Friday, 14 October 2011

Your choice

Couldn't decide. What should be the ultimate memory du jour?

Vote, if you like.

That is the other thing I did today. I voted. On the home education community list poll back home.

Should home educators push each other about and prove the Local Authority right? Or should we all just quit the in-fighting and organise some damn activities? [Yes. No. Don't know.]

Local politics, huh? I could tell you about it, but local politics isn't very interesting. Maybe it should be...

1. How Chemistry is BRILLIANT!

School did not equip me for the fantastic fun of this subject. Mr Smith put his efforts into 45 minutes at the end of summer term 1975 with the instruction, If you are not taking O level, sit over there and keep quiet.

But chemistry is brilliant, isn't it?

In the flexibile and practical learning that is the wondrous landscape outside school, I hope my mini-alchemists are now as inspired as I am.

The materials are stimulating, YouTube is brilliant, and today's fantastic chemistry workshop, conducted by the beautiful and calm Mrs C, is truly worth four hours travelling back and forward across Hong Kong. (A feat which includes two boats, train, a 40-minute walk, a 10-minute taxi and a 20-minute bus ride. Effortless, because Hong Kong's transport infrastructure works.)

My only complaint about chemistry so far is that Dig refuses to bring me back a 2kg bag of potassium nitrate in his cabin luggage (spoilsport).

2. How Satanic-inspired gang mothers abuse gazillions of infants every minute!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Here in Hong Kong, we read the UK news. Sometimes it reads like England lives in 1635. How else can you be so easily gripped by lurid images of ritual Satanic abuse, twisted maternal minds, and invisible evil corrupting our innocents?

In something like those tones (I remember the Satanic abuse, MSPB, and Badman), we read how England's children are abused up and down the country under your very noses. Make that 10,000 children and counting.

Is it only me? I can't help feeling a little suspicious about 'facts' like this. Yes, some children are treated appallingly. Yes, a civilized society helps them. And I wonder, for this new horror, what form will a 'wake up call' take?

Will it responsibly advance our culture, or take the easy way, and generate blind suspicion, neighbour to neighbour, from which point we all cry, something must be done?

I should mark the day. From here, the media won't keep a sense of proportion because level-headedness doesn't sell as well as hysteria. The NSPCC will have a political goal it won't come clean about. The Mothers' Union will continue their attempts to install a UK firewall. And on the back of the fact void of fear, software companies with links to religious organisations will be able to commercially promote their porn control software.

Well, I could go on about this. And if they come for my home educating interest again, I will.

3. How China already won the school race. Rest of world? Give up.

How many times must I see, hear, and have an annoying buzzing in my ears about the school glory of China?

Yes, their system succeeds. And if you make success like this in England, I'm never coming back.

In Hong Kong, the way it succeeds starts at birth. A child can take their first school assessment interview (for which they undergo preparation) at age 3. From then on, the schedule for every waking hour in school-related work is gruelling. From age 5, playtime's restricted. They don't get leisure time. They don't get stare-at-walls-create-it-yourself time.

Basically, the word in my grapevine is that Hong Kong students are lovely. Just very non-thinking, non-critical, dependent, unresponsive, and they want the bullet points so they can write them out straight back at you for the exam.

Like I said, you people in England don't want to be fobbed off with this school knows best for your A* and a pile of debt claptrap.

Life can be a bit more interesting than a string of A grades. In fact, I'd say that if the knowledge is worth knowing, it doesn't come with a grade attached.

Scrap it for number 3. Bored already.

3. How I am the slowest person in Hong Kong (Grade E) for catching on.

Straightaway, I apologise to the fantastic person who spoke the words you are about to read. Truly, it is not my story to tell, and it is a sad one, but I simply must share this narrative with The World. Nowhere less will do.
'Helen died. Helen of Troy. She hasn't been well for some time. She had a problem with her bladder. In the water she's always floated on top, but Monday we found her lying flat there, face down on the gravel, and we thought Uhu, that's it.

We want to give her some ceremony, so we're going to put her over the side of the Star Ferry. It's dignified. We were going to have the ceremony on Monday but we didn't have time, then by Wednesday we thought, She's going to start - you know - stinking, so we put her in the freezer. That's why I have to leave early.'
Because I am very dense and had my mouth open (which may have blocked my ears), it took me a time to work out that if you are Helen of Troy, your fate - shoved in a freezer and tipped over the side of the Star Ferry in dignity - is totally appropriate. If you are a goldfish.

You can choose today's post. Me, I'm going for Helen.


KP Nuts said...

We recently took part in the home ed match box swap and the theme was periodic table. It has totally captured my 6 year old. Enjoy your blog, I see today you are 77 in the tots100.

Grit said...

hi kp! periodic table match box is a great idea - i shall nick it. as for the tots, i have slid around that place for many months now. i am not sure what it does, apart from bring me unwanted advances from harry the pr.

KP Nuts said...

There are links here to the one we sent and the (much better) one that we received in return.

It has really captured my 6 year old - yesterday I found her on wikipedia looking up elements and she told me that she would like an iridium wedding ring?! I had never heard of that before so I looked it up on google. circa 2000U$D!

I always think of you when I have a g&t ;-)

KP Nuts said...

ps - I only paid attention to tots100 when I was 666 but sadly that number has gone to another little devil this month