In Season For A Reason

there’s a voice and a reason and a reason for the season  and the season may very well be now and it’s calling and they’re shouting and the shouting’s growing louder and it’s asking when and where and how

and it’s shouting and it’s crying and the proof is in the people and the people are asking why and why and why, can you hear it, can you feel it, do you know it  when you see it, can you feel it surging, voices do not lie,

they’re asking and i’m asking and we’re wondering and demanding and it’s growing by the minute, by the hour and it’s here and it’s there and it’s tweeting everywhere and folk around are fed up by the same old choir

for they sing the song of death and destruction and disaster and they try oh, how they try to fill our hearts with fear, but hearts and minds have reason and the reason and the season is asking, really? armageddon near?

what of love and truth and the knowledge born of youth, the undisturbed, the uncorrupted view, the simple and straightforward and, yes, the basic facts, that, where they argue, honesty is lacked

our educated young and the chorus raised against the same old, tired old, oh, so very, very old, repeated verse, is a fallacy, delusion, determined on confusion, keep them separated, subjugated, worse,

let them all believe that difference is abhorrent, that mothers, fathers, children, all and everywhere, are somehow out of sync, with all nature, all we need, all we ask for, how we feed, shall we really let them bring us to the brink

there’s a reason and a season and the season may be now and the reason is catching up to lies and, god, I hope it’s true that what we read and do may avert the worst of all, we, all, must most despise

 

I don’t really ‘do’ Twitter or Facebook although my posts go to both. I’d forgotten how engaged, politically, both are, especially considering my experience of both during the Scottish Referendum campaign. I’ve been negligent. There are so many voices out there speaking for causes that unite people, people just being people, doing what they’re best at. Yeah, there are some total planks. You get that everywhere. But, there are so many Joes and Janes out there, just being human and caring, that I’ve been humbled tonight to be part of their thoughts and arguments.

I’m promising myself that I’ll get back to the level of engagement that I was involved in during the Referendum, that I’ll listen to the pros and cons and follow the links  –  so many of which I could never find on my own.

I don’t know if I’ll manage it – time always being the enemy of intention – but I’ll certainly try.

There’s a reason, I believe, for the existence of these forums at this time – this season of so much unrest and dissatisfaction with what passes for governance worldwide. 

I’m rarely in fashion but I do tend to follow what appeals to my sense of justice and integrity. I find these voices here on WP. I’d forgotten that social media actually has a lot to be said for itself – if you can ignore the bits that don’t appeal.

I’d urge anyone whose interested in what’s going on in the world to do what I have neglected to do for some time. Re-engage. This is the season. And there is a reason. I have no doubt of that after tonight.

Have No Fear, Wild And Free

I’ve given up for the night on attempting to write any more school reports. I have weans on the brain. Those I’ve been writing about, my own, my nieces and nephews, friends of my kids, you name it, I’m surrounded!

And they amaze me. They fill me. They are up to the mark on so many things I wasn’t even thinking about at their age. They’re so on the ball. Sharing their thoughts and feelings with a passion that leaves me speechless. OK, nearly. I have to have my say. And they come back at me, and they listen and they question and they share.

Gawd, how they share! Do weans these days have no embarrassment?!

Seriously, I won’t tell you what ‘inappropriate’ stuff filters through my poor lugs. I’m scandalised half the time and, fortunately, honest enough to acknowledge that the only thing that stopped me from sharing so much for so long was fear. They don’t seem to have that. Well, they do, in some ways, for things I can’t believe they fear. Then they go and say or do something that leaves me gasping WTF!

They are tremendous. Truly tremendous.

Young minds engaging in absolutely everything and with passion and a sense of truth and justice I am proud to say must have had something to do with their parenting. Even a little.

As for the rest, the times they live in, we live in, guarantee easy engagement.

I could go on forever as to why this matters to me, to us, but I won’t, hoping instead that my poem says it more succinctly. If it doesn’t, I have a cohort of youth at your disposal to enlighten you to their feelings and thoughts.

You’ll find them near an almost empty fridge. Do they ever stop eating? No wonder they’re all towering above me. In more ways than one.

