The Lovely Trivium of Childhood; Optimism, Grace, Agility.
I recently noticed a schoolboy of around ten years old attempting to climb over a fence of about five feet tall. What a palaver, he had no idea how to do it; finally, leaving defeated. I was tempted to demonstrate the jump, lean over and flip that would accomplish this, but desisted on realising that I would likely complete my explanation of the technique to the sheriff court.
When I was this child’s age, such a fence would represent a delay of seconds to me and the small commandos that made up the schoolboy cohort then. And if I was this child’s teacher, Monday would be devoted to acquiring this essential skill, disingenuously disguised as studying angles or a transitioning workshop.
This got me thinking about agility, and comparing the antique child’s environment which placed a premium on it, to the now – where it is near non-existent and anyway disapproved of.
Agility is a quality that if it is not acquired young, is not acquired. It should be a defining feature of being a child (see, graceful entry), but, except for those children who are specifically trained for it via an adult-led sport, has been replaced with digital dexterity. This is a poor swap. And one of great consequence, beyond being able to climb a fence to escape PC. Murdoch! For this loss feeds into lifestyle and health options, and particularly future ones. The wheezing stiffy at ten is being trapped into a life of wheezing stiffness.
The school solution is obvious – running in the corridor and leaping up and down stairs. Teachers could lead by example, perhaps chasing slow pupils along corridors, or tigging them at their desks to encourage a counter-tig around the classroom. The recalcitrant slow should be chastised as necessary: Ha, ha, cannae catch me!
And: Excuse me, you know the rules. No walking in the corridor. Now get going – quickly!
Imagine how cool it would be to have a headteacher that was agile, instead of one that (excuse me, while I select a diplomatic phrase) seemed like the personification of a icing bun.
Classes could sprint out of the classroom at the playtime and lunch bell (Last out is a silly sausage!), and skip or hop back afterwards. Barriers and water-courses could be introduced throughout the corridor. Swing bars could be fitted to corridor ceilings to encourage arboreal agility. A large water jump should be placed in front of the headteacher's office. CRT ‘wokeshops’ could be replaced with Race Theory workshops, where teachers learn how to lead by example with high hurdles and the steeplechase. Certain suitable sections of the school building could be converted to parkour standard with money recovered from the class laptop budget scam.
Weekly awards for top traceur in each class. Tig would be a subject studied, hopefully replacing IT lessons. Kids would love it. Younger female teachers would fit into hot pants again; and what sort of man would object to that!
What think ye?
PS. I've just had a flashback from years ago: Once, coming along the school corridor, I passed a wee P1 girl skipping. How wonderful is that? I think this illustrates that lovely trivium I referred to above. Despite being transported with delight at witnessing how a little sprite can make anywhere a forest glade in sunshine, I had the wherewithal to compliment her skipping. The HT in that school would have censured her.