This virtual and tranquil pond has become an outlet to bring forward some things which might otherwise not find a ready space in this collection of ramblings. A collection which has been interrupted of late (once again…) due to what has unexpectedly become a major undertaking for me, as far as time and “space” is concerned. Time, because it has mushroomed and taken up most of my available time and “space” because the ever-diminishing working space left in my gray cells has been occupied with this. Of course, I refer to the English Now venture and its offspring, English To Go. The reception to this ESL (English as Second Language) tutorial school and its methodology has been very well accepted and we now have students locally and in another four countries (via Internet) and it looks to continue to grow.
One observation which has come from this increased contact with students, with the usual banter and conversation this brings about, is how little do most people (and here I must include US citizens, not just immigrants) understand about this country, its reason for being and its place in history. The US has been called the “Greatest Democratic Experiment” in the history of modern government. The rules that govern our country and its leaders (or, at least, should) stem from a document which was brought forward as the result of the gathering of some of the most brilliant minds of the times and, I dare say, of all modern times.
The Constitution spawned a government the likes of which were not known in those moments. These were times in which most controlling bodies were handed down by way of nobility, ancestry and heraldic emblems; the kings, queens, dukes, counts, etc. having say and sway over property and life of all subjects.
And here came a proposal which, in its first opening words, embodied the core concept of true democracy with a profound simplicity that had never been matched before, or since: “We, The People…” How simple; how incredibly profound.
It is for this reason that in all my ESL classes there is a general explanation of the constitution and readings about the primary amendments. I believe that if someone is studying the language because he or she is planning to live in this country, this is required knowledge. It is also my belief that if a person actually reads the constitution’s original articles, that person will come out of this encounter with a new understanding of what makes this country different than others; there will be a feeling of awe regarding the incredible thoughts that went into this document, considering that those who created it were at the time, for the most part, members of a well to do class. They created a document which went against all the acceptable norms to those who were in then existing governments.
What can be accomplished when the mind is put to work, can be incredible.
Just rambling thoughts on a cloudy, rainy day… half winter, half spring. But, since it is getting cold here by shores of the pond, I guess I will pack my things and go home
Be Well … Be Back!!!
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