Thursday, August 23, 2007

Bus Ride . . .

It's time for school again; big yellow buses prowl streets and roads, picking up students here, letting them off there, all according to schedule. Once in awhile when the bus comes, a child is slow to climb up the steps into the bus, tentative, unsure.
Most kids climb aboard confidently though, with hardly a look back. That first day is exciting -- a heady combination of old friends and new adventures.
I'm a little jealous of any kid lucky enough to be going back to school. How exciting to learn new things!
Part of me wishes I could line up at the pencil sharpener, listen to the teacher give instructions to “turn in your social studies book to page 212 where you'll find a map of Africa,” then hurry back to my seat to learn more about that mysterious continent.
In school, teachers map out our learning adventures. As adults, we are responsible for the map and the adventure.
That is why this year, as kids I know go back to school, I'm setting some learning goals. I want to be part of a life-long community of learners, whether that's in a formal setting or one I create for myself.
Curiosity drives the learner's itinerary as surely as it drives a travelers; the trick is to be deliberate and specific about setting goals, so that I actually accomplish knowledge and skill along the way.
Curiosity about water gardens might lead to a study of basic botany or weather patterns. Curiosity about photography might lead to a study of light or lighting requirements for photography, or how light is portrayed by painters. Curiosity about one of Shakespeare's plays might lead to a word study or an investigation of the War of the Roses or maybe a study of everyday life in Elizabethan England.
Curiosity is a path with branches in every direction.
We just have to choose one, get on the big yellow bus, and go.

1 comment:

John said...

I love you mom.