Archived Story

Bark in time for the dogs

Published 3:53pm Saturday, January 28, 2012

“The one who knows, does not say, the one who says, does not know.” —Zen Master

 

It’s good to be back home, enjoying the barking. I spent three days with Jana and her family and a dog that doesn’t bark. I’ve already forgot his or her name but he or she always seemed to carry a smile except with the timeout in the backyard.

Jana helped me get my book ready. There is a more elaborate procedure than just typing in the words. But back here in Austin I am being called on by Mello and Fred.

Fred has struggled these last snow days. The rabbit patch is too deep down by this point with all the snow. A few of the squirrels are still about and Fred still stalks them. They scurry up the tree and Fred gets stuck in the snow. It’s not an easy life for a Jack Russel Terrior.

Here is a piece I’ve carried around: “The End of Education” by Neil Postman, refining the value of school.

Neil says: “Meaning only slight disrespect to some of my colleagues, I have the impression that of all those who have business to conduct with schools —school administrators, classroom teachers, students, parents, politicians, publishers, and professors of education — it is the last who seem least interested in talking about reasons, with the first not far behind.

Perhaps I am wrong about this, but, in any case, we cannot fail to improve the lives of our young if all parties could enter the conversation with enthusiasm and resolve. It would, in any case, be a waste of valuable time to burden you with the mistakes of those who thought they had discovered important facts and enduring truths.

School is not a place for documenting error, but for revealing the true state of affairs. The idea there is for students to become acquainted with a thousand facts without pausing to know whose facts they are, how we come to know them, why they are deemed important and by whom this leads quite directly to the state of mind sometimes called ‘justificationism.’”


Sign in to Comment | Need help commenting? Click here

Editor's Picks