Thursday, 22 March 2012

Indoctrination Doesn't Always Work...

Successive governments here in the UK have been banging on about pollution, climate change, global warming, damage to the the ozone layer and greenhouse gases for at least as long as I have been teaching (and probably longer) to the extent that these topics appear with monotonous regularity on the school curriculum, particularly in Science. Rather in the way that the History curriculum seems to revolve around the trenches in World War I and the Nazis in World War II, this constant rehashing of the topics means that students "know" about it all, but they promptly switch off when they hear the key phrases.

This was demonstrated in answers to a test question I have been marking. The question was about the decline of a deer population over time. Suggestions for the cause of this decline were solicited...

In addition to the expected answers of "increased predation by wolves," "hunting" and "disease" I noted several mentions of "global warming" and "climate change." Not surprising, when these are such favourite buzzwords. But the answer which had me howling with laughter demonstrated the typical teenager's muddled thinking:

"The hole in the ozone layer is melting."

I would just like to add a disclaimer - I haven't mentioned any of these topics to the class in question!

Monday, 19 March 2012

Swapping Pulpits...

For Laetare Sunday this year, Fr. Finigan had arranged a "pulpit swap" with Fr. Christopher Basden, Parish Priest of St. Bede's, Clapham Park.

This was quite an undertaking, as, according to custom at Blackfen, we were due to have a Solemn High Mass, to make full use of our splendid rose High Mass set. However, Fr. Basden took it all in his stride, proudly reminding the parishioners of Blackfen that he had reintroduced the traditional liturgy at St. Bede's long before Fr. Finigan had done so at Our Lady of the Rosary!


Fr. Basden was celebrant, Fr. Bernard McNally was deacon, and Rev. John Harrison was subdeacon. Once again I had my phone camera to hand, and a small selection of photos can be found over at the Flickr page.

Day With Mary

IMG_20120303_135022The Day With Mary team visited Blackfen on the first Saturday of March. It was a wonderful day, and very well-attended.

You can see my selection of photos on the Flickr page for the set. Unfortunately I forgot my proper camera, but my mobile phone did quite a reasonable job, I think.

I think that one of my favourite photos from the collection was taken during the recitation of the Sorrowful Mysteries of the Rosary, in front of the Blessed Sacrament, led by one of the Franciscan Sisters of the Immaculate. The Sisters are wonderful - they always appear serene and joyful, and they just exude holiness...


I also paid the obligatory visit to the bookstall during the lunch break - though due to financial constraints I was forced to forego my usual spending spree... though I did manage to obtain a copy of Joan Carroll Cruz's Eucharistic Miracles - a book I'd read before (borrowed from someone) and had been meaning to get for ages for myself. Despite my lack of purchasing power, the ladies manning the stall were happy to pose for a photo opportunity...

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