Friday, January 24, 2020 Text is available under the CC BY-SA 3.0 licence.

Thomas Gainsborough

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..this picture [Cornard Wood] was actually painted in Sudbury, begun before I left school, and was the means of my father's sending me to London.

 
Thomas Gainsborough

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There was one picture in particular which bothered him. It had begun with a leaf caught in the wind, and it became a tree; and the tree grew, sending out innumerable branches, and thrusting out the most fantastic roots.

 
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In brief, sending a father-deprived child into the world and assuming everything is okay because the dad provides money is like sending a drunken driver onto the highway and assuming everything is okay because the gas is paid for. It doesn’t mean that the drunken driver will not get to his or her destination. It just means that the risks are enormous. And the consequences of failure are forever.

 
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Now, given that picture of a rapid change of society, one would expect to see a rapid evolution of the institutions charged with preparing the young for it. We do not see this. We see a much slower rate of evolution of the school and that means we're seeing a bigger and bigger gap between school and society. This gap is what I believe is responsible for the deterioration of performance in our schools and our educational systems. Because the children can see this; they can see that school is irrelevant. They feel that the pace of school and the mood of the school culture is out of sync with the society in which they live. And so it becomes harder and harder to get them to buy into the idea that school is satisfying their needs, that school is a bridge to the 21st century, as our political leaders keep on reiterating.

 
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I think the main thing is that I very rarely recognise the actual interview in print. To me, it's like being painted by an artist. And then you see the picture, and they've painted someone else.

 
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Father, I scarcely dare to pray,
So clear I see, now it is done,
How I have wasted half my day,
And left my work but just begun.

 
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