The Kitchen Drawer: Wednesday 10/12/13

drawerWe’ve all got one. That drawer where everything goes that doesn’t quite have a place, and/or for which we need to do some other stuff first to create a place, and/or, always, which we’ll get to later. Actually, right now that drawer is my garage.

<—– What IS that thing in the middle? Also, see the apple slicer underneath? Mine is in the exact. same. place. There is something about an apple slicer that defies categories. This should be what we tell students. “When life gets you down, just be an apple slicer, kids.”

To prevent a garage from occurring on the blog, I’m introducing a new category called “The Kitchen Drawer,” which will present to you in one place the neat stuff I’ve collected on education over the days.

Today’s Kitchen Drawer is from the Greater Good Science Center at UC Berkeley, which conceives of its mission as”to explore the roots of happy and compassionate individuals, strong social bonds, and altruistic behavior—the science of a meaningful life.” So this is research wrapped up in a spa robe, which is my kind of candy. You’ll probably see a lot of stuff from the GGSC on here in the days to come.

The Silent Epidemic in Our Classrooms is about how to help yourself see a misbehaving child as not “a bad kid or a mean or oppositional kid… [but] a scared kid.” This insight has been one of the most helpful ones to me as a teacher. Zen Buddhism, which I’ve been doing some small exploration of recently, states that all strong emotion can be boiled down in the end to fear. Interesting, this is exactly how the great thespian Stanislavski taught his acting method, which is based on the idea that every impulse of your character, in order to be true, has to be walked back to “…or I will die.” As in, “I must have this woman, or I will die.” Or, “If she makes me do this homework, I will show her how stupid I am, which means she will reject me, and all adults will reject me, and no one will take care of me… and I will die.”


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