is only three blocks away and it is soo sooo great! We find it amusing that proximity is being used as an argument for attending a school. People know so little about what an education really is. I get in arguments on Facebook about Common Core and many times people just want to defend it because they really, really like the school their kid goes to or the teacher their kid has, and well, then, Common Core must be great! GROAN.

This blog post has been quite self-indulgent, and for this I apologize. My only defense is that I've been offline for so long, it takes awhile to catch up.

I expect some flack for what I've written here and that's OK. I am open to questions, of course.

Thursday, March 13, 2014

That Deacon Sandy Church? That's Where I Grew Up!

My life is such right now - because of homeschooling and the house being insane with contractor work and my not having blogged for, essentially, a year - that I'm out of the habit of reading the many, many Catholic blogs that I used to. It's still probably for the best, given that I haven't backed down from being mostly drawn to conservative Catholic topics like a fly to sh*t.

Nonetheless, in the last two weeks, as I've been perusing a few sites and blogs, the name "Deacon Sandy" has popped up a few times. At first I ignored these stories, but then when I kept seeing the consistency of coverage, I finally clicked in to see what all the fuss was about. I couldn't believe it when I figured out that all the hoopla is about a deacon at the Catholic parish in which I was (mostly) raised!

However, I'm gonna say this: Not surprised. Thus, what follows is my own personal story and memories, which might add a little sliver of understanding to what's happening at this Wisconsin parish that is currently in the limelight.

Good Shepherd in Menomonee Falls! I lived in Menomonee Falls from 1978 (third grade) until I moved away in the middle of college in 1989. My parents remained there until 1998. During the years in which my parents actually went to mass (which wasn't for very long), and during the longer range in which they had my brother and I participating in CCD, the majority of church time put in was at Good Shepherd. Not all, but most.

When we moved back to Wisconsin in 1978 - after a two-year hiatus in the Bible belt - my parents were both still semi-high off the Cursillo Movement and the backyard folk masses that they were involved with when we lived in northern Wisconsin. It was there that my father converted to Catholicism from non-practicing Lutheran when I was about three or four years old, and his conversion was clearly predicated on the touchy-feely version of Catholicism that was so prevalent in the early 1970's. I have vague memories of these backyard masses and they are happy, fun memories of playing on swingsets with the sound of guitars in the background. My Dad was probably playing one of the guitars! Don't ask me how I know this, but I know for a fact that they were the kind of masses where a big loaf of bread was used for communion and the drinks were rolled out immediately following mass. That's just how it was back then.

Coming back to Wisconsin, living in the Milwaukee area was something my Mother never wanted. Long story there, but suffice it to say, I think she actively looked around for a parish that would maybe, hopefully, bring back that good Catholic feeling to help her deal with a situation that she was unhappy about. I suppose it may have been providential for her that we ended up in Menomonee Falls, given that in all of the Milwaukee archdiocese, the most hippy trippy happy clappy parish was to be found right there under her nose. I don't know how she stumbled upon Good Shepherd, but it might have something to do with the fact that she was pissed off at the first church we attended in Menomonee Falls (St. Mary's). That parish made my brother and I re-do our "first" confessions because our actual first confessions weren't face-to-face style. Not just that, but she was furious that I found out about sexual intercourse in a 4th grade CCD class. (Please note that Archbishop Rembert Weakland was our bishop at the time.)

I know we were attending Good Shepherd parish on a regular basis by the time I was at least finishing 5th grade. The church space was odd, and I know for a fact that my parents liked it that way. Truth be told, I initially found it to be a novelty, but later came to recognize it as mind-numbingly drab and depressing. It was nothing but a very large church hall. The kind that is found in the basement of every Catholic parish, except at this church, there was no church! It was designed from the start to be a box with pews. Furnishings were typical blonde wood of the 50's/60s era and there were lots of banners. I can't recall if there were windows - stained glass or otherwise? This state of affairs might have something to do with the fact that Good Shepherd parish was not an old church that had early on wreckovated everything. Rather, it was a brand new parish that came out of nowhere in the late 1950's.

Here's what I do remember: Father Fran and guitars. Lots of guitars. Oh, and big chunks of wheat bread ripped from loaves for communion.

Father Fran Eschweiler was a Menomonee Falls legend, although I don't really know why. No one ever told me. Pop's Custard (still there and still really, really good) even had a custard flavor named after him, and when that flavor appeared on their sign, people flocked in to buy it. I suspect Father Fran was a big social justice guy because back then, and to this day, Good Shepherd was/is all about the social justice. (Oh wait. I just researched on the internet. This explains EVERYTHING.) Anyway, for whatever reason it was, when I was a kid, Good Shepherd was packed on Sundays because of Father Fran. I'm sure there were people coming to mass from outside of our cozy little suburb just to see him from all over the Milwaukee area.

