in early yesterday. The teachers had a meeting and school is out for "holidays". I am not too sure about the "holidays" side as she showed me what she is expected to achieve over the break from lessons. It is, for a child, quite a bit.
There was reading to do. That will not be a problem for her. There was a maths assignment which will probably be fine as it involves finding out how to build a geometric shape and making it. The Whirlwind is neat fingered.
"Our teacher says we can put them all together like a mobile after we go back so I'll make it out of fancy paper."
There is a map making assignment. I foresee some problems with that because the instructions are less than clear.
And there is something potentially very interesting.
"I have to do an interview," she told me pointing at one piece of paper, "And find out what an old person played with when they were little."
Right. The next part of the conversation was illuminating. I asked if she was going to ask the Senior Cat.
"He's not old."
"Yes, but he's not old. He doesn't think old. It has to be someone who thinks like they are old. Most of the others will ask their grandparents."
As the average of grandparents would be almost a generation younger than the Senior Cat I found this interesting. I wonder how she would view her own grandparents, if she had any.
"So you don't think the Senior Cat is old?"
"Well not old like that."
"All right. Who else do you have in mind?"
She thought about it for a bit and rejected several people she knows well enough to ask. They are all over eighty.
"What do you think makes someone old?" I asked her at last. She thought about that some more as she ate her way through hot pasty, a banana and two mandarins.
"I think old is when you can't look after yourself any more and you go and live with a bunch of other old people and you stop thinking you can do new things," was her eventual conclusion.
The Senior Cat fails that test. So do the other "old" people she knows. I pointed out though that they would be the same age - or even older - than some people in aged care. I also pointed out that they might be more able to answer her questions and that the Senior Cat actually has some examples of very old toys. He used to talk about just such a topic all over the state. He only stopped doing it when he stopped driving a car and could no longer carry the many examples he needed.
By the end of the afternoon she had asked her questions and been promised some examples to take to school. Nobody else is likely to have quite what she has for her assignment. It all made no difference though. The Senior Cat is still not "old" in her eyes.
Her definition of "old" is interesting. I think I like it, especially the last part about new things.