Monday, 4 March 2013

CNY Part Deux - and how to square the Waldorf v Exams circle?

Spent a really busy weekend of doing nothing. Sheets changed, laundry done, some serious hoovering and two assignments tackled. Went to school and got the coming week sorted. It was just constant. And between all that we had steamboat. I prefer it much to Sunday lunch trad of roast chicken and mashed this and that. It is fun and busy and delish, and super healthy. And i could like have it everyday. Here is me and Ghin enjoying our steamboat. The dress by Ghin was coincidence. We were taking out Oisin's old clothes and found this!!! Oh yes, i tidied Oisin's room too!!

Ghin is now a steamboat expert!

Traditional steamboat activity - stealing someone else's food
Usually it is in the pot though

Do you like the Chinatown look of laundry hanging all over the house?

I see i have forgotten to remove my apron...

More dumplings?
It has been a MOST satisfying weekend. I have set myself some will activities which has been very interesting. I used to think i had great will. It turns out it is not really will if it is being done with feeling and if it stays untutored. I have now realised what a crap will i have. So much recently has been about telling me to wise up or risk being about 14 forever. For these difficult lessons, dear universe, i am grateful.

It is great to be happy once again, and also booze free. Of course i make it sound like i was alcoholic, but it was the evening glass while cooking, after a hard days, however since giving up the booze partly for Lent, partly because i was so feckin ill, i have felt amazing. The first week was tough alright, but now, as i said to a friend, i feel so good. Drinking is like putting sugar in the tank, literally i suppose. Not drinking i feel awake - it is a very wonderful feeling to feel awake all of the time, even when i am sleeping. Of course it is excellent for the will.

I am reading The Study of Man - it is the fourth time i'm reading it probably. Chapter Ten is still impossible. Sometimes i honestly wonder where Steiner gets it all from. Yes i know he gets it from bits and pieces of Roscruicisanism, and Gnostic lore and this and that - and Goethe - but for instance, chapter ten is about the head (thinking), chest (feeling) and limbs (willing) - the spirit soul physiology as human beings we are connected with the cosmos and that our bodies are physical expressions of this. This is the sensible version of the account he gives. I never EVER take it the way i read it - i constantly apply his lectures, etc... as i said to a parent recently, i often end up questioning what he says in seminars AND honestly, Steiner is not responsible for the mess the world is in right now. Nothing i have read either contradicts what i think and see - in fact it reinforces it where it makes sense.

My tussle with the Steiner stuff is where we have to interface with reality - in that our reality is completely skewed. Steiner was all for interfacing with the world as it is, despite all its faults. He was lecturing in a highly dysfunctional Europe - a Europe torn apart by years of fighting about to enter into another phase of it. You need to have a good grasp of the world he keeps on saying. You cannot ignore it. Sometimes i think we ignore it too much (which ironically is the problem with the current education system, but in the opposite direction)... are exams a necessary evil OR can we do something about it? As in find an alternative? Or prepare our children so that they can take exams? Give them the rich Steiner education which we can give them - and then teach them to jump through those exam hoops. In Singapore, there are whole industries that cynically look at exams and teach the kids to ace them. The problem is that that is all it does. Perhaps we could do BOTH. Give them the great education which they need to have and then as an amusing exercise do the exams. Exams do not have to be the destructive hellbent mania it has now become. I remember enjoying studying for exams, because, of course i am a nerd. I loved drawing the diagrams, and learning my Shakespeare and boning up on history, etc. However the pressure to succeed... i did well because i loved what i did. If we can do that - create the love so that the exams are just easy to do because they are if you love something...perhaps that will be my thesis. Staying true to Steiner education while making it in the real world.

These are the things that keep me awake at night...

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