In Lynne’s class, students were immersed in epic poetry; reading an abridged version of The Iliad, where ancient battles for Troy washed over us, and we wondered about a time when the collective consciousness of the group outweighed that of the individual, and where the gods manipulated the human beings for their own pleasure. We pondered on what causes we might willingly devote 10 years of our lives to.
We dipped back into The Canterbury Tales where the satirical characters offered stories that surprised us in their forward thinking. We revisited Camelot, with King Arthur’s knights, and enjoyed the powerful female characters. We inquired into the values of each period, as represented through the stories, in order to understand how human identity and society have changed over time.
We explored the origins of writing in cuneiform and Egyptian hieroglyphics. Rei instructed us on the art of writing simple Japanese kanji and Shiri explained the basics of Hebrew, both of which are read from right to left. We created timelines in groups, which reviewed all the significant periods and events studied since the beginning of Primary School, building a picture of major events shaping human evolution up to today.
Under the microscopes last week, we examined a number of prepared slides - from a drop of human blood to a rat’s tail and a bumblebee, and wrote inspired poetry to express our wonder at the natural world. We attempted to view the natural world from a religious perspective, as most during Baroque times did, and then narrowed our focus as an exercise, to look at a natural object from other perspectives, including aesthetic, legal, ethical, emotional, artistic and mathematical.
It has been a rich journey for most students, and one that we hope has planted seeds of wonder about the human condition, that will continue to germinate for years to come.