coin, c.225-212; (Kunsthistorisches Museum, Wien)
I am Janus
I have two faces
one in the past
and one in new places
I am in between, but looking at you!
I am change
I am in between.
Can you see me there?
I wonder if really;
who, what, why, and where?
If you think you’ve coined me
you’re doing it wrong
flip that coin again
because I’ve moved on.
I am not a thing, I’m an action
I see where you really had thought I was though
I’ve got eyes behind me.
Hello to you there!
You have caught a glimpse.
Well that isn’t fair.
If you go someplace new I am there with you.
I invite you to walk, run, jump, or skip through.
If you look at me, we will move forward
see where you’ve been and keep moving toward.
If I look at you, and you feel stuck
I understand you are in a rut.
You’re struggling there.
You want to stand still.
You are conflicted and caught in the mill.
But I say relax I will walk with thee.
We’ll move through together.
The day starts before dawn with..
Coffee, oatmeal, and Google Reader.
Saturday (19th Sept.), there’s a fundraising event for the Makali’i Educational Program at the Puainako KTA in Hilo from 9 am to 3pm. There will be canoes on display, some traditional Maori foods, Makali’i merchandise, lomi lomi massage, and cultural demonstrations by the Marshalese community. The proceeds for this event will benefit for the Makali’i educational program. Come by to learn something about voayaging canoes, canoe culture, for some great fellowship, and a great cause!
I often reflect on the sense of alienation felt by many students as part of our school experience, particularly in our years of secondary school. There always seemed to be a sense of disconnection between what was being taught during the hours of 8 am and 3:30 pm, and what was going on in the rest of our lives. For many of us, school could at times feel like an internment. However, there were the occasional opportunities to feel free and inspired. It is interesting to me that these occasional experiences are the ones I recall with the most pride about my school. I recall hula dancing in Waikiki and at community centers on O’ahu from as early as elementary. Thankfully, in Hawaii we have a strong tradition of passing on knowledge through demonstration. Our teachers taught us to exhibit our knowledge with pride and perform with the public in mind. I recall drama classes taught by Kati Kuroda, that today seem so far reaching in scope, I am amazed at what we had accomplished. Our sixth grade class managed to produce an authentic style Chinese opera, complete with costumes, make up, instruments and musicians. This production, as all our efforts with Mrs. Kuroda, was completely produced by fellow classmates. Again, the whole point of the curriculum was to create something to exhibit to the public. To Ho’ike. I imagine that for most students that get involved with the arts, there is an engagement to a larger community. This may have offset the skull drudgery we have all felt from a typical classroom lecture and may have lead to greater understanding through a deeper more meaningful experience. After all, we were proudly creating something of value, sharing it, and receiving feedback from those around us. There truly is something joyful in the creative process when it is given freely to others!
I spent the day with a great group of people yesterday working on the development of a place-based community education site in Hilo Hanakahi. This area will be the site of the Hoea Ea Food Sovereignty Conference on June 10-14th.
Dumbing Us Down: The Hidden Curriculum of Compulsory Schooling, by John Taylor Gatto is a heartfelt read. It surely appears to have been a heartfelt write. John writes with a tone of urgency, and revolution, as if calling soldiers to arms in the defense of their country. He is calling us to bear witness to a national crisis: The crisis of education, particularly the acute crisis in our schools. In a larger sense he is writing about the dire condition of our communities as a whole. His message is no less pertinent today than it was seventeen years ago when he first published his essays. He doesn’t mince words or present vague references. John aims his crosshairs straight at the established monopoly of american education (which he ironically is a part of!) and fires a volley. If the gun metaphor is too violent for you, consider him a bugler, sounding the clarion call for it’s destruction. He could also be driving a crane with a wrecking ball though. Consider the metaphor of urban renewal rather than violence, and destruction, but do not take away his urging for revolution because that is what he is calling for. While reading his book, I thought about a quote from Che Guevara: “Do not try to kill your enemy rather, attempt to educate him. For he is worth more alive to you than dead”. For a revolutionary at war, those words come across as pretty holistic and nurturing to me, and this is how I perceive Mr. Gatto’s message.
He begins in a rather self deprecating fashion by describing the seven tenants of his profession:
- Class Position
- Emotional Dependency
- Intellectual Dependency
- Provisional Self-Esteem
- You Cannot Hide.
Scary stuff! John’s words induce me to reflect: Is this what being a teacher is about? Is our society sick? What can I do to not be a part of this curriculum? Thankfully, Mr. Gatto has some ideas. He proposes the value and virtue of self-knowledge. In fact, John states “only self-teaching has value”. This is not to say that one cannot be taught by another but rather, for teaching and education to be real, it must be relevant to the individual. To be relevant to the individual, it must be relevant to her or his community and not as an abstract lesson. With relevancy, comes a personal conversation, and the dialectical process between people in which real learning occurs will come about. This is inspiring for those of us who have struggled with schooling presented as mere concepts on a blackboard, protocols to complete, and hoops to jump through. John’s book encourages us to re-engage with our communities and become active learners and teachers. He promotes learning as an organic process with a broad scope and many roots.
Wow, a great new gym right under my nose! The UH Hilo Student Life Center is a wonderful facility that consist of nearly 23,000 square-feet of indoor fitness/recreational rooms, a cardio and weight room, dance and aerobics rooms, a lounge with wireless internet, and indoor cafe, locker rooms, and an olympic-sized swimming pool. Get a great workout in vog-free air conditioned comfort!