Re: DSM: On Certainty and language.

From: Ardeshir Mehta, N.D. (ardeshir@sympatico.ca)
Date: Tue Jan 29 2002 - 16:54:14 EST


Hi Darren,

You wrote:

> ...
>
> e-mail etiquette on the use of cpaital letters is akin to shouting. To read
> this posting sounds like a shouting match between you two.

All caps in e-mail can also be used instead of italics: and that is
how I intend it. But maybe in future I shall for emphasis use words
between asterisks, like so:

     *This* is what I mean.

Normally in other kinds of writing I use italics for those words
which I have put in all caps in many of my previous e-mails.

It's just much easier to hit the "Caps Lock" key than to use asterisks
around words ... but if people object to all caps, sure, I can use
asterisks.

> ...and now onto some remarks on other uses of language..
>
> on the word, "education". It roots do suggest that something along the
> lines of "to rear" and "to lead forth". Certainly, this suggests some form
> of doing things to others. In traditional schools, education, in part, is
> about one group imposing its views on another. I suppse that one might say
> that this is coercive. Nevertheless, this is what goes on in (traditional)
> schools, and it is fitting with the etymological sensibilities of the words
> "to educate" and "education". So does SVS (and other "schools" - 'll return
> to this word in a minute - like it) educate others?

A lot of schools do have eduation as their goal. But SVS, as I understand
it, does not. Its goal is freedom, and *nothing* else. Indeed that is also the
means to the goal. (It is not often that the mans and the goal are the same!)

If, by the way, I am wrong about this, I shall stand corrected -- but then
I shall also be very disappointed, for in that case I shall have to say that
SVS is *not* a genuine free school. (In which case, why on earth would
anyone choose to go there, or to send their loved ones there?)

I am reminded re. this of a quote from a play by Bernard Shaw, in which
a defrocked Irish priest is telling his listeners about his idea of heaven:
"My notion of heaven", he says, "is a place where work is play and play
is life: three in one and one in three." *This* is what I mean as well!

> Schools are interesting places. There are most certaily rules in place.
> There are at Sudbury. And, I wonder if there isn't some sense of paradox at
> work here. If SVS is about non-coersion, then why have rules? Or is it the
> very fact, that it is a community of people deciding on how to govern
> themselves in a "self-regulating" manner that creates a different scenario
> where the application of rules is not a coersive move. By various accounts
> and stoies that I have read, I am amused at how often people have to go to a
> JC to account for their wrongs. That is, some measure of respect seems to be
> missing. What I find odd is that even when people are given vasts amounts
> of freedom that there still is not always much respect present.

Freedom, by its very nature, *cannot* be absolute, because one cannot
have the freedom to *take away* others' freedom! So rules are absolutely
necessary to preserve freedom, and to ensure that *everyone* lives free.

I agree about respect, however, and the fact that it doesn't often go hand
in hand with freedom. But respect must often be *earned*, while freedom
is a right -- indeed a birthright.

> Last, on the word "school", I admit the word and its various senses do
> trouble me. Nevertheless, "schools" do mean different things beside the
> usual sense of a place where children are usually taught in a particular
> manner. In addition to this sense, a "school" (imagaine if you will, a
> "school of fish" and how they interact and fnuction, etc.) comes the Greek
> root of "leisure" as in active leisure. This sensibility does come from the
> ancient Greek view of educating (men - mostly). In this way, SVS is a
> school in that there is ample amount of active-leisure (and not). Just
> sleeping, for example, would not be active leisure.

You are completely right about leisure being connected with the
word "school" (via the Greek.) And yes, in *that* sense Sudbury
*is* a school. But it is *not* a school that provides *education*:
at least not as the word "education" is mostly understood to mean.

Best wishes,

Ardeshir <http://homepage.mac.com/ardeshir/AllMyFiles.html>

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