Tuesday, 14 October 2014

Checking Up Those Legs and Legs and …

Getting arms around a news story
We had been quietly enjoying a salad and coffee when this news item hit us. “There was a rumpus at the Erdvale High School campus and there was flying arms and legs all around.” Naturally, we were off like a shot. We made it to the school campus and met the headmaster.

He was sitting in his garden looking pale. “We wanted the boys and girls to involve in history and evolution study chapter conducted by the Old Boys
nikolayhg Pixabay
Association of Erdvale High School. They got carried away!”

Counting legs and arms
It was true many had to be carried on stretchers for treatment. We were still missing the point.
“What got them fighting in the first place?”
The headmaster was looking for a hideaway. He had seen too many arms that day.
“It was the octopus.”
 So, the old guy was running away from an octopus!

Progress through innovation
susobande Pixabay
He looked around the garden. He pulled his chair deeper into the shade. “The students had been learning a new skill of late -- Learning through embodiment. The previous week they had been studying about turtles and before the clock chimed the hour, more than half of them were crawling around the room on all fours.

Octopus makes headlines with its arms and legs
This was news indeed!
“So you picked them up and put them back in their cages…er classroom?”
The headmaster was getting some of his breath back.
“No, first we had to fish out those who were drowning in the school fountain.”
We were beginning to get the drift.
“So it was another group discussion that caused the upheaval.”
The headmaster nodded.
The topic this time was “Why does an octopus have so many arms (or legs)?”

Those students in the second group created the biggest ruckus. They wanted to break out of the monotony of mathematics. This section of the student body was debating on whether they were legs or arms. Naturally, most students were pulling each other legs and screaming loudly.

Enter the octopus
“So how did you bring things under control?” One could imagine the sheer magnitude of the disaster that is unleashed when an entire class decides to participate in “Learning through embodiment” classes. The headmaster was still looking glassy-eyed.
“We brought in a real octopus!”

One thing is clear. Students do not want the real thing. If you say, “This is not an egg, it is an omelet”, they will eat it. “This is not a pigtail, this is hair,” they will let go. And of course, it is not sand; it is the beach…in a sandbox.

So, when they saw a real octopus, there was a rapid loss of interest. They turned back to their books. They just stop kicking the cat.

Disclaimer: Author wishes to state that any damage caused by the octopus was brought on by the school authorities and that he was not involved in action that the octopus indulged in like eating the headmaster’s chair, tearing up little girl’s hair, squirting water on the gardener…