On the way to cricket this morning, talking with Mr 9 about learning times tables.
Thoughts of beloved Nana who drilled me on the 7x - there is a place for rote.
And then an embarrassing memory fragment. A reflection that those who build the social system have a case to answer.
When I was seven, a teacher had set up a classroom challenge. Two teams, one kid at a time would choose a kid fro the other team and ask a question. As a competitive little kid I'd pick the weakest kid and the hardest question.
"Brett Sellick, six plus eight"
The kid's embarrassment and alienation was barely relevant to me as I was pleased to win another point for my team. Over and over. I have many regrets and that's not the top of the list, but it's there.
No biggie, but I see the adult version of this very often. And from adults who should know better. A social system that makes good people do bad things, or at least stand by while bad things are done. This scars everybody. For sure, the bullies and abusers are doing bad things but what about those who build the environment?
I made my peace some years ago with a young guy, Jack, from high school but some embarrassments we just have to live with. One day, maybe, I'll see Brett.
UPDATE: Funny that, later in the day Mr 9 said "you've done some dirty stuff too dad. Remember the maths challenge?" Yeh buddy. My life is full of regrets. That's one of them.