It has been hot this week. Very hot. The first week back at school for our students. Each day the temperature has exceeded 30 degrees celsius. This afternoon it was siting on 34.5 degrees celsius during the afternoon from 1.30PM to 3.00PM. When the clock struck 3.30PM it was 35.4 degrees celsius. In Fahrenheit that is 95.7 degrees. You may think that is no big deal in your town however it has been that hot all week. The worst thing is the humidity. It is a killer. It is a killer for me. I sweat profusely. That is an annoyance and a right royal pain in the arse at times. I put up with it.
So when I arrived home I thought time for a cool drink and a swim. My neighbours were in our pool when I arrived home so I had a cool drink and listened to Iggy and the Stooges instead. I cranked up the stereo as loud as it would go and listened to such gems as Raw Power, Head On, TV Eye, Kill City and others. It was liberating and the moment took me back to the 1970s when I first bought those records
Shao Ping, and our homestay Xiu Xiu, arrived home and we had dinner. Our neighbours had finished in the pool and Shao Ping and I jumped in to the relaxing waters. It was wonderful. Sitting in the pool, swimming, splashing and unwinding. We shared stories about the day and stories about nothing at all.
I was the last to climb out of the pool tonight. It was about 9.00PM. As I lazed in the pool I stared at the shadows cast by our gate as the evening overtook my world. The shadows stretched from the gate to the pool. The shadows were cast by the streetlight. Our cat was lying by the gate, keeping myself company. The shadows, stretched, in parallel, reaching out to me as I pondered upon them, my chin resting on my folded arms which, were resting themselves on the edge of the pool. I saw and felt the beauty of the moment. I resolved to take a photograph of the moment “later”. I had a shower and took the photograph below. Standing in the pool.
I thought to myself why cannot I teach these moments to students? The shadows, the light, the dark, the contrast, the silence, the beauty. The moment.
If only we could teach our students how to live. How to stop. How to slow down. How to see the world.
It seems to me we are teaching our students how to be old. I suspect we are teaching our students the knowledge and skills that were taught to university students in eras past. Why are we teaching our students to be adults? Can that not be left to later?
We are teaching them the knowledge and skills that were taught in centuries past in universities and places of higher education. Why? Skills in key subjects that were taught to adults generations back are now being taught to our students in high schools and even primary schools. Why must the human race persist in cramming so much information in to the heads of children?
Why not teach them how to be children? How to be human? How to live? How to give, how to receive and how to share?
The human race has lost the plot.
I watched the clouds clear overhead as I lay in the pool this evening. The stars appeared. First the constellation Orion. Then the constellation Virgo. The star Sirius appeared. I was never taught that at school. I learnt that from my older brothers in the garden at night as a child 45 years ago. Why do we not teach these simple wonders at school today?