Wednesday, January 09, 2008

3 snippets in the midst of a 2 horse race

In the midst of the election hype going on right now, and I am sick of wondering whether the USA is more racist or more sexist. Given the current content of our news channels, it appears that America as much more of a national interest in naval gazing than most other countries. Australia recently elected a new government in much less time and without half as much fuss. Whilst the rest of the world may well be quite interested in the eventual November result, I wonder if there is a global need to know the voting percentages in individual caucuses to the exclusion of other equally worthy election news like the one in Kenya?


Recently, I had Sophie in my arms, resting her head on my shoulder when suddenly she says "Maman! Beijing! Pekin!" I found this slightly odd given that we were in the middle of a Paris airport. But anyway I looked in the direction that she was pointing and saw a map of the world which was put up on the side of a Relay bookstore. I'm pretty impressed. Sophie has a World Map at home which is a giant foam puzzle sent by her Godma Joan and she loves to tear it apart and put it together.

What I found pretty cool is that she can identify Beijing, France, Singapore, South Africa, Italy, Canada, Brazil and USA on a map on a relief map which looks entirely different in colour and style (not to mention context!) from the one we have at home.

Anyway, from what I understand of their education system, this small country-identification exercise is more than what most American adults can do.

Over this Christmas holiday I spent some time searching myself to see if I harbored any delusions that Sophie could be some kind of infant prodigy or genius. I can honestly say that I do not hold such aspirations. What I do feel more anxious to protect however is her curious and creative spark which I hope does not get quashed in parental efforts to establish boundaries and inculcate a value system, nor beaten out by a rigid formal education system.


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