We’d better laugh just now,

The kids are crying,

They’ve taken all they’re gonna

And that’s sad,

Sad they ever had to

Deal with lying,

Keep on trying

To oppress,

The kids are mad,

Mad as hell,

Just like their mental mothers,

Sanity in fathers

Gone for good,

Pressure boils the cauldron,

Can’t contain it,

Watch out folks,

For kids misunderstood,

Understanding new,

Where once was absence,

Absent fathers,

Mothers gone to pot,

Bubble, bubble,

Here comes trouble,

Children,

Raised without

Deserved, so

They’ve got

Passion in their veins,

The kids can’t help it,

Fires in bellies

Where there should be food,

Listen to their grumbles

And you’ll see it,

Won’t take much more,

The kids don’t need the ‘hood.

Courage on their foreheads

Like a tattoo,

Raising merry hell in politics,

Ask them,

Go on, ask them

Can you take it,

Up to all the spin

And dirty tricks.

Child from streets

Not talkin’ ’bout the ghettoes,

Kids like yours,

Like mine,

They see it all,

Festering, they burst it

Then anoint it,

Blessed be,

The kids won’t take the fall.

Savvy on the streets

And in the parlours,

Talkin’ jigsaws,

Piecing all the bits,

Whoopdedoo,

Some arse is due for whipping,

Generation 20′ need their fix.

Rocking chairs we ride on

Are now seizing

Little bits of pasture gone if dealt

On the pain of children,

That’s called justice,

Not too late yet

If we feel what’s felt.

Riding with the kids,

No need for Harley,

Hair to air on horsepower from inside,

Comin’ at you,

Watch the film now screening,

No place to run to,

Braves are running wild.

Wild and free,

We know that we were there once,

Difference being,

Not a bit afraid,

Everything’s been shared on social media,

Not got a secret left,

They’ve all been played.

Free from fear,

The kids are on the rampage,

Some misdirected,

That’s just par for course,

But watch the wonders,

Surging all around us,

Youth with yearning,

Action and discourse.

Gawd, excited! Can’t you feel their movement!

Battalions brave, bevy beautiful,

Lads and lassies,

More than hopeful, fired up,

Subtled to astute

‘Tween ruled and rule.

We Know Already, You Know

By next Thursday, before yet another holiday weekend, – yes, I know bloody teachers – I will have submitted around 30,000 words to my current headteacher outlining the progress of 26 children in my class. I started a couple of days ago. Pressure makes for focus I find.

A certain amount of copying and pasting is allowed for similarity in contexts. Blah, blah, they all studied artists and scientists and found out about the life of pirates in days of yore. That still leaves a lot of words that are unique to every child. Mainly because they are all unique. I’ve spent every school day with them since last August till now and I know them as well as it’s possible to know anyone in around 1,000 accumulated hours of close proximity.

And it strikes me all over again. Every year. Every time I come to the full report on the progress and knowledge of the children in my care.  Gawd, I really know them. Not until I put the words into type and see before me the evidence of my own thoughts and their development.

Of course, in between times, this is all held in my head and in ongoing assessments and profiles. But it’s the summary – if summary 30,000 words can be called – that brings home to me every-single-year how well I imbue all that unfolds before me.

Don’t we all?

I haven’t commented, as such, on the results of the general election here in the UK where the incumbent party swept home on around 25% of the electorate.

And that might even be wrong.

My head is full of figures.

I’ve read just about everything there is to read on post election analysis. I’ve listened to and read some unadulterated shite.

Some perfectly reasonable arguments and some hugely emotive posts from people who have so much at stake from another five years of Tory government. The favoured and the damned.

I haven’t read much on WordPress unless there’s been a link through Twitter or Facebook to a relevant post on a subject that is not going away. Democracy. Justice. Representation. Empathy. Compassion. Corruption. Representation. Capitalism, that no creator of its name surely ever envisaged. Surely not, Adam Smith.

More than one subject there?

Or one?

I’ve listened to I don’t know how many repetitive newsreels on Burundi and immigrants on boats who may or may not be genuine asylum seekers and appeals from member states of the European Union that Britain and other members step up to the mark and take their fair share of suffering by any other name.

I’ve hung my head that, already, an extreme right-wing government is seeking to revoke the Human Rights adhered to by member states of the EU to be replaced by some paper invoking #British values. A government with its 25% mandate seeking to ensure that no strike action may occur in any workforce without a 40% vote in favour.

I’ve laughed, delightedly, that the 56 Scottish Nationalist Members of Parliament ‘flouted’ etiquette by applauding – that’s it, applauding! in Westminster! How very dare they! To flout the establishment thus! Off with their ……Fuck off!

I’ve smiled that a 20 year old politics student overturned a 17,000 seat majority from Labour to claim her own 6,000 seat majority.

