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05:59 pm: tread softly on his dreams
I watched a couple of TED talks recently that really made me think about parenting (they all make me think, of course, but not necessarily about parenting; FYI, each of these is about 20 minutes).

I hadn't known that Dave Eggers was a grassroots educational philanthropist, but he sure is, and I love his ideas (his video starts out a bit rocky but gets much better, I promise). I immediately went to Once Upon a School to see what's happening locally. When I read through the possibilities, I realized that weekly volunteering in Teddy's library (starts Monday!) and classrooms is as much as I have time for right now, but I'm definitely keeping it in mind for when I have time for more involvement.

Dave Eggers on Once Upon a School

Sir Ken did a marvelous TED talk a few years back on how classrooms kill creativity, and his talk from this year, in which he talks about moving to a learning model that is life-long and organic (from the current linear, finite model), got to me in new ways.

Sir Ken Robinson on the learning revolution

What really struck me was his recitation of Yeats' poem, "He wishes for the cloths of heaven":

Had I the heavens' embroidered cloths,
Enwrought with golden and silver light,
The blue and the dim and the dark cloths
Of night and light and the half-light,
I would spread the cloths under your feet:
But I, being poor, have only my dreams;
I have spread my dreams under your feet;
Tread softly, because you tread on my dreams.

I studied poetry when I was an undergrad (especially at Oxford), but haven't read much since I became a mother, and it's certainly changed how I read (well, duh). That last line! That's like the Hippocratic Oath of parenting. Parens primum non nocere*, y'know?

I'll screw up all kinds of other things as a Mom, but that's my new oath: I will tread softly on my son's dreams.

* My Latin's even rustier than my poetry, so that probably means "first do no harm to the parents." Of course I mean "first the parent does no harm." If anyone remembers the subjective case of parens, gimme a holler. A quick Google yielded parens from parentis, but I'm not sure it's correct. Erroneous pedantry is embarrassing... but not enough to make me stop.

Current Location: Longmeadow
Current Mood: determineddetermined


Date:October 4th, 2010 03:10 pm (UTC)

from Inge

My favorite poem... I think it's a life creed.
[User Picture]
Date:October 4th, 2010 08:53 pm (UTC)

You have excellent taste

I knew that. :)
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