Rousseau Solves the Back to School Counundrum

I would as soon, said a wise man, that my pupil had spent his time in the tennis court as in this manner; for there his body at least would have
got exercise.
– Jean-Jacques Rousseau, The First Discourse

The translation from my first semester of college read “court tennis” instead of just tennis.

Court tennis is something to see

Court/Real/Royal Tennis existed during Rousseau’s lifetime while our belvoed Lawn Tennis did not. Still, a simple strike and replace “court lawn” should make the ample number of tennis courts in various parts of the world a good option for schooling. Outdoor tennis has been deemed a low risk activity in terms of transmitting COVID-19.

Some may wonder why we should listen to Rousseau who wrote on child-rearing but also gave all of his children up for adoption. To those objections, I say don’t be like John McEnroe.

I will not answer questions regarding Rousseau’s philosophy and stick to his recommendation of being happy with pupils playing tennis as a brute fact.
Even with cracks, outdoor tennis courts can fairly safely accomodate young people the world over.


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