Tuesday, 26 July 2011

People Watching

As a writer, one of my favourite pass times is "people watching". So during the recent school hoildays, I took myself off to the local Mall, notebook in hand, and found a vacant bench on the ground floor, fairly near the lifts and escalators. What I saw was indeed a complete eye-opener! From babies in prams, completely covered by blankets, so that no one could see that baby and the baby could not look out; to mothers hurrying along, with children trailing behind, often in a crowd. I saw crying children; rude and cross children, whining and begging children and very few who looked as though they were actually enjoying themselves or the outing. Often the teenagers had sort of disowned their parents, which is probably to be expected! The whole scene reminded me of  a project I did with my class years ago.

Of course, during the 25 years of my teaching experience, shopping, as such and shopping projects changed with the times and no longer did we set up quaint little grocery stores in a corner of the classroom. Instead, we had real cake or cookie sales; or used real stationery, pencils, erasers, etc, or hand made crafts, or even the children's own paintings to be sold, to teach the concept of buying and selling and the value of coins.

One day, during a class discussion, a child said, "Mrs Kahn, do you know that I HATE going shopping? It is NOT a treat."

When I asked her to explain in more detail, she said this, and I have never forgotten it.

"Just think of us for a moment. We are shorter than adults, sometimes much smaller. We get bashed by other people's parcels and handbags and all we can see are legs!"

Rosemary  - July 2011.

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