Tag Archives: Society

The Status Quo of Schools

Why – as a species – are we so obsessed with the protection of the status quo? I’ve been too busy to blog recently as a return to work after the holidays has proven hectic. However, it has given me ample time to reflect on my role as an (somewhat reluctant) enforcer of the status quo – a teacher. Through school, we ensure that children are kept occupied spending – at least – two-thirds of their waking childhoods consuming skills and facts integral to becoming a ‘productive’ part of society.

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Social Skills and Schools

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As a society we put so little emphasis on emotion health and well being in children that it is surprising how many functional adults we produce. This may seem like a bold statement and a misguided one if one considers the number of people in prisons and institutions across the world. However, the majority of us make it through out teenage years with – surprisingly – few lasting problems and some idea of how to function in society.

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It’s been a while since I’ve posted and this period can only really be described as a creative hiatus. It would be wrong to call it writer’s block because the problem extended far beyond words on a page. It was more of a shutting down of creative thought. It’s curious that periods like effect more than just my writing and creativity. It – at risk of melodrama – corrodes the very sinews of the soul and chips away at my sense of purpose.

Writing and creating are towards the heart of my sense of being, if they are interrupted I feel lost.

Last year, I wrote an article about creating an artwork from chaos. I went to Tenerife’s Carnaval. It’s an event whose Christian origins are, thankfully, lost in a sea of beer, urine and colourful costumes, storming with the beats of Spanish salsa sounds. I arrived – as before – with a blank canvas, paint and colouring markers intent of creating another piece with the help of the masses.

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March 7, 2015 · 9:00 am

The Wasted Third

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I started thinking yesterday after work about our relationship with our working lives. I personally really enjoy my work – I’m a teacher – and gain great satisfaction and pleasure from my job. It really got me thinking. As I speculated, I sought the assistance of a thesaurus for language manipulation. If we consider the synonyms of work we find the words toil, labour, grind and drudgery. All of which paint a Dickensian portrait in charcoal and darkness on the innocent canvas of youth. We are almost trained to believe that work – like school to many youths – is the necessary evil for enjoyment. I’ve never been (nor do I ever care to be) a member of this rather bleak club. For many though it is, sadly, the norm that they exist within.

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Nature of Youth and Experience

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The approaching summer always inspires in me the nostalgia of my spring. The days when me and my oldest friend would wander across the fields of his father’s farm. Meandering around cow dung, past brambles and frog spawn in search of nothing and yet with the unfaltering  purpose which comes with youth. We were in one sense adventurers & explorers and in another lords or all that we surveyed. The countryside was ours for the taking. We cared little for the path that we undertook or for the world that lay before us. And if the world failed to satisfy that thirst for exploration then our ample imaginations would naturally fill the void.

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Wonga: Widening the Divide

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The corporate loan shark ‘Wonga’ has received a lot of media coverage in the UK recently. The website boasts easy short term loans with an APR of 5853%. The most disconcerting element of this relatively recent development isn’t that it exists – or that it is allowed to exist – but that society has reached such a point of utter desperation that it has come into existence. Surely in a ‘Developed First World’ country legalised extortion is not a necessary evil. To quote the almost comically ludicrous interest rates borrowing £1 for a week expects a return of £6.96[1]. We could argue that people have the freedom to choose and they need to take responsibility for their own actions. Therefore they have to suffer the consequences of them. Further, the question remains: are people really this desperate?

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The Polite Big Brother?

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The panopticonic eye looms over the streetscape, simultaneously recording and judging the every move of the unfazed masses. Thecamera stands like a moral voyeur ready to pounce on the first sign of civil disobedience. The tagline ‘we’re watching out for you’ plastered across posters and signs. The strategically placed ‘out for’ carefully injected to pacify the historically-forgetful public. Are we to feel placated by the false sense of security? Relieved by Big Brother’s more gentle politically correct rejuvenation? Or do we simply have more pressing issues then our lost sense of privacy?

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