Saturday, April 30, 2011


In education, we have always segmented our learning (at least for our students) into quarters, semesters, or years.  This appears to be a bit of an oxymoron in our intent to inspire lifelong learners! 
   *    We are no longer, at least in this area of the world, an aggrarian society where our children are "getting
         out of school" at certain times of the day and certain times of the year to support the family farm /
  *     Even on the college / grad school level, there are clear ends to every semester seen by the stressed
         faces that are less focused on course readings and ideas and more focused on "the project" or test.On On the one hand, I think this might be something we should reconsider as it does appear to "waste" quite a bit of learning time and changes our focus from learning to finishing.
However, on the other hand, I think this might just offer all learners a chance to "start anew" when things are not going well and "reflect" on where they have come and where they are going.
So, while I do not know all the answers, I do know that I will continue to read (and hopefully to write) even though this semester is drawing to a close.  The reading piece is part of who I am and a part that I use to flesh out new ideas or escape from the painful reality of living.  The writing piece is the piece I had put on hold for many years but that I am now reminded offers the same ability to flesh out ideas or escape from the realities of living.

I will end this entry with an old poem that was the theme of my HS year book at a time when the Vietnam War had divided families and closed universities.   A time when life was indeed uncertain for many.  I guess the gift of "time" is that I now realize that those times in life come again and again for those of us blessed with long full lives. 


Go placidly amid the noise and haste,

and remember what peace there may be in silence.

As far as possible without surrender

be on good terms with all persons.

Speak your truth quietly and clearly;

and listen to others,

even the dull and the ignorant;

they too have their story.

Avoid loud and aggressive persons,

they are vexations to the spirit.

If you compare yourself with others,

you may become vain and bitter;

for always there will be greater and lesser persons than yourself.

Enjoy your achievements as well as your plans.

Keep interested in your own career, however humble;

it is a real possession in the changing fortunes of time.

Exercise caution in your business affairs;

for the world is full of trickery.

But let this not blind you to what virtue there is;

many persons strive for high ideals;

and everywhere life is full of heroism.

Be yourself.

Especially, do not feign affection.

Neither be cynical about love;

for in the face of all aridity and disenchantment

it is as perennial as the grass.

Take kindly the counsel of the years,

gracefully surrendering the things of youth.

Nurture strength of spirit to shield you in sudden misfortune.

But do not distress yourself with dark imaginings.

Many fears are born of fatigue and loneliness.

Beyond a wholesome discipline,

be gentle with yourself.

You are a child of the universe,

no less than the trees and the stars;

you have a right to be here.

And whether or not it is clear to you,

no doubt the universe is unfolding as it should.

Therefore be at peace with God,

whatever you conceive Him to be,

and whatever your labors and aspirations,

in the noisy confusion of life keep peace with your soul.

With all its sham, drudgery, and broken dreams,

it is still a beautiful world.

Be cheerful.

Strive to be happy.

Max Ehrmann   ~ 1920

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