Assortment (vol. 4, no. 4)

Here are a few things I’m sharing this month:

1. Question I’m living with:

  • “What is it to be seen in the right way? As who you are?” – Ada Limon “Banished Wonders”

2. Quote I’m considering:

  • “When some remote ancestor of ours invented the shovel, he became a giver: he could plant a tree. And when the axe was invented, he became a taker: he could chop it down. Whoever owns land has thus assumed, whether he knows it or not, the divine functions of creating and destroying plants.” – Aldo LeopoldA Sand County Almanac

3. Poem I’m pondering:

“On a branch …” by Kobayashi Issa (translated by Jane Hirshfield)

4. Something inspiring:

5. The blog’s still on hold as I write my Rewild School book; however here’s an excerpt describing one of the four reasons why I do not like letter grades:

Number 3: Letter grades falsely signaled the end of our quest (and our relationship)

The traditional student-teacher relationship has a definitive beginning and ending. The handing out of a syllabus on the first day of class and the assigning of final grades. There is no such thing as students retaking a class again and again because they loved who they were becoming while immersed in its process. It is on to the next semester with new classes again and again until they reach graduation. And, as part of this process, we teachers are trained to let go of our students. Well, I say no. No to this outdated temporal structuring of the student-teacher relationship. No to this relic of some long-dead educator’s limited imagination. For me and my students (most but not all), there were no goodbyes. We committed ourselves to each other for life. For the full duration. Because the quest we are on is one without ending.

Thanks so much. And, have a great day! – shawn