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Daily Archives: September 20, 2013

Delight in Disorder

Dissertation topics emerge, move to the fore, sink back, and are always a process. Mine is no different. I found material this week on the way K-12 curriculum comes to be. One of the books is about a post-modernist perspective on curriculum. Teachers and students co-create the learning within a matrix or frame provided. There is no expectation of clear and definable products at the beginning. Learning is messy. It is a rich conversation.

Robert Herrick, an 18th English poet, provided a metaphor for learning with a rushed dressing of a person, in this case a young woman. Learning is an art, an imprecise art which requires mistakes along the way and continuous refining that is never quite finished. It seems to get better with time. In that disorder, learners and teachers merge.

A sweet disorder in the dress

Kindles in clothes a wantonness:

A lawn about the shoulders thrown

Into a fine distraction,

An erring lace, which here and there

Enthrals the crimson stomacher,

A cuff neglectful, and thereby

Ribbands to flow confusedly,

A winning wave (deserving note)

In the tempestuous petticoat,

A careless shoe-string, in whose tie

I see wild civility,

Do more bewitch me, then when art is

Is too precise in very part.

The Summer Day

I love a Mary Oliver in the morning. This one asks questions that are not easy to answer: What is it you plan to do with your wild and precious life?

Radiating Blossom ~ Flowers & Words

Who made the world?
Who made the swan, and the black bear?
Who made the grasshopper?
This grasshopper, I mean-
the one who has flung herself out of the grass,
the one who is eating sugar out of my hand,
who is moving her jaws back and forth instead of up and down-
who is gazing around with her enormous and complicated eyes.
Now she lifts her pale forearms and thoroughly washes her face.
Now she snaps her wings open, and floats away.
I don’t know exactly what a prayer is.
I do know how to pay attention, how to fall down
into the grass, how to kneel down in the grass,
how to be idle and blessed, how to stroll through the fields,
which is what I have been doing all day.
Tell me, what else should I have done?
Doesn’t everything die at last, and too soon?

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