My weekend was super productive, go me! Which means I didn't make time to blog.
Saturday - Walked and walked around the UWS a bit in the morning (pictures below) and wrote a paper in the afternoon
Sunday - had coffee and yoga with two new friends in the morning and read ethics all afternoon
This morning's Ethics class was illuminating in a basic way for me - I realized that all of the philosophers we had been reading believe(d) in Virtue Ethics, that the goal of thinking and questioning is in pursuit of the good life. I think my classmates understood that last week, but better late than never.
We also watched a movie on philosophy called Being In The World. It tried to explain Heidegger. Rather it did explain Heidegger and I tried to follow. Here is my attempt at a synopsis:
One understands objects by using them. One can become skilled in using said object by practicing so much that rules can be ignored. Take risks, explore, learn how to respond without thinking - this skill, or talent is now art and defines one's meaningful existence, one's authentic, spontaneous self. Technology is a product of conformity which is add odds with the magic of art and if not questioned, can prevent us from seeing something sacred in the simple, purest forms.
The question posed to us was then: Is teaching an art? (Our professor didn't use the word art though, she said "focal practice.")
Is teaching algebra art? Am I like the jazz or Flamenco performers featured in the movie? No. way.
...but teaching does take practice. It can be unpredictable. Teaching involves audience. When I am "in the moment" of a great class, when students are curious and making connections, it is definitely joyous. While I can't label what I do as magical or sacred, I do feel my way through class, trying to listen to my students as they are learning and realizing. It is passionate and consuming. So, some of the elements are there, but in the end... I am a pragmatist. Goals, activities, though I favor open ended and creative one, discussions, games, assessing, and feedback... there is more of a formula for effective, engaging teaching than there is for playing jazz. Yes, teaching involves improvisation and decisions have to made quickly, but most of the time, I decide on my "moves" from a pre-determined list. The list, though is always changing, It is fluid and open. Being open to growth is my definition of innovative and how I derive meaning and joy from my profession.
|My walk around Central Park.|
|Central Park is major|