I’m assured the above link works… but I’m not yet convinced, will see when I publish it.
Education, it has dawned on me at a somewhat late-in-the-day way, isn’t just about what I do in school. I’ve made all the right noises up to now and nodded sagely at the right moments. I knew it, but didn’t feel it in my bones really, I hadn’t latched onto it in a way that connected me to the concept properly, and personally.
It appears I enjoy watching development, and change, and having played a part in it. It seems I do this without thinking. I had thought maybe at various points over the last few years that I shouldn’t be a teacher. But it seems I am anyway, whether I want it or not, whether I’m paid or not.
This LOAF weekend has been the catalyst for my own epiphany. We watched a 14year old singer songwriter do his thing. He performed a half hour set of his own material in my shed. Last year he did 15 minutes. This year, his voice is deeper, and so are his songs. He expresses gratitude for the chance to perform. I have a soft spot, relishing his growing strength. Curious to see what he can do next…where he might end up.
Our quilting group learn from each other. Some of us are instinctive, just shoving stuff together and stitching it up. Others have enormous skill and technical ability. We have morphed into this group of Rebellious Quilters. We gave ourself that name right at the beginning, eschewing the precision of traditional quilters, and not wanting the structure that other groups have. We are living up to our name now, 3 or 4 years down the line. What we are finding, I think, is that we are rebelling against ourselves. There isn’t a “right way” that we need to worry about. I have been very sniffy about doing things “properly”, but I now find myself wanting to know stuff! My lack of technical know-how is holding me back, so I’m ready to learn. I hope in turn that my lack of respect for measuring and precision has made others think again about what is possible, and what is beautiful, and what has meaning.
Our life drawing group exhibition gets better every year. Yes, we are one year more experienced, but it’s more than that. It is the exchange of ideas, materials, techniques. It is watching each other, getting to know each other and having a go, without fear of ridicule or embarrassment. We don’t have a teacher, we have each other.
I think the word that sticks in my throat, that has stopped me from “feeling” the concept, is Education. To me, Education is something that is done unto you. You have no choice in it. Education is a form of social control. It’s how we socialise our children, and our adults for that matter, into conformity.
So. Learning. Finding out stuff. Discovery. Experience. Doing stuff. Especially doing stuff. The body teaching the brain, not the other way around. Falling over, getting up. Fun, laughter, hate, nastiness, arguing, making up, being civil, loving, being friends with someone for 30 years. Just do stuff. Just make stuff. That’s what a real education is.