|D'you wanna see my badges?|
I loved the outdoors, the idea of camping, the idea of making fires, the idea of climbing.
I was pretty pissed off with the rigmarole they asked me to go through to do what I loved.
You might imagine that I was born to be a Cub Scout.
You would have imagined wrong.
Week after week they asked me the same question.
"Have you got your Cub-shirt yet?"
"No, They don't have one my size."
"No, My parents couldn't find one in the shops."
"No, It got lost in the post."
Any excuse was good enough to avoid wearing that rubbish uniform.
Pledge and Mottos
Then there was the silly Cub salute and pledge.
Then there were the silly Cub badges that the seniors showed off on their sleeves.
Don't ask me to explain to you what the pledge was, I refused to give even lipdub to their stuff.
Now that's got me thinking...
I am curious now.
I shall have to Google it.
Here it is, in a ghastly blueish typeface,
The Cub Scout Promise:
The Cub Scout Law:
The Cub Scout Motto:
There it is, I was never prepared to accept their wretched promises, laws, caps, badges, shirts, mottos and miscellenaeous mumbo jumbo.
"Sprechen sie deutsch?"
"Not on your Nelly."
There it was, I was a Germanophonephobe.
There was nothing I could do about it.
It was a strong allergic reaction to the teacher, the word order, the weird lexical assemblages.
There was the associated war-time imagery...
|A German Teacher|
The teacher had a short crop, a black leather jacket, and a BMW motorbike...
At a quick guess, I would say he was the Wehrmacht motorcyclist second from the left.
No threat of low marks, punishment, or physical torture would break my resistance, it was a question of patriotic pride.
There would be no collaboration with the enemy.
I was prepared.
I had seen the Colditz series on the BBC
They had no ways to make me speak.
|Colditz Model School.|
"Why don't you speak English?"
I have spent hours being paid to say those words.
There are times when being an English teacher seems like a big waste of time.
(shhh don't tell anyone)
I had spent hours correcting that student. Nothing seemed to stick. Nothing seemed to stick...ever.
He arrived with his new English friends, with bright eyes, and excitement.
"I have just learnt loads of new expressions, Barry has corrected all of my English."
Well, I suppose that I was in part responsible for finding Barry to make friends with the student...
It was clear that he was suddenly really keen to learn, he was taking pleasure to learn, he was learning like never before...
early 17th century (in the general sense ‘a legal or moral obligation’): French, fromengager ‘to pledge’ (see engage).
I have just been reading a Dave Cormier post on the question of learner engagement.
I have been thinking about the problem of learning within institutional settings.
I suspect that we don't engage in learning, rather we engage with a person, a club, a community or an army.
We pledge our belonging to a community.
Any learning in the community may be inherent or incidental to one's belonging to that community.
I suspect that the community is always the curriculum.
Do communities really care about learning which does not reinforce the community?
I love camping.
I love learning.
I love learning languages to speak with people that I like or to avoid people I don't like.
I love learning from people that I respect.
I do my best to help other people...
I have no particular longing to belong.
You can keep your badges, your pledges, your marks, your threats, your engagements...