The Ritual of Learning

Ritual is important. It is a way of transferring knowledge and beliefs.To ritualize is to learn. That is a rather Masonic view of learning. In a way I agree, yet I also disagree. Much to my amazement I am fully immersed in learning. I am trying to teach so much more than I know. Yet I am successful. I am surrounded on all sides by incredibly smart people. Awestruck I tell stories. Most of the time I do not finish my stories, I become distracted as my mind jumps around. This is certainly not ritual. I encourage and challenge, then look to my past for real life stories.

So I wonder how I teach, what is my ritual. What is my methodology. I believe in empowerment. I absolutely do not believe that I know more than the students and I need to make them believe what I believe. I summarized that some time ago with my saying “I am not programed to program”. When I say that I am not talking about software. I stay away from things I perceive as propaganda.

I tell my students that when I was your age they told me not to trust anyone over 30. I say you are the future, I will try and help you learn from my history. I explain what the times were like for me back in the 1970’s. Then we talk about the future. I explain that there is a variety of of opinions depending upon people’s backgrounds.

The best part of teaching is learning. As in I am learning. I listen, and try to relate to what I hear. Manufacturing makes our lives better. We would not be what we are without items that have been manufactured. We have to find our place in a manufactured society.


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