Educación - Manners & UpbringingMonday, June 01, 2009
A la primera, perdón; a la segunda con el bastón (The first time a pardon. The second time a caning.)
A week ago on Saturday, Rosemary and I took my first cousin Willoughby Blew and his wife Chris to Lillooet to visit my eldest daughter Ale. For me it was glorious as I was “en familia” which is a Spanish term which sort of means “happily with family”. The Blews seemed to enjoy the scenery and had no problem with the intense curves between Pemberton and Lillooet. I cooked in Lillooet and on Sunday before driving back to Vancouver we were treated to a full breakfast at the venerable (for Lillooet) Reynolds Hotel. As soon as the Blews settled back home in Florida they sent nice thank you letters to us and to Ale. The e-mails were full of praise for our daughters, granddaughters and much was mentioned of our beautiful city and our own Kerrisdale garden.
In short, I was proud that my side of the family showed “educación”. This does not only mean education but upringing and manners, too.
All that helped to make my first day of school at a local photography school (I teach at two) all that much of a shock. Within ten minutes of facing a new class of 19 students I found that one was giggling. I enquired as to why she/he was giggling as I was not saying anything that was remotely funny ( I was probably describing how difficult it is to be a magazine photographer right now). My student answered that having the preference to play a computer game at home that would have been the option but, since parents were paying for tuition some obligation was felt on his/her part to be in class, albeit playing that computer game anyway. Satisfied (but still shocked) at the reply I spotted another student (it was 10:30) about to bite on a large hamburger. I averted my gaze to another area of the room to find a student yawning repeatedly (hands very far from mouth) with lots of vigour. My student was Latin American so I pointed out, in Spanish, that here was a marvelous opportunity for her/him to show the good manners she/he had been taught by his/her grandmother in the presence of so called “uncouth” gringos.
Another student repeatedly came and left the room with no explanation.
It is my purpose to inspire a few to develop a passion for photography. Not all will be passionate. Just a few perhaps. But sometimes I have trouble trying to figure out what the new standards of behaviour are or if there are any.
All of which made me long for the Blews with a new found nostalgia for that “educación” which seems to be so rare in this day and age.