Wednesday, August 26, 2015

first day of school at the Clear Spring School...

My own classes will not begin until September 14, so I have some time still to prepare for students, and to attend to my writing and box making. Yesterday I had materials delivered from a sawmill and had a large white oak log cut up into logs after it had fallen in the woods. Today I began cutting stock for making arrows from white oak, and I plan to have my students in middle and high school make their own bows and arrows. We will  begin whittling the arrows first and then laminate the bows using the vacuum press.

The students at CSS are very excited to be back, and as you can see, the wide planks of spalted sycamore delivered yesterday will make for some beautiful work in days to come. The planks are about 15 and a half feet long, 20 inches wide and consecutive.

The following is my rough paraphrase of a quote in Portuguese from Ivan Illich.
The modern university grants the privilege of dissent only to those who have been proven through testing to be trusted in the use of money and power for the preservation of the status quo. (Regardless of how utterly despicable that status quo may be.)
It would be wonderful if schools of education could lead us from the morass that they've been involved in creating. In Time Magazine their week they describe how Mark Zuckerberg from Facebook had given 100 million dollars to schools in Newark, and the results have proven once again that money given to the top does not trickle down to where the greatest need might be, even when that money is earmarked to fulfill that need. Taking an "academic approach" means the same as "look ma, no hands" except that usually when a child proclaims it, something of interest is being done. When schools, on the other hand, extract the hands from learning, no good will come. Make, fix, create, and help others to do likewise.

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