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March 3, 2011 / iainnd

A Memory from My Childhood, and Reflections on Education

I remember my Year 3 teacher Miss Bodel, whenever she wanted the class to do something, she would employ the magic trick that all adults use – counting. You’d have to all gather up the front or whatever she asked by the time she counted to 5. And like all adults, she would give us bonus time if we were taking longer than expected, which is to say, she’d start counting fractions between 3 and 5. Unlike other adults – and in fact, unlike anyone who has ever learned to add – there was something off about the way she did it. She would count thusly:
“One.
Two.
Three.
Four.
Four and a half.
Four and three quarters.
Four and no more makes five.”

Even then, I was always tempted to ask that she recheck her maths on that one. But of course when you’re 8 years old, “being right” is called “back-chatting,” and that gets you in trouble. Still, I never liked that someone who took counting lessons from Bono would be trusted to impart knowledge to our nation’s youth.

Hell, maybe she is single-handedly responsible for the “your/you’re” confusion that many adults suffer from to this very day.

I have a friend who once asked someone “If my dad can’t spell a word, and I can’t spell a word, is that genetic?”

This year she’ll receive a Bachelor degree in Education.

I fear for the future.

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One Comment

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  1. Anonymous / Mar 3 2011 12:20 pm

    You need to post more often. This is amazing!

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