Going with the grain…..


I’ve been working wood today. Highly satisfying, though I’m nowhere near the level of expertise of Larry Rosenstock. In fact I only just scraped a ‘GCE’ qualification when I was at secondary school. For the uninitiated, back in the early 70s, if you weren’t considered academic enough you padded out your GCSE’s with the lower-level vocational courses: like woodwork.

Funnily enough, however, today I remembered some basic stuff from that woodwork course. It’s more than I can say for my GCSE Latin or Biology. In fact, my recall from those chalk and talk courses resembles the 5-Minute University clip from Saturday Night Live I’ve shared previously…. amo, amas, amat, er, and that’s about it.

It’s undoubtedly something to do with the Confucius thing: I hear and I forget; I see and I remember; I do and I understand. The system we’ve got (which still denigrates practical learning) encourages us not to understand things twenty, thirty years down the line – just enough to remember them for the exam, and forget thereafter.

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