Tuesday, 17 February 2009

Tuesday 17th February 09

At about 10, Ian came round, as planned. He's a trainee teacher and a member of People and Planet at one of the Universities in York, and he's asked me to come to the primary school he's working in and do a days work on composting. He told me he wanted to learn a bit about the subject before I came in so I invited him here before going to St Nicks.

So I started by explaining 'from the basics' what composting was, assuming no knowledge, and was surprised to find that he did have extremely limited knowledge of lots of the basic facts about climate change and some of the processes connected with composting. For instance, when I asked him what he understood about climate change (I wanted to talk about the role of CO2 and CH4 in the greenhouse effect), he asked was it to do with ozone, which is almost completely unconnected with climate change. I was somewhat shocked by this... surely student teachers should know the basics of atmospheric science? Surely someone in People and Planet should know the basics? He does care about green issues, but I don't understand how someone can care but know so little. So, he got a pretty good overview of loads of the basics, such as the Carbon cycle, oil/coal/gas, plants and living organisms, how the greenhouse effect works, and of course decomposition and the role of composting in enabling individuals be more eco-friendly.

Next we had a little look down the garden at the assorted composting set-ups, wormeries, tumblers and the like.. and soon cycled off to St Nicks to see the resources there. He was pleased to get a good pile of leaflets which I hope will reinforce some of the stuff we'd covered earlier. We discussed what I would do in each of the 45 minute slots (I'm doing 5 classes) and what he would do with them beforehand.

We came back home for lunch.

After lunch I got myself ready to go to Coppergate for the launch of the Viking Festival... I put extra wick on my fire devil sticks and had a test burn to make sure that I still had the knack of working with fire, as it's been a few years since I've done it. Then at 3.30 I gathered up the fire stuff, wooden yoyo balls, wooden devilsticks and a couple of black flowersticks (which look more rustic than some of the day-glo stuff I have) and my insurance documents, risk assessment etc, and cycled down to the Jorvik Centre to get costumed up and ready to take part in the launch event.

Fairly soon after I got outside, Gill and the boys turned up... they initially didn't recognise me in my non-gaudy clothes.

The launch went very smoothly... I did some workshops in the marquee whilst the VIPs were eating, and some more workshops outside the marquee in the arena area. Then I got the nod to bring that to a close, and the half-dozen Vikings did a kind of warrior routine... not exactly a fight scene, but a demonstration of the different weapons and shield work. They finished and the wax torches were lit and held aloft, I lit my devilsticks and did a 2 and a half minute show... quite a few drops (showed how difficult it was! ahem!) but apparently was still impressive. My son took a film of it on Gill's camera, so once we were home I was able to see the whole performance, which was good.

I cycled home, beating the rest of the family who had gone into town on the bus... and found a colleague from the Hull Road Ward Planning Panel waiting for me... I'd forgotten to deliver the paperwork to one of the other volunteers (which I had said I would do) and the meeting hadn't taken place... oh dear! Duh me.

I had a slice of nutloaf for tea and some bought pizza.. 'Yorkshire Pizza' from Thomas's, and some fruit.

Gill and I had a game of Scrabble late on (still playing at 1am) and it looks like she's going to win... again!


Anonymous said...

"but I don't understand how someone can care but know so little!

and yet you seem so clueless about child raising but profess to care about it

Compost John said...

I wonder what makes 'anonymous' think I'm clueless about child raising?
My wife has had experience of bringing up children before and is a great Mum, very caring and loving. I had a difficult childhood but am conciously NOT doing the same type of parenting as my parents did to me, as far as I am able. To help us deal with the difficult behaviour we are experiencing (which I don't go into detail about on this blog) we have attended a parenting course, and other parents around us and teachers at school say we are doing as well as can be expected in the circumstances, which as I said, you do not know about.

So I don't think I'm clueless, although I will admit that I don't know quite what to do about the rather unique circumstances that we find ourselves in, but I don't intend to discuss these on this blog as that would betray confidence and be wrong.

Any constructive comments are welcome. I actually helped my friend learn about the issues... if you are a child mental health expert, then email me off the blog and maybe you can help us. Otherwise, don't bother with rude comments. Don't know why I published your comment actually, usually I don't bother publishing the crap that ignorant idiots throw this way.

So keep your small-minded discussions about me and my family to your own circle of so-called friends. Concentrate on bringing up your own family, improving your own local environment and strengthening your own community.
Practice positivity not your undermining negativity.

Anonymous said...

It was your small minded discussion about the limited knowledge of a student teacher and member of people and planet that started it.
You keep your "small-minded discussions" about your visitors to yourself rather than broadcasting them on the internet and expecting people to refrain from commenting. What if that student teacher should have the misfortune to read your opinion of him, how positive would he feel, how undermined by your negativity?

Compost John said...

How ridiculous! Said student teacher admitted his lack of knowledge, which is why he came to spend some time with me! He also reads this blog... I'll invite him to comment on this. My opinion of him is very positive... he's open minded, wanting to learn, and willing to ask. He was honest enough to say he knew relatively little about a subject, and I respect him for this.

I wouldn't have described what I said as 'negativity' either... lots of people are ignorant about climate change and the science involved (look at the number of deniers still around!) but I was surprised that the subject hadn't been covered in his course, that's all. This isn't his fault.

However, you are welcome to your interpretation of what I wrote, and I'm sorry you got the wrong end of the stick. However, this is because of YOUR negative mind-set, such as is evident in your post above, and the company you keep... you know what I'm talking about.