Time Yet for A Hundred Indecisions

Posted: 6th December 2017 by kkeerybi in Uncategorized
There will be time, there will be time
To prepare a face to meet the faces that you meet;
There will be time to murder and create,
And time for all the works and days of hands
That lift and drop a question on your plate;
Time for you and time for me,
And time yet for a hundred indecisions,
And for a hundred visions and revisions,
Before the taking of a toast and tea.
excerpt from The Love Song of J Alfred Prufrock, T.S. Eliot

 

One interesting thing about having a professional blog is that you (and anyone else who reads it) have a concrete artifact detailing when and how your thinking changed.  Like when you go back and read something you wrote and think “what was I thinking?”  However, I think I may take a page out of Eliot’s thinking and consider it just part of the decision/indecision process; subject to a hundred visions and revisions.

The example that prompting my thinking about this is my assertion about good learning is hard learning.  There is some truth to the fact that sometimes learning is difficult.  Sometimes it requires perseverance and problem solving.  Sometimes we need “grit” (in all my revisions, I’m still not a fan of this word), stick-to-it-iveness, or a firm determination to grin, bear it and just do it.

But, is that always true?

There are times when I have also asserted…in black and white within this blog perhaps…that learning is fun, inquiry natural, and life long learning an essential condition of humanity.

But can it be fun or natural or essential if it is always so hard?

But I tried to think about those examples of when I felt learning was difficult to see what I would revise.  What I came up with was a tapestry woven of shades of grey, and the black and white of my assertion gone entirely.

  • Learning is hard, sometimes.
  • Learning is easy and enjoyable, sometimes.
  • Learning is sometimes easy but the application of that learning into our practice is difficult.
  • Learning is sometimes difficult but, once mastered, easily applied.
  • Learning is enjoyable, and frustrating, and interesting, and tedious, and thought provoking, and mind numbing.
  • Learning is not the same for any two people, and no two learning experiences for any one person are the same.

Under my heavy blanket of shades of grey, I had another thought.

What if what’s really hard about a learning process isn’t the learning itself but our ability to reflect on it, refine it, and accept that it is a messy kind of wonderful?

And is it any wonder that all of us educators struggle to find the magic formula to teach our wide variety of students a wide range of learning items in a relatively short amount of time?

Take a breath.  There’s time yet for a hundred indecisions.  Keep learning.  Keep teaching.  Keep struggling.  Keep enjoying.  Keep wondering.

 

  1. adunsige says:

    As I’ve said before Kristi, I love your hard questions, and I think that you asked one of the hardest ones here. I also think that you nailed what might be the hardest part of learning … and maybe even especially as educators, when we crave organization, planning, and predictability, and learning can be the opposite of all of these!

    But thanks for reminding us that hard or easy, learning is still worth it, and reflecting on the process, is something to celebrate! Thanks for making my brain hurt … in a good way!

    Aviva