Lately I’ve been worried about the school projects that my daughter brings home. There’s this one class they have that used to be SOSE, which admittedly was a complete duffer of a subject where the teachers could basically put their feet up their feet and teach anything they wanted. So they got rid of that, and replaced it with ‘Life Studies’. And while that sounds even worse, there’s actually a strict curriculum in my daughter’s school, so it’s not as much fluff as it used to be.
And yet…the project she brought home the other day was on nuclear war. Not ‘how to not get involved in international conflict!’ or ‘why trade wars are bad, specifically!’ No, she had to do a project on the likelihood of us undergoing such an event, and what things would be left behind.
I remember doing a project on air conditioning entitled ‘The Air Conditioning, Canberra residents rejoice!’ That was for a class when I was in school, and we had to pick our favourite thing around the home. About 90% of kids chose their dog or cat, or possibly hamster, and all the others just went with their games console. And here’s me, with the air con unit. I LOVED that thing. In fact, one of my most vivid childhood memories is going on a school trip to Parliament on a really hot day, walking in and feeling just how wonderfully cool it was. That was when I swore I’d get a job there, which I eventually did, albeit in the office and not the senate.
Now THAT was a good use of the time. Not that I’m saying that learning about international conflict is bad as such, but it’s a frightening subject matter for grade two kids. I’m just saying, their favourite thing is a lot more positive for children of that age. I’d hoped that my daughter would inherit my love of air conditioning services like me, but I think now she has an interest in post-modern literature instead. So…that’s fine, I suppose. There’s a lot of that around at the moment.