Once Works Well was pure technology. Now it seeks merely to divert.
Pansy subjects - Verse! Opera! Domestic trivia! - are now commonplace.
The 300-word limit for posts is retained. The ego is enlarged

Sunday, 13 December 2009

Later, I went Gregorian

An unpleasant image pops up. Primary school during the war with one of our class being disciplined - a girl from the privileged back row gets something wrong, is hauled into the front and starts crying. The teacher, a shriek-voiced harridan called Cox, has wittily taken a bucket and is inviting the girl to fill it with tears. My reaction? There but for...

Zooming back I see more of the classroom. Hung on the wall are lengths of stiffish pink card carrying multiplication tables. I remember what preceded these aides memoires. Without telling us why the aforesaid Cox asked us orally to multiply pairs of numbers and then chalked up the answers. From the new cards we learned the sequences as if they were plainsong and I can hear those rhythmic treble voices even now. For some reason seven-times was the hardest.

Since my education was all downhill from then I'm ignorant of what schools get up to but I understand plainsong was junked. Dismissed as learning by rote, and the emphasis switched to an intellectual understanding of numerical relationships. If I'd been born thirty years later perhaps I'd have picked it up but I doubt it. Another burden to carry into adult life. Whereas chanting was an unequivocal success. Eleven-times? Ah, we didn't go that far.

Novel progress 13/12/09: Ch. 8: 1209 words. Chs. 1 - 7: 33,000 words. Comment: Visit by Zach no spur to literary creation; caught up a little afterwards