By Fr Roderick Salazar SVD
KINDERGARTEN is the right word, the proper term, not “kinder” or “pre-kinder”, as some schools mistakenly advertise their offerings.
It’s a German word first used by Friedrich Wilhelm August Froebel in 1837. English has adopted it as its own.
The German word for child (singular) is “kind” (pronounced with a short i, as in ‘splint’); the plural is “kinder” (again, short i, as in ‘hinder’). “Garten” means “garden”. Thus, ‘Kindergarten’ means “children’s garden” or ‘garden for children’ where five- and six- year-old kids play and socialize as they start their formal education informally.
KINDERGARTEN. Not ‘kinder’ or ‘pre-kinder’. Please, educators and would-be school owners.
Many years ago, in Kindergarten in St. Agnes Academy, run by Benedictine Sisters (German, Filipino, and other nationalities) in Legazpi City, I learned a little poem about a seed. It popped up in my consciousness because of the Holy Mass Readings for today, the 14th Sunday in Ordinary Time in the Catholic Liturgical Year. The readings are about the Word of God as Seed.
The little kindergarten poem is by Kate L. Brown.
1. The Heart of A Seed
“In the heart of a seed, buried deep, so deep, a dear little plant lay fast asleep. ‘Wake!’ said the sunshine, ‘and creep to the light’. ‘Wake’ were the words of the raindrops bright.
The little plant heard, and it rose to see what the wonderful outside world might be.”
In much later years, in the periodical, Review for Religious, I came across another poem about Seed. I regret I forget the author, and maybe a word or two.
2. Soliloquy of a Seed
“Something tells me that to grow I must surrender all that I am and ever hope to be.
But to go up,
dare i go down
and think a tree is inside of me?”
A poetic picture, this, of what Jesus once said, “unless a grain of wheat falls into the ground and dies, it remains just a grain of wheat. But if it dies, it produces much fruit..” John 12:24
Here I am, Lord.