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Re: the computers and isolation blues
>those aren't reaching the people under Vonnegut and
> Birkerts's sway.
Yes, they are reaching them (English teachers, at least), but only (as I've
said) by halves. I've given up counting how many copies of the Anson piece
have made their way into my mailbox. (No one sends me the link--big shock.)
I suppose I'd get books, too, if they weren't so expensive. Instead, I get
And when Cynthia delivered her "Perils" presentation, our then Associate
Dean (way cyber-phobic sort) was in attendance. She, too, heard half. Paid
attention to half. Attended to *half*!
I'm still working to undo that one former adminstrator's three year
decimation of what had been ongoing support of faculty (and especially p-t
faculty) forays into CAI/CEI.
What I'm telling you is that these aren't exceptions.
Wanna change things? Be willing to teach. That means, yes, meeting people
wheresoever they might need or want to begin. That means spending an hour
or more helping an experienced and otherwise confident teacher figure out
how to pace a single lab period, and sometimes it means joining her there.
That means showing folks--even or especially professors with Ph.D.'s from
all sorts of impressive places, and even or especially experienced teachers
generally highly regarded by their students-- how to search for something on
the Web, and how to link to it, and how to get that link to students. It
means being gentle, moving slowly, understanding that some need every last
step written down even though that'll require you consciously to think about
those steps, perhaps for the first time in years.
That means, maybe, being a lot like my dad was when he taught me to drive.
(I had a healthy fear of driving--my brothers didn't. He approached
teaching them entirely differently than he approached teaching me, which had
little to do with our genders, *everything* to do with our respective levels
of fear or lack thereof.) I remember hours of driving in corn fields, and
my dad's voice as he pointed out the pheasants in the tall grass, the deer
in the trees--things I'd never have seen. (With me, he quoted Frost and
never swore, something neither of my older brothers can claim.) And I
remember how, in that same calming tone, this man who could build any sort
of engine from scratch would say things like, "well, hon, I do think you
might want to take corners a little more slowly," even as the centrifugal
force had him plastered to the passenger door.
But remembering beginnings doesn't require forgetting one's love of the
thing, only deepening it.
Kathy at C.O.D.
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