Too much excitement?

I just thought I’d post a few short comments related to my contribution to the Purpos/ed #3×5 campaign this month.

As I said in the comments under the photo, I chose a quote from my own post:

  1. to remind everyone that the ‘scheduled’ posts are not the only contributions to purpos/ed
  2. because I just read Seth Godin’s blog post – Reject the tyranny of being picked: pick yourself

Exciting adventures

In thinking back to my own school days, not all of the memories I have are about the exciting times.  Some of them are quite bad and, in many ways, I’d like to forget them.  What I do not remember so clearly are the periods in-between.  There must have been (long) periods when I was just learning (or being educated, if you prefer) because, let’s face it, I wouldn’t be where I am now without it.

The change in focus in the campaign, from people pouring out thoughts inside a 500- word limit towards an image and a reflection on a prior post, is an important one.  As a composer, I find my creativity comes in spurts.  I can ‘knock out’ an arrangement in a couple of hours, but making something new, usually from scratch, needs more time and greater contrasts in pacing.  I am trying to write a poem a day during April, when the US celebrates National Poetry Month.  I am managing to keep up so far and, if successful, I may try it again in October for the UK version.

It requires a lot of self-discipline to publish something which I feel is worthy of my own standards… let alone what other poets may think.  Churning something out on a daily basis is part of polishing one’s art, though, and honing that self-discipline.  Children nowadays are bombarded with fast-moving images, sounds and experiences.  It would be easy to say that teaching methods should match this type of MTV-style – juicy sound-bites and factoids that will be needed for the exam, and so on.  What is going to be more challenging, though, is to ensure that there are periods of quiet reflection built into that.  Excitement and stimulation are vital for engagement, but is life one big adventure or a series of little ones each preparing for the next?

Yes, I have some bad memories from school.  Yes, I have some memories of exciting adventures, too.  Maybe it was the times between when the learning happened though…

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