Wednesday, December 15, 2010

3 R's vs 3 I's

In consideration of recent crap happening at B and O's school, I've been thinking about what the drawbacks of public school in general - and our schools here in Bethlehem in particular - would be. Their over-emphasis on standardization of learning is a bummer. This inherently reduces the importance of art, language, imagination, and inquiry. Which got me thinking that there really are three subjects that are of utmost importance for us to help our kids learn, but they are NOT reading, writing (not an R) or 'rithmatic (also not an R). They are imagination, inquiry, and inventiveness. These are skills that take creativity and initiative and are the most likely to lead to actual contribution - not high level of spatial relations or even high vocabulary. It isn't about 'getting it' (algebra, grammar, literature), it's about putting something out there that makes new connections (mirror neurons), measures things in a way that is completely new and useful, or bringing understanding to the dark places of human inquiry. Time to go - more later.

Monday, December 06, 2010

What make me bad?


I have, in my brief sojourn, been bad. I have been bad ass, a bad kid, a bad mom, a bad Jew, a bad person, and a bad ballplayer. I have also had bad breath occasionally, played badly at Mah Jongg, been a bad driver, and - on very rare occasions, had bad taste. But mostly, I think I'm a pretty good person. I haven't killed anyone - yet - or broken an oath in court, though that opportunity has not yet arisen. I have broken laws, commandments, rules, and expectations with some measure of abandon, and yet I STILL feel like I'm a pretty good person. I try to be respectful of people, though I fail from time to time. I try not to burn down anyone's house, to feel for the injustice and injury done to people around the world through neglect, intentional injustice, and historical accident. I guess I understand why we have rules, legal and social, but what I don't understand is how some people can call rules ideas, and the next person calls them commandments. Which is it, because those are fundamentally two different things to me. Time for me to go make dinner, which is a law around here, and one that I have found when broken, makes me a bad mother, wife, and person - my own peckishness can be an issue. So hopefully, as I grow up (taller, more beautiful, driving a bmw and zonkered into my iPad), I will come to more fully appreciate what things are out there that make me bad. Cause sometimes being bad is what differentiates me from the Abercrombie wearing, Prius driving norm, out there. And I'm tired of them saying that I'm bad for not being one of them.