Friday, 17 December 2021

There has been a tragedy of unimaginable

 proportions in another state. Five children have died at an end of school year event - an event which should have been fun.

I first heard the news through the news feed I get. At that stage it was two children, then four, and now five. There are still three children in a critical condition and others who have been injured. They fell ten metres when a "bouncy castle" somehow came loose from its moorings and rose in a wind gust - only to fall rapidly.

I feel deeply for the families concerned, for those around them, for the other students, their teachers and the school principal and those who have had to respond to the incident.  I won't say any more about it. It is too distressing. Please hug your family - even if it has to be a long distance virtual sort of hug - and tell them you love them.

A friend came to visit yesterday. She is a nun. I had a small Christmas gift for her - something she can share with her housemate at the convent - and she had one for me. There are other buildings dotted around the convent grounds where then nuns now live. Some live alone, others live together. They are growling less in number.

P... was reminiscing about her time as a teacher and the sizes of the classes she taught until she went to train as a teacher of the deaf.

Her first class consisted of fifty-three children who were just starting school. I was in classes close to that size in the city. I taught a class which had over forty eleven year old children. Later I had a class of nineteen - all of whom (bar one) were profoundly intellectually and physically disabled. Young H..., who lives across the road, starts at the local school in the new year, is going into a class of eighteen. 

I found a school photograph a short while ago.  It shows a friend of ours who was teaching in the school I attended before we moved back to the bush. B... is shown sitting in the middle of the front row with just the boys in her class at that time. There are twenty-six boys in the photograph. I passed it on to B... who phoned me and said, "I remember that  - and there would have been twenty eight girls in other photograph if they were all there that day." That's fifty-four children.

However did they teach that many - and how did we ever manage to learn so much?

No comments: