I could have given this a subtitle nicked from my favourite Bee Gees song - "It's Only Words And Words Are All I Have".
There are times when I wonder exactly what the "Powers That Be" are thinking of when it comes to this idea of "Social Mobility" and how we as a society are supposed to (a) achieve it, or (b) enable more people to make full use of it.
There is another strand to the debate about "Social Mobility" which everybody appears to have completely forgotten about. Not everybody can become the world's greatest Scientists or Academics and - if you ask me - we have got too many people who are over-qualified for most jobs (PhD in Plumbing anyone???) and nowhere near enough people who have been streamed into the "Vocational" careers ( I don't mean becoming Nuns or Priests either).
As someone who has never been what you might call academically inclined I prefer my knowledge (in whatever format you choose to present it to me) to be as easily accessible as possible.
This is where the Creative Arts come in very useful. Yes - those subjects which (apart from English) seem to be in danger of being squeezed out of the curriculum because they are not seen as being remotely useful. Or rather - they are not seen as being anywhere near as useful as subjects like the Sciences, IT, Maths, etc.
I wish we could all just take a step back and see exactly how the "Creative Arts" actually inform every other subject known to Humankind. Maybe then we would be able to elevate them to the correct level (which - to me - is at least the same level as the "Academic Subjects").
I remember watching a TV programme about John Craven when "Newsround" was mentioned. For those of you who may not know what "Newsround" is (or was) - it is a TV news programme for children which was started off (and originally presented) by John Craven.
What I hadn't realised prior to watching that programme was that the style of presenting the news and reporting on it is different depending on whether your viewers are adults or children.
The quote which sticks in my mind from the programme about John Craven was from Martin Bell. During the Falklands War the BBC reporters were shared between the "adult" news programmes and "Newsround". Mr Bell said that he ended up being thankful that he reported for both "Newsround" and the "Adult" news programmes. This was because when he reported for "Newsround" he had to make his reports as easy for children to understand as possible. This helped him to make the reports he did for the "Adult" news programmes easy to understand as well.
What a pity we are usually served up important news items in one of two ways. Either they are simplified almost beyond the point of useful comprehension or - they are made to seem so complicated that the particular reporter charged with enabling us to understand might as well interpret the facts using the medium of expressive dance (the chances are we would still be none the wiser but at least we would be marginally more entertained instead of having to sit through reports which are extremely boring).
However, I digress slightly.
As you will probably know by now - I love language. Not just the English language either. It doesn't matter whether or not I can actually understand or speak the language I am hearing or reading - I just find the patterns of letters and sounds fascinating.
There are other forms of language as well. As I am typing this blog post there is a man sitting in the next chair but one to me who can "speak" photography. As in - he can take photographs which tell their own stories without using a single word. (According to me - if you need to have text with a photograph which tells you what you are supposed to see in it the photographer should be shot.) Even photographs which are out of focus (and make you really need to think about what you are looking at) are a lesson in seeing things from a different perspective or viewpoint. Or they could just be a lesson in what I can see without my glasses on - especially if they are blurred beyond recognition.
My second favourite medium of aural communication can seem extremely complicated to the uninitiated. A good piece of music can transport you to a different place, mood, or time, as you listen to it. The best music doesn't even need lyrics except as an additional "garnish" to complete it.
As I said near the beginning of this post - we need to be very careful otherwise we will end up sidelining a large group of people who will never amount to much academically but who still have a very big role to play in helping us to understand the world around us.
I may not have had a very good result in maths - mainly because the most dangerous instrument to put in my hands is a protractor (I cannot compute angles for love nor money even with one of those flipping things).
However, I do have one question which I have never found a satisfactory answer to.
Who decided that one plus one is two yet one and one is eleven???
Yes - I am proud to classify myself as a "sideways thinker".
I am just fatigued and nauseated by the idea that society appears to consider me to be less "effective" because I am not "out of the box" when it comes to my way of interpreting the world.
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