Fwd: Re: Gender Equality

Coby Smolens (cobys@webtv.net)
Tue, 28 Oct 1997 22:25:47 -0800

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Regarding Mr. Smallman and the Puget Sound Community:

I wonder at the practice of having one person in a position to decide
things like who is passionate enough to rate a "passionate advocate" and
which person is chosen as the "passionate advocate"... What are the
criteria which go into making such decisions? How would one go about
finding a "true believer" for one's eager students?

And a more basic question: Why? It seems to me a person passionately
involved in the pursuit of a particular area of interest (rap,
snowboarding, animation -- whatever) will shortly have developed a
pretty good notion about which direction they would like to follow in
terms of mentors, all by themselves. I can see a staff person in a
similar situation, faced with a student's consuming passion and fierce
determination to make contact with a "master" in their chosen field,
being asked to facilitate such a meeting and doing their level best to
arrange it. Somehow, the scene Dale is describing below carries a hint
of benevolent patronization -- or have I got it wrong?


Coby Smolens

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Date: Tue, 28 Oct 1997 09:18:11 -0800
From: "Dale R. Reed" <dale-reed@postoffice.worldnet.att.net>
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Subject: Re: Gender Equality
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KleinCon@aol.com wrote:
> 2. Make sure that they act on their true beliefs, some would call them core
> beliefs, rather than on a more artificial sense of what they "should" do. (I
> recognize that this last one is particularly slippery and wildly open to
> interpretation. It is not a statement I can logically defend. Rather, it is
> one of those "I know it when I see it" sorts of things.)

For example, Andy Smallman at Puget Sound Community School provides an
interesting service to his students. When enough of this students are
interested in a particular subject he attempts to match them with a
"passionate" advocate or practitioner of interest. So instead of
intentionally looking for facilitators with no "true beliefs" he goes
out of his way to look for someone with "true beliefs." And I assume
that is because that is what the students are looking for.

I think this is a very fine practice. Though I suspect it dramatically
limits the number of men and women available for the students to
mentor. There are not that many heroes and heroines(unequals) for
students to admire and want to be like these days. Especially ones who
have the time from their own busy lives to share their passions with
others. Like the old saw(that I don't agree with by the way) says,
those who can't do, teach. Or in this case I guess it would be those who
are tired of doing or wanting a short break from doing or just feel
magnanimous may be willing to facilitate a few students. But what if
they had thousands of students throughout the world via the Internet?
Now that might be very tempting no matter how busy their normal

But I noticed in the last newsletter that Sudbury is installing
connections to cyberspace so the Sudbury Valley students will soon have
their learning environment broadened considerably. I can hardly wait
until the students start lurking and then begin posting to these
discussion lists. I guarantee you that they will soon be told what they
"should" do for their new cyberbuddies will not have agreed to any of
the Sudbury Valley school meeting rules. What ever that means. Dale

$  dale-reed@worldnet.att.net   Seattle, Washington U.S.A.  $