The city of trees? - On the search for the roots of education since education needs roots
Did you know that Edinburgh has more trees per head of population than any other city in the U.K.? With this in mind, it’s for sure no surprise that the students of the 3a accompanied by their two teachers Prof. Knorr-Kohlhofer and Prof. Mähring decided to count the trees in Edinburgh. What better than doing so during an Intensive Language Week there? Here’s what we’ve found out on and off the beaten tracks.
Day 1 (September 20th): We were just about to find out about the exact amount of trees in our school park (yes, it’s a rather difficult job at 5 a.m.) when the bus picked us up heading for Vienna International Airport. Been there – seen that – done that – since no trees were to be found there, we decided to continue our journey to Edinburgh. Some time and a damaged piece of luggage later, we were on our way from misery to happiness that day (yes, the Proclaimers are a Scottish band). Orientation tour through Auld Reekie (yes, that is Edinburgh’s nickname) in the sense of Old Smoky – because in the time of the Industrial Revolution, the burnt trees produced exactly that. However, only solitary trees were to be found.
Interlude: School was … well, you know how school can be. If we now tell you that sometimes having no hardcore (pun intended) lesson is really worth it, you should know what that means. So focusing on speaking about Scotland and Scottish cults (yes, Irn Bru seems to be more of a cult and not a culture), we could strengthen our roots...
Day 2 (September 21st): In the afternoon we decided not to count trees but stones instead and thus had a geologic excursion through Holyrood Park. Fun fact: the rocks there were once covered by ocean water around the equator. Despite that fact we could not find any palm trees.
Day 3 (September 22nd): Today we learned a very important lesson: NEVER ask the tourist information for directions … only if you want to walk more than 6 km in less than an hour. Since the trees along our selfie-track were scarce and the Kelpies too far away, our next ‘untreed’ stop was made of 1,200 t of steel, 15,000 bolts and 45,000 bolts holes and skyrocketing 35 m tall. Archimedes and Antonine are lifted up and down the Falkirk Wheel using just 1.5 kWh per turn. Don’t know what these names have got to do with Scottish Canals? Check it out – where the laws of physics clash with history.
Day 4 (September 23rd): Loch Lomond – Balmaha to Inchcailloch – sounds like you can’t pronounce any of those properly? Well, you probably can’t and neither can we. What we can do is tell you that we finally found some real forests – pines, birches, oaks and hazels – so many that some of us began to sweat and thus decided to cool down in the water: the moment in life when we understood that even small things can indeed be important.
Day 5 (September 24th): You know what? Live trees might be scarce downtown Edinburgh, but we have found the largest tree branches all over the world! From an aerial perspective (yes, that’s fancy for bird’s eye view), the Scottish Parliament looks like a massive tree branch. We were so impressed … until we recognized that the whole interior actually bears an uncanny resemblance to our school, that is. Whatever! Scottish politics explained on a gallery talk is at least not that uninteresting. And neither was the museum (although we would never officially admit that). Hands-on-experience – what else
Bild und Text: KNO