Journal Notes, It’s Sunday, july 4th,

Hello, Today is the 185 th day of the year. Here in Tampa, FL where I am sunrise is at 6:39am, Moonrise at 8.13pm.

What’s your lattitude and longitude? Mine are latitude 27.9193357, and longitude: -82.506322 for this address: W Santiago St, Tampa, FL 33629, USA

Now there was a period, of a few days or weeks, when I did know when the sun rose. Not any more. Only that it rose in the East and brought the morning with it was about all that I could say. I never knew the time of the moonrise.

Now I notice that there are today about 14 hours, almost, between sunrise and moonrise. The moon follows the sun? Is that always true? But wait a minute neither the sun nor the moon rises. Isn’t the earth turning, and turning around the sun, not around the moon. I would point out that we don’t know, at least most of us, 99.9 percent of us don’t know at any time the time of sunrise or moonrise. Not the school’s fault.

There are things we’ve always known about things that ought to bring us together. But instead even as we grow ever more intertwined, we stay ever more resolutely separate from one another, group from group, individual from individual.

We live on the same planet but on that same planet we live in thousands, tens of thousands of different worlds. You might say that’s the way it is, that it’s always been this way, but that’s not true. Things change, and more important, beliefs change and we change with them. Some different worlds do get together, as the contries in 1945 after the war.

Thoughts on Education. Now it can’t really be done, take away a child’s ignorance, even our own ignorance. Also most of what is known is known only in part by specialists of the parts.

So what is it that we try to teach children in the schools? When I was in school, in public high school and later at an independent private educational institution, education was most of all having to memorize , and then giving this back at test time.

Things are better now, now we teach children to think, or to understand, knowing whole lines, whole stories rather than bits and pieces here and there. And I suppose that’s an improvement.

Yet when we look closely at our graduates they know no more how how to think than they did when they had to memorize the Krebs cycle in organic chemistry class (I had to do that, but I’ve long forgotten what it is). Do students still have to do that now?

Why is it so hard for us to see that education can never be having kids learn this or that, because the this or that are infinite and nothing within that infinity of things and ideas is more valuable than anything else in that infinity.

Like at MHS, public school, my having to learn vocabulary lists in English, and Spanish classes, and the lists say of the major wars fought in Europe in modern times, and any number of other such lists.

Education has to be something other than acquiring information and our school systems haven’t yet learned what that is.

While it’s really all very simple, isn’t it. Education has to proceed from what’s already there in the mind and heart of the learner, has to be what interests him or her, what corresponds to what he or she might like to do with their lives, not all about what we want them to do with their lives. The latter doesn’t work and more than anything else has accounted for the failure of our schools. Why isn’t this cried out from a bully pulpit so that everyone can hear it?

Why is this so hard to understand, that learning can’t be imposed on the learner, but that the learner has to seek himself, what and how to learn. The best we can do is to make suggestions, and to share, perhaps, when appropriate what we are doing.

Lessons drawn from Donald Trump at Mount Rushmore.on July 4? Are there any lessons to be drawn?

He certainly made us aware of the divisions that separate us.

Isn’t what any one of us humans see as the whole world is only what those same “any one of us” happened to have encountered, whatever belief we happen to have adopted as our own, the result of this being that it’s really, happenstance, chance that principally drives us. Why don’t we walk away from the separations, join up with others who are always in fact more alike us than different?

Now in Trump USA there are those, perhaps more than ever before who want to hold onto the differences between us, for they like being different, being rich rather than poor, white skinned rather than dark or colored. And who can argue with them, that rich is not better than poor, that white skin is not better than dark because if nothing else your chances of becoming rich are greater.

You could say that those who are white and rich understandably want to keep the country that way, and not share the country’s land and riches with those who come here often as refugees and mostly poor.

And you could say also that the Donald, The President, if he understands anything at all understands that those coming here from what he calls the “shit-holes” of the world, the tens of thousands of Central Americans for example who came here looking for better lives are in Trump’s eyes a foreign invasion and have to be stopped. And if not by a wall, by soldiers with guns. Trump would keep these people out, and if they were somehow already here Trump would deport them, often having separated the children from their parents.

And Trump’s actions would seek to assure his gun toting base that they, his base, white and rich, would never have their guns taken away from them.

While many are against Donald Trump’s ideas, see him as a major threat to our democracy there are very few who would stand up against him. Certainly not the Republican Senators, also known as Trump’s enablers.

Am I just one? There have been a very few others on the world stage, one in particular being Angela Merkel who in 2015 allowed millions of fleeing Syrians into her own country Germany.

Might we encounter another one, a Jimmy Carter redux perhaps?

Back to education talk and notes. Why is it so hard to understand that learning can’t be imposed on the learner, that instead the learner has to learn by his own efforts powered by his own interests. The best we can do is to make suggestions to him and when appropriate to share with him what we are doing ourselves.

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