Saturday, August 7, 2010

Roadmaps for the Soul


...the National Bank at a profit sells road maps for the soul to the old folks home and the college...
Bob Dylan

...was teaching this freshman writing class and started talking about the next paper assignment...said something like I’m not sure what the topic’s gonna be...and, before I could continue with but, it’s gonna be along the general lines of...one of the kids said how ‘bout whatever we want?...and was quickly echoed by other voices in the room...yeah, whatever we want!...whatever we want!...

...I, needless to say, was about to smile and say no...like teachers generally do when students express a desire to do whatever they feel like...but paused and thought for a second or two...then said okay...whatever you want....

...the kids, of course, were thrilled to be granted so much freedom...amazed at what a cool teacher they had....

...a week later, though, when I asked how the project was going, there was an uncomfortable silence...until, finally, the same kid who came up with the idea said this is a lot harder...

...I smiled, said yeah, I know...

Truth is a pathless land...
J. Krishnamurti

14 comments:

RB said...

Brilliant.

Brooks Hall said...

True.

Bob Weisenberg said...

I like this, but I can't think of anything to say!

Bob Weisenberg

Christine Vyrnon said...

Harder - yes - and also a good example of why kids should be allowed to do/write whatever they want more often and sooner.

earthtoholly said...

And maybe even harder for these kids, whom have only been around what...17 or 18 years? Not a lot of experiences to draw from. Then again, maybe that's when a budding writer would shine through.

Love that pic, drjay. It looks just like a neighborhood road that I walked, on one of the Saddlebunch Keys once.

the walking man said...

OK if it is that hard for them tell them to use Charles Bukowski compared to Alan Ginsburg as their prompt. A Comparative analysis. They will come up with their own subject faster than superman flying down an empty road.

Kim said...

Love it. I always hate coming up with something on my own rather than being told what to do. It's so much more...challenging.

It's A Yoga Thang said...

Empowerment. :~D

Rachel Wainwright, Exhale Yoga Pilates Dance said...

What a great blog! Thank you!

Yoga Classes said...

I loved the content of this amazing blog...

Melinda said...

Hahahahaha, Jay! Be wary what you ask for. I've overwhelmingly found that my students appreciate either having a topic being given to them (or narrowed down for them).

Of course, I would have been one of the students who would have wanted whatever I wanted . . . and run with it! (at least that's what I hope).

writeonyoga said...

That's how career has been for me. It's so hard to find your own way instead of just picking a well-traveled path. You sound like and awesome teacher!

Anahita said...

My own blog tends to be case in point. Often times I think it's not so much that we need endless space and freedom to write on a topic of our own choosing (though some degree of this is necessary, of course) but rather what we need is finding a way to connect with the authentic voice. When we're lucky enough to fall into this sweet spot, "writing does writing" (as Natalie Goldberg says) :)

Lana Gramlich said...

As they say, be careful what you wish for...