Sunday, March 11, 2018

odd things...

Yesterday we had a very nice open house at Clear Spring School. The weather was beautiful. Old friends and supporters of the school came by as well as prospective new parents.

It was sad to hear some reports of things not working out for certain kids in our local public school. This is not to say anything against teachers or staff. The system of education in which too many children are placed in a class, and too little teacher time is available to meet individual student's needs and interests is a formula in which some students may suffer harsh consequences. Teachers also suffer under such conditions and may leave the profession due to unreasonable circumstances.

If children place other children under undue emotional and physical stress, we call it bullying. What do we call it when adults place children (or are required to place children) under undue physical and emotional stress? We never hear that called bullying. We call it control of the classroom, and requiring students to comply with authority. Do I dare say what others will not say?

When students are released from rigid classroom authority and then go out onto the playground to unwind and apply methods associated with bullying, where can we find the model for it? And what should we expect?

On Friday, I met with a group from the local Democratic Party to discuss their platform. One young man wanted to address the problems of mental illness and the diagnosis and support for mental illness within education. His concerns came from the immediacy of his highschool and college participation in which he has been a personal witness to depression, anxiety, and bullying leading to suicide. Part of our discussion centered on the use of drugs to adjust students to unreasonable classroom conditions.

I have said this before. One of the basic things children are hard wired to do is learn. They will do that whether we teach them or not. Encouraged in learning, they will love learning their whole lives. Teaching and allowing children to learn are not necessarily the same thing.

We make our children grow up far too quickly. And that's something that can be fixed. In case you've not noticed, the governments (at any level) will not do that for us.

I found something odd in the advertising that flashes across my computer browser screen. It is a cover image of an old DVD that I'd not seen before and that is on steep clearance sale at Taunton Press. The odd thing is that it features my hands, my old table saw, my old tape measure, my pencil, and my sled, cutting parts I have marked. The back cover of the DVD credits me as photographer and the image was close cropped and taken from P. 47 of my Complete Illustrated Guide to Box Making. But rather than surprise me, it might have pleased the actual author of the material, Jim Cummins, to have had his own hands and work on the cover, not mine. It might have been more truthful to the customer to have the cover more closely related to the contents of the DVD.

make, fix and create... assist and encourage others to learn likewise.

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