from the familiar to the new

When we see something we know, we are comfortable knowing it. Sometimes comfort is comforting, and sometimes it is boring.

Here in Melbourne, around where we are staying, you see signs like this:

Bored water

It means “We get our water from deep under the ground. Don’t accuse us of using precious water for our well-watered landscaping.”

I won’t. I’m too busy looking at everything.

Everything is mostly the same, but just the smallest different that it makes it very interesting. The architecture is not quite like anything I’ve seen before. I’m looking for history of it, but I think I’ll probably look for some tour. Is it English? What are all those roof designs? What about the ornate grillwork? So much to be learned…

Here’s what I mean:

where we're staying

Gorgeous, isn’t it? This is where we’re staying.

Or look at the roof here:

Melbourne rooftop

Do you see the dragon on the top? I find it amazing that people will allocate their resources in this way.

But getting back to my original title, I am amazed at myself, watching and listening to myself and my comments.

“This is just like Israel, with the eucalyptus trees.”

“This is just like Israel, with the rolling brown hills.”

“This is just like southern California, with the [actually a lot of things; palm trees, houses overbuilt close to each other].”

“This is just like Montreal, with the fancy brick houses.”

and on and on.

The educator Kieran Egan talks about how we learn by starting with the familiar and expanding out from there. Think about how a baby learns to speak. Everything that moves is a doggie. Everything that you can throw is a ball. So we look at things and extrapolate from what we know. That makes sense.

Unless it doesn’t.

Sometimes things are just different.



2 responses

  1. Pingback: relativity, up close and personal | Learning from the Learned

  2. Pingback: in search of the familiar | Learning from the Learned

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