I have been thinking recently, why is it when we stop we get ill, confused and generally demotivated? As a teacher I only really get to break during school holidays and then really only during the summer. Life in education is hard at the moment so why, when I get a break do I have to feel like a large smelly turd? Towards the end of the holidays I could barely move myself off the couch even though I knew that getting some work sorted would make the first few weeks of a new term a whole lot easier. As if by magic, as soon as I got back to school I refocused and am working harder than ever. How come just a few hours before heading back I couldn’t even think straight? Surely it would make us relax more if when we stopped we had clarity and could realise where we were and what needed to be done i.e. sit back and relax? Why do we have the ability to stave off illness until the point when we really don’t want to be ill? It seems to me that we torture ourselves to stay well doing when things we don’t really want to do and when we get where we want we allow illness to take us over. It’s just such a strange human condition. I tell you, if there is an all-powerful creator, he has some things to answer too. If only this was a computer game and we could level up, or maybe we could get an upgrade!
Continuing on the World War 2 theme that seems to be spreading throughout my life, I recently finished reading The Boy in the Striped Pyjamas by John Boyne. The book was something I never really wanted to read but had a few free weeks before embarking on a safari and liked the film so thought the short book would fill the time nicely. I have to say that it was one of the best books I have ever read. Boyne really taps into a small naive child and you feel sorry for Bruno that he just does not understand that he is part of a privileged life with oppression hanging over him. The use of childish words and lists make it feel as if it is written by a young boy. I think the fact he mispronounces a lot of historical names (historical now not then) makes you realise he has no real conception of the world outside his own house. I understand why some people feel that it is a little unrealistic as surely he would know something was not right but I ask you this. As a young child did you really understand punishment, oppression and racial hatred? And we live in the internet age. Bruno would not have access to the information we do and is clearly being steered in one direction and only fed certain details (as shown by his tutor). He is basically a spoilt brat who does not realise he is spoilt. A times really heartbreaking, The Boy in the Striped Pyjamas is a fantastic book and one which I feel all should read. I have never read a book I feel could fulfil the title of a modern-day classic but I can easily see it up there along with Dickens and Shakespeare and that’s some serious praise.