Posted in Blogging Challenge, Education

30 Day Blogging Challenge – Day 16

Thoughts on Education

We’ve been here before on this topic!

I believe in education as a means to progress, to move forward and upward – stepping out of the cave and into the light. But I also believe in education for education’s sake. The reduction of learning to testing and scoring and grading really defeats the point of education. We’re supposed to learn so we know, not memorise to get an A. And I’m speaking as someone who rarely gets As, even now in my masters… I don’t really care. I’ve long since accepted that there are people who just get the system and know how to ‘hack’ their work to fit what is asked for, and I’ve seen myself work my arse off doing what I believe to be the right thing only for it to be handed back with a limp grade and red pen marks telling me I didn’t get it…

Education shouldn’t be elitist and exclusionary, but it is. Education should be for everyone, should be free and easy to access in whatever form is most suitable for a person. Not everyone can up sticks and move across the country to attend a uni for five years to earn their degree, more needs to be done online and more accessible online… that includes the fees and making the internet far cheaper, if not free. Let everyone have a chance.

Hell, make it as easy to get into education as it is to apply for Big Brother. Open the floodgates, let the people learn!

e x

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Posted in Day Trip, Education, History, life, Travel

Have you met Dippy?

Meet Dippy the Diplodocus. He’s on tour around the UK having left the Natural History Museum in London for the first time since 1905. His show is on the road until 2020 and is next heading to Newcastle on 18th May, having just wrapped up a several month stint in Glasgow’s Kelvingrove Art Gallery and Museum.

Dippy is a beautiful big beastie who originally roamed the earth 150 million years ago, munching on leaves and hanging out with his dino friends. I can’t help but be reminded of The Land Before Time and Disney’s Dinosaur, so excuse me while I wipe away my tears.

If you are a paleo purist (ancient bones, not the diet) then maybe Dippy wasn’t your thing, he is a replica – plaster cast of the original Dippy in residence in Pittsburgh’s Carnegie Museum of Natural History. However, I don’t care, because it’s thanks to Andrew Carnegie, a Scottish-American industrialist and philanthropist, that we over here have a Dippy to look at! Carnegie financed the excavation of Dippy in Wyoming in 1899 and they later discovered it was a new species, thus named the
Diplodocus carnegii. As a favour to King Edward VII, Carnegie faithfully reproduced the bones of the original at the cost of $2000 back in 1902 and gifted them to the Natural History museum in London.

Most people know how much Kelvingrove means to me, it’s my hang out place when I can get there; where my interests in art, history and old buildings converges so for that to be the temporary home of Dippy’s Scottish visit, I couldn’t have asked for more. Picture it, me in all my 30 years turning up with my pater and the two of us nerding out worse than the kids swarming around.

Dippy is 70ft long, no wonder it’s hard to get him in one shot!

Even though the photos show other people as scale, it still doesn’t do justice to how massive Dippy actually is. He towered over the adults, nevermind the kids and weighs in at a hefty 20,000kg (alive, I’m sure).

Smile for the camera

I had to zoom in to get his wee face, and felt so small and insignificant. Really makes me wonder about people who deny the existence of dinosaurs – we might mostly be top of the food chain these days, but we’re all fairly tiny and annoying.

Colossus at rest

It was a great day out to visit Dippy and I can only hope that there have been countless children inspired by seeing him. I may have ended up at the merch shop and may have acquired a Dippy soft toy for a small fortune…

Kelvingrove is a free-entry museum and is open nearly all year-round from 10/11-5pm everyday. There are accessible entry points from both the Argyle Street and car park entrance. There are two cafés serving hot and cold drinks and light foods, the basement café serving meals as well. The basement features different installations and the two gift shops sell the permanent and temporary merchandise. There is artwork from Dalí and the Dutch Masters to the exhibits of Ancient Egypt and Scottish Wildlife, so there is definitely something for all to see.