Saturday, March 27, 2010

Captain Paul Chadwick died today. He was, and will remain, my next door neighbor.

Tossing electrons across unimaginably (for humans, anyway) vast spaces in unimaginably (for mammals, anyway) quick pulses to the few strangers who wander here makes no sense.

I could nap. I could drink. I could walk on the beach, and should. I could pray. I could go take a bath, or do lesson plans, or plant a Brussel sprout.

Paul died just after I finished my last post about wasting children's time in public education.

Paul was a retired Coast Guard Captain. He piloted ships in remote places. He solved problems. He fixed things. He rescued people.

Captain Paul could do what I want my students to do--he could figure things out on the fly.

I have no idea what kind of student Paul was in high school. I do know this, though. At least among my friends, there is no correlation between high school success and ability to solve problems.

And that's a problem.

I need to work harder to help kids become good neighbors like Paul Chadwick. He came from a time when parents mattered more than schooling.

That we forget this in a culture that makes education the task of a "professional" class, a class that would, for the most part, starve to death on forty fertile acres, perturbs me.

Captain Chadwick helped maintain the lighthouse above back in 1967. That he and I crossed paths has been one of the highlights of my life.

I have work to do.

I am all kinds of shook up now.
I don't need sympathy from strangers, but I may need less time on this machine.

The photo is Nubble Lighthouse, from US Pictures.


nashworld said...

I really do hope that someday, someone will say something 10% as powerful about me when I pass.

I hope so. As purely as I am Sean Patrick Nash I hope so.

Kate said...

"Well, here at last, dear friends, on the shores of the Sea comes the end
of our fellowship...
Go in peace!
I will not say: do not weep; for not all tears are an evil." (Tolkien)

And I hope I am not a stranger. I can only echo Mr. Nash.

Carla said...

Hugs from another not stranger.