Time for my quarterly update, to myself, if nothing else. I am amazed at how closely tied together we are by the Internet. Ever since I posted the Primary songs in Spanish I have had numerous people contact me, including two mission companions that I hadn’t heard from in years. What a joy to hear about their lives, their families, their work. People go on to do such incredible things.
I’m looking at a fast and furious ending to a pretty intense first year at the Lab Schools. I love it, though. I’ve enjoyed so much watching the teachers learn and try new things and working with the student clubs. It’s been challenging and stimulating.
I just finished John Taylor Gatto’s Underground History last week and it’s given me a fresh perspective on our economy, our culture, our society, and the formal schooling that is such an integral part of our experience. If I could stop the world right now, I would have everybody join in a big book club and read Gatto’s book. It’s a piercing look at the real results of a public school system that is either failing miserably or working wonders, depending on whose perspective you take.
And all the myriad perspectives in between will continue to fire the debate about education and what children (and grown-ups, for that matter) ought to learn in preparation for an uncertain future.
My response has been to reaffirm the preeminence of the individual and the rights of the independent learner. I’m not exactly sure what shape my actions will take, but something is going to come out of this. I feel very strongly that humans have tremendous potential to do good as well as evil and that the test of our democratic republic will be to see to what degree we trust ourselves to let go and let develop in a natural way the people around us.
I’m not making a lot of sense, I know. But I will, I promise. More to come on this later.
I’m just so glad it’s spring. It is such a wonderful thing to be able to walk to work without a long winter jacket. I haven’t seen green tips on the trees yet, but I know it’ll be soon. More energy and vigor to work on my thesis. Ah.. the thesis.