Friday 18 June 2010

Apologies and thanks to Allan Ahlberg.

Billy Mc Bone
Had a mind of his own,
Which he mostly kept under his hat.
The teachers all thought
That he couldn’t be taught,
But Bill didn’t seem to mind that.

Two days ago my son sat down to the first of his “THIS-IS-IT!” exams.

Billy McBone
Had a mind of his own.
Which the teachers had searched for for years.
Trying test after test,
They still never guessed
It was hidden between his ears.

As is usual in France, the first is Philosophy – something that explains the French ability to question EVERYTHING.
As Loui left the house he said - “I’m glad I’m not stressed like the others”.

Billy Mc Bone
Had a mind of his own,
Which only his friends ever saw.
When the teacher said, “Bill,
Whereabouts is Brazil?”
He just shuffled and stared at the floor.

The question this year was – Is a happy life a life with pleasure?
I sent a text to Loui asking how he had done.

Billy McBone
Had a mind of his own,
Which he kept under lock and key.
While the teachers in vain
Tried to burgle his brain,
Bill’s thoughts were off wandering free.

He replied – “Yea, i enjoyed it.”


Mary said...

Beatiful photo of the kids studying under the guidance of the Sun god.

We are similarly enjoying my son's exam period this week and next. He had an English exam this morning. Last night I asked how the studying was going, he said,

"I studied so much that I hope that I haven't OVER-studied."

I suggested that a good night's sleep might be helpful.

I phoned him just a few moments ago to ask him how he had done.

He said -- "Good -- hard though -- a lot of writing."

Hard to 'overstudy' for essay style responses.

Happy Life? Pleasure? -- don't have a clue how I would have answered that one. Wish Loui much luck.

Must read more Ahlberg.

PS Germany has lost?!, U.S. has tied -- next up England. Yeah!

popps said...

so we have an overstudier and an understudier!
The USA was robbed, but it was exciting at last.

Vicki Hollett said...

Oh lovely post, lovely poem and good luck to Loui!
I am very interested in Loui's exam question: ‘Is a happy life a life with pleasure?’
There’s been a lot of research in the UK and US in recent years into what makes people happy. I thought it was interesting and wrote some stuff about it for a book.
The topic was generally well received by readers around the world, but curiously, not by France. As I recall, the issue was that ‘happiness’ wouldn’t be seen an important value in France, and so could be perceived as childish. Does that ring true to you ?

popps said...

Does that ring true with me?
Do you mean can i can confirm that the French think thus (i can't) or do i think it is an important value (i do).
I'll try and find out what the French think.
What was the book?
I think the exam, being philo, was meant to be along the lines of what is happy, what is pleasure, can you have pleasure without it's opposite (pain?) to measure it.
I'm not sure, i'll get some chocolate and get back to you on this.

popps said...

Vicki, nothing really to do with it but it's very funny

popps said...

Vicki, nothing really to do with it but it's very funny

Vicki said...

Ah sorry, I meant would that accord with your impression of the French view?
The book was Lifestyle pre-intermediate and it's been published now (pages 28 and 29). To address French concerns, we reoriented the original draft to include 'feeling satisfied' as well as 'feeling happy', but if you come across the book, I'd be interested to know how well you think the topic would fly in a French classroom.

Vicki said...

Loved the video!

popps said...

Here's another Allan Ahlberg poem.

I did a bad thing once.
I took this money from my mother's purse
For bubble gum.
What made it worse,
She bought me some
For being good, while i'd been vice versa
so to speak- that made it worser.

Mary said...

Am catching up on the last few days of blogs as I have been watching Jonathan play baseball-- 2 wins, 1 loss (so close!), finishing up my week of birthday cake eating with a visit to my Mum and Dad in Niagara where I also celebrated Father's Day (yesterday, Sunday). [Happy belated Father's Day Chris!]

My son took his final Geography exam this morning at 8:30 a.m. -- just one problem -- his alarm was not activated properly last night so he woke up at 7:50 a.m. He had 10 minutes to shower, dress and eat before my husband rushed him to school during rush hour which would easily take 25 minutes.

Science exam is tomorrow morning at 8:30 a.m. -- he has provincial baseball trials tonight -- this is life at a break-neck speed. [Have I mentioned that Toronto is gearing up for G-20 and G-8 mayhem? Making the driving a total nightmare -- barrier gates are set up all over downtown and the city is swarming with police, RCMP, and undercover security personnel brought in from the U.S. Gridlock has already begun so I will likely stay home from Thursday til this mess is over. Protesters are organizing and starting their demonstrations on Wednesday -- so will try to come into work but may have to stay home if things get out of hand.]

One last thing appropos of nothing -- took another look at the photo -- the Sun god is actually a Sun/Moon god.


popps said...

And Mary, if you look very closely you will see the price in indelible pencil.

Mary said...

I see something but can't verify. More importantly -- Loui shares your grimace.

Oh and Argentina just scored again. This is exciting!