Spanish FURY and philosophy

Chuck me in the shallow water
Before I get too deep
Chuck me in the shallow water

I studied PHILOSOPHY, and I never thought it marked me as much, but it did. Now I'm thinking between posting about The New New Deal (an article by Imprimis), Last Child in the Woods, a book by Richard Louv, in conjunction to the previous post about Deschooling Society (click to read for free), OR THE WORLDCUP!

But even soccer has its own psychology and philosophy, scenic fright, demoralization, teem effort, not giving up or giving up, the violence or fair play, aesthetics, the winner complex, the looser complex, different styles and approaches, good/bad referees, one word, WE LOST AGAINST SWITZERLAND, bu ah bu ah bu ah! And the MATH, ah, the math...8 groups of 4 teams, a first round in which each of the four teams plays the others and the two teams per group with more points advance, and if they draw in points you consider the goal average...well, a whole statistic, combination and calculus exercise.

Another excerpt *shorter*, from Deschooling Society (by Ivan Illich, from 1971), page 108:

A child on the streets of New York never touches anything which has not been scientifically developed, engineered, planned, and sold to someone. Even the trees are there because the Parks Departmente decided to put them there. The jokes the child hears on television have been programmed at a high cost. The refuse with which he plays in the streets of Harlem is made of broken packages planned for somebody else. Even desires and fears are institutionally shaped. Power and violence are organized and managed: the gangs versus the police. Learning itself is defined as the consumption of subject matter, which is the result of researched, planned, and promoted programs. It would be foolish to demand something which some institution cannot produce. The child of the city cannot expect anything which lies outside the possible development of institutional process. Even his fantasy is prompted to produce science fiction. He can experience the poetic surprise of the unplanned only through his encounter with "dirt", blunder, or failure: the orange peel in the gutter, the puddle in the street, the breakdown of order, program, or machine are the only take-offs for creative fancey. "Goofing off" becomes the only poetry at hand.
Now listen to Richard Louv thirty or more years later (Last Child in the Woods, pg 96):

Nature is imperfectly perfect, filled with loose parts and possibilities, with mud and dust, neetles and sky, transcendent hands-on moments and skinned knees. What happens when all the parts of childhood are soldered down, when the young no longer have the time or space to play in their family's garden, cycle home in the dark with the stars and moon iluminating their route, walk down through the woods to the river, lie on their backs on hot July days (not in Australia) in the long grass, or watch cockleburns, lit by morning sun, like bumblebees quivering on harp wires? What then?
(...) Nature -the sublime, the harsh, and the beautiful- offers something that the street or gated community or computer game cannot. Nature presents the young with something so much greater than they are; it offers and environment where they can easily contemplate infinity and eternity. A child can, on a rare clear night, see the stars and perceive the infinite from a rooftop in Brooklyn.
I still owe you that post on the article titled THE NEW NEW DEAL by Imprimis publication, but it's going to be for another time. Now I'm back to preparing materials for teaching Bible class next week, and to go to our splash park with our friends.

5 opinion(s):

Mean Ol' Mama said...

I often think of how "normal" American children live in total disconnection to nature. The other night, I commented to my English students at college that we had killed, cooked, and enjoyed 4 chickens for Sunday lunch. They were horrified! When I asked where they thought chickens come from, their response was, "From the grocery store." Certainly, they know that chickens must be slaughtered in order to provide food, but they didn't want to think through that process and how it affects their lives. Been reading The Omnivore's Dilemma with the kids, and it's very insightful as to our connection with our food (which I interpret to include nature in all its realities). Love reading you,

Anonymous said...

Yes, love this too. Children are losing their natural childhoods. That is so interesting what he says about the streets of New York. I must read this book. And I *love* Last child in the Woods. It is so inspiring. I follow the Child and Nature Network on Facebook and it does seem this book and movement is making some important headway. I hope! In the meantime, we should keep blogging away even if it pushes the comfort zone of others. I have friends IRL who I hope will hang in there with me and my "radical" ideas about education, etc. Yet to me, on the education side at least, it is common sense and not so radical. Well, for a non-competitive person that is...maybe that is the difference??

Silvia said...

Mean Ol'Mamma: LOL, you are such a down to earth reality check type of person...ha ha ha. It's not those college children fault that they have aseptic, cold, detached upbringings...I'm SO GLAD they have a Mean Ol'Teacher like you. You can make the difference, you'll make a 'dent' and inspire some, for sure.
We'll check that book, the Omnivore's dilemma, I already love the title.

Wonderinthewoods: I'm smiling's so true, I guess we are getting deep in some waters that others consider 'radical', but that are looking pretty normal to us. As you, to me, it is common sense and not that radical as you write. As for pushing the comfort zones, I'm shaking mine always, and I like others when they push mine, to me there is no other way of life but constantly examining and challenging the status-quo, my believes, other people believes, etc.

Sarah said...

Hey Silvia, you have a beautiful blog here and I can't wait to come back and glean from your homeschooling posts. I'm using AO and other resources to homeschool my 9yo hon and 5 yo daughter. I look forward to getting to know you. xxx

Silvia said...

Thank you Sarah, your blog is nice too. I love to find people who hs successfully with AO and CM principles.


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