Bird Droppings January 11, 2012
Building Sand castles drip by drip
Back when I was going to graduate school nearly every day and before switching to internet classes and WebCT it took some getting used to going to school and then going to school again. I was teaching from seven in the morning till three in the afternoon students who have had difficulty with school and then driving an hour and going to school from five till nine thirty most every day. I will say thinking back nearly eight years going as a student after being a teacher made for an interesting schedule. It was a time of flux for me also getting used to a new computer and tied in to that we had radical administration changes in our own school. All in all it made life interesting. However it was also around this time my middle son was tutoring several students who had difficulty with chemistry.
I found it most interesting watching him work with his peers who were high school students as well. During that same period of time he helped me break bridges in a summer school physical science class as he was helping with tutoring. We built twenty one inch bridges of popsicles sticks and white glue only and then using a device to see whose can hold the most weight. The students really got into the breaking and it was interesting as the bridges ranged from zero to eighty one pounds in breaking weight.
I also had a side experiment on building pyramids which involved a sand box. In the course of having my sand box set up as I do for this project I built a sand castle albeit a small one. I went back to teaching and as I watched one of my students as he smashed my three inch drip castle not because I built it just because it was there. Later that same person smashed several of the broken bridges and as I watched observing simply to break them no real reason other than to break them. It really made me think in light of all that happened that day as I looked back some people are capable of creating new ideas and new concepts for others to see and also follow or complete those ideas concepts but in among those people are others who see an idea or a concept and simply tear it down not because of what it is or isn’t literally without thought or reason simply to tear it down.
It surprisingly saddened me to watch my tiny three inch castle smashed not through some random wave or step or misstep by a passerby but a deliberate effort. I came back to a thought I used in class many times and in writing my droppings over the years from Kent Nerburn who by education was a sculptor. He talked about when we are born and have a piece of marble to sculpt some create marvelous works of art others drag this block behind and some simply smash the marble into gravel. Last night as I sat thinking about my current classes and pondered the day into this morning. It is sad the limits that student have imposed upon themselves only to tear down and smash into gravel never ever to see a work shine upon a pedestal a piece of art work.
“Enlighten the people generally, and tyranny and oppressions of body and mind will vanish like evil spirits at the dawn of day.” Thomas Jefferson
In among our daily journeys we are faced with individuals who choose only to tear down who would rather simply relish destruction than creation who do not understand lifting up yet we need to continue to try and show there is more to life.
“It is in fact nothing short of a miracle that the modern methods of instruction have not yet entirely strangled the holy curious of inquiry. It is a very grave mistake to think that the enjoyment of seeing and searching can be promoted by means of coercion and a sense of duty.” Albert Einstein
So maybe it is a miracle as Mr. Einstein says even for my castle destroyer to simply be in school for he chose to be here he was not forced. Who knows maybe just maybe something will rub off and one day I may find him sitting by a sand box thinking and drizzling sand between his fingers into a drip castle instead of just smashing them. So a simple thought for a simple day and as we go about this day and hopefully we will hear less of our friends and families in harm’s way. Sadly they are still thousands of miles away many and we need to keep them in our thoughts so please keep all in harm’s way on our minds and in our hearts and so have a glorious day today and always give thanks.