Updated: Jul 5, 2020
There was a pretty ferocious thunderstorm in Coventry a few days ago. The rain was coming down by the bucketful and our gazebo threatened to take off, even though it was anchored to the house with guy ropes and pinned to the lawn with tent pegs. Water gathered on the gazebo roof as lightning flashed around us. I did my best with a broom to stop it collecting in the eaves, sending sheets of water cascading over the edge onto the saturated lawn below. In between these frequent sorties into the garden I was working at my computer when, suddenly, there was an almighty lightning strike, followed by a loud peel of thunder. All went dark.
So, off I went to the cupboard under the stairs where the fuse box lives under a pile of winter coats, along with Henry the Hoover and a miscellaneous assortment of broken toys, odd shoes and past editions of the Yellow Pages. Well, actually, I lie ... I sent my wife in because she's so much smaller than I am. She flicked the right switch, there was a whirr and everything came back to life.
My computer does not take kindly to being denied power without adequate notice! And so it was that it declared that it would start up again in what is called Safe Mode. Wikipedia tells me that "... safe mode is a diagnostic mode of a computer operating system (OS). It can also refer to the mode of operation by application software. In Windows, safe mode only allows essential system programs and services to start up at boot. Safe mode is intended to help fix most, if not all problems within an operating system."
Now, there has been a lot of arguing going on about going back to school. Some schools are open to most year groups already, others are cautiously welcoming certain year groups back. I read recently that it's going to be a toss-up between having a pint down at your local pub and sending your children back to school as both involve similar degrees of social mixing and the r-value will rise above 1.0 if we do both. If we don't behave on the beach, they'll close it down. Although I'm not sure how you close Blackpool seafront to half a million angry Northerners unless you're talking high-pressure water cannon hooked up directly to the Irish Sea and the majority of a large army battalion with their tannoys blaring "Stay off the beach or we'll wash you off it!"
What about Safe Mode for school? I had the idea for Cyclical School about a month ago now and the more I think about it, the more sense it makes. It's sensible, sustainable, and safe. It's also contact-limited, local, accessible, and scalable. Why not read more about it on the pages elsewhere on this site. You can even buy the accompanying book, The Classroom After the Storm,
There. That's sold another copy or two ... maybe.