‘You remind me,’ said the woman on the other side, ‘of Alice in Wonderland.’
I had left my belongings back in the other world, including my shoes, and crawled through a tunnel of lights into an Aladdin’s cave of pedagogy. There were no giant, talking flowers but there were: mossy pillows to stand on, the smell of purple flowers and rosemary, the feel of marbles and chickpeas scattered in a box; a large hoop skirt to reimagine ones childhood; bubbles, Lego, Play Doh, costumes and more to explore.
I wrote a postcard, to my eight year old self,
Believe in your creativity and forge your own path.
I felt constrained by the Curriculum as it came into force in the late 1980s. They had asked us to think for ourselves then trained us how to act: realistic, practical, confined by opportunities we did not understand.
At home my existence was one of curiosity and imagination that wasn’t valid in the classroom where they recited, ‘learn this, say this, be this.’ The dark would brought back memories of those teachers, you know the ones. There was Mr Duffy who gave me insights on ecology, everything had a place in an invisible network of relationships. Mrs Richards and Mr Gartshaw encouraged that creative side in English as I experimented with shaping how I saw the world in words. Playing, exploring, poetry, botany, forming new symphonies of expression. An invaluable tool in research.
The experience ended too soon. Back to reality and ecopedagogy with Rachel King in the Ramphal Building. Ecopedagogy is:-
§ Space and Place (environment)
Then we were walking, observing, acting, writing, and experiencing a sense of place.
I left thinking ‘I can’t wait to return to the would tomorrow.’