Ed Note: Now that I have a figured out how to beautify the template, I have been suffering from an acute-change-the-look itch the whole day, which I have been (wo)manfully repressing.
Instead, I will recycle a post.
I don’t think anyone ever read this particular one – it was written after a blogging hiatus sometime in Aug 2007. One of those drearily-lowering-periods-when-I-had-no-readers (Sobs!). So why not air it again –(this time hopefully to loud and tumultuous applause).
No particular reason to chose this one, but damn it I am blogcked. I have some fifteen ideas in my head jostling each other which refuse to come out on paper. Bah.
I was cleaning my cupboard the other day and came across an old SUPW project. A self-analysis that was written when I was in the ninth or tenth – hugely entertaining reading for me at any rate. But more on that later.
SUPW as a subject has always fascinated me – insofar as I can’t see ANY conceivable reason for its existence. I googled for the full form- turns out it is “Socially Useful and Productive Work”.
If my memory serves me right, there was absolutely nothing , which was even remotely productive that actually did take place. Some flirting, a lot of paper airplanes and of course some destructive stuff - chairs, tube lights and the odd classmate (though one could argue that the last mentioned was a productive excercise )
Towards the end of the year, there would be some harebrained assignment like knitting shawls (which in my case, unfailingly ended up as tea cosys (cosies?)) or making organdy flowers (which was upwardly delegated to the mother three days before due date). This er ..produce was graded, sent back home, displayed for maybe two days before falling behind some cupboard never to be seen again.
Occasionally you had projects like self-analysis (though how the self analysis of a fourteen year old is socially useful beats me).
I remember trying to bribe a friend to write my project. I also recall sessions where we got together in recess to ‘analyze’ each other viz.swapping candid insults in the name of homework - which would eventually end up in a couple of the boys rolling on the floor hitting each other with a handy desk or two.
In eight or ninth there was this other programme called EREWHON that I vaguely remember was similar to SUPW, only more painful, which I seem to have mercifully blanked out. The only remnant of it is an old grainy photograph of all of us as scrawny preteens with the course coordinator (a snap which looks like a bunch of street urchins with a social worker).
And of course the “Moral Science” lesson in 11th and 12th (anyone who has done time in a convent will remember that). Incidentally, the nun who taught us this, used to read Mills and Boons hidden in a notebook.
I wonder whether anyone does out more moral, socially useful or erewhony after these classes. If my classmates are examples, then I strongly doubt it - most have questionable morals, and are fairly asocial and useless ( which is their saving grace, and the reason we all remain great friends even now)
Do they still teach these in schools.?