Ed­u­ca­tion Mat­ters

LEARN­ING BY EX­PE­RI­ENCE

The Tribune (NZ) - - YOUR PAPER, YOUR PLACE - with Arthur Yeo

ave y , not be­cause of any un­for­tu­nate health events, but due to my stu­pid­ity and de­sire to ‘just see how it works’!

I re­mem­ber as an 8-year-old, pes­ter­ing my mother many times one morn­ing about how long it was till Christmas, I ended up out­side to play and ‘wait for lunch’. No screens or de­vices for me, so I de­cided I would go into dad’s work­shop to see what was there to amuse me. I loved the smell of the oil and the old tools. I had al­ready learned, through painful ex­pe­ri­ence, how dan­ger­ous his big saws could be, and when I took the end of my fin­ger off on his shoot­ing plane, I re­alised tools were things to be re­spected.

So, stand­ing in the cen­tre of the work­shop eye­ing all the op­por­tu­ni­ties, my gaze fell on a box of shot­gun car­tridges. I knew what they were and I knew what they could do. I al­ready had ex­pe­ri­ence with men com­ing to our place shoot­ing things thrown in the air. I loved the smell of gun­pow­der and de­cided I would like to see what it looked like. I took one out of the box and by in­dus­tri­ously pry­ing with an old 4” nail, I man­aged to un­bend the waxed card­board end and tipped out all the lead shot. I thought this was the gun pow­der so felt very proud of my­self.

Not re­al­iz­ing what the lit­tle gold thing on the other end of the cas­ing was, I took my trusty 4” nail, and with the car­tridge sit­ting in the vice, put the pointy end on the lit­tle gold thing and un­cer­e­mo­ni­ously struck the other end with dad’s ham­mer.

BANG ANG ANG ANG ANG ANG ang ang ang ri­i­i­i­i­i­i­i­i­i­i­i­i­i­i­i­i­i­innnnnnnnnng. I lifted off the ground with eyes wide open, grasp­ing for my ring­ing ears and, like you see in the car­toons, my feet were ped­al­ing air try­ing to get away from the scene of de­struc­tion. I ran out­side com­pletely sure my mum would have heard it and be com­ing out to see what mis­chief I had got up to.

I couldn’t hear a thing ex­cept for the in­fer­nal ring­ing. I pat­ted my ears and lay on the ground cry­ing with fright and then, re­lief. Mum hadn’t heard be­cause she was a long way away, and I made a de­ci­sion not to tell her, nor any­one about it. I snuck back into the work­shop and looked for the car­tridge – it was nowhere to be seen. I grabbed the shot, threw it in the gar­den and came in for lunch as non­cha­lantly as a deaf boy can. Mum asked a cou­ple of times if I was al­right as I hadn’t an­swered her from the kitchen. I said I was fine even though I was read­ing her lips a bit. The ring­ing had left by tea time and I chalked that one up as some­thing not to do again.

As a teacher, I draw on my life ex­pe­ri­ences to help chil­dren grow and learn. I know how kids think and I tap into their cu­rios­ity. That is why you could help your child achieve aca­demic suc­cess by bring­ing them in for a free les­son and as­sess­ment. Call us on 3543211.

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