When travelling distances in France, I’ll tend to use the route nationale (RN) system, in preference to the autoroute (A roads), largely because I like to feel as if I am in a different country, watching the terrain and the housing change, as well as reading the adverts alongside the road. The autoroute is like any motorway anywhere, apart from the regularity of the aires de repos, which can be very useful for comfort stops, so occasionally a small diversion is needed, as les toilettes can be hard to find in the villages en route.
While I am happy taking a little longer and occasionally stopping to look around, to get a feel for the places, I have very good friends who get in their car and just head directly and through the quickest means to their destination. They could be in any country, apart from the need to pay tolls in France for the autoroute. Their enjoyment of France is different to mine. They enjoy the destination, rather than the journeying.
I am tempted to use this difference as an analogy for teaching, in that some prefer to take what appears to be a more leisurely journey, while others prefer the more direct style. If done well, both arrive at their destination. However, as a journeyer, I’d argue that, by taking the more circuitous route, stopping to have a close look around at the details and to put these into an appreciation of the whole, the experience of the journeying approach provides a greater degree of understanding and the ability to bring to mind that detail when needed.
Sometimes there is a need to go back and recover some of the ground already covered, to fill in the detail that has been missed, so that the onward journey is better informed.
Sometimes there’s a need to speed up and finish quickly, especially, if journeying, you are likely to run out of available daylight and will not reach the house. One has to be pragmatic.
The greater the mental detail developed, the easier it is to re-tread the same ground the next time it is needed. Having a good idea of the whole can help if detours are needed in response to an unexpected blockage. That way, it is possible to maintain the forward momentum towards the destination, even if that takes a little longer.
If you keep going in the right direction, you get to the destination eventually.
Hares and tortoises anyone?
Who wouldn't want this view?