Book Hippo

Wednesday, July 30, 2014

Randy Peterson

Every class needs a Randy Peterson. Before we began grade one, he was a friend of mine. We played together frequently. One day we went down into the ravine close to my house. The ravine was very quiet because all the sound waves went over it, not down into it.

We found a toilet seat. Randy thought we ought to make ourselves a bathroom. We put up bush walls and dug a hole and promised not to look at each other when we used the toilet we had built.

When we finished down in the ravine we went to his house and he gave me a dead mouse. My father threw it out.

But the reason I say that every class needs a Randy Peterson was the fact that whenever our science experiments went wrong, he was the one designated to kill it.

Our seventh grade teacher decided to bring in an incubator and get some fertilized chicken eggs. At certain points in their development he would break open the egg and we would study the fetus.

When we finished the learning, there were some eggs left over, so we let them hatch. One of the chicks got it's leg caught in the wire of the incubator and crippled it's leg. Call Randy Peterson. He took the chick and came back about five minutes later telling the bird was dead and had been disposed of.

He was the only one able to kill an animal. It sounds cruel but the chick would have been at the mercy of the other chicks who were picking and pecking at it. When we sent all the chicks to the farmer, it would have died then from a chicken coop predator.

I've always thought well of Randy that he could take that little task in hand.R

Friday, July 18, 2014

Let's Not Tolerate Intolerance

I know I've ranted about this before but it seems to me all to prevalent to ignore. I'm talking about people who seem to think the way to solve social problems is to deny the 'trouble-people' their rights.

I hear this most frequently about welfare people and petty criminals. Now I don't have any sympathy for criminals but when people talk about 'making them give to society' by forcing them to labor for free on farms, I have to protest.

Why not give good people jobs on farms? Why do they want Canada to be a country where there is slave labour. You can't convince these people that their thoughts are misapplied, they think they'd be benefiting society.

Now as for welfare people, there's always complaints. But it is a RIGHT in Canada to be on welfare if you need it. Let's take a look at a couple of the complaints.

One. "I don't mind paying my taxes for someone who works." Do these people really want a country where people only pay for what they want to? Suppose I don't want to pay for smokers? Don't these people see that any of their arguments could be turned against them? We all pay for each other so no one bears the brunt of the whole bill.

Two. Some of these people are able bodied, why aren't they working. Why should I support them? Well, some people run into trouble and need to be on welfare for a couple of months. And the truth is, a lot of people hate being on welfare and can hardly wait until they get a paying job and don't have to live in poverty anymore.

That's just a couple of rants and I'm glad I could get it off my chest. I just want to say further that the more we accept people even if they're sick, like fetal alcohol syndrome, or just psychologically unable to fend for themselves, the easier it would be to see that they're people, not garbage, and let them have the space to recover from whatever ails them.

Monday, July 7, 2014

Mr. Stewart

It's nice to remember the past sometimes. I am and always have been, terrible at math. Never enjoyed the classes, never particularly liked the teachers. Then I got Mr. Stewart.

He was a not too tall man with a beard and a balding head. He was known for having built a treehouse in his classroom. I took math with him when he had the treehouse. The one thing I really liked about him was he was interested in all his students.

Once when I couldn't get something, he came over and asked me why. No teacher had ever cared before, just assuming that because I did so well at everything else I just wasn't trying. He explained where I was going wrong and to my surprise, I understood him.

He explained negative numbers thus... you have no money, that's zero, your aunt gives you ten dollars... that's plus ten, she takes twenty... that's negative ten.

I found that when I could picture the math, I could understand it. He also put happy face posters on the wall and bubblehead drawings. Later, he put a boat in his class.

My mother always said everyone comes across one great teacher. I'm not sure that he was my great teacher but he was something special.