Thursday, March 29, 2012

The Nerd Within

I spent today in prison.
The food wasn't crash hot, but I survived.
Fremantle Prison, WA
Highly recommend a visit - if you're round these parts.
I was 'doing time' in the name of the new History Curriculum (mandated by the Australian Curriculum) being phased into our schools right now.
Hey, hey WAIT!!!!
I was yawning at the very thought of it too.
'History'. 'Colonial Australia'. 'Swan River Settlement'. 'Convict era'. 'Historial inquiry'.
Blah, 'blah, blahdee blah'.

Except 'penal colony'.
That's funny for some reason. Nearly two hilariously naughty words - but not.

I was prepared to quietly slip into a boredom-induced coma at the back of the room and hope no-one noticed.
But, I didn't.

I loved it.
I was the little pregnant nerd lady asking questions and posing theories as I hung on every word of the prison guide.
Maybe there's a historian inside of this running Mama after all?

I promise you - the stories of convict life in the 1800s and prison life in the 1900s are fascinating with the right narrator and environment. Honest.
I was mesmerised by the prison buildings and the artefacts (yep, nerd alert) we were immersed in today.
My head is still spinning, trying to comprehend that WA prisoners were living in such appalling conditions up to only twenty one years ago.
Who needs an en suite when you have a perfectly good bucket, really?
My heart pangs for the little babies born to women in the system and for the juveniles punished brutally and essentially, given no chance of reform.

I'm appalled at the treatment of Aboriginal men, women and children and puzzled by how an ineffective system was status quo for so long.

I have so many questions.

I'm actually really excited about planning next term's History unit (and of course, integrating it right across the curriculum - in case you're reading AISWA consultant lady.)

Now, I just have to convince my students that this stuff is all kinds of awesome.
Without the use of a cat-o-nine-tails.

If you're still here - wow! And thank you.

Do you have a secret nerd lurking within too?
Or am I just feeling the effects of my incarceration?

Shar :-)

7 comments:

Posie Patchwork said...

Oh i've been to Port Arthur, that is pure evil & eery, before the modern day massacre there, it was scary enough.
Tell your fabulous husband that all you needed was a bucket, instead of that lovely ensuite!!
How could anyone reform under those conditions & i agree, 'penal' & 'colon-y' are too funny. Tee hee, so not pregnant but would have been asking a billion questions too. Mostly starting with "why" like a wide eyed toddler. Why are people so unkind, that is the main point, those sadistic guards, love Posie

Mama of 2 boys said...

Haha, this made me laugh Shar, it was every bit interesting to me... maybe the way in which you wrote about it had me hanging on though.
But seriously, those old Aussie prisons are incredible. Like Posie, I have been to Port Arthur in Tasmania and that place just has an aura about it, very very creepy. Yet set on such beautiful land. I used to loathe going on excursions like the one you're going to have to be persuading your kids to go on, but nowadays I think I'm just a nerd, because I actually enjoy going to historic places around this great land of ours xo

Sonia @ Life Love and Hiccups said...

I would be totally the same, as I get excited by the thrill of being in a dangerous place, lol pathetic aren't I! The other thing i get a little exited by is old places where I wonder if I will see a ghost...... Ok I'm going now. Xxx

Bubby Makes Three said...

eeeek! I find that sorta stuff daggily fascinating, too! I wish I were a teacher and could not only enjoy but also get paid to learn and do excursions and so on! Lucky girl! Have a great weekend..... xx

Lou said...

You KNOW I'm a nerd Shar ;)

Elisa {with grace and eve} said...

Haha! That made me laugh! But yep I'm with you. I'd be in nerd heaven on that prison tour :)

Kate Sins said...

You are too funny Shar! History is really not my thing at all. I'm a bit nerdy in other ways - have I ever mentioned I love Stargate? And things sci fi?