Random musings and a Coconut Story
I think that Plato got it all wrong when he decided to take the angle he did when writing the "Allegory of the Cave." He completely forgot to mention the teacher and the way that person feels when helping her student. I've always respected teaching as a profession and what teachers do, but I never fully appreciated how hard it is.
One night, I was helping my little brother, Sainey, do his 5th grade maths homeowrk of writing numbers into words. Things began pretty well with some small "spell me this" and the sort, but he knew the numbers and could say them which is better than some of my junior high kids. We made our way to the number 1,536,563. Well, I introduced the word one-million to his word bank . Ten minutes later, I was still saying five-hundred sixty-three what, Sainey? The reply was five-six-three. All of this despite the fact that the previous question was 100,243 which he got on the first try.
Well, we worked hard and I did a good job of not giving him the answer but I had that behind-the-eye ache of frustration/agitation that I think I must be one of the only people lucky enough to experience. He HAD it one question before -- how could he have forgotten? Well, we worked even harder and finally finished the assignment. Maybe Plato got it right when he spoke of the struggle to gain knowledge but he totally left out the person who allowed the prisoner to escape and the guy who takes on the kids from him compound and helps them with numbers and long multiplication.
My host brother, Ebu, and some of his friends and I went on a coconut harvesting mission. To begin with we had to find an Acacia type tree and lopped some fairly large branches off. The limbs we carried to a pre-chosen palm tree where we pulled some palm fronds down to make some lashing. We also used some bark to make some rope and tied the limbs end-to-end. The limb on top was crooked and we proceeded to hoist the contraption up into the canopy to hook it. Well, this tree was a little too tall and the tower dropped a couple of times before we moved to a smaller tree. Once we got the thing hooked, Ebu's friend shimmied up to 10 meter pole and started climbing around the canopy chopping off the coconut bucnhes with an axe and big crash.
Well, kids, I'm heading back up country tomorrow so I can make it back in time for Tobaski. The holiday commemorates Abraham and the aborted sacrifice of his son Ishmael. There will be a gigantic amount of goat meat and slaughter along with some praying and fun which I am excited about. Who knows when I'll be back down...but I will have to come to the bank once a month starting in January so with any luck you'll get to hear from me a little more often! Peace and Love!!