But What Do Australians Look Like?: An Excerpt From Janusz Korczak’s How To Love A Child, Part 1.

,In the Children’s Home, students who caused trouble were often assigned guardians to watch over the students progress.  Writing letters was encouraged, and Korczak himself sometimes read such correspondence.  Indeed, he made it clear that he didn’t want children to interrupt his work, and he had a short temper, which he always regretted.  What follows below is an abridged version of an exchange between a girl-guardian and her assigned boy student.

S:  “I love Hela a lot, but I’m not going to marry a girl from the Children’s Home.”

G:  “Hela also likes you, but not a lot, because you’re a trouble maker.  Why don’t you want to marry a girl from our Home?”

S:  “I don’t want want one from here, because I’d be ashamed.  Tell me, please.  Should I get married to Dora, Hela, or Mania?

G:  “Dora thinks you’re a twit.  Mania doesn’t want you, and Hela burst out laughing.

S:  “Now I’ll be ashamed to approach them.  Please tell me where I should sit, so I’ll behave better, and write me a long story.  And please don’t show my notes to anybody.  But I really want to know what Australians look like.  What do they look like?

G:  “If they aren’t ashamed, why should you be?  If they want you, you can sit at the third table.  I ‘ll try to show you a picture of an Australian and I won’t show your notes to anybody.”

S:  “Please give me advice, because something is really bothering me.  I’m worried, because during the lesson I think about doing something bad.  But I’m afraid to do what’s bad(to steal), and I don’t want to upset anyone.  I’ll try hard not to think about it and think about voyages.  Good night.”

About Robert M. Weiss
From an early age, I've taken great pleasure in reading. Also, I learned to play my 78 player when I was quite young, and enjoyed listening to musicals and classical music. I remember sitting on the floor, and following the text and pictures of record readers, which were popular in the 1940s and 50s. My favorites were the Bozo and Disney albums. I also enjoyed watching the slow spinning of 16s as they spun out tales of adventure. I have always been attracted by rivers, and I love to sit on a boulder with my feet in the water, gazing into the mysteries of swirling currents. I especially like inner tubing on the Rogue River in Southern Oregon. Since my early youth, I've been interested in collecting minerals, which have taught me about the wonderful possibilities in colors and forms. Sometimes I try to imagine what the ancient Greeks must have felt when they began to discover physical laws in nature. I also remember that I had a special passion for numbers, and used to construct them out of stones. After teaching Russian for several years, I became a writer, interviewer, editor, and translator. I continue to delight in form, and am a problem solver at heart.

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