Creative: You are a belligerent student in Mr Gradgrind’s classroom. In a short, punchy paragraph tell Mr Gradgrind exactly what you think of his teaching methods.
“Facts and numbers, make me revolt! None of them matter, no! Not to me, no sir. I do not sit at home, counting the peas on my plate and working out the sum of calories I eat. I don’t need hard facts, never! Look at your face, all stone and cold. Look how brittle it looks, worn down to the bone with facts; white, tired bone! Your books are full of sharp paper that chisel at your face. Look at your face! And look at mine, not yet scathed by paper cuts. Do I want to create cuts to crease and cripple my face in this… space? No sir, not at all! Our faces are too young to turn to the brittle paper sitting at our laps. Look at us! Our eyes are too new to stare any longer at these drab, depressing walls, or these drab, depressed blackboards. Mr Gradgrind why, why do you tell us to cut deep into ourselves, and poison our veins with drab facts? What is the rush, when factually, time ages us anyway! Let us live! Live alive! I want to imagine fairy tales and legends. I want to know what an ogre is up close! Let me get close to my imagination!
Hard facts are only ‘hard facts’ because they are brittle to force. They are brittle and weak! Facts are artefacts. Yes, they are important! But you know why? They tell a story of out…there. Look… through these dusty windows. I see people with brains full of facts, but fuller of images. Just imagine! Imagine collecting colourful concoctions as you open the windows, shake the dust over your still form and breath in the sweet, sweet air. Ah! So addicting, the world, out there! But in here, it’s poisonous, stale air. The dust on your aged books makes me sick! Tell me sir, what can I learn from a dead paper image of the Eiffel Tower, that I can’t at the Eiffel Tower? No more can I take these bars! Not a single more animal I shall name, or sum I shall solve. I do not wish to turn to the brittle paper that is your face. I want to revolt, revolt and remove myself from these bars! I know nothing of what you tell me, only of what I wish to learn. So, as a learner let me tell you that I, want to empty my plate of your pea sized facts, and harvest a mind full of experience and thought.”