In the Humble Opinion of LittleBill, Socialist, Atheist, and Humanist
Lessons, Learning, and Relationships

For over two years, now, I have needed caretakers to help me around the house. The morning helper is here for two hours, during which she helps me bathe, feeds my cats, fixes my breakfast, and makes my bed.

When making my bed, whether or not there is a cat on my bed, most of them have simply sort of pulled my blankets up to the top and smoothed them down. A few days ago, I decided to give them lessons in bedmaking, as anyone who has been in the service can recall. So far, I have given bedmaking lessons to three of my helpers, with excellent results, and as I was relaxing on the couch just now, it occurred to me that the lessons were not just in bedmaking.

First of all, without realizing it, I was teaching and they were learning geometry, possibly without ever having taken it in school. The bed and the bedding were squares, and they were learning that you cannot make them relate to each other by just pushing the wrinkles of the sheets farther across the matress. They have to figure out where the middle of the head of the bed is, and the middles of the sheet and blanket are, and then to relate them to each other in squares. The sheet must be longer at the head of the bed, and the blanket a few inches shorter so that the sheet can fold over the blanket to protect your face from the rough surface of the blanket. The bottom edge of the blanket thus can be tucked in farther at the foot of the bed.

This is followed by learning to pull up the resulting extra bedding hanging out of each side of the foot of the bed. The helper learns to pull up that extra bedding into a sort of triangle that folds down neatly at the side. All of my students were absolutely amazed at what they had done!

As I relaxed on the couch, I realized that I had actually taught them a little geometry without mentioning the word. But what was even more important was that they were delighted with what they had done. And most important, each of them and I were drawn even closer to each other by their pride in themselves and my pride in them.




an average patriot said...

You are a ticket little bill I hope you are well and enjoying the Grand kids, cats, and the birds.
Funny but I was in the military but as a little kid I got lessons on how to make a bed. If I didn't do it right I found the entire bed dismantled and stacked in the middle of my room. Take care!