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Thursday, September 16, 2010

I Couldn't Sleep

I couldn't sleep. The world caught up to me today. I had been submerged in schoolwork, throwing myself into crafting the ultimate center of gravity lesson plan.

For inspiration, our teachers point us to a vast online archive of mediocrity. It's frightening. We have access to special Ontario teacher resource sites where, at the press of a button, we find hundreds of lesson plans jam-packed with boring. I'm going on the record here: these bland "educational" resources are joining Betamax as anecdotes to be brought up at history's wedding so we can all laugh at how crazy she was before she settled down. In my lifetime education will move online, dominated by a few resources that do learning right.


I realized this when I was asked to write several reflection papers on my education. It's hard to quantify what I learned in school but most of the skills I am currently using in my life (from needlepoint, to cooking, to bike repair, etc.) I got online. Maybe my education prepared me to be an independent learner  but there's also a case that

I stood up for Wikipedia in my class, arguing that it was more articulate and better sourced than our textbook. Some people laughed at this which didn't surprise me since technophobic teachers have been instilling the Great Fear of Wikipedia without ever visiting the site.

Wow. I can't sleep. I have to be careful because I'm a very passionate person. I throw myself into what I do. I think what is keeping me up tonight is my internal instinct to look up and make sure that I've thrown myself in the right direction.

I'm going to read some more of Doctorow' Little Brother and get some sleep. It would be nice to start eating breakfast and lunch, put myself into a nice routine, and stay up one night thinking about death in that useful, contemplative way, bringing perspective and resolve to my life.

1 comment:

lfar said...

First, "these bland "educational" resources are joining Betamax as anecdotes to be brought up at history's wedding so we can all laugh at how crazy she was before she settled down" made me laugh. I think I'm going to start saying "bring this up at ____'s wedding" as a way of saying something is embarrassing. I like it a lot.

Second, I couldn't be more on board with your view of Wikipedia. As usual, I just want to memorize exactly what you said and pass it off as my own.

Anyway, I hope you get some good sleep. I'm now doing 5 philosophy courses (and a french) this term, and I'm having a lot of trouble turning off that thinking in my brain, and just relaxing. So, I hear you!