RON COX AND DAUGHTER HEATHER
The big, bad wolf "huffs and
puffs" in falsetto, according to
Ron Cox's version of the "Three
In fact, all the characters in
traditional children's stories have
undergone a biological change
since he began reading to his 31/2
year-old daughter, Heather.
"We change each 'he' and
'his' in the reading books to
'she' and 'her.," Cox explains,
"so Heather can potentially see
herself in any of those situations—so she will not feel molded into a particular role."
Cox, a 35-year-old investment
planner with Exxon, as well as a
co-founder of the Male Awareness Center of Houston, says he
spends most of his after-work
hours with Heather. "We play
'cowboys and Indians' (an outside influence) which I'm trying
to change to 'ranchers and cowhands'," Cox explains. "We
make teepees in the livingroom
or I play a horse and she gets on
"I'm a swimmer so we swim
a lot. I remember an incident at
a swimming pool when Heather
was two years old," says Cox.
"She was wearing only bathing
trunks (no top) and a little boy
approached her, asking if she
was a boy or a girl. Heather
responded proudly, "I'm a little
Cox recalls reading a book on
parent effectiveness training that
suggested treating children as
adults. "One night I came home
from work and sat down with
the newspaper. Heather came
up, hit the paper and said, 'I
want to play with you, Daddy.'
I explained I was reading the
paper—why didn't she do something else. She left but returned
a few minutes later with the
same action and request. This
went on two or three times
until I finally said, 'You're
making me mad—I want to read
the paper.' To which she replied, 'You're making me mad,
too-1 want to play!'
"It was so beautifully done,
I had to give in. It works both
Cox feels Heather helps him
re-educate himself and re-consider his value system. "She
wanted to put ketchup in her
milk," recalls Cox, "and since I
don't particularly like either of
those things separately, much
less together, I said 'don't do
that'. She looked at me and
asked why. That nice little
innocent 'why' put me thinking
"When my parents, for example, told me 'don't', I accepted that, never questioned it. It's
amazing how often I learn from
her questions and realize that
my set of values is not the same
as hers—and shouldn't be forced
on her, an individual."
With both parents involved in
the men's and women's movements (Heather's mother, Dot-
tie, is an active feminist), Heather attends a child care center.
Having a daughter-child, Cox
tries not to be "overprotective.
One day at school I saw her
climb high and flip over and off
the monkey bars to the ground.
I held my breath until she landed safely.
"However, she did come
home one day saying she wanted
to be a boy, to 'do what the big
boys do.' It turned out that she
saw only the boys climbing
trees—many of the other girls
couldn't since they were wearing
Cox believes that men should
spend less time out of the home,
and women, less time in the
home. "A child sees the mother's activities every day," he
says, "while the father leaves
every morning for a mysterious
job, making the 'man's role'
seem more exciting to the child.
Since Dottie spends more time
at home where she studies, she
does more around the home;
however, I am as likely to cook
and clean up as she . . . and
Heather sees this. Dottie purposely worked on Saturdays for
a while so I could be home
alone with Heather."
Reflecting on childraising,
Cox says, "The biggest thing I
begrudge is the time she takes
away from Dottie's and my
relationship. There is so much
pressure on a married couple to
have a child. We were never
supposed to question it. I feel
if we had known then what we
know now, Dottie and I wouldn't have adopted Heather . . .
There is so much responsibility.
"But," he adds, "she's so
beautiful—she's a person and we
are 100 percent attached to her.
And it's such a challenge raising
a non-sexist child." _R H
Kit van \^}eove
|w° Duel I Court
r-lourton, Texas 77006
ilbstata/tesgner house of coleman 713/523-2521
Good Used Books
2419 S. Shepherd
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P. O. Box 88072
£ the ^m! school
Remember ' life '. that peculiar but invigorating process that we were doing in the 60s? That process which curious and adventurous souls in
other lime and other places have pursued with such intriguing and diverse results? Listen to the different ways some pathfinders have responded
to the question
What is life? "
...hut a dream. G. Buddha.
"...a blast. " A. tin stein.
"...a real switcheroo. " M. Breckinridge.
...an uphill struggle. " R. Sisyphus.
"...a sweet mystery. V. Herbert.
"...a strutting player. " L. Rentzel.
"...just one damned thing after another. B. Graham.
"...a gas." C. Chessman.
"...a party. H. luce.
...a bit trying at times. " P. Pilate,
"...amen. J. Christ.
Now there's a little corner of life m Houston where you may Jin d others who are not content merely to sunive the 70s. persons who believe
that growth is possible even in a decade which gave us Diet Sprite and Jimmy Carter.
This little corner of life is THE WALKING SCHOOL A school without walls, a class without a teacher, learning without fear, analysis without
a couch. Esulen without chic.
THE WALKING SCHOOL is Doug Milburn and whoever joins him on his walks. The walks may he mind-walks talking, rolc-pluving.
reading, discussing, propounding—word-dances to many kinds of word-music in the form of readings from strange and wonderful sources. The
walks may be body walks creating, dancing, performing, running, eating, watching, listening, applauding, playing, working, and perhaps even
THE WALKING SCHOOL beyond gurus, beyond ideologies, beyond religions, philosophies and analytical games, the chameleon and the
chrysalis meet in the field where blooms Blake s sunflower grown weary of time.
THE WALKING SCHOOL is not for everyone. If you miss the Eugs. wish you knew how Glenn Gould does it. have considerable respect for
AS. Neill. feel the Gay Political Caucus and the National Organization for Women are equally important, see a great future for yourself, realize
that Marshall McLuhan is forgotten but not gone, wonder if steep may not have some functions other than that of rest, have some sneaking
suspicion of the infinite creativity within us all. THE WALKING SCHOOL may he for you.
Sometimes waiting is walking. Sometimes walking is waiting. When you walk, sometimes it is more fun to walk alone Sometimes it is more
fun to walk together. THE WALKING SCHOOL provides an opportunity to walk for a while together, if you like.
Classes meet once a week for three hours and are limited to eight persons. Enrollment is for ten weeks. The cost is fifty dollars. Classes are
formed continuously. Hi an appropriate group forms.
The application form for THE WALKING SCHOOL is designed to help you discover whether THE WALKING SCHOOL is for you and to help
me discover whether you are for THE WALKING SCHOOL. It is a test which is no lest, since mistakes on it—as everywhere else— are
impossible. To receive the application send five dollars to
THE WALKING SCHOOL
Houston. TX 77004
If the application and my response to it do not provide you with one of the more rewarding and enriching experiences of your life, your five dollars
will be refunded.
Doug Milburn taught at Rice for ten yearsiwhere he elicited rather different responses from the students on the one hand and the
administration of the other), was the moving force for three years behind a Sunday night cultural irruption on KPFT known as The Chiliastic
Hideon. is co-author of The Intrepid Walker's Guide to Houston, is sole author oj numerous strange and obscure scholarly articles(a bizarre
creative anomaly we don t need to go into here), and has a theory of education that lies behind THE WALKING SCHOOL. The theory has two
parts. Part I teaching is planting seeds: anything more is fascism. Part 2: if learning is really happening, you can t tell who's teaching and who's
one step at a time....