The blog is on tour around Florida for two weeks, so posts will be erratic and may contain reptiles and be enjoyed with a mojito.
Yesterday bought us to the Everglades and the chance to ride an airboat out into the swamp. In the company of Captain Mike, we spent a few hours exploring the backwaters and myriad interlinked waterways. At the end, we had the chance to hold a three year old alligator, it’s leathery skin warm in the sun.
Two things struck me: the Everglades is a hard place to make a living so the people have adapted, whilst the Alligator has survived by not changing at all.
Aside from boat tours, fishing and the casino, you can’t do a lot there: the people have adapted to make money, to earn a living from tourists. Every mile or two brings more signs for boat tours, swamp trips and kayak outings. It’s a competitive market, driven by the constant influx of new meat.
The alligators sit in the sun, eating the occasional marshmallow tossed to them to encourage a show. Immovable and unchanged, they have reached the perfect form for their environment. I guess until that environment changes any further.
Agility, adaptable skills, these are the things we need as twenty first century learners: the ability to know when we can lie in the sun, immutable, but the skills to know when we have to change, to adapt, to learn. Get the balance right and you thrive, get it wrong and you’re fossilised.