So we have been trying to get our story out to the media of late. A friend Brian has been assisting with the process. He has been asking questions and delving into my past to find the history of my personal story.
It has been an interesting learning experience for me because I obviously know all of the stories and experiences (they’re mine), but having to regurgitate them and fill in the gaps with ideas, feelings and emotions means I’m reliving every aspect of those experiences and consciously thinking about their impact on the life I live now. It’s like watching a movie of snippets of your life and the path that has led to now, with commentary. It is good practice, as I’m going to be on ABC radio on Thursday, which is also a new ball game for me! (9.40am National radio-Life Matters with Natasha Mitchell, 4.40pm 774-Drive with Rafael Epstein)
I have always known that I have had theories on certain aspects of my life. Teaching for example, I have many theories on the way kids learn and behave because I have had some personal experience in the area. I have never been very good at articulating my ideas but I can usually get the general idea across. Normally they are all up there in my head just waiting for someone with a similar idea to express it, and I’ll say “yeah, that’s what I think” and possible add a new angle or twist to it, but in a badly articulated way.
So, Brian was asking me questions, and really good ones that made me think more about the meaning of the answer, or the origin of it. He asked about my teaching and the role that music played in it. He was asking because I had taught as a specialist music teacher for two years in a London primary school. I described my ideas on music in the classroom which took me back to why I thought, and still think, it is so important. I suppose that’s why music will play a big role in the “Food for Thought” project in Argentina.
Brian mentioned a guy called Ken Robinson and told me to check him out on YouTube, so I did later on that night. You know those moments when you hear someone talking and you are on exactly the same wave length as them. You say, “Man, this person is speaking so much sense. Where has he/she been all of my life?” Well, I had one of those moments. It was like he was saying all the things that I wanted to say, but better, and with extra cool stuff on top!
Ken is a highly intelligent man with a lot of experience under his belt. He puts his view out there but backs it up with examples that support this theories. I’m not saying he is the be all and end all, but he has some very thought provoking ideas on education, and even life. Ken speaks of the lack of emphasis on the creative subjects in our schools and the old system in which we are teaching now. So much of what he says resonates with me. Here is one of his talks http://www.ted.com/talks/ken_robinson_says_schools_kill_creativity.html
For me, music is such a powerful tool when engaging children. Here are just a few words that spring to mind when thinking of it. Creativity, cooperation, interaction, imagination, communication, self esteem, confidence, fine motor skills, spacial awareness, the list could go on. And so often, it is the one subject that is hardly ever taught.
Valeria has a theatre background, and is extremely passionate about it, so between us, most, if not all of our activities will be of the creative form. I know we will not be in the standard teaching setting to say the least, but the idea of creative activity that follows a good healthy feed for the children of the slum seems like the best place for us to start! There is a critical window of development in the early years of a child’s life. That’s where we are focussing, to give them the best chance later on in life.
FYI, I think we will have to solely concentrate on the food aspect first. I’d say that our hands will be full enough trying to feed 40-60 children on a daily basis. Once we have the food system in place we’ll bring on the creativity!
p.s. Ken has many YouTube clips. Be careful, it’s addictive…