19 March 2010

This is who I want to be on the great days:

Found this quote on Andrew Sullivan's DAILY DISH: 11/1/09

 To the extent that the Internet and the proliferation of long distance learning deprive us of being in the presence of charismatic, kind, scholarly people, it will be a tremendous loss. When a Hasid said that he traveled miles just to see how his master tied his shoes, he was expressing this beautiful idea. What we learn from a great teacher cannot be put into a book, because it is in a look, an inflection, a quirk of personality or a tossed off comment. The greatest human lessons are found in the power of presence. david wolpe

I have been doing it "old school" for the past three weeks. Somehow I just don't want to repackage myself and my subject right now. Though I am a great missionary for teachers to recognize that new methods are necessary to prepare new students for the new world, I can't help but feel that my subject matter deserves attention as well. My age tells me that the old ways do the job too. There are so many  advantages to reading Chaucer, no disadvantages. It seems to me that my students will be correlating past, present and future on a moment to moment basis every single day as they live the next 80 years. The connections between the present, past and future are real, they are vibrant, and they are meaningful. It matters that students read, and that they read the unfamiliar and as well as the familiar.  Multitasking is not only about doing many things at once, it is also about linking many tasks, many knowledges and many experiences. Some of that does not happen in 140 characters, or in 4 open windows or or in 4 genres flashing at once. I am thrilled with 17-year-old speed, spark, opinions. I am also appalled at the ignorance, their lack of curiosity, the dismissal of so many new things with so little experience.
"Old school" in an old school is right just now: trust Ms. Healey.  Shakespeare IS your past, your present and your future.

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