Wednesday, 27 November 2013

What part of the plants do we eat?

What part of the plants do we eat?
27 November 2013

The problem with schooling, is that it caters for a percentage of kids only.  And it’s to be expected, that not everyone will fit this traditional scholastic mould.  It’s impossible. 

And who can blame the system?  It certainly works for the majority.  And we all went through it right?

Still, if ever I needed proof, that not all kids are the same, and think along the same lines, I got sent Cole.

My unusual boy, who sees the world slightly differently to the rest of us.  He’s not afraid to go left, when everyone else is going right.  And he quite often rushes in, where angels fear to tread.

Perhaps a part of his charm, is his wonderful honesty.  His ability to sum a situation up clearly, with a few succinct words.  How he is able to get to the crux of a matter, with the bare minimum of fuss.  His perceptive skills.  In addition, his humour is a joyful delight to behold.  He is the master of the witty comeback.  And his brain operates at a speed I can only marvel at.

Though at the same time, it’s not really tapped into school work per se.  And who can blame him?  It’s boring and tedious and you have to sit still for a really, really, really long time.  Every single day.  Breaks are too short.  Homework takes too long.  Still, he’s doing rather well at school.  I just don’t think he gets the point and sees the purpose of it all.

Thankfully, the academic year is drawing to a close.  And so too, the seemingly never ending round of assessments, tests, orals and continual evaluations.  My gratitude knows no bounds.  I was reaching the very end of my looooong fuse, in terms of drilling bonds, phonics, klanke, etc. into him.  I was quite literally going to crack and spontaneously combust.  It would not have been pretty.

And then yesterday, I got a little gift.  Cole’s portfolio, containing all of his assessments came home.  And as is normally the case, I so enjoyed going through it all.  Depending on his results in his various tests, my heart either swelled with pride, or I had a mini collapse.  See-sawing between delight and the occasional despair.  I also can’t see the pattern to his results.  Some days, he’s switched on.  Other’s he’s not.  And the evidence is always there in the handwriting.  If the handwriting is bad, chances are he’s rushing through his work, and the end result will not be all that stellar too.  One those days, I think that while he’s doing his work, he’s thinking about running outside with our dogs once he’s home.  Or racing a friend across the field to the car.  Or spending that little bit of time, before Amber finishes school, playing cricket with his mates.  And on those days – school work’s not all that important to him.  There’s an exciting life to be lived, and sitting behind a desk, is clearly not the way to do it.

But, back to assessments.  And of all of his assessments, none tickled me more, than one particular test for Life Skills.  Now Life Skills is a funny subject.  Most of it is general knowledge.  But depending on the subject matter, there is still some studying involved.  For this past term, the focus was on natural disasters and food products.  Mostly they zoned in on sugar cane – how long it takes to grow, where it grows, the products you get from it, etc.  Also the logical steps involved in the brick making process?????  You know – handy kind of stuff a nine year old needs to know.  If he’s building his own home, with bricks he’s made himself.  In between harvesting his sugar cane fields, and avoiding natural disasters likes floods, fires and the odd Tsunami.  Which explains why I would avoid the whole Kwazulu Natal area with its sugar cane fields…

And then, just for fun, they threw in a set of questions, we had not studied for.  They listed a few plants and the question was asked:  What part of the following plants do we eat?  Now I think the answers they were shooting for was:  roots, stem, leaves, fruit, seeds, etc.  But clearly, Cole disagreed.  In addition, I get the impression, that he thinks his teachers are a bit s-l-o-o-o-w, asking him silly questions.  And hence he gave them very logical answers.  Albeit that I do think he thinks his ”idiot” teacher knows nothing.

Carrots – orange part
Sunflowers – inside
Asparagus – outside
Tomatoes – inside and outside
Lettuce – whole thing

Yip, he got zero.  It’s a crime.  Because I think his answers are actually rather clever.  They’re spot on.  He stuck to the parameters of the question he was asked, and so technically at least, his answers are right.  He most certainly explained which part of the plants could be consumed.  You simply can’t argue with his logic.

I bet it brought a smile to his teacher’s lips.  And I’m so grateful that he had the most amazing teacher this year, who understood him and delighted in him too.

He’s most certainly unique.  And to quote him and the end phrase he uses on any written work he does…

The one and only Cole

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  1. Yip!! The one and only Cole!! You just HAVE to love him! He sure got lucky with his Mom too!!

  2. Ag jinne Helene!!!
    This is priceless!! He is indeed delightful!!

  3. Would have given him the marks...softie that I am, for originality.

  4. He sounds like an exceptionally bright boy! It would be so great if he could be in a school environment that nurtured and understood him.