11/25/2001; 1:39:34 AM

I missed a couple of other posts in reaction to my outlining story (due to an email outage here on my LAN, the details of which I won’t bore you with):

Donald Larson told a terrifying story about an unjustifiable beating he took from a Nun at his Catholic school at age seven. It was 1957 at the time. Donald, who is now a parent, wrote:

“Let me tell you what I learned from it. If anyone had ever touched my daughter with intended harm, they would have answered to me.”

Also, Ian Bickling wrote:

“…I would have reacted similarly to that situation, I think — though I was (thankfully) spared such tedium in my early education…

“Composition and the forming of independent thought are incidental to this sort of education, but they should be absolutely central. But these are not often taught skills, and when they do show up in curriculum it usually results in touchy-feely results that don’t accomplish much of anything. Fostering independent thought is constantly challenging, not just for the student but also for the teacher.”

Right on!

Last night my mom wrote on her own website, a suggestion of the deleterious effects a teacher can have on a child by giving them meaningless or confusing assignments:

“Peter [my younger brother] was asked to outline Time magazine articles. This seems reasonable until you try to do it. In fact, [the Time magazine] articles are headed not by topic sentences but by catchy phrases that have little to do with the content. The stories flow in a conversational manner, designed to hold your attention, but defying logic. Amid frustration and tears, we agreed that no outline was possible. ‘Just write something down,’ didn’t satisfy either him or me. Now Jake writes programs to write outlines to permit orderly work to continue. I wish I could write outlines and try to maintain parallel structure in sentences and in the world. I’m not sure that Pete even thinks about outlines.”

She followed this up with an outline of her life: “Will I filll in this outline? Perhaps, but most likely not in an orderly way. How many levels are there? Countless levels of complexity and of memory…” How true.
1:39:34 AM  

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