rlbourges

Meanwhile, in dream-time

In Animals, Drafts, Hautvoir, Music, Radio on December 6, 2013 at 8:17 am

In some instances, the deficits are obvious. A child who needs close to half an hour to get the letters in two words to stick together in the right order, for instance; and who then doesn’t recognize the two words when she must find them in the brief text she read half an hour earlier. In others? The parents got by without much schooling; don’t see much value in it; or don’t see why their kids should act smarter than their breeches. So the kids don’t.

In other cases, the kid gets the wrong teacher i.e. gets branded early on; no second chance shows up. I see  lots of those once they get shunted into the remedial streams. Will meet several more in the coming weeks.

Then, of course, there are the Bartlebys (my definition). They prefer not to. They prefer not to respond to the treats, the entreaties, the threats, the endearments, the explanations, the latest teacher’s aid. They aren’t unpleasant about it. They simply wait for the hour to end, ensconced  in a low-grade daydream. The hour’s up? A mild and pleasant smile. “Do I come back next week?” they ask. “If you would be so kind,” you answer. Some of them catch the irony. Some of them figure they’re doing you a favor.

Meanwhile, the system churns on. Some doctors, lawyers or lawmakers. Some masons and plumbers, some athletes, some misfits. Programs get modified. Job lotteries re-designed. Social aid comes and goes or never shows up.

The astounding part: why so few people see the joke. Why so many put their faith in statistics even once you’ve demonstrated how the number-rigging works.

Meanwhile, in dream-time (the sleeping kind): the tide rose until the sea lapped around the ankles of the people sitting at a picnic table on the beach (part one of the night, before the dog asked for the door). Everyone talked in hushed and horrified tones about a small boy who stepped in front of a train out of sheer distraction (part two of the night, before a car drove by, thumping out a rapper’s wake-up call.)

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