Sunday, June 18, 2006


i've found the place to make coments available to anyone. Thanks to Jill Zimon, of Walks like she Talks. I am eternally grateful to Jill for her help in getting started on this adventure, and for her encouaragement.

I will add some more of my thoughts on learning and teaching, and hope that readers will realize the they only make complete sense if you start with "Puzzle" and from that on in order.

If anyone had read the preveous content of this blog, you would find that I had duplicated a previous one. So, we continue with the next one. So,

So - now we have the beginning
Of a pattern. It remains to
Tie in the content and the substance -
The subjects, words, styles
And all else that goes together to
Make up an education.

To what end, you ask? Has this
Not been done before? The 1983
Commission on Excellence had
Everyone chattering - and has it
Truly hit the mark? Do you think
So? And what of Bloom, Hirsch, and others?
More homework, tougher standards, more courses -
Are these the things, lacking which,
We remain puzzles within boxes, boxes within boxes;
Roles to roles responding, while
Fear and insecurity increase, violence
Breeds violence, and the doomsayers
Predict the end?
Not so, say I - read on!


History, geography, language and the arts;
The sciences: biological, behavioral,
Physical and social; mathematics, and
Literature; physical education, health,
Home ec and driver ed; values and
Philosophy; computers and - what else?

The list is long, and varies somewhat
According to the fad; or someone's
Assessment of the needs of the marketplace;
Or the availability of a grant; or of
A person with an interest or a passion.
And of what do these consist, really?

Of answers, conclusions, rules and theorems,
To be absorbed by each eager puzzle,
Contained within the box; repeated back
Upon command, in recitation or exam;
Approved or disapproved, whether right
Or wrong, according to the game.
But what of that great conversation, begun
So long ago with questions, aimed
At deity, at man himself, and nature?
What of truth, beauty, virtue,
Wisdom at the end? They're not the
Stuff of answers, but of questions.

What organizes these subjects, if not
Questions? The world is full
Of answers - 'tis right inquiry that
Gives them form and shape, their importance.
No mere name, nor label, nor complicated
Structure alone suffices to give them meaning.

Yet we persist in the assumptions that
Subjects, too, are boxes; yet seldom
Is their puzzle truly shown, but
Rather their solutions, all neatly
Set forth to be repeated, on command,
According to the game.


Words can clarify, or mystify;
Explain or confuse; reveal or hide
A meaning; create or destroy; dominate:
In short, words are one of man's
Greatest problems - and my problem,
In using them to talk with you.

Undoubtedly Man's greatest invention -
Language - look what we have done -
From direct discourse to abstract thought.
Empires, arcane priesthoods, closed
Societies and long vocabularies - and
More than ought else, these we teach.

The simple made difficult; the difficult
Impossible; and the result? Control!
Control the non-initiate, the student,
The outsider, in whatever field, and
Justify an institution by the clever
Use of words - the puzzle grows.

And puzzles, in their boxes, learn only
Words, and words become reality, and
Despite the proper labelling, all seems
Lost - to understanding and to sense.
Words are not reality, but symbols
Merely - a clever human invention.
As such, they are of great use; in any
Other way, of great abuse, a
Disservice to all - haven't you noticed?
True wisdom is brief, clear and
Non-controlling of others? So
Why the proliferation of verbosity?



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