Monday, August 4, 2014

The Tall Girl Teaches: On Swimming

Today was a brilliant day - hot but not stifling, refreshing water, a shady garden and lunch with a friend.

It was my first swim of the summer. I love swimming and being in the water, and I firmly believe it is our duty as adults to help children become comfortable in the water, not only for safety, but as an activity they can enjoy for a long time. I was lucky - there was an indoor pool at my school and every single student was learning how to swim. Moreover, most of them seem to like it. How great is that?

Summer camp was sports themed this year, and the children were asked to design posters promoting their favourite sports. Here's a swimming poster some nine year-olds made. I was a little confused - nothing in this poster looks very fun - most kids drew pictures of themselves having fun playing a sport - so I asked them to explain:

"First of all, obviously, if you can't swim, you will be too nervous to have a good time and will possibly be in danger. A lot of people who were on the Titanic couldn't swim and they drowned. 

Also, you might have to escape from sharks. If you're good, maybe you could try to swim really fast. If you are lucky, a superhero will save you or a plane will fly by and drop a bomb on the sharks, but you probably won't be lucky. Actually, if there are sharks, you will probably not survive even if you can swim."

Right. Doubting that they're totally getting the activity, I asked them to continue.

"Tell me about the angel" I said.

"That's Jesus. If you can or can't swim, you don't have to be scared because He can come and get you at any moment."

True that.

They might not have understood the point of the activity, but they did manage to send a message.

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