6 October 2013 (Sunday) - R.E.
I woke feeling rough,and carried on feeling rough all day. Was it the excesses of yesterday or the aftermath of that flu jab? hangovers rarely last more than an hour for me. I am not going to be pressured into having any more flu jabs.
I brekkied whilst watching an episode of "Early Doors" - the third episode I've seen. I love it. And then I checked the Internet. Little had happened overnight. It rarely does.
Leaving er indoors TM" and "Furry Face TM" in their pits I set off to work. So as the day wouldn't be all work and no play I went via Little Burton Farm to try for a geocache. Two weeks ago I'd tried for this very one. The thing was clearly not there then. And it wasn't just me being useless - other experienced cachers hadn't found it either.
I'd since looked at the on-line logs for that cache and seen that someone had found it recently; their first and only find. So this morning on the way to work I thought I would have another try. The cache was obvious, and on opening it up I could see the signatures of people who had found it over the last couple of months.
It really hadn't been there two weeks ago, but here was evidence that this was the original and not a replacement. Had this newbie taken it home to sign the log and to show his friends? What was going on here? I suspect I shall never know.
As I drove to work the pundits on the radio were talking about the (supposedly) shocking news from OFSTED that over half the schools in the country are failing to deliver Religious Education as a subject.
Apparently the problem is that no one, least of all the R.E. teachers, really knows what is expected from R.E. lessons. Are they to be the history of the world's religions? An academic study of the tenets of the world's religions? Perhaps to deliver a sense of morality? Or even (just possibly) crackpot nonsense? Certainly I had all four when I was at school. Mr Groves would have us draw pictures of selected scenes from the Old Testament. Mr Storey would lead all sorts of discussions. And once a week we would sit through the ranting of an angry old vicar. This chap would aggressively spout the most ridiculous and farcical propositions as though they were logically valid arguments, and would regularly reduce common sense to gibberish.
There was a head teacher interviewed on the radio who gave the impression that she was sick of these stunning revelations. Apparently she is already contending with allegations that her school does not have enough focus on teaching music, drama, hockey, flower arranging and morris dancing. She maintained that there was only so much time in the day and that schools should focus on teaching kids to read and write and do sums rather than to waste everyone's time on fringe nonsense such as half-baked religion. Personally I think she might have had a point.
The radio show then wheeled on someone from the national committee for religion in schools whose committee is due (in a few weeks) to give the government a formal report on what an R.E. syllabus should contain. This chap clearly had no idea what R.E. was, should be, or could be about. But he spouted platitudes with the best of them.
There could be so much more to religion than spouting platitudes.
Meanwhile the news also told of Britain's first free Muslim school which has been shut down amid all manner of allegations.
]Apparently the teachers are being forced to wear hijab; female students told to sit at the back of classrooms so the boys can see what's going on better...
Here's an idea. Why not let school be about teaching academic lessons whilst imparting moral guidance from a reasoned and reasonable ethical standpoint, and leave the supposed pronouncements from invisible imaginary friends to everyone's spare time.
And so to work. I did my bit, but felt progressively more grotty as the day went on. There's no denying I was glad when it was time to call it a day. Were it not a Sunday I might have been inclined to have phoned in sick.