Usually related to education, philosophy or society, I write these to give form to some of things I grapple with. If they can spur on debate and reflection so much the better.


The Circle of Normalcy

Our last 'K class' was subject to a special visit. An ex-student was visiting Brockwood for a few days, researching material for her upcoming autobiography, and was asked to give a talk to the school during K class about her life's work. Io Tillett Wright was a student at Brockwood Park ten years ago and has now embarked on a pretty ambitious nation-wide project in her homeland (USA), photographing 10,000 faces of anyone who identifies as anything but 100% hetero, seeking to spread awareness about a broader spectrum of human sexuality. Here was a speaker who seemed to appeal to more students than anyone else I've seen up on stage since I began here in September. She began her talk by giving


We asked to be seated at the table by the window so that we might have a nice view of the ocean. Our waitress - a lady probably in her late fifties if not sixties, with fair skin and a frilly top who looked more like the owner of the establishment than a waitress - told us not to because it was dirty. She offered us a window-side table just two rows behind to which my aunt rolled her eyes. The rest of us were perfectly content with this and I made some small remark to the effect that this other table was quite alright and had as good a view of the ocean in any case. I ordered a glass of wine, my sister a lemonade and the rest got ice-water. I had ordered fish cakes and was looking forwards t

Goodbye Facebook or How I Learnt to Love Charlie Hebdo

As I read briefly about the killing of an entire newsroom in Paris this week, my initial reaction was one of surprise and one of the first thoughts which came to me was "this is big". Hours passed until I went back to my computer and read up on the developments of the day, when I realised how big it really was, as I saw it sprawl across my entire Facebook feed. Something about the whole thing irritated me - the immense outpouring of sympathy for Charlie. For some reason that "Je Suis Charlie" profile picture got on my nerves. It wasn't a particular person who irritated me by virtue of them changing their picture, nor was it the sympathy for the dead which I also felt in me. I just had the f


She had great big attentive eyes like a deer's. Hazel-coloured and wide open like a child's. The eyes of someone who is open to the world, receptive of all the little gusts of knowledge, wisdom and experience its winds and currents throw up to us as an offering. She would ask questions - all sorts - to anyone she happened to be with, seemingly content with their answer; or if not she'd ask another question, but never pester anyone with them. Enigmatic in the face of those who sought to understand her, place her into a social compartment of some sort - in reality she simply was a young girl curious about life. What brought her here to our little village no one knows. But all value her presenc

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