Monday, 14 October 2013

From Aeneas To Mehmed

Aeneas fled from Troy to Italy.
His descendant, Romulus, founded Rome.
A Roman Emperor, Constantine, renamed Byzantium Constantinople.
An Ottoman Emperor, Mehmed, renamed Constantinople Istanbul.

Thus, a long narrative sequence, beginning in mythology and ending in history, links the Ottoman siege of Constantinople back to the Greek siege of Troy.

Having defeated the Byzantine Empire and begun to rule from its former capital, Mehmed claimed to be Caesar of Rome and also possibly claimed to have avenged Troy by defeating the "Greeks" or Byzantines.

Gods change - Zeus, Jupiter, Christ, Allah - but humanity continues - Trojans, Greeks, Romans, Byzantines, Muslims.

Hail the gods and heroes! What happens next? Who succeeds Mehmed?

Friday, 30 August 2013

Another Merger

I have just had lunch with a former work colleague. She had met another former colleague who had informed her that Lancashire Young People's Service is about to merge with two other County Council agencies called Early Intervention, which was being set up when some of us were leaving LYPS, and CAPSS (Children and Parenting Support Service), with further loss of jobs, this time at managerial level.

I mention this here because it is the latest stage of a process described in the posts, "To And Through A Career," "A Career And Beyond" and "Reorganizations" on this blog back in May last year. I am intrigued that the process continues indefinitely without ever reaching a satisfactory conclusion. Political change seems imminent and will undoubtedly lead to yet more reorganizations of public services. What we have been through would have seemed impossible when I started to train for Careers work back in 1988.

Addendum, 6 June 2014: Today, a conversation with another former colleague revealed that YPS, which has apparently retained that set of initials after all, works alongside Children's Centres under the overall heading of Well Being, Prevention and Early Help but, next year, YPS and Children's Centres will merge as Family Support.

Tuesday, 9 July 2013

Lack Of Preparation for Life

I emerged from secondary school in 1967, aged 18:

immature, inexperienced, indoctrinated, ignorant, repressed, uninformed, misinformed, misled yet opinionated but otherwise discouraged and demoralized;
unprepared for higher education, work, life or personal relationships;
unable to speak any foreign language although I had supposedly been taught one for the previous six years (however, "French" was a subject to be passed, not a language to be spoken).

Did I get anything from school apart from University entrance exam passes? An introduction, but only an introduction, to study, spirituality and sport. I did not want the sport. I had to develop personal study skills at University several years later. I have changed my spiritual practice twice since birth:

our starting point is determined by parents or society;
we might experiment with an alternative early in life;
we then find which path is most beneficial for us.

So two changes is far from excessive.

What was wrong with that school education? I soon came to disagree with schools that are fee-paying, boarding, single sex or denominational. So the answer is everything.

10/7/13: Any education is an interaction between the institution and each individual. I started out with very definite personal failings and limitations which were exacerbated by the education.