Saturday, October 11, 2014

On human conceit

While walking along the edge of the ocean today--by itself a wonderfully impossible idea to comprehend--Leslie and I saw several battles in scattered tide pools.


For whatever reason, hermit crabs in this part of the world are particularly territorial on this particular day for no particular reasons humans might discern, but no doubt of concern to the hermit crabs pushed to the edges of the tide pool.

They are alive, they are conscious, and (despite a very thorough and expensive education), I believe that they are, at some level, aware.

Aware beyond the words and the images we impose upon ourselves, in our foolish belief that the ideas of man could ever exceed whatever this thing we call the universe is.




The more I realize this, the less effective I get at serving the agency of the state....

15 comments:

Mike Thayer said...

Love this. And I can picture it too.

But a small quibble: you don't act as an agent of the state. You are helping kids learn about the universe. Nothing the state could possibly say or do can supersede that. Thank goodness.

doyle said...

Dear Mike,

Alas, those of us in public ed do, in fact, represent the state, which was fine until the past few years when the state of the public became the state of the corporate.

Mike Thayer said...

Fair enough. Then perhaps the right response to your quote at the end is that as you become less effective in your role as an agent of the state, you become MORE effective as an agent of your students. Which is all that matters really.

doyle said...

Touché!

Blogger In Middle-earth said...

What it is to feel
soft sand under foot,
waves lapping at ankle,
warm sun on back.

Where else in the universe
is there rich pleasure as this?

doyle said...

Good Lord I was just thinking of you two weeks ago!

Missed your words, so glad to see them again....

Blogger In Middle-earth said...

You called?

doyle said...

I do not know enough about what's not known to answer that--but if "you called" is Aussie for thinking of someone, then yes.

Blogger In Middle-earth said...

Ha ha ha! You need to service your GPS. It's New Zealand - the clean green empire, you know? :-)

doyle said...

It's a red letter day when a Mercan even nails the right hemisphere.

(Oz and NZ are in the same hemisphere, no?)

Blogger In Middle-earth said...

I am thrilled to learn that you love our Earth so much as you do. Cherish it, as I do. Despite what others may tell us, I believe that it is unique in our universe.

Susan Eckert said...

(Any self-respectin' fantasy-lovin' Murican knows the magical land of Middle-earth is NZ!)

Nature's imagination is so much greater than humans (or something like that) to paraphrase the great Feynman.

So I'm with Mike--you show the students the awe in the universe. That's what (good) science teachers are best at. It becomes even more crucial that we do so in this data-driven, common assessment obsessed bizarre education world we're living in right now in Murica. :)

doyle said...

Dear Susan,

Never read The Hobbit or Lord of the Rings--I am truly ignorant on these matters.

But my school is looking at 24 days interrupted by PARRC testing, and I'm doubting anyone is going to step in and stop them--"hey wait a minute, the time could be spent learning more about the universe."

Thanks for stopping by!

Susan Eckert said...

You could always watch the movies! (Worth it for the scenery alone.)

I understand about PARCC testing b/c my school will be doing the same thing. I guess I'm just trying to stay positive but I do think people will complain about the amount of instructional time lost. And if enough people complain and complain loud enough, maybe something will change. So this optimist hopes.

doyle said...

Dear Susan,

Alas, movies with dialogue just too difficult to hear for me.

I keep hoping that one of us, all of us, would just do a sit-in on the sidewalk outside our buildings on test days.

I suppose we could do that outside of contract hours--be a good civics lesson for the children.