a noddings nod

going to see "memoirs of a geisha" in a few hours. yay. after a whole day of articulating about ups, downs, and people who really haven't been doing their jobs, over a poor internet connection and sconeez fare (still not a big fan of scones, but if i must eat a hockey puck made of sand, it might as well contain chocolate chips) ... i am ready to go home. it hasn't been a bad day, though ... the weather, for one thing, is perfect. sweater weather. windy, driving rain. the kids are outside stomping through pool-sized puddles. so i'm sequestered in the classroom, because who i am i to deprive them of this basic joy? downside: it is flu season ...

as of late, also turning a blind eye to: lunchtime. a lot of my kids don't touch their lunches. i can't say i blame them. but some are occasionally hungry enough to eat their own lunches plus others' ... a big no-no, "sanitation"-wise. keep your mitts off your neighbor's fish sticks. but i feel that by fifth grade, you know if you're hungry, so there's no point in trying to force them to eat. if there is someone hungry enough to willingly eat not only his own sloppy joe, but also his neighbor's, then it makes more sense to me to let him eat it than to throw it away untouched. so many school rules discourage or outrightly prohibit the humane behavior whose "loss" in schools we bemoan. most, like the prohibition of food sharing and of touching, are driven by liability concerns. understandable. but in many educational environments kids are also discouraged or forbidden to talk or move interactively. combined with a curriculum that leaves little room for spiritual growth or cultivation of kinesthetic occupational skills, this all spells disaster. fifth grade is too early to develop ennui. see one of my favorites, nel noddings' the challenge to care in schools: an alternative approach to education. "a person engaged in a spiritual quest can use and enjoy logic, poetry, fiction, music, art, architecture, archaeology, dance, service, prayer, and introspection" (p. 50). i don't consider myself to be all that alternative, frankly - but then, that's because i don't see character education or care ethics, in their truest senses, as alternative, but rather, essential.

a.m. jewel:

e.f.: so what happened afterschool?
andrew: me and david -
e.f.: it's david and i!
andrew: all RIGHT, david and I ...

p.m. jewel:

ms. d_c: do you have tapeworm?!
student: i don't know. i'll ask my mom.

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