I made this image early one morning on my way to work in Morristown, NJ--a few days before Samhain in 2010.
The sun has set. Let the festival begin.
|Samhain's Fire (M.A Reilly, 2010)|
Shack by the Sea (M.A. Reilly, August, 2021)
|Second page, from here|
|Text level 7/8 from here.|
Ericsson, Krampe, and Tesch-Römer (1993) have shown that practice requires proper guidance. To become an expert skier it is not sufficient just to ski a lot; you need someone to guide your practice, make you work on just the right things that will make possible long-term progress. We recently observed that just having 6th grade students write a lot of summaries of texts they had read does not make them better summary writers. Indeed, it may just ingrain bad habits. They need someone or something that tells them what about their writing was good and what was not good—only with such feedback to guide them does practice make perfect. (From here)Guided instruction is guided practice. This child, like many of his peers, are placed in jeopardy unless that leadership reassesses its edicts that are not informed by any juried research. Dismiss guided practice and the children are banned from consistent high quality, reading instruction that is necessary on a daily basis. Rather, this boy and many of his peers spend their days, circling unknown words and copying letters onto post-its that they lose as quickly as it took you to finish this sentence.
We do not trust teachers to teach yet we pay them to enact scripts that other people at other times who may or may not have ever taught, who may or may not have any actual experience or content knowledge, who do not and cannot know the actual children, but who did receive a ton of money which must mean that the work they produced has to be great, has to be the answer we've been seeking, our bit of manna straight from Heaven.This is insanity and it's our tax dollars footing the bill. (Did I mention that the finest teachers I've known are running for the exits? They are seeking not other schools where they might work, but rather other careers, early retirement.)
A Little Black
- Brendan Constantine
The children of Juarez have run out
of red crayons. There’s so much blood
in their eyes; the bodies of mules
dumped in their schools, hands & heads
by the road, blood in pools, blood
in stories of blood. Before I know it,
I’m planning my own crime, the worst
a poet can commit: to steal suffering,
call it mine. How vivid, I think, what
a strong detail on which to build.
I open my computer, the great self-
making book of our age, search for
more of the story, for the words run
out of red crayons. I find children
out of red in Pakistan, in Haiti, no red
left in Afghanistan, none in Georgia.
The children of Sierra Leon have gone
through pink to purple, in Myanmar
they’re down to brown. I thought I had
something to add. I have nothing to add
but a little black, the color of the line,
color that consumes all others.
|Sisyphus (M.A. Reilly, 2012)|
The individual is overrated, romanticized.
Readiness is a fixture of modernity.
Prescription is not a synonym for description.I repeat all of this as he tells me going to college is not a road walking. What I need to remember is that he is not lighting out for the territory, ahead of the rest. The need to be first is a need best forgotten.
The need to map is powerful.
Becoming is infinitely more interesting than being.Being ready is an untruth my son has been told by his teachers, his father, me.
There is no readiness for a boy's future.
Maps have no beginning and no end.
|Gliding (M.A. Reilly, Ringwood NJ)|
"Are there not some pursuits that we practice because they are good in themselves, and some pleasures that are final? And is this not among them? I have sometimes dreamt, at least, that when the Day of Judgment dawns and the great conquerors and lawyers and statesmen come to receive their rewards— their crowns, their laurels, their names carved indelibly upon imperishable marble— the Almighty will turn to Peter and will say, not without a certain envy when He sees us coming with our books under our arms, “Look, these need no reward. We have nothing to give them here. They have loved reading.” Virginia Woolf, How Should One Read a Book?
|A Chance of Crows (Reilly, 2011)|
Our knowledge is not something sitting passively in our heads (although this is the common view of knowledge); rather what is in our heads is just one aspect of larger more public and historical coordinations that in reality constitute 'our' knowledge (p.220).
In 2011, people playing Foldit, an online puzzle game about protein folding, resolved the structure of an enzyme that causes an Aids-like disease in monkeys. Researchers had been working on the problem for 13 years. The gamers solved it in three weeks.
|Calvary (M.A. Reilly, South Dakota, 2010)|
"I am careful."
"No, you're not"
"Well, other people are," she said lightly.
"What's that got to do with it?"
"They'll keep out of my way," she insisted. "It takes two to make an accident."
"Suppose you meet somebody just as careless as yourself?"
"I hope I never will," she answered. "I hate careless people" (p. 63).
|The Bath (M.A. Reilly, 2013)|
The point is that a rhizome or multiplicity never allows itself to be overcoded, never has available a supplementary dimension over and above its number of lines, that is, over and above the multiplicity of numbers attached to those lines.
It is not a question of this or that place on earth, or of a given moment in history, still less of this or that category of thought. It is a question of a model that is perpetually in construction or collapsing, and of a process that is perpetually prolonging itself, breaking off and starting up again (p. 20).Breaking off.
|Web (M.A. Reilly, 2012)|
...Immediately there was a response. The web, plucked by its menacing occupant, began to vibrate until it was a blur. Anything that had brushed claw or wing against that amazing snare would be thoroughly entrapped. As the vibrations slowed, I could see the owner fingering her guidelines for signs of struggle. A pencil point was an intrusion into this universe for which no precedent existed. Spider was circumscribed by spider ideas; its universe was spider universe. All outside was irrational, extraneous, at best raw material for spider. As I proceeded on my way along the gully, like a vast impossible shadow, I realized that in the world of spider I did not exist.
|from Occupy Wall Street (Reilly, 2011)|
We are living through what future historians will surely describe as one of the darkest eras in American education — a time when teachers, as well as the very idea of democratic public education, came under attack; when carrots and sticks tied to results on terrible tests were sold to the public as bold “reform”; when politicians who understand nothing about learning relied uncritically on corporate models and metaphors to set education policy; when the goal of schooling was as misconceived as the methods, framed not in terms of what children need but in terms of “global competitiveness” — that is, how U.S. corporations can triumph over their counterparts in other countries. There will come a time when people will look back at this era and ask, “How the hell could they have let this happen?”
Rhizomatic Learning posits, among other things, that the community is the curriculum. That being able to participate with and among those people who are resident in a particular field is a primary goal of learning.
|Birds Lifting (Reilly, 2012)|
We are of few words.II.
We head towards Interstate 40 traveling East on a road that is marked only by a thin single grey line on the map. I can still see the face of the girl who looked to be about my age, who stood opposite me in that harsh desert light each us bound by the heat. I can see her hand as she takes the few coins from my palm. Her nails are dirty, mine ragged. I bought a small totem she had painted. I still have it, decades later, packed away in a box stashed in my dead father's' attic. This is the way it is. Regardless of where we store the trinkets we've collected along the way, we continue to bear their weight.