Bird Droppings December 14, 2020
Building Sandcastles drip by drip
It was nearly twenty years ago when I was physically attending classes in graduate school nearly every day, just before switching to Internet classes and WebCT. This took some getting used to going to school and then going to teach school. I was teaching from 7:20 – 3:00 students who have had difficulty with a subject and then driving an hour to graduate school from 5:00 – 9:30. Going from teacher to student my day made for an interesting schedule. It was a time of flux for me also getting used to a new computer and new administration changes in our school it really made life interesting.
I recall one summer session my middle son was tutoring several students who had failed chemistry during the regular school year and now had to pass in summer session. I found it most interesting watching him working with these students. Several times he would help me break bridges in a physical science class I was teaching while he was helping with tutoring. In that particular class we built twenty-one-inch bridges of popsicles sticks and white glue only and then we would see whose bridge design could hold the most weight. It was very interesting the many differing designs ranged from zero to over eighty pounds in breaking weight.
I also had a side experiment on building pyramids which involved a sand box and 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 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 that. 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 new concepts for others to see and also follow. My mind wandered a bit or to complete those ideas and concepts as I was thinking to the great cathedral in Barcelona that will not be completed until 2026. Sadly, 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. In todays news Notre Dame cathedral is under repair and may not be able to be repaired due to accidental fire. Timeless and priceless a manmade edifice that succumbed to an accident of man. Made me think of my father and his first book Damage Control. He was the first to approach property damage as a form of loss in industry in 1955.
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 writes 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 it might be this trip to see my son and his wife and our grandkids that had me reminiscing about that summer school class. It might be thinking about upcoming classes and pondering my day ahead and into this new semester a few weeks away. It is sad the limits that students have imposed upon themselves only to tear down smash into gravel never ever to see their work shine upon a pedestal, a finished piece of art work. One of my students did not turn in a project I knew was complete and failed because of it. I try and figure why?
“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 and 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 chooses to be there 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 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, during the holidays we hear less of our friends and families in harm’s way, they are still there thousands of miles away we need to keep them in our thoughts. Sadly, politics plays into what is deemed significant for news and far too often that is the case. There are people hurting here in the US and even here locally that we tend to bypass and pretend not to see. So please keep all in harm’s way on our minds and in our hearts and so have a glorious day today and be sure to always give thanks namaste.
My family and friends I do not say this lightly,
(We are all related)