"The free play of art is the result of mastery. " --Ernst Fischer, The Necessity of Art

"Children are likely to live up to what you believe of them." --Ladybird Johnson

"...a well-trained ear, a well-trained intelligence, a well-trained heart, and a well-trained hand...." --Zoltan Kodaly


Dear J,

We had an 'evacuation drill' today at school.

A friend--a fellow teacher---described the drill as a 'mini-vacation'.  Yes:  get outside for a few minutes, stop work, stand quietly in the (nearly) absolute stillness and listen to the wind dancing with  the leaves.  Look up at those fat autumn clouds.  Enjoy the quiet presence of an entire school community, waiting in the silence together.

I think there needs to be more of that.  I think our world moves too quickly.  So much to absorb, even before we sit down at a desk to 'study'.

What about if we had more pauses?  What about if, in the course of a day, we slowed everything down to complete stillness for just a few minutes, so that all of the stuff that we've already heard has a chance to be absorbed?  And then again, so that the questions had time and space to find themselves, and rise up to be voiced?

What about if we slowed down the day enough to have time to listen?

Perhaps that would hush the incessant 'do more' clamor.  Perhaps there would be more space for real learning to take root.

Just thinking.

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