Is it unrealistic to assume or expect that 7th graders would know the definition of the word “textile”? Not one in any of the three classes today could give any kind of answer that didn’t include dinosaurs or diseases. The class in question is social studies and they are beginning a chapter on the Industrial Revolution. As you may or may not know, The Industrial Revolution began with the introduction of textile mills in England. I was not a history major, nor do I claim to be exceptionally brilliant, however I was rather unsettled not only at the children’s ignorance, but that the person teaching the class had never heard of the term Luddite. Nobody is expected to be, nor should they be, a walking encyclopedia, but a little preparation and research goes a long way when speaking in front of a group… even if the only three people listening wonder what dinosaurs have to do with early English machinery.
My role in this classroom is to assist students who require extra help with reading, etc. With my own little group I began explaining some of the processes and terms vaguely referred to in the textbook. More and more students wandered over to see examples of fiber, a.k.a. roving, knitting (yes, I carry a drop spindle and sock-in-progress in my enormous bag), etc. Eventually the teacher came over too and the result is that tomorrow I’m bringing in my spinning wheel (none of them, including the teacher, knew why old, unmarried ladies were called spinsters) and some old industrial bobbins for them to look at.
Maybe when they see how long it takes for one person to spin a single strand and then imagine a row of these simultaneously collecting yarn then they’ll get an idea of just how big of a deal this really was. Or maybe I’ll get a clue that nobody cares about any of this stuff and that I need to join the rest of society in watching American Idol and playing video games. Care to take any bets on which will happen first? My guess is neither.
Now for something completely different. A2 finished painting her cigar box guitar for the science project that’s due tomorrow. Rather than letting her risk taking her instrument on the bus she will be driven to school in the morning. She really wanted to show all of her friends on the way there, but tempting fate isn’t wise or optional. Once graded she can play with it in any safe (no ka-bonging any living beings, including her sisters) way she chooses.
I ran out of yarn for my cardigan in progress, but more is on the way from Knitpicks. I added some of their new Harmony sock needles to the order too. Hopefully everything will arrive soon and the needles will prove durable and comfortable.
P.S. I know that I’m not Irish, but I shunned green today in hopes of a little pinching action (not by the students of course). Alas, I remain unpinched and ignored. Hmph. Lousy holiday.