I realized that I already know most of what’s necessary to live a meaningful life – that it isn’t all that complicated. I know it. And have known it for a long, long time. Living it – well, that’s another matter, yes? Here’s my Credo:
ALL I REALLY NEED TO KNOW about how to live and what to do and how to be I learned in kindergarten. Wisdom was not at the top of the graduate-school mountain, but there in the sand pile at school. These are the things I learned:
Don’t hit people.
Put things back where you found them.
Clean up your own mess.
Don’t take things that aren’t yours.
Say you’re sorry when you hurt somebody.
Wash your hands before you eat.
Warm cookies and cold milk are good for you.
Live a balanced life -learn some and think some and draw and paint and sing and dance and play and work every day some.
Take a nap every afternoon.
When you go out into the world, watch out for traffic, hold hands, and stick together.
Wonder. Remember the little seed in the Styrofoam cup: The roots go down and plants foes up and nobody really knows how or why, but we are all like that.
Goldfish and hamsters and white mice and even the little seed in the Styrofoam cup – they all die. So do we.
And then remember the Dick-and-Jane books and the first word you learned – the biggest word of all – LOOK.
Everything you need to know is in there somewhere. The Golden Rule and love and basic sanitation. Ecology and politics and equality and sane living.
Take any one of those items and extrapolate it into sophisticated adult terms and apply it to your family life or your work or your government or your world and it holds true and clear and firm. Think what a better world it would be if we all – the whole world – had cookies and milk about three o’clock every afternoon and then lay down with our blankies for a nap. Or if all governments had as a basic policy to always put things back where they found them and to clean up their own messes.
And it is still true, no matter how old you are – when you go out into the world, it is best to hold hands and stick together.
What is your reaction to Fulghum’s statement that everything he really needs to know he learned in kindergarten? Do you agree or disagree? Explain your response.
Think back over your elementary, middle, and high school. What would you do differently if you had the chance? What would you not change?
What advice would you give to someone entering your high school next year? Decide on the tone and form for your message. You could take a humorous or serious approach.
“Our embrace of high-tech gadgetry could turn life into a series of rushed encounters and clipped exchanges, producing ideas of diminishing depth.” – Langdon Winner
What effect does “instant communication” have on you? What effect does “instant communication” have on your relationships with other people?
Corners of our lives once sheltered from direct technological intervention are now bombarded by the demands of incoming and outgoing messages … However, people text-message alone. It is mainly an isolating experience in society … Of its role in the future only one thing is certain: it will be larger than ever before. – S.D. Robinson
Film Creation Idea:
Write a script for a text messaging dialogue between two friends (they are not face-to-face) for one of the following scenarios:
two friends discuss running against each other in the student council election
two friends argue about an environmental issue
a person tells a friend who has taken a part-time job that he/she is upset that they are spending less time together.
Film your script while paying particular attention to your actors non-verbal behaviour, watch out for various types of body language. Add the “dialogue” – the text messages – as titles to each scene in iMovie. It is not necessary to have any audio captured with the video at all.
What is the person doing with his or her hands? Is the individual tapping a finger on a table? Are the arms crossed?
What is the position of the individual’s body? Is the person leaning forward? Leaning back? Is the body turned away from another person?
What is the position of the individual’s legs? Are they crossed? Is the person tapping his/her foot?
Where are the eyes looking?
Does the person smile? frown? yawn? cough?
Consider these and other questions in your planning:
Who are my 2 friends? Describe their emotional and psychological states, too.
Where are they? Remember that the video you shoot will be shot at school.
What is the issue? What point are you trying to make?
How will you show that their conversation is rushed, incomplete, frustrating?
How can you show that their responses to each other lack depth?
How can you show or demonstrate how alone they really are?
How can you demonstrate how texting is an isolating experience?
How can you show them being “bombarded by the demands of incoming and outgoing messages”
Consider capturing/grabbing your iPhone/iPod message screen and then get those pics into an iMovie.
Try to write a “love rap.” Can you celebrate your love, or that of someone you know, in rap? Create and share your rap using GarageBand. Or try another topic as the subject of your rap: Chinese Socialism, Euclidean geometry, Macbeth, etc.
In a small group create a podcast(radio show) in which you play snippets of your group’s favorite music around one particular theme. Choose someone to be the announcer to lead the discussion between clips. Start by recording one 3-5 minute session.
Robert Burns (1759-96), a popular poet from Scotland, lives again each January 25th, when millions around the world celebrate his poetry. In his poetry, Burns expresses his concern for people of the working class. He is also one of the first poets to question the treatment of women and children in society. Robbie Burns is best remembered for his love poetry. The following selection is one of his better-known ballads.
O my luve is like a red, red rose
That's newly sprung in June;
My love is like the melodie
That's sweetly played in tune.
As fair art thou, my bonny lass,
So deep in luve am I;
And I will luve thee still, my dear,
Till a' the seas gang dry.
Till a' the seas gang dry, my dear,
And the rocks melt wi' the sun;
I will luve thee still, my dear,
While the sands o' life shall run.
And fare thee weel, my only love!
And fare thee weel, awhile!
And I will come again, my love
Though it were ten thousand mile.
My heart is like a singing bird
Whose nest is in a water'd shoot;
My heart is like an apple-tree
Whose boughs are bent with thick-set fruit;
My heart is like a rainbow shell
That paddles in a halcyon sea;
My heart is gladder than all these,
Because my love is come to me.
Raise me a daïs of silk and down;
Hang it with vair and purple dyes;
Carve it in doves and pomegranates,
And peacocks with a hundred eyes;
Work it in gold and silver grapes,
In leaves and silver fleurs-de-lys;
Because the birthday of my life
Is come, my love is come to me.
Burns and Rossetti both use a common literary technique, the metaphor, to describe feelings of love. Identify and discuss the similarities and the differences between the two poems.
What effect does the repetition of the phrases create in the poems? Do you like the effect that is created? Why or why not?
Choose your own personal metaphor for describing love. Write a poem, song, or short narrative or create a collage of images which incorporates your metaphor for love.
The two following poems express different attitudes toward love. The first poem, “How do I Love Thee?,” was written in the nineteenth century and the second one, “First Person Demonstrative” was written in the twentieth century.
"How do I love thee?" by Elizabeth Barrett Browning (1806-1861)
How do I love thee? Let me count the ways.
I love thee to the depth and breadth and height
My soul can reach, when feeling out of sight
For the ends of Being and ideal Grace.
I love thee to the level of everyday's
Most quiet need, by sun and candle-light.
I love thee freely, as men strive for Right;
I love thee purely, as they turn from Praise.
I love thee with a passion put to use
In my old griefs, and with my childhood's faith.
I love thee with a love I seemed to lose
With my lost saints, --- I love thee with the breath,
Smiles, tears, of all my life! --- and, if God choose,
I shall but love thee better after death.
"First Person Demonstrative" by Phyllis Gotlieb (1926-2009)
heave half a brick than say
I love you, though I do
crawl in a hole than call you
darling, though you are
wrench off an arm than hug you though
it's what I long to do
gather a posy of poison ivy than
ask if you love me
so if my
hair doesn't stand on end it's because
I never tease it
and if my
heart isn't in my mouth it's because
it knows its place
and if I
don't take a bite of your ear it's because
gristle gripes my guts
and if you
miss the message better get new
glasses and read it twice
How did you feel after reading “How Do I Love Thee?” How did you feel after reading “First Person Demonstrative”? Which poem do you like better? Why? Which do you think is the more appealing poem?
Compare the thoughts and feelings of the two poets. How do the poems differ? How are they similar? Does this comparison change your feelings toward either of the poems?