(If you haven’t tried out the Slow-Walk I recommended January 16, you should put off reading my commentary below. It will spoil the fun of making your own discoveries. )
I have traveled much in Concord.Preview Changes
– Henry David Thoreau
At first, walking slowly can feel awkward. We actually have to pay attention to each step we take. That wears off rapidly, though, and then something remarkable happens. When we are “going somewhere” our focus is out ahead a few feet, but when we’re simply walking around, the focus recedes to where we are. All of a sudden, the world becomes a vast museum of infinite wonder. Ask any little kid. Instead of passing through the surroundings, we move in a envelope that travels with us. Then, Thoreau, who lived out his life in Concord, Massachusetts, makes perfect sense. And there seems to be plenty of time to get everything done.
My students used to come back from our slow walks all aglow. When you are all aglow, you don’t care whether school keeps or not. Right? Witnessing our worlds seems to be sufficient. In fact, a liberal education must surely involve a slow walk. All of a sudden you want to write a poem. You even understand this haiku by Onitsura:
Look! Cherry blossoms
all over! Birds have two legs!
There: Horses have four!
A Liberal Education
You can even couple the Slow-Walk with the Surface-features Game and the Mess-Around strategy, and you are one powerful, self-directing human being. Is there anything wrong with that? And what could be more practical than slow-walking algebra? When you slow-walk algebra, learning feels effortless.
Let me throw in a bit of Goethe here :
People seek a central point. That is hard and not even right. I should think a rich, manifold life, brought close to the eyes, would be enough without express tendency; which, after all, is only for the intellect.
Does this commentary hold water for you? Let me know.