Saturday, May 23, 2009

This sort of Memorial Day is for Teaching

It's Memorial Day

I'm hoping mine looks a bit like the above. Still, Memorial Day is for honoring those lost in service, and is cause for reflection. And of course, your artist is reflecting. Thinking about wars and soldiers past, wars and soldiers present, the state of our country, the state of our world, the state of Palm Springs. And in the background the children's voices. And Zorcon, in his little rodent bliss.

And from these sights and sounds and thoughts a little theme, a leitmotif, arises.
We can teach them to teach themselves.

Help them develop a love of learning, of making.
Do I suggest the answer to the world's problems is education? You bet.

My challenge to you--
Teach a kidling how to find something on the internet. To use a library.
To put something together by following instructions, to follow a simple recipe.
Make marshmallow treats. Build a lego toy from instructions.

Explain what a television commercial is.

Teach them to ask questions.

(If you don't have a kidling of your own, possibly you could borrow your sister's, or your friend's.)

And, have some fun.

Wishing you a good Memorial Day.


Loraine said...

Too tearful today to spend much time around kidlings. Hoping to get some grown- ups to have coffee with me so I can try to think about something else.
Have a happy holiday.

lisa said...

Loraine---I'll have a cup of coffee at 4:00 pacific. Don't know where that puts you, time-wise, but I'll send you good wishes as I drink it.

Welcome to anyone who wants to join! Coffee, tea, whatever.

Drinne said...

Coffee at 4 Pacific it is - here it will be iced coffe because it's summerlike here.

Loraine, I hope you get your grownups, I'm sorry for your loss.

I have just spent an hour an a half teaching a kidling about modern Russian history and taught him how collectivization created the same problems as privatized farming in Africa, and the issues in China, which was way closer to real socialism. It doesn't matter which "ism" creates the forced the social structure change, its the fact that the change is forced that creates the exact same kind of problems regardless of culture and geography.

Universal effects but still no universal solutions.

Maybe solutions are specific. To resolve anything they'll need to be organic and not imposed from outside or inside at the point of a weapon.

I am very impressed by my son's World Cultures textbook which does not try to shy away from these parallels and conclusions. It's a good day to remember everyone's soldiers and their civillians too.

Happy Memorial Day, hopefully soon to be celebrated in peacetime.

lisa said...

Drinne: sheesh! I thought I was doing a great job, teaching Orion to make jello...
You're handling some heavy duty material. I wish you great success. Orion has very recently become aware of death. I've dealt with this subject before, for myself and for my other three children. It's a delicate balance, that between comfort and truth. It seems the best tool is listening, knowing the child well and keeping things as simple as possible. I remind Orion that he is in a lot of company, that other children his age are asking the same questions. I also tell him that I had the same fears and questions at his age, and that now I see things differently. It becomes apparent that,just as at seven, as adults we have to deal with death again. That now we have a clearer view of just how much time might be left. At the same time, we begin to realize that we know little, compared to what we might understand when we're older and that we will likely feel differently then. I find that concept comforting, just as I hope he does.

Thanks Drinne.

Dan Guy said...

The kids love all kinds of art and sculpture. Trying to inspire in them a love of reading is proving a little harder.

Ed said...

I loved the clip of the guinea pig in the foreground happily munching on a carrot with the kids playing in background.

Teaching is a tricky thing as you have to work out how someone is going to learn something they don't know how to already do or know nothing about. Starting with what they do already know and building/working/shaping that. Six years of teaching uni students and I'm burnt out though!

Also love your art - sculpture too. Been meaning to type comment on your blog for a while now. Waiting for an appropriate time that never came.

Hope you had a great memorial day or educational-day...

lisa said...

Ed: thanks! I'm really glad you enjoyed the clip. It really stuck me----the levels of 'awareness' and pov---my own, behind the camera, the kids, and Zorcon.

sorry to hear you're feeling burnt out. I'm extremely familiar with that particular sensation. Good thing is, it can go away. Hope it does for you, very soon.