Wednesday, 20 April 2016

The Question of Enrichment.

I’ve been intrigued for some weeks by the fact that there are two teenage girls working in one of Ashbourne’s charity shops – which is unusual – so today I asked one of them whether they were volunteers or whether they were working to some sort of bureaucratic requirement.

‘We’re volunteers,’ said the girl enthusiastically. ‘Wednesday afternoons are free of lessons on the understanding that we do something enriching, like studying philosophy or something.’


‘Yes. Wednesday afternoon is enrichment time.’

‘You’re from the local high school?’


 Thinks: The educational establishment has finally realised that the old platitude ‘personal development’ is getting a bit long in the tooth, so they’ve come up with a new one. Enrichment time… Mmm…

‘So you choose to work in a charity shop because it isn’t quite as boring as philosophy?’

No answer. Scowls from the (middle aged) manager. Oh dear.

‘OK. None of my business. Bye.’

I really must stop talking to strangers. I must tell myself repeatedly until what’s left of my brain takes notice:

‘You must not talk to strangers. Most strangers are normal people, whereas you’re odd. It’s a near-certainty that at some point you will either annoy them, discomfit them, embarrass them, or perplex them. Don’t do it.’


But I’ve thought of more questions, as well as a few suggestions…

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