Due to the move of the blog to Wordpress posts from Jan 2012 onward will have commenting disabled (when I remember to do it)
Cheers - AE

Thursday, 11 February 2010

Getting an education redux.

On Tuesday I linked to Dick Puddlecote's blog post in which he quotes a letter from his son's school encouraging - which is a wholly inappropriate word for it - parents to come along to a school event and reminding them to bring their CRB checks with them.
... seeing as the process, in my experience, can take up to three months, anyone without clearance who wished to attend was effectively barred on the remote premise that they might be a paedophile.

Sorry if that appears simplistic, but how else can one view it? Guilty until proven innocent by the state machine.
Agreed. It's much the same way I see the airport body scanners.

So it was interesting to read DP's latest post on the mini-Puddlecotes' educations (quoted en bloc):
You'll be pleased to hear that the 8 year old boy Puddlecote's class have finished reading Journey to Jo'burg.

They are now cracking on with The Peacock Garden.
Set in 1947 when India was partitioned, this is the story of Zuni, a young Muslim girl, whose family is caught up in the upheaval. Rather than fleeing Pakistan (since they're not in Pakistan someone, possibly at Amazon, missed out the word 'to' and buggered up the meaning there - Angry Exile), as many other Muslim families did, Zuni's family seek refuge in the gardens of a local mosque.
In other news, he is almost fully conversant with his times tables thanks to the after-school tutor I pay.

No such nonsense from the girl Puddlecote's school. They had a Big Green Tidy Up today ... or litter-picking, to you and me.

I think the caretaker had a day off.

And no, I am NOT making this shit up.
No such news to report from the Exile household. The best I can do is that the dog has learnt that eating jellyfish will make him throw up and the cats still couldn't catch the birds that perch in the tree in the yard without one of us first hitting the feathery fucksticks with an ounce or so of 7½ shot at over 1,000 kph, but at least we don't have rabbits looking after them all day and indoctrinating them about what life would be like as a Chinese weasel or something. Sadly this is apparently what passes for education these days, and so The Peacock Garden is a 'recommended' book according to its only Amazon UK reviewer Linda the teacher (she gave it five stars, natch).
Fantastic book, difficult to get hold of now but as a teacher it is classed as a recommended text so I was really pleased to be able to get hold of one.
Sorry to be pedantic, Linda, but the book is not a teacher - you are, and if you're teaching English I'd hope you don't normally write as a teacher' and then refer to an inanimate object. If my kids (which as I've indicated have four legs each and some revolting and evil personal habits) were in your class I'd be fucking concerned. It's not just your English, love - it was only a bloody Amazion review after all - it's that I wonder if it's ever crossed your mind to consider why this book, despite being highly recommended by the people's commissars, is so hard to get. Judging by the used prices (AU$55 to $165 according to one quick search I did) and it's rarity it's very likely to be out of print. Economics and the laws of supply and demand may not be part of English Literature lessons but being out of print hardly suggests the book was a huge commercial success for the publisher, right, Linda? Fuck, it's not even mentioned on the author's Wikipedia page. It might be a trendy read among the Righteous, and it might even be a very good book, but if so word doesn't seem to have spread and I'm guessing that it might not be the most accessible book for children ever written. I'm not saying the subject matter shouldn't be taught, but there are history classes for that. I'm not saying the book is unsuitable - there's no reason why it couldn't be part of a reading project or something. I'm just saying it's a bloody odd choice to include on the recommended reading list a probably out of print book featuring a protagonist who will be hard for children to identify with, and this seems likely to affect their enjoyment of the story.* Thing is, I doubt that enjoyment has anything to do with it.

"Give me a child till the age of seven and he will be mine for life." Of all the awful things the Church of Rome has inflicted on the world - crusades, the Inquisition, the persecution of Galileo among others, the Counter-Reformation, bad advice about birth control and so on - this Jesuit motto is among the worst. I'd go so far as to say that fucking with their heads is almost up there with the boy buggery practised by some and overlooked by others in the Catholic Church. Perhaps the worst thing about it is that it's been poached by the modern Church of Righteousness, whose god is the loving and all-knowing state and whose priests and lay preachers have had access to a couple of generations of children for six or seven hours a day (apart from weekends and school holidays of course).

Note that it's not the fucking school that's credited with the young Puddlecote's near mastery of times tables but a tutor and his parents (who seem too modest to have claimed their share of the credit). Note also that Master Puddlecote is eight.


* They might like it later but be put off by having it imposed on them now - Lord of the Flies was as boring as fuck when I was first forced to read it at too young an age, and so it was years before I re-read it and realised what a great book it is.
Related Posts with Thumbnails