Where to start? Have you read this?…

This is a great book, especially for a six year old. We finished up all of the Oz books and my good friends Jerri and Roger had sent Sofia this book a while back. We read it and the bug was rapt and now we’re reading it again. The book is huge and loaded with tons of beautiful drawings. In fact some passages of 10+ pages tell the story without words, just a sequence of drawings like this…

and this…

As far as the title is concerned, the bug has been singing “civinivatonceannatonceanniva” for months now, so much so that I occasionally sing it. It easier if you break it down to civi-niva-tonce-anna-tonce-anniva and reminds me of when we were young and we were too hip to repeat supercalafragilisticexpealadoshis and instead opted for ishbiddilyoatenboatenbobobadeetendottenwaddatenchoo. I don’t even remember how old I was when that shite was going on. Also, under the category of “kindergarten”, the bug has come home recently with one of those interactive slap/clap games done to a chant. The chant goes like this… “I don’t wanna go to Mexico no mo mo mo, there’s a big fat policeman at the doe doe doe, he will grab you by the collar, make you pay a dollar, I don’t wanna go to Mexico no mo.” This is all repeated incessantly while slapping hands together and then after the final word, the faster of the two players reaches out and taps the other on the forehead and says “shame”. This is some playground nonsense that no doubt goes on at kindergartens everywhere but lately Sofia has been coming home with something similarly nonsensical and sometimes a bit horrific to a 6 year old… stories of “history”. So far we learned of Martin Luther King and how he was shot and killed. Then we learned of Abraham Lincoln and how he was shot in the head and killed. Of course there was the fairy tale stories of Columbus and our first president George. My question from the get-go is why are we telling this to kindergarten-ers? The bug came home and said that someone shot Lincoln in the head because he wanted to keep slavery. Then come the questions like… what is slavery? Why would anyone shoot someone in the head? (I did answer these which led to more complicated questions that I also answered.) I take the cue that she doesn’t have a context for these events to mean that they are inappropriate for kindergarteners. The piece d’ resistance was before bed a couple nights ago, she says… Dad, I don’t want to be president. I ask why even though I already know and she says, I don’t want to get shot in the head and die. Kudos to the school system! It turns out that the advocates for classically educating children promote a program where history and such (things that require a more advanced context of the world) are delayed until what we would describe as middle school years for precisely this reason. Sure, I’ve already gotten the party line which is some version of “well, they’re gonna have to know it sooner or later”… to which I say, why not later? Anyway, as far as I’m concerned, there’s a long row to hoe here and it can only get worse as her head gets filled with nationalistic apocryphal stories and her not having any way of evaluating what part is real or not. George didn’t chop down the cherry tree, Paul Revere didn’t ride solo yelling, the British are coming, and Columbus… well, I better nip it in the bud. We went out for beers last night and here’s a pic of the future anything-except-the-president, no POTUS hopefuls in this family…

On to terra sig greenware. Definitely some improvement going on. My idea now is that because the ts was put on after the pieces were bone dry that, although there is some adhesion to the clay body, it is a distinct stratum of material and once the sponging begins it is easier to dislodge as opposed to just the clay body itself which is not in strata. Whatever though, I decided to be more careful, read: take even more time…


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5 Responses to “Civinivatonceannatonceanniva…”

  1. Michele Says:

    i don’t remember my daughter learning about dead presidents when she was in kindergarten… but then again it was a long time ago and i may have forgotten. i agree with you, 5 & 6 is too young to fully understand that… history at 5 is what happened on my last birthday or looking at family photo albums!

  2. barbaradonovan Says:

    Yay – a mug of yours is on Etsy front page right now. Hope it brings you sales.

  3. Patricia Griffin Says:

    Hey! congrats on being the Artist of the Day on Carole Epp’s blog!!! Lookin’ good!

  4. ang Says:

    all that in kindy how bizarre!! and love that first image jim very nice and the surface looks just very tactile….lovely stuff

  5. eugene hon Says:

    For better or for worse, as a child I was indoctrinated with material about God eliminating one tribe after another without sparing their wives, children and even their livestock and thinking or not thinking how awful it was. Good riddens- they were all bad and children of the evil one. How the world has changed, one would think education should think ahead. Prepare kids for the future – not how we think but how they might need to think and behave in a changing society; with different values than ours.

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