Thursday, June 7, 2012

Using alcoholics to teach the kids math. Part 2

My post about teaching the kids mathemathics using the local alcoholics made some readers a bit sad and disappointed. 
The other day I found this post on another blog:
 From Annieellen, a girl with an alcoholic dad:

The first rows are in Swedish and says:
"Today I was reading one of my favorite blogs, Adora BatBrat and was confronted by a history I just NEEDS to ask you -what do you think about this..?"

Translation of the Swedish at the end:
"Okay, I might be odd. Perhaps a bit sensitive, when it comes to this subject. But I DON'T find this funny at all. But of course I know she doesn't mean any harm by it...BUT it is still NOT funny. The end."

I send her this message (translation at the end):

"Hej, Annieellen
Jag är uppriktigt ledsen om det jag skrev gjorde att Du kände Dig illa berörd, men jag menade verkligen inget illa i det jag skrev.
Jag skrev inget illa om alkoholister, utan emfas låg i att nyttja matematik i vardagen. Hade det varit tanter, eller hip-hoppare som suttit där hade jag använt dem istället.

Jag talade ofta med alkoholisterna i min stad när jag jobbade som trädgårdsmästare, och känner väl till de olika bakgrunder - vilket även är något mina barn känner till. Få barn kan nog förklara varför en person är alkoholiserad som mina.
Respekt och humor KAN gå hand i hand :)


 "Hi, Annieellen
I'm truely sorry if what I wrote made you feel concerned, but I did not have any intentions to make people feel bad about what I wrote.
I didn't write anything mean about alcoholics, but emphasis was on how to use mathematics in your dayly life. If there had been old ladies or hip-hoppers sitting there I would have used them instead.

I often talked to the alcoholics when I worked as a garden architect, and know their different storys well - something my kids also knows. Not many kids today can explain why a person is an alcoholic as narrating as mine can.
Respect and humor CAN go hand in hand :)


I'd like to point out that I wrote NOTHING mean about alcoholics in my first post, or said anything mean while I spoke to my kids. I just asked them if they could count the alcoholics sitting on benches. 
And they could!

I didn't laugh AT the alcoholics, but I admit I laughed at the kids cuteness as I told my husband about it later.
You have to admit hearing a child say "-It's one alcoholic on one bench..." and so on, is "cute-funny". Even if they had said "-It's one hip-hopper on one bench...." it still sounds funny!

For those who's not familiar with the term alcoholic, and think an alcoholic and someone who drinks at a few parties every year is the same thing, here is a link explaining the whole thing. 
I'm not saying you are stupid because you are not familiar with the term.
And perhaps people in other contries aren't familiar with how it is in Sweden (didn't think of that), but here every town's got their own local alcoholics hanging out in public places; like the park at the playground, outside the supermarket and on sunny benches in the town center. They also often talks to by-passers, as kids.

So, you see, kids in Sweden are TOO familiar with alcoholics as a regular part of their daily life and therefor you need to explain to them what an alcoholic is when they ask why those men (often) smells like pee, walks strange and talks spluttering. Sad, but true.
Most local alcoholics are quite calm and do no harm, but many are intrusive and scare the kids with their way.
Alcoholism is classified as a disease, but to kids they are just scary and smells.