I’m A Real School Fool

Recently Steve, my perpetual muse, asked me this question:

“If you were President of the College, how would you create a culture of trust and a community of learners between faculty, staff and students? What are the key issues and questions that would need to be addressed? ”

I gave him a list of a couple suggestions and key issues I thought would need to addressed. While I was typing out this list I had one of those flashes of new understanding that linger on the edges and then pop out of nowhere, often occuring while in the midst of writing. So as my behavior often is when I am in a chatting mode I impetuously wrote out a rant and sent it off to Steve, who doesn’t seem to mind my lack of proofreading too much (thanks Steve!).

So here is the cleaned up version of that sudden a-ha moment I wrote in one shot, late at night. Why I am a real school fool, or, why I think Real School is really awesome:

A thought occurred to me while reading Computer Lib/Dream Machines. The work (and play) I am doing now, the discussions I have been having, could have a real world impact. This has obviously been true for quite some time but, it struck me differently all the sudden. Thinking back on my previous school experiences, I thought about how much of that time was spent performing tests and writing papers that didn’t really matter. The tests and papers required answers in a vacuum and now that I have stepped outside the vacuum, and know there is life outside the vacuum, my actions outside it have a deeper impact. For a long time I have understood school as such: A poor grade reflected on my inability to remember an equation in math (or whatever), that didn’t mean much to me in the first place. The poor grade only affected me in my own bubble and ultimately determined whether I would go and where I would go to college, which, is the real goal of making it through grades k-12 (apparently). On the other side of this you’ve got real school. In real school not participating has real world consequences, what happens in real school effects real life, real school is real life. Problems are no longer discussed in a vacuum but, cut across subjects and time. Why shouldn’t these things connect? Aren’t subjects just human creations designed to organize ideas? Of course, more often than not in school, ideas end up being placed in a various subject-sealed containers. I cannot think of anything more exciting than the world no longer being about me but, about others! In real school students are freed from being the centers of their own universes and no longer have to have to hold everything together themselves. Participation in real school is not just for my own benefit of learning but, for others too. To share and connect, to journey on the caravan together, earth is a school. 545419366_d07e46e7a21.jpg

Originally uploaded by staylor336.

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6 Responses to “I’m A Real School Fool”


  1. 1 Gardner July 11, 2007 at 6:22 am

    Me too, Shannon, me too.

    Thank you.

  2. 2 Martha July 11, 2007 at 9:19 pm

    When I first realized as a student that the thoughts I was thinking and the the I was saying had the power to affect others in meaningful ways, well, it blew my mind. It changed everything. In particular, it changed what I expected from school.

    I think you’re right here in so many ways. What do we do to help others see this? On the one hand, it breaks my heart that such a small percentage of students (at least that’s my impression) ever experience this kind of empowerment. On the other hand, you experience it because you seek it on some level. Do they?

  3. 3 Martha July 11, 2007 at 9:20 pm

    that should read “. . .the thoughts I was thinking and the words I was saying. . .”

    Must learn to read what I write before submitting. Doh.

  4. 4 bill August 2, 2007 at 7:57 am

    I think thats pretty insightful.

  5. 5 redbaiters August 14, 2007 at 11:13 am

    You’ve been tagged with “Ate Things” a meme I have finally gotten around to fulfilling. Here’s the post.


  1. 1 Gardner Writes » Blog Archive » No more pendulums Trackback on July 11, 2007 at 6:19 am

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