Man it's been days and days! And days! Something wrong with my Mozilla (sounds like a medical condition) and I haven't been able to log on to the blog. Any of you out there experiencing similar difficulties, sorry. Those of you were saying, Scrimger is a lazy so and so -- well, I forgive you. For what it's worth, you're right.
I'll talk about high school teaching practices. I had more to say about Winnipeg, one fine city, but the trip is so long ago now that it seems irrelevant to me. I may come back to it.
A classical composer friend (I have only one, so maybe I should call him My classical composer friend) was commissioned to write a piece summing up the high school experience. He called it What Is Cool. Seems about right to me. I was chatting with Ed last night about his history class. His teacher, whom I will call Mr R, has divided them into groups and the first thing he demanded from each groups was ... a cool name. Yup, that's how high school kids are learning these days. Forget about The Conquest Stamp Act Responsible Government Louis Riel (Manitoba - one fine province) Conscription FLQ Crisis -- learning groups need names. I asked Ed what they were studying. World War 1, he said, and then proceeded to tell me all about the poster his group made. They are TEAM BLUE, and the poster showed the name in big letters dripping colour, with lightning bolts and skulls. It was the coolest thing ever, he said (sounding for a moment like his big sister whose every day is punctuated by the coolest lamest shortest fattest craziest best worst stuff ever).
Great to hear high school kids getting excited about history, but I couldn't help wondering if there was any meat on these very cool bones. There's a lot to be learned about WW1.
Did you guys get around to any of the politics and fighting? I said. Canada played a key part in a lot of the battles. Vimy Ridge, the Somme --
No Canadian troops in the battle of the Somme, Ed interrupted. We lost the most men at Passchendaele.
What about Ypres?
He frowned. Passchendaele was the 3rd Battle of Ypres, Dad. Summer and fall of 1917. Cold wet and muddy. Almost a million men killed. Hitler was there. Canadian troops took the village in November. We had a quiz on it and Team Blue won. The prize was a bag of malted Easter eggs. Go Team Blue! Tomorrow we're having an arms auction. We get to bid on weapons! Mr R has warned us that flame flowers are not as useful as you think. Did you know that there were tanks in the battle of the Somme?
I have decided to stop worrying about the way high school kids are learning. Go Mr R!