Busytown by Jolisa Gracewood

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Busytown: A Classical Education: Chapter 4 Going On 5

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  • Jolisa,

    Footnotes:
    1. This was written in late (US) summer but superseded at literally the last second by the Christchurch earthquake, which made this piece seem suddenly too flippant. But here it is, as promised at the time.

    2. I did not take a single Classics paper at university so all mistakes are mine and Wikipedia's alone. Also, all those boys who attempted to seduce me with their knowledge of the Greeks.

    3. Tip of the hat to Ian Frasier, whose Lamentations of the Father is the gold standard, nay, the stone tablet, of parental parody.

    Auckland, NZ • Since Nov 2006 • 1408 posts Report Reply

  • merc,

    Since Dec 2006 • 2468 posts Report Reply

  • Islander,

    That was very funny indeed!
    (Knows no Greek & little Latin so can not possibly comment on tech-terms...)

    Big O, Mahitahi, Te Wahi … • Since Feb 2007 • 5643 posts Report Reply

  • Jackie Clark,

    Oh, how I do love your boys. Just love them. Love their facility with language. Love their conceptual quirks. Love, love, love their shining and heroic acts of individualism in this world of mundanity and loss of self. Don't tell them that though. They would doubtless think it was icky.
    And also, what would you call it when a child says to another child (after a couple of days of discussions between the two of us about challenge: what constitutes one, and why challenges are important to our sense of wellbeing): "You have to challenge yourself! If you put the ladder under the monkey bars, you are not challenging yourself!" He was, of course, met by a look of disdain and disgust from his female companion. I asked her why she looked at him so. "He talks too much." Well, yes, quite.

    Mt Eden, Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 3112 posts Report Reply

  • Whoops,

    "Brekekekek coax coax."

    My 2.5 year old is learning Greek too!

    here • Since Apr 2007 • 103 posts Report Reply

  • Jacqui Dunn,

    Well, I'm really glad you blogged it now. Truly funny. I grew up with three younger brothers, and was reminded totally of being the sane older sister in a madhouse.

    So glad you enjoy them. May it last forever.

    Deepest, darkest Avondale… • Since Jul 2010 • 585 posts Report Reply

  • Jolisa,

    And also, what would you call it when a child says to another child...

    You know what, I bet that counts as pedagogy. Possibly pedapedagogy, tho' I a not a Greek expert.

    shining and heroic acts of individualism in this world of mundanity and loss of self.

    Lovely words, Jackie. They remind me of a line in Max, by Bob Graham, about a small superhero child who is slow to fly. When he finally gets around to flying and performing wee feats of bravery, his Mum pronounces him "a small hero doing quiet deeds." And he is, as all children are.

    (Except when they are doing noisy deeds).

    So glad you enjoy them. May it last forever.

    Here's hoping! Am saving up these moments in a jar for when it goes all hormonal a few years from now.

    Auckland, NZ • Since Nov 2006 • 1408 posts Report Reply

  • Jolisa,

    [Oops, double post]

    Auckland, NZ • Since Nov 2006 • 1408 posts Report Reply

  • Jolisa,

    "Brekekekek coax coax."

    My 2.5 year old is learning Greek too!

    Kudos!
    ;-)

    Auckland, NZ • Since Nov 2006 • 1408 posts Report Reply

  • Jolisa,

    Merc, thank you for that link. It is a long time since I have seen that movie, but Beatrice and her charms are imprinted firmly on my brain. Also, poetry. Poetry conquers all!

    Islander: Iway etbay ooyay owknay igpay atinLay, though? (Darn, bet I conjugated that wrong. Someone will correct me.)

    Auckland, NZ • Since Nov 2006 • 1408 posts Report Reply

  • Jackie Clark,

    Pedagogy, you say? I have always believed that that was what I had, and not the child. You are, or course, quite right. That is very obviously pedagogy.

    Mt Eden, Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 3112 posts Report Reply

  • Patrick Xavier,

    My heart gives a little flutter every time I see there is a new report from Busytown. I defer reading to the end of the day, and am never disappointed. And again.

    Since Nov 2006 • 36 posts Report Reply

  • Danielle,

    This post is probably my favourite thing that has ever happened.

    Also, this:

    All Magic 8 Balls are liars.

    Gave me an earworm (and that's the truth).

    (Awesomely, I just realised that it contains an ahead-of-its-time Rickroll.)

    Charo World. Cuchi-cuchi!… • Since Nov 2006 • 3583 posts Report Reply

  • Jolisa,

    Jackie - the child leading the child. They're very good at it, aren't they?

    I meant to say in the thread about your awesome post, that I finally saw the film Babies the other night. Have you seen it? It's editorially reticent (no voiceover, no subtitles), but full of quiet information.