My memories of Father Fran are few but solid. He was a short guy, already graying and old. He liked giving hugs. He always had a smile on his face. What kid didn't like that? I really liked him and I know that even while my brother and I moaned about having to go to mass each week, it was made better by the fact of Father Fran's presence.

Mass at Good Shepherd was a guitar experience. All the way, baby! Folk music central. Now mind you, I grew up with a father who was into the Kingston Trio and sang me to sleep while playing Peter, Paul, and Mary on his guitar. Thus, I have a soft spot for folk and always will. And remember that my earliest memories of mass involve backyards and more guitars. So this state of musical affairs didn't really impress me as odd. I knew enough that Good Shepherd was different from the other church in town, but it wasn't a big deal to me or, seemingly, to my parents.

But looking back, the guitars were over-the-top, and here is why: The Kids Mass. Good Shepherd had a Kids Mass we could go to, complete and separate from the regular mass, and my parents were absolutely enchanted with this idea. Now don't misread me - this wasn't the situation where the children leave mass during the homily and return back with (as Erin Manning likes to quip) their "Jesus Loves Me" coloring page. Nope. This was an entire mass for kids, led by a separate priest (deacon? worship team?), in a large room behind the main church (the gym?) that was rocking it's own guitar vibe concurrent with the Adult Mass. At least that's how I remember it.

The Kids Mass is where I learned to resent pandering to kids. I'm sure the homilies were geared to a kids' level and that we benefited - of this I have no doubt. But it was the music. And the puppets. And, perhaps even, the balloons? But most of all, the forced sing-a-long church songs, all accompanied by guitars, guitars, and more guitars (and tamborines). They tried and tried to get us to sing along and out loud, but we all just sat there self-conscious, not wanting to stick out and then be made fun of back at school. It was a hippy-conceived nightmare of guitar praise and worship.

After going to more than a handful of these masses, I'm pretty sure I wanted to be with my parents in the main church, but I knew in my heart that my parents found this innovative approach to religion so wonderful that I couldn't say anything. They LOVED the Kids Mass because they felt we were being spoken to and ministered to in a way that was just right for us.

Memories of CCD at Good Shepherd are vague. I recall very empty hallways in the school building and being confused as to which classroom I was supposed to go into, because the halls and rooms all looked the same - empty and devoid of decoration. Almost like a time capsule tomb. (I researched on the internet that Good Shepherd's school closed in 1971, which is mighty, mighty early for a Catholic school to fail, if you ask me.) I also remember not wanting to go to CCD there, as well as being allowed to ride my bike to get there a handful of times, and my purposely dawdling and riding around on side streets so that I would be late.

Then, just as quickly as we had suddenly switched over to Good Shepherd parish, we just as suddenly reverted back to St. Mary's about five years later. My mother claimed that my brother and I started whining about wanting to go to CCD where our current batch of friends were going, and I guess for a time that wasn't at Good Shepherd. I was confirmed at St. Mary's by Bishop Cousins. Looking back, I feel happy that it wasn't Rembert Weakland, which it just as easily could have been, given that Cousins confirmed me while infirm and sitting in a wheelchair, and he died not two years later.

Fast-forward to recent times.

My father had died. Later, my mother met someone. They decided to get married. He was divorced and decidedly not interested in an annulment; his divorce had occurred 25 plus years ago. My mother wanted a Christian wedding and didn't know who would perform it. I asked around and found someone - an ex-priest who was now married. And guess where he attended church now? Good Shepherd.

Discussing this ex-priest in certain circles, I was appraised of the current situation at Good Shepherd: Ex-priest? You're welcome at Good Shepherd. Gay and practicing? Good Shepherd. Leaning towards or outright pro-womyn priest? Good Shepherd. Suspended priest? Good Shepherd. Really into social justice? Good Shepherd.

Now, let me be clear. What I'm alleging is hearsay. Take it for what it's worth, given that I'm not attending the church and can't personally vouch for this situation. But I'm pretty sure that the priests who have spoken with me about Good Shepherd, while maybe embellishing a bit for emphasis and comic relief, aren't lying about the general profile of parishioners who attend there.

Which is why whatever's going down at Good Shepherd with Deacon Sandy isn't a surprise because this is the legacy of Good Shepherd. This isn't anything new over there; supposed heresy would be the natural outgrowth, based on its history.

