Liberal Arts Blog — Best Things You Ever Said or Wrote In Your Life? Part II
Liberal Arts Blog — Tuesday is the Joy of Literature, Language, Culture, and Religion Day
Today’s Topic — Best Things You Ever Said or Wrote In Your Life? Part Two
Please share the best things you ever said or wrote in your life — a sentence? a phrase? a paragraph? a poem? a song? Or, for that matter, the sentence, paragraph, poem, prayer, or song, written by someone else that has meant the most to you. Today, a continuation of last week’s post collecting the sentences or paragraphs I have written that I am proudest of.
1.)” Education is about taking kids from “I can’t” and “I don’t like” to “Wow! I can!” and “Wow! This is cool!” in the seven joys of life — sports, music, art, science, math, literature, and history.”
Comment: The order is not random. The joy of movement is primary. The joy of music next. And so on.
But the joys reinforce each other. In a full life, they are as one. One and inseparable. The key to joy is rigorous discipline and years of practice. No equality of schools without equally rigorous training in all seven joys. This is not remotely the case. And this joys gap is not even part of the current conversation which revolves around choice, funding, or test scores. Without the experience of each joy, a child will not know which brings them the most joy and what they are best at. Not knowing these major life decisions (career, life partner) will be uninformed.
2.) “The best test of thinking citizenship is the ability to make a strong case for all three sides in the next election (left, right, and center) marshaling three very different things (principles, facts, and solution) for each of the seven issues so important they should influence your decision (foreign policy, economic policy, climate change, health care, education, social justice, and political process reform).”
Comment: This idea is summarized in a simple matrix. I call it the Principles, Facts, and Solutions matrix. Three columns: Principles, Facts, Solutions. Three rows: Left, Right, Center. Can you fill in each of those nine little squares with: a.) a coherent sentence, b.) statistics as appropriate. Go. I believe this should be the final exam for every social studies curriculum for every country in the world. I flunked it when I took it ten years ago. It took me ten years to barely pass. Like playing a musical instrument or a sport, thinking citizenship is a lifetime commitment.
3. “The most memorized songs, prayers, and poems in the world are the keys to hearts, minds, and souls of seven billion people. They should form the backbone of the humanities curriculum of every K-12 school in the world. It takes about 37 songs to cover 80% of the world’s population. It takes about 3 hours to memorize enough of the song to have an impact. That’s 111 hours. That’s roughly 9 hours per year for each year K-12 !!!! The opportunity cost of any other texts is infinite!!! Why not empower every student to be a goodwill ambassador to the world? By the way, just two prayers (Muslim, Hindu) and one poem (Chinese) will get you over four billion hearts and souls. What are we waiting for?”
Next Time: a.) a definition of the American dream, b.) a definition of the biggest gap between that dream and American reality, c.) a definition of what needs to be done. A little homework: come up with your own three definitions before next Tuesday so that you can compare them to mine. Maybe your definitions are better. If so, I might change mine.
Please share the coolest thing you learned this week related to words, language, literature, religion, culture. Or, even better, the coolest or most important thing you learned in your life related to Words, Language, Literature (eg. quotes, poetry, vocabulary) that you have not yet shared.
This is your chance to make someone else’s day. Or to cement in your own mind something that you might otherwise forget. Or to think more deeply than otherwise about something dear to your heart. Continuity is key to depth of thought.