School started last week, and all but one of the kids are doing virtual school. We are in the midst of quite an adventure. While trying with herculean efforts to make the long-distance learning work, it seems the school system may be upside down on the learning curve. I cannot blame the teachers, not one little bit. Let’s face it; virtual learning has not been done well before this.
Well, that’s not entirely true; there are whole companies that do it for their primary business model. The problem is our education system doesn’t like to take advice from the great unwashed. By that, I mean someone who has not been indoctrinated or been educated by the education system itself. I faced huge problems when I received my teaching license in the non-traditional track. What the non-traditional part means is I didn’t go to college to get a teaching certificate. I attended several seminars and classes presented by the State Board of Education itself so the board could ensure we had the right information.
Even though the big dog in the state taught me what they wanted me to know, that wasn’t good enough for many educators, whether they be teachers or administrators. It was much harder for me to find a job than the traditionally licensed teachers. It worked doubly, so when I moved to Texas. There, I had to take more tests and such to license. The thing was, the new tests covered the same information as the old ones did, but they were Texas tests.
The reason I brought this up was not to disparage the way things the system does. It was merely an example of how the education system works. They want to do things their way.
That brings us back to virtual learning. Several companies do virtual learning as their main product. They teach around the world, via the internet, and have great success at what they do. It would be easy for educators to check how those companies do things, but alas, our system’s canonization to mistrust anything from the outside is a hard thing to surmount.
This situation is not a new thing, either. For decades, our system has fallen further behind each year because of the same reluctance. We continue to push our students to be scientists and mathematicians and, at the same time, will cut funding for the arts. What is so strange about that is our system readily admits there are several ways our brains work. According to Gardner’s theory of multiple intelligences, there are different ways our minds might function instead of dominated by science or mathematics.
That means some brains work better in music, others in spatial and visual things, still others lean toward linguistics, and yes, some are better at mathematics. These are only four mentioned in Gardner’s theory. There are more. My point is the rest of the world seems willing to guide their students into the fields they are most suited for instead of what we do, try to force all of the students to try to think with mathematics and science.
I think that is a significant reason the rest of the world has kicked our assess in education.
Okay, I have again acted as if I stood in the speaker’s corner Hyde Park, London. Hell, I don’t even know if that practice still exists. Hmm. A quick trip on the internet tells me that the British still love tradition. One can always give public speeches there.
Oh well, it doesn’t matter. I have terrific friends over the pond.
I will calm down. To facilitate, I just made some Irish coffee with a little Jameson and will be the better for it.
It is now time for me to write about what I intended to discuss when I sat down. — that being my first non-fiction book. It is now teetering on the final stages. It is out to beta readers right now and will be back when they are finished. I will look over the comments and decided what I need to do about them. Then, who knows, send it off traditionally to an agent or publisher, or perhaps self-publish.
Both possibilities have good points and bad.
What I need to discuss is the subject matter. Throughout the book, I detail how I view the universe. That is not to say, “I look up at the stars and see some twinkling over here, and some over there, etcetera.” No, it is the other kind of view, more like, “I imagine everything works like this …”
I want to tell you that I tried to write it with most people in mind. I did not target geniuses. I did not target simpletons, either. I tried to write in a way that won’t lose people with twenty-dollar words; simultaneously, I tried not to lose anyone out of sheer boredom.
Some surprising moments from the manuscript occur in my chapter discussing time, and another chapter devoted to music. Those two chapters happen to be where my theories start taking a little thought to process.
I wrote in one of the initial blogs that I studied music in college. For those who haven’t read those particular blogs, I worked as a music teacher when I taught school. During my studies of music, I ran into several theories and odd happenings that stood out. From that, I have developed an approach to how life, indeed, everything came about.
Now, before anyone drops off into the deep end and misconstrues what I just said, I was not talking about the massive debate of Creationism vs. Darwinism just now. I will say that I gave my slant on that subject in the book. I see no reason to go into it further right here.
Perhaps I should say right up front that if you want to read my book to try to trip me up or find out if I believe the same way as you, stop right now. I will save you the trouble. I am confident my belief system is not the same as yours. I will go even further; my thoughts don’t mirror any others. Everyone believes uniquely. The trick is to realize the disparity, accept it, and move on. We are all one of a kind.
But again, my brain works differently than most. Throughout my life, I have become increasingly different. That doesn’t mean I can’t function. I can and do. What it means is, my brain sometimes works in another direction. It is a big reason I am a novelist. If I present something in a slightly odd or canted way, it can be remarkably engaging.
What I want you to come away from this blog is this. Please don’t pick up the book and think my thoughts will mirror yours. Chances are, not so much. I think you will read right along, and then it might go in a completely different angle than what you anticipated.
Yes, I know that it could be pleasant; it could also be a Greek Tragedy in the making. What it should be is an intriguing change. Now, let’s see where it leads.