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Analogous to nervous cluelessness is something we might call “anxious gatekeeping.”   This is desire to police the borders of poetry, or of...

Tuesday, December 4, 2012

Convergence ...

happens when everything you have been thinking about for several years all makes sense to you as a coherent whole. You still have to draw the lines between the dots, but you know exactly how to do this.

Receptivity reaches a high point. Everything you hear and see confirms that you are on the right track.

My daughter showed me a paper she wrote for her AP English class. It made perfect sense in terms of my pedagogical approach to raising her to be a writer, musician, and artist. In my own image (fortunately or unfortunately), but very different from me in numerous ways. A key scene in her paper is when she is hearing an explanation of "Pictures in an Exhibition" in a music-appreciation class in elementary school. She hears the convergence between sounds and images and something reaches the level of Joycean epiphany in her head. (The paper was supposed be inspired by Portrait of the Artist). The paper ends with her choosing an instrument to play for band. I ask her (in the paper) whether she wants to play jazz or classical. She says "both."

So all of a sudden, my life makes sense to me. I should treat my students like my daughter. When I take her to Starbucks, that is like what happened when I went with my dad to Fluffy Donuts when I was the same age as she is now. My dad loved music, art, and literature just like I do, and he was an academic.

"Transmission" is not the communication of information as in the "banking model" of education, but the handing down (tradition) of a way of receiving or appreciating these things that are so important to us.

4 comments:

profacero said...

Yay for convergence and receptivity.

On teaching, my father always claims people learn things by contact (transmission as opposed to banking) *and* that that is why education for the masses is not possible -- insufficient number of contact hours.

I am less pessimistic.

Clarissa said...

" It made perfect sense in terms of my pedagogical approach to raising her to be a writer, musician, and artist. In my own image (fortunately or unfortunately), but very different from me in numerous ways. "

- Are you going to be blogging about this?? Please do! Finding posts written by parents who are not insane is extremely difficult.

Jonathan said...

Not too much. There are privacy concerns since I don't blog anonymously. I need to protect privacy of myself, my daughter, and former spouse. Also, I don't like presenting myself as the ideal father. I get suspicious about people who think they are such great parents but project all sorts of harmful stuff onto their children. I don't want to be that guy. A lot of what I did was just leave her alone when she needed that, but now it becomes apparent how like me she is.

Clarissa said...

"A lot of what I did was just leave her alone when she needed that"

- If only more parents knew how to do that.