Wednesday, November 15, 2006

Greetings from the Hermitage

I know that I have completely disappeared from the world. What craziness is everywhere! But I am involved in an epic struggle between success and failure--Will I graduate in December? The answer lies very much in how much I can cram into the next week.

And in spite of it, here I am. Here's why:

I work better with something else going on. Music, usually, although PBS also can work very well. It keeps one section of my brain from going completely batty bored with whatever is going on that I must pay attention to. For example, the last couple of nights they've been showing a documentary on Benjamin Franklin, which I believe is by Ken Burns. Fascinating, and a nice story, and I can generally stay on track and be very productive with something like this on.

Until tonight they showed a documentary called "A Touch of Greatnes" about an educator named Albert Cullum. Basically he had elementary school students in the late 50's-early 60's debating the merits of Shakespeare, Shaw, and Sophocles, learning geography, and doing all kinds of crazy learning. Man I wish I could have had him for a teacher! One student's vocabulary notebook had 290+ words for the year and she actually learned to use them because the whole class was this wriggling organism of collective learning. I got so wrapped into this--I was sitting on the edge of the ottoman to be closer to the screen to drink it all in. And the thing was, it was obvious that Mr. Cullum was having the best time of anyone. That is the teacher I want to be--the one having a jolly old time in the learning atmosphere I've created. The one who figures out how to play our way to a better understanding. Anyway, now I'm all fired up and I've gotten some portfolio work done, and I'd better get back to it because I have miles to go before I sleep.


Izzybella said...

Hey, you!!!!!! I've missed you. I know you've been mired in your studies, and frankly, your post just made me feel guilty for too much screwing off and not enough book learning. I hope you graduate in December and I'm not just saying that 'cause I miss you and think we should get together and talk books and boys like a couple of 16 year-olds. Be good. Hang in there, professora (did I spell that right??)

Clover said...

Sounds like the kind of teacher I'd loved to have had.