I smiled and nodded as I listened to her say that it was a wee bit embarrassing that tweets of hers/Facebook stats were being dredged up from five or six years ago to disgrace her. Yeah, like any fourteen or fifteen year old could beam with pride at everything they’d ever said or done.

Or any of us could at any age.

And what does all of my reading and listening have to do with writing report cards for 26 kids I love have to do with each other?

If I have to explain that.

If I have to explain that we already know what is good for us and our children, for the weak, the impoverished, the homeless, the disenfranchised.

If I have to explain that a lifetime watching and listening and reading and being part of the system surely equates to more knowledge and understanding than 1000 hours of close proximity of love and care can produce.

I have the wrong audience albeit a small one.

What is wrong is endemic everywhere.

I’d like to leave the last word on the subject – before I go back to writing reports on my little ‘angels’ – well, they are! – to a new find to me today.

A voice. Not from Scotland.

Because what I know, what nearly everyone in Scotland knows, is that this is not nationalist as previously known. I’m glad to know that others know this too.

This is civic.

This is debate.

This voice.

Of the people.

This is basic.

And as surely as a 20 year old MP can eat a piece ‘n’ chips on the steps of the established powers that would hold us to values we don’t hold, we have voices that will flout established thought till we get to know the hearts and minds of children of the future.

I give you Mhairi Black

And Mancunian Spring, proving that people voice exists across the whole of the UK. And the day of reckoning is dawning. Perhaps everywhere.

And, if you don’t believe me, I find this more than a little worrying. So many familiar names in the newly appointed Tory cabinet in roles that ‘if at first you don’t succeed’.

In other news,

– someone resigned from The Simpsons. Apparently the map of the UK now resembles Maggie. Does that mean that the body hasn’t caught up with the head yet? Or what?

-and women say bigger might be better. Jury out on that one here. Quality counts.

Now going back to nursing a cold – first one in I don’t know how many years – and catching up on reports that I know inside out. Because, let’s face it, we know what we know already. No one need to tell us what is self-evident. Right?

When will we see your like again?

Any educator worth their salt knows that the battle is won when students are engaged in the learning process. How to do that becomes of paramount importance if successful learning is to occur. I won’t go into the myriad methods teachers use and try out in their efforts to capture and retain the attention of minds too often full of alternatives vying for their consideration. But the list is pretty much endless. Making lessons fun is one. Kinaesthetic learning another. Meaningful lessons a must.

Whatever else may be said about the campaign for Scottish Independence, one of its chief successes has to be the level of engagement abounding within the populace as a whole. For the first time in generations, adults and youth alike are enthusiastic and vocal in the political arena where previously they have felt disengaged. Mainly due to feeling disenfranchised by the whole political process and the parties representing what has been seen to be too much of the same old, same old.

What is the point in voting? has been a question on the lips of so many for years and this has been reflected in the turnout at elections. To have reached a point in governance where it seems pointless to participate at all is a woeful reflection on how politics operates in the UK and in many other countries. To believe in democratic process one must feel that they have a stake in the result.

Meaningful participation.

That has been lacking so badly.

Across Scotland, right now, all ages are enthused by what is occurring in their lifetime. When my seven year old states early in the morning, ‘Only two weeks to go now, Mum’, I know that the talk abounding has permeated minds that would have previously not understood what a referendum was let alone could discuss what the possibilities of a yes or no mean.

It is not permissible for me to discuss the campaign in school in the interests of neutrality. But the children themselves are discussing it in the playground! Primary school children who are listening to their parents talk and feeling the vibe are opening up avenues of discussion.

Manufacturing enthusiasm is a difficult job. Ask any teacher. Meaningful enthusiasm is worth its weight in gold. And votes.

Imagine a political arena where the participants are the people themselves. Not the face of a party leader. Not the voice of one man or woman spouting agendas that feel separate from the populace. Not suits, dressed to impress, with flat voices guaranteed to turn the most intelligent student into a zombie. Not a separate entity from the reality of the commoner.

Sure, there are posturers seeking to score points in the age-old method guaranteed to inflame ire among the plain speakers and force the bored into submissive apathy.

But it’s not working! Rather than turning people off, the posturing becomes one more thing to fight against. It already was when the campaign began. Now, it’s seen as the smoke screen it has always been used for. No more mincing words in negativity and scaremongering. No more listening to the lies.

Oh yes, we hear them and pay attention to what is being said but the tissue is crumpling into pieces.

When will we see your like again?