Easter, ethics, and Debussy

As usual I fell for all the April Fools’ Day jokes yesterday including the one about Jeremy Clarkson joining the fossil fuel divestment movement. I guess I was just feeling hopeful πŸ™‚

The kids have been asking me lots of questions about Easter that I’m having problems answering like “How does the Easter Bunny travel?” and “Why is there an Easter Bunny?”. I said the Easter Bunny hops from place to place but apparently they watched a movie at school in which the Easter Bunny was flying. How was I supposed to know that? And what exactly has the Easter Bunny got to do with eggs? Daniel asked me this and I must admit I have no idea. Why isn’t the Easter Bunny an Easter Chicken? Rabbits are mammals and mammals do not lay eggs. [Update: I’ve just looked in Wikipedia and it has an explanation for the Easter Bunny – http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Easter_Bunny ]

They’ve also been learning about the significance of Easter from a religious perspective. It’s a secular school but religious and moral education are part of the national curriculum here in Scotland. This is supposed to incorporate aspects from all religions but there seems to be a focus on Christianity which I don’t really mind since Scotland, historically and culturally, is a christian nation. I haven’t looked at the curriculum too closely but I’m pleased that moral education is included. Although I hope it is of a more philosophical nature rather than a religious one but I’m unsure. There’s more about it here if anyone is interested:

http://www.educationscotland.gov.uk/learningandteaching/curriculumareas/rme/nondenominational/index.asp

I read an interesting article in the NYTimes recently called Why Our Children Don’t Think There Are Moral Facts. It’s written by an American philosopher who was concerned by his son’s homework which involved categorising statements as either facts or opinions. Every value statement was categorised as an opinion leading children to believe that there are no moral truths. In other words, the statement “It is wrong to kill another human” is just an opinion.  This is apparently part of the Common Core standards used by schools in the US.

The piano that came with our rental property is very old but we had it tuned this week and it’s sounding much better than it was. I’m not a very good pianist. I didn’t learn for very long and I never took exams but it’s something I enjoy doing very much. I recorded this video of me playing the first bit of Clair de Lune. I make a few mistakes in it, sorry, but it’s a magnificent piece of music even with my poor rendition. Debussy started composing it at the age of 28 but it was not published until 15 years later in 1905.