Wednesday, June 29, 2005


I'm at it again. I have a paper to write up and I hate rereading stuff I wrote last year because I'm sick of it and because it's so prosaic. So I'm procrastinating, and for me procrastinating means surfing. So here are three things I came across today and that seem to me to be linked in some way in that they all say something up bringing up children. First there are these lyrics (their punctuation, not mine, by the way).

maybe it's scotland that i hate. i know i hate so many things about it. i hate the way punishment's at the heart of everything. i hate the way parents speak to their children. i hate the way everything always has to be someone's fault even though some things just happen.

some things just happen...

i hate the way people bring up their children to be exactly the same as they are just so they can justify the way they've lived their lives. i hate the way that we expect to fail. and then we fail. and then we get bitter because we've failed.

maybe it's scotland that i hate... *

The song’s by a group called Ballboy, by the way, and you can listen to it on their site ballboy online.* I like the song but I don’t quite get the bringing-up-children-to-be-like-us bit. How else are you going to bring up your children? All I can say is, see you in ten-fifteen years matey when you've got a couple of sprogs yourself, then we'll see who you're bringing them up to be like and how you're speaking to them. (Oh, and by the way nobody likes to be bunched in with everybody else and referred to by the generic "people") Oh, yes, and do unto your parents as you would have your children do unto you. mr. nice guy knows what i'm talking about:

"we all found ourselves sitting around the table talking about how the crazy is strong with our parents. and then, slowly, we looked over at the baby who, with a little sparkle in our eye, made it perfectly clear that in 30 years she would be having exactly the same conversation with her friends."

and what about this from Scott Adams @ Arkansas Tech:

"The day after 9/11, I tried to write a piece about how it was an attack against what we stand for as professional educators, but I just couldn’t put my finger on it. I think that David Weinberger has. Educators here were liberally and courageously guiding our children into %u201Ctheir%u201D future by creating and crafting engaging and potent learning experiences. %u2026While the fundamentalists want us to go back to a world under control."

USA = liberal and courageous. USA's enemies = control freaks. I don't think so.

So to summarise today's lessons — my parenting skills require honing. I have to avoid trying to bring the little monsters up to be like me, I have to remember that whatever I do it will be wrong in the long run and I must strive to attain benevolent educating skills à la USA. Maybe licking that paper into shape would have been more fun after all.

* I'm sorry I can't materialise the quote in any way with eg. a frame, or indentation or italics. Blogger is still decidedly mac-unfriendly
** I found the Ballboy site via Said the Gramophone"a daily sampler of really good songs", which I found via : Craintes chez les audioblogs



Deborah said...

There have been a lot of sentences beginning with 'I hate' in the last blog or so
Give us a list Lesley, ten sentences starting with 'I love', perhaps already done at the beginning for your profile?

mine would start :
1. I love the smell when you pick up a piece of moss and sniff underneath
2. I love Cadbury's milk chocolate after lunch
3. I love butterfly watching on a hot day in the country

I agree about bringing up children, we like the way we are so would like our children to 'be' the same ... in fact mostly they copy their parents so you don't really have to make much effort to 'bring them up' The only effort involved is trying to make them behave considerately to others which can be very exhausting ...

Ballboy obviously not had sprogs yet, I agree.
The 'best' brought up children seem to be the ones whose parent/parents constantly make the effort to show offspring that having good table manners and being polite to others will make life a lot easier, now and later on. Sometimes this comes out as 'Don't do this, Don't do that' - probably the sentences disliked by Ballboy!

Anonymous said...

une écossaise à Bordeaux ! Je suppose qu'il y en a d'autres :) Je suis à Bordeaux aussi, mais je voudrais partir vivre en Ecosse si par miracle j'y arrive :) Pour l'instant je me contente d'y aller le plus souvent possible... mais c'est dur... d'en repartir surtout :) en tout cas très joli maison et votre blog est très sympa !