Monday, January 26, 2015

january 26

JOURNAL TOPIC: ["No One To Depend On" by Santana; "You've Got A Friend" by James Taylor]

In his book The Lonely Crowd, sociologist David Riesman suggested that city dwellers surrounded by millions are actually more isolated than people who live in smaller communities with less company.  My friend Kurt calls this "The Allegory of the Trail"-- almost everyone looks up and greets each other on the trail, even though the very same people may walk right by each other on the street.

The way we relate to each other is sometimes a matter of personality; it's more often a matter of context.  No matter how happy/angry/introverted/extroverted/rational/emotional a person is, for example, she has to act just like her classmates in school.  The nail that sticks out gets hammered. Everyone conforms to the same set of behaviors in a classroom or they get in trouble.

One of the behavioral norms in school is individual performance.  Do your own work.  Keep your eyes on your own paper.  Use your own words.  You've all learned how to do this well (or at least give the appearance).  The problem is, the world doesn't operate that way.  That's why so many organizational leaders look at talented, bright-eyed new graduates and wonder, "Why can't they be better team players?" Lev Vygotsky and many other theorists have observed that we learn better when we collaborate, and in today's networked world this is truer and easier than ever.

So, today's journal question is this: how can each of us help each other succeed this semester?  There is a Chinese proverb that says, "If you save a person's life you take responsibility for it."  The term "no child left behind" has been so abused that it's become meaningless, but what if we took it literally?  How can you help your fellow learners pass the AP exam and achieve their goals?  How can they help you?

1. Journal
2. Masterpiece consultations & individual/group work
3. The military has Boot Camp. Football teams have Hell Week. We have Shakespeare.

1. Study/remix/practice using lit terms (quiz Friday 1.30)
2. Lit analysis progress (ongoing; lit analysis #1 due 2.2)
3. Give and/or get help from someone (and tell 5PH1NX about it)

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