Some might wonder why a parish so steeped in near or outright heresy and supposed liturgical abuse has been allowed to continue on as it has for decades? The easy answer is Archbishop Rembert Weakland. He ran the show in Milwaukee for so many years, and clearly he was, at least, a partial fan of what was going on. In the years since Weakland had to step down? It may be that Archbishop Timothy Dolan and our now bishop, Jerome Listecki, believe that a parish like Good Shepherd must exist in order to minister at the most minimum level to those who still wish to remain Catholic. In my opinion, it may be nothing more than an act of mercy.

Despite what I have described here, a tiny part of my heart has some good-feeling sentimentalism about my time at Good Shepherd. Age can do that to you.

I also question if something happened in my Catholic formation at Good Shepherd - that even though I left the Church for many years - I came back to it, and with such vigor? Did something happen at Good Shepherd that planted a good seed? Who knows?

Anyway, I'm pretty sure the time has finally come for somebody to address the liberal legacy that is Good Shepherd. That is, unless, like I suggested, the Church has many different forms of mercy. The Church is much wiser than all of us.....I have to believe that Christ knows His flock and provides for them.

We await many answers from the Lord about things that mystify us, don't we?

Sunday, March 9, 2014

Reason #368 I Wish I Had Never Listened to Trad Commentary About Anything

So, I know some people think it's not too classy to talk about what you gave up for Lent. The whole don't let your right hand know what your left hand is doing and praying in the streets to be noticed thing and all that. But stick with me here.

I'm not big on giving up things for Lent. Never have been, and as long-time followers of my blog know, I have mega issues with the no meat on Fridays restriction. I follow it mostly; although this year I probably won't be overly-strict about it because I gave up sugar and all carbs for Lent and if that isn't suffering, I don't know what is. I admit it was mostly a health decision that I hope becomes more spiritual as Lent progresses. Anyway, when you make such a huge change to how you eat, believe me, it's all about what you can have. Meat and vegetables are what power a low/no carb diet. Sorry Church.

What I normally do for Lent is add on things. Like an extra mass a week, or Stations of the Cross, etc. This year I decided that I will read St. Faustina's Diary by the end of the Lent, given that two people who love me very much have endeavored to give me gift copies AND my Catholic therapist has been after me to read it.

This afternoon I sat down in my beautiful new living room with a cup of coffee and started to read the introduction and immediately became seized with the exact same thoughts as when I tried to read this book once before, many years ago. These thoughts are:

Damn Trads. Damn Trads and SSPXers with all their casting aspersions on any saint canonized after Vatican II. Damn uber-uber-uber Catholics openly ranting on the internet about how suspicious it was that Pope John Paul II, a Polish man, got a Polish nun canonized, and hey, shouldn't we be questioning that a little bit more? Isn't that, shall we say, a very pro-Polish agenda? Besides, it says right there in the diary that Faustina's writings used to be subject to various censures and restrictions. Then add in assorted commentary about all the fast-tracking of canonizations since Vatican II, which of course makes them invalid?

I wish wish wish that I had never heard these arguments, no matter how extreme (or well-intentioned) they might be. Or how much of a minority voice they might represent. Yes, I know it's not all Trads - please don't remind me it's not all of them; I get that.

Here's the thing: Words matter. (The irony of me saying that isn't lost on me.) But still, there are some kinds of words that one can't forget - that, at minimum, are meant to plant doubt. Traditional Catholicism excels at this kind of thing. All it takes is one little grain of doubt to get you questioning your mass, the consecration at your mass, your parish, your priest, your devotions, your Catholic school, etc.

I hate it.

OK, I still firmly intend to read Sister Faustina's Diary this Lent, but with the caveat that part of it has been ruined for me by the things I've seen and read out there.

My husband says: Maybe we should perhaps consider that the Holy Spirit, in its infinite wisdom, has allowed certain saints to be fast-tracked because of the intense need and help we sinners here on earth have of them? And he also reiterated to me that the problem with certain Traditional Catholics is that they want to be the judge and arbitrator, instead of allowing the Church to do her own job.

Well I'm gonna try real hard to remember these points, but it's gonna be difficult.

Trad commentary on many subjects (but not all) is like the car wreck scene I can't get out of my mind's eye. Sometimes I wonder if that's exactly what they want? Like the scene they've made of Fatima.The Trads have totally ruined that for me. I will likely never have a devotion to anything Fatima-related or read anything about it.

So, anyway, welcome Lent. Say a short prayer that I might have some mercy on the Traditional Catholics that get under my skin.