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Looking into the Crystal Ball of the Ivory Elephant

* Remembering being young by concentrating on an object of meaning, I wrote this poem. It is curious to remember the visual splendor that our hearts have captured, and to realize that it is all still a part of us. It is with longing that I recall that glorious youthfullness when the mind is so richly employed in concentration on a single thing.

The Intricately Detailed Elephant

An elephant never forgets

I do not know for how many thousands of years this elephant has carried the wonder of the universe safely upon its shoulders. I do not know how wise its wisdom. But I have spent a lifetime in the sunny moment of an afternoon staring into its eyes. The world illuminated through study of carved curves that when so very tenderly touched make solid bone feel smooth as old leather. In this orb of the Universe, I have seen the dance of the upside down world; the aurora of light, the invisible tangible. Steadfastly with great dignity the little...Read more

(De)Grading Creativity

It might seem blasphemous to suggest that the Arts don't teach creativity. But, they don't. People often express their creativity through the Arts, but, that's not teaching creativity. Simply painting or playing music, or being a good drawer doesn't mean one is necessarily creative, nor does doing Math or learning to program computers necessarily suggest one is without creativity. If one believes that the Arts do teach creativity, or teach it better than Math or Science, that is most likely a result that the Arts are considered 'fluff' in our system, and therefore the detrimental and stifling psychological damage of being (de)graded in Art, are not as severe as the detrimental aspects inherent in Math grading or Science grading, thus, we can risk a bit more in the Arts. Whatever the reasons, the teaching of creativity is extremely difficult. It is difficult because the system must allow the student to oppose the authority that is defining what is status quo. Though it is possible...Read more

“In the end it is the poor who will be chained to the computer; the rich will get teachers."

Quoted from an article in Forbes magazine by Diane Ravitch, that is quoted in Jane Healy’s “Failure To Connect.”

I suspect in the near future the poor will have YouTube and Khan Academy. And most teachers will be without a job.

It will really be our own fault. We really haven't educated the public as fully as is necessary for them to support a more enlightened school system. We haven't even developed a self monitoring system for our own profession, accepting the ideology of various governments to be catalyst for educational change and we have accepted our current high school system of pedagogy as being locked into an archaic practice of "sorting" winners from losers simply so that Universities don't have to take responsibility for their own sorting practices. Yes, we are in a bit of spot here, and if public education functions ONLY as such a sorting and grading machine, well, we best be prepared for a real machine to do the sorting.

Teachers are an...Read more

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