And Gutenberg Lived Here: Hey, We May Survive After All.

Yesterday we took a couple of hours off to meet a distant cousin

in a gorgeous botanical Garden in Frankfurt.

Called the Palm Garden,

you can not only walk the huge area,

and enjoy the lake,

and the flowers,

and the sunshine,

you can also absorb the sounds.

And the smells.

And learn a lot.

About plants.

And, in our case,

from the cousin,

who is an early retiree,

couldn’t stand it and went back to work type,


we learned a lot about kids.

And what is really going on in education at the moment


That working with all kinds of kids

in the very very difficult Frankfurt school system,

with umpteen languages and cultures,

and umpteen views of God and the world,



it all depends on the parents.

Yup, parents.


according to her,

and her years and years of experience,

if the home has more books,

and allots more quality time for books

than tv, or,

more importantly today, computers,

the kids will make it.

‘Nuff said.

Ditto for alternative parenting sources like religious institutions,

which, whatever the religious direction,

needs a program that gets the kids involved.

ie a program in our church, for example,

to watch, and discuss, a Blues Brothers film

from the standpoint of what the actors were really saying.

And what the kids thought of the ideas.

And why.

And then they did a kids choir program where they sang a couple of blues brothers songs-

very popular over here.

Or, in the case of a choir project I set up, the old-time gospel John the Revelator,

and Riverside, which is as well-known over here as in the US,

and even O Happy Day, just so the kids heard it, just once, when it wasn’t being used

as a soap commercial, if you can believe it.

So there you have it.

Saving the world, according to E…

Which makes a lot of sense to me.


First: parents,

and then church as addendum to the parents,

and then…

of course the schools.

And here I have to admire his cousin.

She has been hit by all the “new and innovative” programs thrown at her,

weathered them all,

and still believes

schools are there to bring kids in touch with books.

When working with a book, the kids have to separate themselves off from the gang,

no computer pings

no others telling them what to think,

and just be still.

And listen,

and think

before they discuss.


And in tolerance.

Not to dispute, but to learn.

And then you have juice.

And graham crackers.

And a short nap.

Play with the class’ rabbit.

And life is good again.

And all that from a couple of hours without a computer.

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