Thursday, December 27, 2012

Fighting distraction

Diana Senechal:

To fight distraction is to defend something that matters, something that requires devotion of the mind. This is part of the meaning of study: to honor things through thought and longing. Many dismiss such yearning as impractical; we have enough on our hands, they say, with the daily scramble and the demands of the age. But yearning can pull us out of the scramble; it can calm the scramble itself. The teacher who longs to read about Chinese history will set aside time for it in the evenings. The boy who longs to see a falling star will stay up late, looking up at the sky for hours. in Moby-Dick, it is the Rachel, returning from a vain search for the captain’s lost sons, that ultimately rescues Ishmael from the water near the sunken Pequod and makes the story possible. If we abandon such yearning and seeking, if we defer to the petty demon of “getting it now,” then nothing will be left but our vicissitudes, and we will have no will or thought but to follow them.

Republic of Noise: The Loss of Solitude in Schools and Culture (Lanham, MD: Rowman & Littlefield Education, 2012).
Also from Republic of Noise
“A little out of date”

comments: 2

Geo-B said...

For study to work, I've always thought it required that teachers be thoughtful and students be curious. And that requires time and interest, that the administration allow the teacher enough time without distraction, and that the student have enough time without job or internetly concerns taking precedence.

Michael Leddy said...

George, I think you’d find this book very appealing.