The Hedge Project: 7 days in nature that shook knowledge

 

I am a little professor.

Well, my funding finally came through! Not as auspicious as I was hoping, but one can’t sniff at a sponsor in the current financial climate, can one?

The calculator has been donated by Sexibook. Not ideal, I’ll admit. It has all the scientific features I need, plus graphing capabilities, but it also has a rather lewd Spanish-English learning game. Really not sure of its target market, to be quite frank.

Erotic Topiary of Cheam is maintaining the hedge. Certainly takes a load off my mind. Yes, it’s not what I would call controlled conditions to have it shaped like a massive cock; it might draw attention to itself in a way I hadn’t really anticipated, but the conditions of the sponsorship were that the hedge be ‘sexed up’. So, sexed up hedge, it is. The trailing bluebells are quite effective.

So, here goes. The next seven days are going, I hope, to change our understanding of how learning can be delivered and how students (in this case wildlife) can direct their learning without teacher intervention.

Day 1

Some bugger stole the calculator from the hedge. 

Bit of a setback, I’ll admit. Had to pop down to Smiths and buy an own-brand scientific one. Should’ve done that from the outset. Sexibook are not happy, mind. They’re threatening to pull out unless I photoshop their calculator onto the hedge in the final report.

Looks like this is another research project I’ll have to get peer-reviewed down the copy shop. Oh well.

Day 2

Squirrel crapped on the sine button. 

It still works: a bit crusty when you press it, but serviceable. I imagine Newton used to get this type of thing all the time: people crapping on his apples.

In any case, I’m going to conclude that the squirrel knows the sine function. He pressed the button, looked around a bit, did a crap on it and then buggered off. It looked like understanding from where I was standing (in another hedge across the way).

Day 3

A masked man in a toga ran up to me and elaborately mimed kicking me in the nuts. No contact, but I’m investing in a cricket box just to be on the safe side. For a hater, he had lovely wavy hair.

Day 4

Some kids were playing football next to the phallic hedge. Could have sworn that their keeping score was significantly improved by the presence of my squirrel crap-encrusted WHS calculator in the hedge.

Couldn’t be conclusive because I got moved on by a constable. Will be conclusive later, when I get home.

Day 5

Erotic Topiary are leaning on me quite heavily. Turns out they want me to wear a gimp suit when I present my findings at next year’s BETT. Could’ve sworn one of them was sniggering when they asked me! How on earth am I going to make myself understood with a ball in my mouth?!

Day 6

Massive breakthrough! When I picked up the squirrel crap-encrusted calculator from the erotic hedge this morning, someone had made the screen say ‘BOOBS’!  It was a watershed moment, I can tell you.

Once I’d dried my tears, I concluded that someone, or possibly the squirrel, had calculated a sum that would give a numerical answer equating to 80085, which of course in block digits on an own-brand scientific calculator, looks like the word ‘boobs’.

I was pretty sure this was a slang term for breasts. A quick check with the constable as he moved me on again proved me to be correct.

I’m concluding that a passerby has learned both literacy AND numeracy from their interaction with my squirrel crap-encrusted, own brand, scientific calculator in an erotic hedge.

Day 7

The final day of my Squirrel Crap-encrusted Calculator in a Hedge Project, and I’ve decided to pop the gimp suit on in situ, just to wear it in before I have to give the speech at BETT. It squeaks a bit as I shift haunches here in the hedge across the way. Worried it might disturb the wildlife, but Clem Fandango at Erotic Topiary assures me that he does this sort of thing all the time. Funny, never thought of him as a researcher type.

Oh, hang on, there’s a group of kids at the hedge now. They’re reaching in for the calculator. I can see them fiddling with the buttons. This is incredible! One of them has pressed the cosine button! Let me adjust my looking glass… YES, it was cosine!

I can’t believe it. In just seven days, a community of children and a squirrel have taught themselves complex mathematical and literary concepts that would take years of formal education to emulate in the dreary world of schooling!

I cannot wait to share the findings of my squirrel crap-encrusted calculator in an erotic hedge project at BETT dressed-up in a gimp suit. With a ball in my mouth.

We truly live in an age where knowledge is defunct.

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