Is School Relevant?

A student I taught nearly two decades back contacted me recently regarding Teacher Eddie’s YouTube commentary on Boyinaband’s song, “Don’t Stay in School” (lyrics here).  In a nutshell, the song indicts the British Education System for its emphasis on traditional learning topics and its neglect of pragmatic, practical, and useful life skills.  Eddie offers similar [...]

Walking

Long walks take up valuable time. I willingly surrender roughly a dozen hours of that time each week. And surrendering it, I still keep every moment of it, and ponder that very mystery as I go. I never listen to music when I walk--or, at least, music that is not already in my mind. I [...]

Wrong Number

When I was a child, I thought life was vigorous enough just having one brother.  My brother Mark and I held places in each other’s lives alternately as best friends and bitter enemies.  That rendered us similar to many pairs of siblings. As I approached adulthood, my parents had divorced, and my mother remarried.  This [...]

Thanksgiving 2020

The waning year abridges days, The trees grow bright with red and gold Inside, the hearths with logs ablaze Dispatch the looming cold. Some dear ones, dear the more for care-- Contagion rends the world in parts-- Today sit elsewhere as we share The feast of thankful hearts. Our longing for the ones not near [...]

Excursion

With the gray light of a November morning Entering the windows at the end of the corridor, She feels the hour is too early To enter her classroom. Instead, she leaves her satchel at the door And walks the full length back To where she thought her day had begun And out again through the [...]

What Victory?

As it becomes apparent that former Vice-President Joe Biden has more than the 270 electoral votes needed to become the next president, the political left---nominally embodied by the Democratic party---will cheer, celebrate, and cast predictions for good things to come. But even for the Democrats, and certainly for true progressives in this country, too much [...]

Friday Poetry: For a Frame

A pity, when today we write our verse, So often we withhold a formal shape, As if when timeless revelation comes It suffers if we brutally impose The harmful mass of a containing crate. Our fashion favors freer, sleeker lines, So swiftly flying, soaring ever high, Diminishing in distant altitude The revelation it may well [...]

Vedanta and the Ego

Some weeks ago, I presented a topical explanation of Vedanta, one of the schools of Hindu philosophy that has interested me for some years. I listed the Five Kleshas, or poisons, that Vedanta cites as sources of suffering. Today, I would like to explore Asmita, or as some teachers call it, self-non-recognition. The term Ego [...]