A morning meandering


Bird Droppings March 29, 2010
A morning meandering

As I read through several emails several of my doctorate graduate school class mates are defending their dissertations in the coming weeks. In another set of emails from an article review group several commented on how these particular readings provided insight into successful educational programs. I actually had enjoyed the readings and it made me recall a teaching principle I learned in from my father who used it in the steel industry many years ago and I actually was taught this concept in a Red Cross course for instructors in 1968. It is called the FIDO principle, hence Frequency, Intensity, Duration and Over again. If you repeat something, often enough maybe it will sink in. Granted in today’s educational system of teaching to the test it might be happening a bit too much.
I look at John Dewey’s ideas from 1900 and how we still call those ideas progressive education. With all of the educational materials out now, many are only a few years old in effect yet are called traditional when comparing to Dewey, I find that amusing. One of our topics was looking at performance versus social support. I am of course leaning in the Social support direction as this is an integral part of my day when I am teaching even with general education students. This is how I see kids and deal with kids. I go back to my idea in one of the postings today of getting away from a swing of the pendulum and going in the direction of a pulse, no swing either way but a steady beat or energy.
We should try and steer away from that concept of right or left swing and go towards what is best for the kid not always for the society. I have worked with a large number of kids from a certain trailer park nearby. Many are very bright and all are very poor. The sixteen hour syndrome as I call it is alive and well in that trailer park. As I go by often several times a day between my mother’s house and my own, I see kids I have had and often new ones but always similarities. As I look back at the last nine years of teaching EBD students I have had more kids from that one spot in the county than any other specific spot. Sadly in actuality many are marrying within that group. There are more kids being born, coming from that environment. Many are on the fringe of society. Many of the kids are anarchists, punkers, suffering from divergent behaviors, drug addicts, alcoholics, and few if any have jobs. I wondered why as I drove by thinking of past kids from this enclave. Several are serving hard time; several will be back next year. I wonder if anyone in that community was approached about their participation in the greater good.
Interesting as I am having a difficult time getting started this morning wandering off a bit as I had just driven by that trailer park. I am always trying to stay up with our youngest thinking I recall back to a day he decided to do a Godzilla marathon six of the old Godzilla movies. I did not make it through the first one. When I got up the next morning the video was still on and he crashed somewhere after five this morning watching the twenty eighth movie featuring the man in a monster suit. He just found the latest installment which features every major other monster and a walk on by the computer generated Godzilla. I often wonder if there is a hidden meaning to Godzilla the all powerful beast who always eventually has a weakness. Sort of the David and Goliath of nature and humanity, and my youngest of course came to the rescue offering that the original concept of the monster was an antinuclear effort.

“The depth of darkness to which you can descend and still live is an exact measure of the height to which you can aspire to reach.” Laurens Van der Post

For many years I have been intrigued by this man whom I had not heard of prior to finding a quote and yet he has written literally hundreds of books and articles on Africa and numerous other countries. He was raised by an African Bushman woman and taught their ways and his philosophy of life and his writings are permeated with nature and the thoughts and aspirations of this primitive people. Van der Post was knighted by the Queen many years ago and actually is the Godfather to Prince William. He is the only non-royal to have ever been given that honor.

“It’s easier to go down a hill than up it but the view is much better at the top.” Arnold Bennett

“What is to give light must endure the burning.” Victor E, Frankl

As I sit this morning so often it is conversations and happenings of yesterday that drive the thought that inspires me as I write. Yesterday I was talking with some friends of where they had been and where they were going, adversity is a good word as we spoke. It is about looking the lion in the mouth and walking away knowing you have survived. A new graduate of a well respected associates program was daunted by her rejection at a four year school. She had gone to the two year program on a full athletic scholarship and suffered grade wise in order to play on a nationally ranked junior college team. As time to graduate came close she had to quit and actually lost her scholarship in order to raise her grades and put more time into studying. She had conquered her adversary and now was trying to move on.

“Turn your face to the sun and the shadows fall behind you.” Maori Proverb, the Maori are the indigenous people of New Zealand.

“Human beings are perhaps never more frightening than when they are convinced beyond doubt that they are right.” Laurens Van der Post

“The chief condition on which, life, health and vigor depends on, is action. It is by action that an organism develops its faculties, increases its energy, and attains the fulfillment of its destiny.” Colin Powell

Overcoming adversity begins with action, with a step forward, with realizing shadows are cast by light with knowing that growth comes from effort. It is difficult to cross a stream if you never take the first step. In borrowing from the Zen teachings “You can never cross a stream the same way twice”. I was sitting here remembering old stories and thoughts in the past we would hike up a stream in north Georgia the Toccoa Creek and in that hike transverse about 500 feet up hill over rocks and boulders and such climbing up the creek. In the process of course water is continually flowing against you and depending on the rainfall it could be a good bit. Cracks and crevices abound and more than several times you actually swim in rock channels ten feet deep and eighteen inches wide all up hill but at the top is a water fall.

“The view at the top is always worth the climb” Sir Edmond Hillary

Keep all in harms way on your mind and in your hearts.
namaste
bird

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