S0metim3s has tagged me with the passion-quilt meme, the instructions of which are as follows: Post a picture or make/take/create your own that captures what YOU are most passionate for students to learn about. Give your picture a short title. Title your blog post “Meme: Passion Quilt.” Link back to the blog entry which tagged you. Include links to 5 (or more) educators.
Yes, straining and fidgeting a bit. I’m tempted to quote s0metim3s’s post at length, as it asks all the right questions. I particularly like the notion that passion can’t be instilled but only sparked. This has been one of the biggest lessons of parenthood for me. Whatever ideas I had about imparting knowledge and imprinting passion have from the beginning been foiled by the real bodies and wills of those little people. Deleuze put it nicely when he said the we learn nothing from teachers who say “do as I do”; the real teachers say, “do with me.”
If passion has any meaning for me, it can’t be as, as s0metim3s puts it, a “vocation,” as the Protestant virtues of single-mindedness and determination. Passion must be (in) the response to the situation and it has to know when to continue and when, as my kids and their mom have taught me so well, to stop. … I’m going to bring in Lewis Carroll to help me with my titles:
She ate a little bit, and said anxiously to herself, `Which way? Which way?’, holding her hand on the top of her head to feel which way it was growing, and she was quite surprised to find that she remained the same size: to be sure, this generally happens when one eats cake, but Alice had got so much into the way of expecting nothing but out-of-the-way things to happen, that it seemed quite dull and stupid for life to go on in the common way.
This picture was taken at her school during a Halloween party, a common place and a common time, at least for adults. The clown costume was found last minute at a thrift store, the hat (plastic bucket) was fished out of the trash and carefully sculpted and painted by her and her mom, and she patiently if unexpertly applied the makeup herself. The role was played with utter seriousness and conviction. For this kid at this time, passion makes things out of what’s available, wants to break beyond the limits of the “common way,” wants to alter its subject, and meets the event with complete enthusiasm. In this case, passion even exceeded the event, as she insisted on wearing the hat and costume the next day.
‘Oh, how I wish I could shut up like a telescope! I think I could, if I only know how to begin.’ For, you see, so many out-of-the-way things had happened lately, that Alice had begun to think that very few things indeed were really impossible.
This picture was taken on the first day of their first camping trip, and it shows how the visit to a new place under novel circumstances can be a spark to passion, which is here not just a fervor but an attention to new possibilities — a habit of thinking that very few things are impossible. The trouble is to begin…. And yes, those are telescopes in their pockets.