    Anyhow, it struck me as a convincing argument that small children are happiest grubbing around in the dust with other children and animals, under the benevolent but slightly distant gaze of large, friendly adults.

    I.e., a village, or failing that, a kindy like yours.

    Auckland, NZ • Since Nov 2006 • 1408 posts Report Reply

  • Jackie Clark,

    Oh, so true, Jolisa. Part of the reasonI am there is to set up/manipulate the environment in a way that encourages active exploration; to prompt discussion as interest serves; and to ensure that rolling around in the dust happens frequently. Oh, and also? Make sure that they have the language to boss each other around. Because children bossing each other around is always so much more satisfactory. They revel in it.

    Mt Eden, Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 3112 posts Report Reply

  • Jolisa,

    This post is probably my favourite thing that has ever happened.

    Awww. Thank you. Actually, thank the boys for being such obliging nutters and supplying me with material. It was just a moment in the loo at Ikea, and then look.

    That song is horrendous, and the video even worse. Dancing flowers! Earworm AND eyeworm! Plus, as promised, the entire thing is a giant hay-riding Rickroll.

    Auckland, NZ • Since Nov 2006 • 1408 posts Report Reply

  • Ian Dalziel,

    the desert errata for a new age...
    but really it's all Greek to me...

    aporia = imponderable indigestion

    mythos = an epic operating system

    dianoia = being paranoid about Scientology (Dianetics)

    perepeteia = father fizzles

    opsis = it's not too far from there to oopsies (spectacular fail)

    melos = going for a song

    anagnorisis = the inability to spell Ragnarok

    pathos = Peanuts Envy? good grief Charlie Brown

    catharsis = pure purgery

    Christchurch • Since Dec 2006 • 4229 posts Report Reply

  • Islander,

    Ayay!

    (Anyone know why it's called 'pig Latin'? I have teh dictionaries, but most are currently packed awaiting transportation elsewhere.

    Edit - o yeah. Y'know, there's this thing called Wi-ki-pae-di-a?
    Marvellous eh?

    Big O, Mahitahi, Te Wahi … • Since Feb 2007 • 5643 posts Report Reply

  • Jolisa,

    Make sure that they have the language to boss each other around. Because children bossing each other around is always so much more satisfactory. They revel in it.

    A moment in our house the other day. Boys bossing each other around. From the sidelines, I interpose some adult wisdom: "Guys, the one who walks away from this squabble is the bigger man."

    Little brother then thumps older brother hard on the arm, and walks off. Aggrieved shout from older brother, and I buttonhole little brother. "What was that about?!"

    Completely sincerely, he says, "I walked away! I'm the bigger man, right?"

    When I explained that I didn't mean "after first thumping your brother," he replied in a genuinely offended voice, "Well, I didn't know THAT. I'm just a KID!"

    Point.

    Auckland, NZ • Since Nov 2006 • 1408 posts Report Reply

  • Jackie Clark,

    <sigh> They're like computers. Total logic.

    Mt Eden, Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 3112 posts Report Reply

  • David Haywood,

    Delightful post, young Jolisa -- very very clever!

    Dunsandel • Since Nov 2006 • 864 posts Report Reply

  • Carol Stewart,

    Shout "WHAT THE!"

    Do the young gentlemen read Footrot Flats, by any chance?
    My lad does, and "WHAT THE!" is heard rather a lot around our house, along with "CRIPES!" (usually reserved for situations of greater stress).

    Christchurch • Since Jul 2008 • 623 posts Report Reply

  • Rob Stowell,

    Genius, Jolissa. Thanks. And great as the ad-linked sermon from Ian Fazier is, I swear unto you by the toenails of Socrates, your epistles are finer!

    Whakaraupo • Since Nov 2006 • 1354 posts Report Reply

  • Ross Mason,

    Tip of the hat to Ian Frasier

    Heh. Good yo see you anglisiZed the spelling of Frasier!!

    And you say it all started in la-can.

    Also, penises are funny

    Ahhhh...."we" can't let them go can "we".

    Thoth. I thought that wath when the thoap wath usthed too mucth and it made bubbleths. Maybe it wath becauth the boyths had lotht their fwont teef.

    "Hey guess WHAT I'm just using the magic willy window in my Star Wars undies to do a awesome wee! Did you SAW that?! That was AMAZING!"

    The waving of the uncircumsiZed ones and the frantic steering of the flow as the small brain frantically tries to keep the floor dry and most of the elute in the bowl. It really was just practice for the PS3 you know.

    Upper Hutt • Since Jun 2007 • 1459 posts Report Reply

  • Tamsin6,

    Act I is my favourite. I think I know that chorus...

    Well worth the wait - thank you!

    London • Since Dec 2007 • 123 posts Report Reply

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