This morning was the last lesson of the current Ethics topic on whether it’s okay to kill and eat animals. Since most of the kids missed last week’s lesson when we went through arguments that it was okay, I did a quick recap of those arguments, before launching into today’s lesson on arguments why it’s not okay. It went fairly well, with fewer interruptions and blurting out, and more kids putting their hands up to speak, so we had a good discussion of the topic.
At one point the very quiet girl (who I’ve mentioned before) put her hand up and I noticed it – but I was busy quelling some diverging discussion between a couple of other kids. One had started talking about how vegetarians are hypocrites because plants are living things too and have feelings and feel pain, and then another kid interrupted and said no they don’t, and then the two of them were talking at once and I had to step in and quieten them both down. I said that we weren’t discussing plants, we were discussing animals, and to stick to the topic. Then I turned to the quiet girl and she had her hand down, but I asked her anyway if she had something she wanted to say – because I want to encourage her to speak whenever I can. She said, “No, it was about plants.”
My pleasure at seeing her raise her hand was somewhat deflated. But after the class, she hung around because this was her regular classroom. She always helps me put the furniture back from the circle of chairs to the regular desk layout. As we were doing this, I asked her what she was going to say during the lesson. She said that leaves of plants can die, so they’re definitely alive. Okay, it wasn’t that profound, but I was happy that she’d raised her hand, and that after the class I’d followed up and encouraged her to talk. I only have two more lessons with this group of kids, and this girl is the one I hope the most turns out to have a good life ahead of her. And that in some small way my teaching her helps lead to that. I mean, I hope all the kids do well, but I think this girl will need a bit more luck than most of the others, and I hope she gets it.
I’d walked to the school, and I took a longer route home, via the hardware store again to buy some garden stakes, because after yesterday’s repotting our chilli plant was leaning a bit, and I wanted to stake and tie it to keep it vertical. Along the way I passed a kitchen supply shop and decided to poke my nose in to browse around a bit, since I’d never been in there. It’s way bigger than I expected, and full of all sorts of fascinating gadgets, as well as cookware and tableware, and some other stuff on the extreme fringes of things related to food preparation and service.
As I walked home through the grounds of Royal North Shore Hospital, I saw that a whole tree had been uprooted and blown over, probably by yesterday’s storm.
At home, I spent the afternoon writing some Darths & Droids strips. Oh, and doing a bit more housecleaning – the job that never ends! And tonight played a couple of games of Codenames Duet with my wife. We managed to win both by the skin of our teeth, phew!
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