Saturday, 24 October 2015

Half term!!!

We sorta began half term by going to Belfast City by bus....

It was a fine dry evening on Thursday - yes it began on Thursday for us...

The epitome of neon noir

Cuteness in a coat


Mother and son

Being happy


This is the face i most associate with Oisin

Joking, happy and easy going

And that is just pure Ghin - showboater

Strike a pose

Ice ice baby

Show us your teeth
It must be very tedious being my children. This is possibly because i don't do lite. I just don't do it. I don't read chick lit. I cannot read potboilers - i don't do frivolous. I don't do popular culture. Not like wholesale pop culture, but rather the Graham Norton Show kinda pop culture. I find it puerile and pointless. I find it reprehensible when people clap their hands at a stupid thing Graham Norton asks his guests to do. Oh can you shave a balloon? I have a balloon here. Hahahaha.... Clapclapclap.... that's so funny. Hahahahaha. Er, it is not funny at all. Palestinians are being killed for harvesting their olives on their land. The world is being poisoned. People are being forced out of their houses. There are children dying on the beaches of Italy. Can you really watch this shit? It is the epitome of the sweet rot which is at the heart of the emptiness of our culture. I don't do soap operas. I don't do action films. I don't do easy. And i do feel sorry for my kids sometimes. It is so tedious. I have always been like that, since I was no age at all. I am always on. I am never off.

Unless i am really off. Then i am off.

I do do FB though, that i do. That i do.

I was journaling last night and i was thinking about the day, as usual, when i caught this scent, this waft of coldness in the air. It was the smell of October. October. Finally wet and damp and windy and chilled and the darkness drawing in with the leaves all gone to the ground and the branches scratched against the wet on wetness of the skies. Ah October! Finally here. And i snuggled a little more under the duvets and kissed Ghin who was already sleeping beside me. I have always found October hard because of the onset of the darkness, but this time, i did not. Perhaps because it was so bright this October. So dry and still. So golden. A last reprieve before it all went and it went out in a blaze.

Also because i think i spent so much time outdoors. This is the way the curriculum works. I spend the mornings indoors, most of the time doing the Main Lesson. Then come around 12.00 we are either cooking or sewing or drawing or outdoors doing something. I garden twice a week for an hour and a half with children. If you EVER want to find therapy i would strongly suggest gardening with children. It is like working with a swarm of bees in a hurricane. Or is that locusts. Everything gets done in super quick time and often after they have left the site it looks like what you'd imagine it to look like. BUT the long and short of it is that if you are very clear about what needs to be done, it gets done and for about an hour and a half you are just completely on high alert, because saws, secauteurs and spades with 9 year olds - i mean what could go wrong right?

I know that this is most people's idea of not heaven, but when the children see the results they have achieved they are so very very proud. And so for many of them gardening is the favourite lesson of the week.

It is also my favourite lesson and i think that this balance of indoor and outdoors work has really kept me in good form. So then when October's darkness finally arrived, it was like welcoming a ship back into the harbour. A lover returned after a long long absence - and we look forward to the early evenings and the late mornings. The celebration and the memories - that is what the season will bring us. There is no difficulty. No sorrow because life was lived to the fullest in those months of light.

So what has being a Steiner teacher been like? It is really hard because - especially in our school where there are so few resources, each teacher is called upon to do a lot - for instance in other schools they may have a handcraft teacher and a gardener, but here teachers need to fill in the gaps - well, anyway. HOWEVER, it is also utterly beguiling and amazing. Firstly, you get to work with children. Then, you get to do some of the most fascinating things - you tell stories, you draw, you do every single subject, you constantly need to develop your inner self, you garden and work the land, you do PR... for a sanguine choleric like me it is the best place to be when i am being asked to do a million things in a really focused way.

I was recalling Steiner's lectures on the Foundations of Human Experience. He says that a teacher cannot teach the child - all learning happens when sleep takes place - so the job of the teacher is to make sure the child is breathing properly and is able to sleep well. If your teaching is not doing this then you can just pack up and go home. And so i think this is also true for me, as a teacher.

But now it is half term. I am looking forward to the luxury of time. To do creative things, useful things, peacegiving things. To take stock and to be filled with the wonder of being blessed by the universe.

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