One thing I have noticed with the children and indeed some adults is that sometimes day to day interactions leave them tongue-tied and at a loss. In my end-of-school private conversations with the 6th class children I often raise this point and advise the children to rehearse five mini-speeches for five common situations where such awkwardness can arise. Each is intended to get the conversation going.
The five speeches (with some examples) are:
1. Ice-breaking: for example Hello my name is & &.. and I m new here. What’s your name and how did you come to join this [soccer team, Rotary Club, whatever].
2. Congratulations: for example – Hello, & & &. I just wanted to say how wonderful I thought your [singing, acting, cake baking etc] was. You must have really worked hard. I especially loved [fill in a pertinent example.]
3. Thanks: for example That was so kind and thoughtful of you to [select that particular gift/ say those kind words]. I m really grateful.
4. Apology: for example I m really sorry for [be specific about your lapse]. And I m sorry it [hurt your feelings/inconvenienced you etc]. I ll try to do better next time.
5. Condolence: for example – I was very sorry to hear about your loss. I hope you are OK and if there is anything I can do to help please let me know.
Answer to last week’s puzzle: The oldest book in Australia is De Musica by Boethius written about 1050 AD. It is held in the State Library of Victoria. Boethius’s more famous and influential work is The Consolation of Philosophy, first translated into English by King Alfred the great.
This week’s puzzle: What or who were the Lost Ten Tribes of Israel, and where and when did we lose them?