Geoff Tennant - Promoting access to mathematics for all
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4/3/12: Unknown knowns - and a nice swim

Was awake early so went off to the 7am. service.  To find the building locked and nobody at all around.  Did a few checks - yes, it is Sunday, yes, it is 7am., yes, there is a service at 7am. normally.  And no, there's no notice on the noticeboard or any of the doors, no, there's no announcement in last week's service sheet which I still had in my Bible.

Was joined shortly by a member who at first was as mystified as me as we went back over the checks.  Until she remembered - it's the first Sunday of the month today!  So no 7am. service, everybody joins together for the 10.30am. service!  Obvious once you know!

This seems to me to come into the category of 'unknown knowns' - we know something which is so obvious to us that it doesn't occur to us that it may not be obvious to somebody else.  Another example is a notice in the block of flats I'm staying in:

Now, I'm pretty sure that the tokens being referred to here are those for use in the communal washing machines (one working for 20 flats, which causes far fewer problems than one might imagine).  And, having bought mine from the accommodation office at the University, I assume that they're also J$100 each.  But the notice doesn't say that, you have to know.

Another example of 'unknown knowns' came from when I was in Leicester, just before Christmas when a colleague in an adjoining office was finishing a supervision with an international masters student and said, "You do know, don't you, that the country completely shuts down on Christmas Day?  No shops, no transport, no nothing?"  Of course, a student coming from China (if memory serves correctly) may not know this at all, all credit to my colleague for thinking to point this out!  At some other time I'll come back to this point about 'unknown knowns' in the context of education, this seems to me to be pretty important.

However, had a few chores pending.  Did ironing.  Note to self: when looking to save money, do not skimp on buying a new ironing board if this means that the board may collapse while being used.  This does not constitute wisdom.  And cleaning in the flat. And catching up with entries to the blog.

Have to say, the service was well worth waiting for.  The two combined congregations pretty well filled the building, a huge sense of praise of worship to our Lord Jesus Christ.  I would so love to take the singers back with me - couldn't pay the airfare but could certainly find things for them to do in the UK!

After lunch went to the Campus, partly to take some pictures, partly to go swimming.  The pictures are to provide a bit of history of the site of the University Campus, which is fascinating, I'll make sure I get to that soon.  Meanwhile, was delighted to see this prominently displayed just outside the two main entrances:

Am I getting soft in my old age, or am I more of a royalist away from home, or some combination of the two?  In any case, jolly decent of this fine young army officer to come here as a favour to his Grandma, I hope he has a really enjoyable time in this beautiful country just as I am.

The sports facilities of the University are at the far end, away from the School of Education.  Beautiful setting they have:

Usain Boult was here at UWI, have previously seen signs in his honour but couldn't find them today.  Have to say, will have divided loyalties at the Olympics - although have to admit I've not taken much interest in them up to this point...

The swimming pool is Olympic size, 12 lengths was my limit.  Had a chat to a masters student during a break - how on earth did he infer an English accent from the way that I swim?  And then a taxi ride home.  This is what I have previously referred to as a 'bus-type taxi' (28/2/12) but Dezmonica (1/3/12) tells me is simply a taxi, it's charter taxis (which in the UK we would just call taxis) that need the explanation.  And there's a third category - unlicensed taxis, bizarrely known as 'robot taxis' - if I find out why I'll let you know!

4 Comments to 4/3/12: Unknown knowns - and a nice swim:

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Pete Tennant on 05 March 2012 13:45
Enjoying keeping up with your trip Geoff. By the way your 2007 paper on IEPs has been referenced in this month's Senco Update. Done any fishing yet? Maybe just start with a small sailfish!
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Geoff on 05 March 2012 14:08
Thanks for getting in touch, pleased to hear about the 2007 IEP paper. No, not done any fishing nor any plans to do so, think I need to practise in the UK first before going out on a big adventure! Seem some going on, though.
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Susan Short on 05 March 2012 14:37
Hello Geoff, I've been reading your blog with interest since Carolyn sent me the link. Really enjoying the glimpse of Jamaican life and loved the pictures of the school visit and description of the 'assembly' in the Catholic school. Reminded me of French primary schools I've visited where the Headteacher communicates with class teachers through a tannoy system (loudspeaker/intercom on the classrooom wall!) Looking forward to further descriptions and photos.
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Geoff on 05 March 2012 15:12
Hi, Susan, great to hear from you. Glad to hear you're enjoying the Blog. I've not been to schools in France, certainly assembly through a tannoy here was a bit of a surreal experience!

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Jamaica trip 2012
Return to the UK 2017
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