Thursday, 3 October 2013

Midsummer in October

To Shakespeare's Globe, to be groundlings, standing in the drizzle for A Midsummer Night's Dream.

Shark, Squirrel and Tiger are in dispute over how many times we have seen this play, an argument that both pisses me off for its pointlessness, but makes me feel congratulations are due to the Head of the Home Ed Department.

Personally, Midsummer is one of those plays I can take or leave. Consequently, I have left it to well-past summer, just before it's due to finish, maybe secretly hoping there won't be any standing tickets left.

The treatment of the Pyramus and Thisbe turn is always worth looking forward to, but I am now cynically and bitterly gone so far past anticipations or expectations of romance, I can only endure the play's sweet fallings-in-and-out of love, enjoying the mockery, while feeling vaguely annoyed at youth, and holding back the urge to heckle Helena.

Anyway, after the play (was it four? or five? do we count cinema?) we took the now-obligatory stroll along the stinking Thames to grub out decayed and spat-out animal bones. These I can clean up and stitch to the hides of dead creatures. So that cheered me up a bit.

Otherwise, there is a little light reading to catch up with: Cambridge University's school starting age.

I would just like to say that Shark, Squirrel and Tiger are living proof (along with thousands of other kids) that Home Education Departments up and down this land are providing effective forms of play-based learning on a 365-day term.

The kids are probably no worse and no better than many schooled-aged peers in terms of what stuff they know and could get tested on. Mine, for example, are crap at maths, love English, have appalling handwriting, and like Chemistry. Most importantly, they would give you a debate worth its weight in gold if you dared to suggest there should even be a school starting age.

The other credits to the Home Education Department - apart from repeated showings of A Midsummer Night's Dream - is that the students usually do not binge-drink, cyber-bully, become obsessed with designer labels, or call each other bitch.

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