Sounds of Happiness

Klara runs around the house with the kids who are staying with us, shrieking loudly that they need to find a monster and his two bean boxes. I have no idea what that means but nothing makes me happier than the sounds of Klara running around with a group of kids.

I’m honestly ready to move the zoo and the circus into our house to achieve this result.

At this age there’s absolutely no activity more educational and developmentally crucial than being together with other kids doing unstructured, unplanned, unsupervised activities. When puberty hits, this will start to change. But learning to be around peers is learned between ages of 2 and 12. And people who miss out never really catch up. I speak from experience here.

The funny thing is I know I’m preaching to the choir here. I don’t think anybody on this blog would disagree with what I’m saying. But you folks have no idea how alien this approach is to a lot of people who have fancy degrees in education. They’ll talk your ear off about “academic readiness” and “educational outcomes” of toddlers.

Posters

For large posters, I’m doing chronological ones divided by period, but again, I’m trying to make sure there’s something new and interesting in there.

The first poster is The Age of the Empire, and it has the year when the first black slaves were brought to the Americas (1501), the anti-slavery sermon by Montesinos in 1511, the battles where black Spanish conquistadors made a mark (eg the Battle of Cajamarca), etc. I want people to look at things in a different way. Conquistador troops were not all or mostly white, African slavemasters terrorized the indigenous in the early years of the empire, Laws of Burgos were adopted in 1512.

Then in the poster on the Independence Struggles, I’m putting the independence victories and all (ok, not all because it’s not humanly possible but the major) dictatorships and civil wars of the 19th century, so that people can judge for themselves what that independence was worth.

The third poster was going to be Dreams of Revolution, and that will be about the failed revolutionary struggles of the 1950s-1980s.

Thank you, everybody, this is helping!

More LatAm Personalities

I’m really glad everybody understood my plan to introduce my (actually pretty large) audience to Latin American personalities they probably never heard about. I have nothing whatsoever against José Martí, Bolívar, or García Márquez. They are very important. I teach about them. But the whole point is that people look at these table centerpieces I’m having made and don’t just glance over because they feature same old-same old. I want people’s glances to linger because they are discovering something new.

We already have a menu of tacos, burritos and empanadas. (I obviously don’t control the menu, which is unfortunate). I want something fresher in terms of content.

So far I’ve added Carlos Juan Finlay, the Cuban doctor whose research helped end yellow fever, and Bernardo Houssay, the Argentinean scientist who transformed our understanding of diabetes.

Too many Cubans, I know. Shit.