Sunday, February 14, 2016


A prototype white oak cabinet
I watched the Republican primary debate last night as they took turns blasting each other with rude remarks.  They called each other liars and hypocrites and argued over who was more "conservative." I say "took turns" with some reservations, as most children in pre-school would do a better job of taking turns. They talked over each other, interrupted each other, belittled each other, and I was reminded of my early years when I taught art to emotionally disturbed children in Memphis. At that time and in that place, a child's ultimate insult for another child was to say something about the other's mother. The words "Your mama..." would bring immediate hostile and near violent response, even before the rest of the sentence came out. The debate actually got down to that exact level in an exchange between Donald Trump and Jeb Bush.

The odd thing is that if I want to avoid such immaturity, I can take refuge at the Clear Spring School. Children there are taught at the earliest possible age to work out their conflicts with each other in a peaceful manner. And they do.

I know I have blog readers from both parties, and I know the stakes are high in each election, and I would prefer not to lose readers over politics, but last night, I was left wondering which of the Republican candidates was presidential enough to have a civil debate with a Democrat in the general election that could set a better example of how we might solve real problems. And the problems are real.

If children were to watch last night's debate, and then manifest that same level of behavior in school, one can readily see why most of the time spent by graduate students in education has to do with classroom management and not about real learning. Hopefully, most children were watching other things, as the debate was a very poor model of mature human discourse. I suppose one could call the candidates' behavior adolescent or juvenile, but let me assure you that children brought up in a loving environment like the Clear Spring School don't act like that.

In my own wood shop, I've been working on a prototype cabinet for my small cabinet class in Portland in March. I am at the point now of doing some decorative shaping on the doors, the installation of hinges, and application of finish.

Make, fix, create, and extend to others the love of learning likewise.

No comments:

Post a Comment