Saturday, March 2, 2013

"Rule 7: The Only Rule is Work"

Happiness of itself does not matter--you either are, or you are not, and while it's nice to be happy, that is not a goal any more than saying existence is a goal.

Doing things that matter generally makes folks happy.

A child should dream, as should all of us, but a child needs to know that dreaming is not nearly enough. But we tell them otherwise.

I teach science because we're mammals, and part of something larger, and most of the children I've met in my life need reminding of this, because they have been told otherwise.

At the end of the day, it really does not matter if a child knows what DNA polymerase does.

Sister Mary Corita, who wrote "10 Rules for Students and Teachers" below

We no longer need to work for what we need, or so we think.

We barely work for our music, for our water, for our fire, for our lives.We barely work for our calories--and it's killing us.

While it's true (and still rather surprising, to me anyway) that each of us will die, it's also true that we've been doing this for quite some time now, and that the ancient ways, reflected in our ancient hands, our ancient tongues, our ancient memories, matter.

Teaching biology, when done right, is one way to remember our ancient roots. If I take a tiny piece of your DNA, and put it into anything alive, it can make a tiny piece of you. We're all that close.

We all come from stardust.
We're all alive today.

Educating a child for employment does matter, of course, but not so much for the workforce. Someday my students will need to be able to pay for their living expenses: toilet paper, utility bills, some food for the belly.

If she falls in love with the universe, though, much of her other expenses fall away--and she can pursue the work that matters.

Here is the full list of Sister Mary Corita:

They're on our classroom wall.


MsL said...

"The only rule is work." I like it. It's true. We need to push ourselves to work for what we believe in and what we want in life. Sometimes all we do is dream; dream of what could be, what could have been. Sometimes we let others do the work for us or we wait around for someone to do the work for us. If this is what children see from us - the adults who are suppose to set an example, this is what children will learn.

doyle said...

Dear MsL,

Nothing happens without work--nothing.

Sometimes nothing happening is a fine thing, but we should not be surprised by nothing if nothing is what we have done.