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Find the Others

Admit it. You aren’t like them. You’re not even close. You may occasionally dress yourself up as one of them, watch the same mindless television shows as they do, maybe even eat the same fast food sometimes. But it seems that the more you try to fit in, the more you feel like an outsider, watching the ‘normal people’ as they go about their automatic existences. For every time you say club passwords like ‘Have a nice day’ and ‘Weather’s awful today, eh?’ you yearn inside to say forbidden things like ‘Tell me something that makes you cry’ or ‘What do you think deja vu is for?’ Face it, you even want to talk to that girl in the elevator. But what if that girl in the elevator (and the balding man who walks past your cubicle at work) are thinking the same thing? Who knows what you might learn from taking a chance on conversation with a stranger? Everybody carries a piece of the puzzle. Nobody comes into your life by mere coincidence. Trust your instincts. Do the unexpected. Find the other…

Michael Rosen: Statement from Minister for Telling Everyone That ...

Michael Rosen: Statement from Minister for Telling Everyone That ...: As Minister for Telling Everyone That Things Are OK Really, I'd like to repeat that inequality is not really a problem. Apart from anyth...

Traditional and Person-Centred Education Compared

Traditional education Rogers describes the major characteristics of “conventional education as we have known it for a long time in the United States”: The teachers are the possessors of knowledge, the students the expected recipients.The lecture, or some means of verbal instruction, is the major means of getting knowledge into the recipients. The examination measures the extent to which the students have received it. The teachers are the possessors of power, the students the ones who obey (Rogers adds that Administrators are also possessors of power, and both teachers and students are the ones who obey – and that control is always exercised downward).Rule by authority is the accepted policy in the classroom – the authority-figure – the instructor – is very much the central figure in education.Trust is at a minimum – the teacher does not trust the students to work well without supervision and constant checking, students distrust the teacher’s motives, honesty, fairness, competence. Stu…

The Bridgewater Boulder and the Prostrate Girl

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Good God — the eastward position, and all creation groaning! The quotation is from Jude the Obscure and references two clergymen debating the fatuous positioning of the eastward altar in the midst of human tragedy. Hardy's words echo in this post.

Having just attended a wonderful classical music concert at the Bridgewater Hall, Manchester, I was very taken by the giant stone shaped sculpture outside the hall, the 'Ishinki Touchstone', created by Japanese sculptor Kan Yasuda. Or rather I was taken by the impromptu addition to the artwork, which is why I took this picture:

I thought it was so unexpected, out of context, and so, funny! Others did, too, I enjoyed watching their amused reactions. It was only afterwards, after the concert, looking again at the picture, that I noticed a small huddled figure on the right hand side, just to the right of the bust of conductor John Barbirolli. It's a young girl and she is begging for money from the concert-goers. I didn't se…

Curious monkeys all connected

I find this quote, from the remarkable Brain Pickings, to be both accurate and optimistic - it's a kindness, really, to remind ourselves that we are not the overlords of the universe, but rather thinking monkeys trying to make sense of all that we are and all that we find at hand:
I consider that we are still monkeys; we just came down from the trees rather recently, and it’s astonishing how well we can do. The fact that we can even write down partial differential equations, let alone solve them, to me is a miracle. The fact that we ourselves at the moment have very limited understanding of things doesn’t surprise me at all. And then something about what we have called 'God' as our universal connection in growth:
I like to describe [God] as the “world soul” — which was my mother’s phrase — so that we are little bits of the world soul. And so it may well be that we are part of the world’s growth. That’s the kind of world I would like to live in, and as a working hypothesis …