In Iceland, so the story goes, you knew you were old enough to go fishing in a small boat on the big grey sea by how heavy of a stone you could lift. A pile of stones was much like a university examination is today. Here is the examination set at Skriðuklaustur, more for fun than anything.
Today no one goes to sea for cod in little wooden ships, but there are still lots of rocks to lift and measure yourself by, and, what’s harder, you can lift the with your mind…
The University of North Iceland
… to learn the language of the rain, now that gravity has torn them from their original story. Much fun can still be had.
I love this kindergarten playground. Rocks that Icelandic kids have coloured, that they can cart around, roll around, or trip over as they make the monster any way they wish. How splendid!
In many countries such a dangerous thing would be banned. And people wonder why Icelanders are collectively so creative. Sea monsters. That’s the trick.
First a teacher’s kit for student artists, 5 years old. Note the empty chamber to right!
Then a bit of what they’re going to have to deal with as adults with the skills learned from those tools. Note how the empty chamber has almost completely won. Then a reinforcing lesson in applying foreign tools as training mechanisms.
And some of the cut-and-paste consequences.
And again, this time in downtown Reykjavik.
A closer view of early art education is shown below. Please compare it to the image above. Note how the colours are used to train young minds into cut-and-paste and construction techniques. The stuff is even called “construction paper.” Keep your eye on the black stuff. An adult helped with that!And, finally, an image of that black diamond above, when written out on the land.
In Iceland, children are herded, and in their herds they are free. 1100 years of herding culture drove this lesson home.