Learnings (VOL. 4, NO. 5)

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

1. Question I’m living with:

  • “Our children cannot dream unless they live, they cannot live unless they are nourished, and who else will feed them the real food without which their dreams will be no different than ours?” – Audre Lorde (quoted by Ross Gay in his “Inciting Joy Essays“)

2. Quote I’m considering:

  • “I always remember, as a child at school, sitting in a classroom, and we were studying whatever you study — English literature or mathematics or physics or whatever. And I used to sit at my desk and just puzzle to myself, why don’t they talk about what actually it’s like to be a person, from the inside? Why do they not talk about the things we agonize about in the playground after the class?” – Stephen Batchelor (On-Being Podcast)

3. Poem I’m pondering:

“Learning” by Kay Ryan

Whatever must be learned
is always on the bottom,
as with the law of drawers
and the necessary item.
It isn’t pleasant,
whatever they tell children,
to turn out on the floor
the folded things in them.

4. Something inspiring:

5. The blog’s still on hold as I write my Rewild School book. Here’s a synopsis of the section titled “Separation”:

Students sitting in columns and rows prick their ears. They hear our campus-wide calling, our invitation to leave the safety and comfort of their traditional classrooms and come with us on a journey. Our invite offers them struggle and uncertainty. It offers them something more too, but that is something they must long for. Some do. Some know that there is more to education than professors, projectors and PowerPoint presentations, more than what they have been told is truly engaged education, more than internships and experiential-learning and volunteering in the local community. More, even, than hammering away their spring break with Habitat for Humanity. They know there is a classroom on campus where students produce work that directly impacts the lives of others, where letter grades do not matter and passing is defined as self-actualization. Even with these most glorious of promises, most will refuse our call to step into the wilderness with and alongside us. Fear of our invite that will gladly leave them behind if they do not answer or fear of our work that is too ambitious or fear of our community that is too radical in its honesty and vulnerability separates the few who will try to become one of us from the many on campus. Our screens and costly rituals then do the rest. They separate the fewer from the few who enroll in our class.

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