I’ll get back to the retelling of the last few years’ doings at some point in the not too distant future. For now… there is no ordained rhyme or reason to an order in which to write, so I will follow none…
There are moments when living in a somewhat disorderly state of mind helps get on with the day and the little surprises it brings on. Unannounced… as it is often wont to do. To what do I refer? Well… I said it was a disorderly state of mind, no? Who knows what will come out at times like these? It feels more like a purging of whatever leftovers there may be, ensconced in little dark corners and hoping that no thought process will wean them out.
A mind is a precious thing to waste, or so goes one of the preferred sayings of all teachers… at least those who guided me along the long and narrow path of learning, academic style. This academic process (long and often tedious as it was, but an important ingredient of that needed development) is only a part of our learning… the other part(s) (perhaps the larger part and the one I am completely sure rounds up a mind) is only offered at the hallowed and wide open halls of the University of Life. There is no curve grading, just pass or fail. The ups and downs we have to manage in order to just make it to the next step are life’s little tests.
This is all a muse in disguise; it is not that one sits at a digital typewriter and “stuff” comes out which, in a big or –more often- smallish way, makes some or any sense at all. Yet, as an almost daily exercise, this writing forces me to follow an identified routine and for a somewhat disorderly mind, a routine is an important way in which to put some definition and “body” into every day processes.
Every morning the sun rises, brings a new opportunity to go forward and brand the day. We can either put a mediocre brand into it, or make it grandiose. Even if only to ourselves.
One of my current occupations is to teach English as a second language to folk who come to these shores searching for a better life than the one that was available to them in their country of origin. We work, of course, from books where repetitions are the stuff of life and also boring death. And if it becomes boring to the teacher, then it becomes death to the student. So, to compensate, we have instituted in all my classes a travel day. Yep… we all leave the class and travel to a spot in the world, often obscure and chosen by yours truly, investigate it and come back to make a report. All in English, if you please.
Yes, I know… the travel is done through internet by way of one of the search machines… whichever one is your fave. Often the spot given to a student is an obscure spot within their own country of origin. At other times it may be a city, a local, a geographic area, a name. The one common thread is that each topic of presentation must have a history to tell, whether cultural, social, mystical or other… it makes no difference. The other requirement is that the student must use different tenses (present, past, etc.) and must show a degree of enthusiasm for his or her topic.
Use Your Imagination!!! Is the war cry…let your mind fly and flow over what you want to describe to the rest of the class; live it and share it.
The concept has become a success. Each student is now eager to fly away once a week and come back fully informed and ready to talk about people, events and places like Monet, Lautrec, Nefertiti, The Left Bank in Paris, the Moorish occupation of Spain, The Valley of the Kings, The Taj Mahal, Ogunquit ME, Lake Atitlan (a favorite of mine in Guatemala) the Golden Bay Bridge… you get the idea…
As Billy Crystal might say… “It’s MAHVELOUS!!!”
Language is a fascinating instrument; it helps you fly and discover worlds you never knew existed… is a means of communication and it can also be a weapon which can, when wielded by a knowledgeable user, inflict much pain and harm… on the other hand, it can help lift a tired heart and mind, bringing a measure of peace, joy and comfort. Explore it… caress it… your imagination is the only barrier to what your words can express.
Fly… fly far and wide through the written word, through the incredible vision of others who have put their thoughts on paper… who are willing to share their dreams, theirs fears, their experiences… And no, this is not vicarious living… it is pure and unadulterated learning… Who knows… you may decide to put your own words out for the world to see…
Be Well … Be Back!!!
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