Pen Pal Predicament

Harry just informed me that he’s moving to the USA. Given that he’s ten, combined with my distinct absence of desire to move there, that’s unlikely to happen any time soon. I’m essentially humouring him because I want him to keep writing to his pen pal. I’ve always thought it nice for kids to have a pen pal, even – or perhaps especially – if it’s someone they’ll never meet in person. 

Javelin, Harry tells me, is also ten, and lives in southern California. Yes, his name is Javelin. His parents run an organic bean farm, and he goes to a school where kids learn to build things like giant wind-powered pinball machines and passive solar tree houses. From what I can tell, they also have maths classes, but they revolve around things like constructing a solar PV panel calculator. There are no uniforms and the teachers all go by their first names. 

It’s pretty easy to see why Harry thinks the US is where it’s at. How can our local primary school compete, with its hierarchical policies and complete lack of large-scale installations and rooftop aquaculture systems? Still, he’s bound to cotton on soon enough that this is not an accurate picture of the US as a whole, and acquire an understanding of world politics in the process. Money can’t buy this kind of education.

I’m guessing it can buy a spot at Javelin’s school, but who knows? Maybe it’s some kind of community thing. In the meantime, maybe I can try convincing Harry’s school to have another go at implementing the commercial energy monitoring system. Melbourne isn’t so backwards a neck of the woods to grow up in, all things considered, but it’s flawed just like everywhere else. I mean, I’m sure every city worth its salt has that one kid who goes and breaks the monitoring device by spilling a pine crush popper on it. 

I bet there’s a kid like that at Javelin’s school.