Archive for September, 2008

Entry for September 04, 2008

September 4, 2008


The city of Rome is said to have about 600 churches and cathedrals with 1,500 bells in them. Bell-ringing in orthodox and Catholic churches is used to announce worship services, great holidays and even the beginning of a work-day. Before every church or cathedral had their saxton, or bell-ringer to skillfully pull the ropes and create special tunes for special occasions.

However, nowadays more and more temples use electronics to do the job. In the long terms it becomes cheaper and more reliable and the local tradition of bell-ringing is dying out.

I think of the professions that existed in the past and are no longer: scribes, weavers, tanners, chandlers (makers of candles), wain-rights (repairers and makers of wagons), thatchers, seamstresses. Some of them may fluctuate in their popularity: astrologers, palm-readers, numerologists, etc. Even in my time certain professions became less prestigious while others grew more favoured: engineers, physicists, pilots, cooks. With many trades losing ground and with the tendency of the population to earn more money and avoid tougher jobs, it may turn out that more and more professions will be put on the backburner or will simply disappear. I do not know which of them will become non-existent and which new will crop up. But I know for sure: DOCTORS and TEACHERS will be among those who are going to survive. May I venture a surmise? BLOGGERS will be among them too.

Entry for September 01, 2008

September 1, 2008


In Ukraine it’s not a mere calendar date. It’s a kind of national holiday when kids rush to school in their very best — carrying bunches of flowers. The day itself has the official name Day of Knowledge though hardly any pupils “put their hand to the plough” on September 1. Those who are younger dribble with their parents hand in hand and the parents’ (if not the kids’) faces are so enthusiastic and hopeful. Until recently education had been a major way in Ukraine to personal fulfilment. Now — when money started to roar — it’s kind of different and is a theme of another blog entry.
From 8 a.m. till 9 a.m. today I taught my first lesson this academic year. It had much to do with the idea of the cartoon posted with this blog. I love private lessons. They remind me of another cartoon when one kid says to another in the gym: “Gym is fun, but I could do without all the bells and whistles.” I love private lessons because there are no “bells” or “whistles” and because the kids are more motivated and reponsible than it is generally in a group. I love it because it is also a way to personal fulfilment and — regardless of how many years you have been in teaching — there’s always something NEW, something that comes for the FIRST time.

Happy New Academic Year, then!

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