Monday, February 18, 2008

AWNM Meaning Fishbowl/LiveBlog Per. 3

Participants for February 22nd LiveBlog:

Bud Hunt:
Bud is an instructional technologist for the St. Vrain Valley School District in northern Colorado. Formerly, he taught high school language arts and journalism at Olde Columbine High School in Longmont, Colorado. He is a teacher-consultant with the Colorado State University Writing Project, an affiliate of the National Writing Project, a group working to improve the teaching of writing in schools via regular and meaningful professional development. Bud is also the co-editor of the New Voices column of English Journal, a publication of the National Council of Teachers of English.

Christian Long:
Christian is a high school English teacher and coach working at a college-prep, preK-12, independent school in Ft. Worth, TX. In addition to working in schools as a teacher and coach for over ten years (prior to his return in the fall of 07), he spent several years working with architects/planners, educational and technology leaders, policy makers, and communities to design and build schools from pre-K through the university level. This work took place throughout the United States and around the world.

Will Richardson:
Will is “Learner in Chief” at Connective Learning and the author of the recently released Blogs, Wikis, Podcasts and Other Powerful Web Tools for Classrooms published by Corwin Press. His blog Weblogg-ed.com is dedicated to discussions and reflections on the use of Weblogs, wikis, RSS, audiocasts and other Read/Write Web related technologies in the K-12 realm, technologies that are transforming classrooms around the world. He is a national advisory board member of the George Lucas Foundation. Will lives in New Jersey.

Stephanie Sandifer:
Stephanie describes herself as “an educator with a background in visual art and design.” She is currently employed at a Houston, Texas area high school in an administrative position focused on school improvement, and her personal interest areas related to that include: school size and structure, leadership (including distributed and teacher-leadership), technology integration, experiential learning, and the elimination (or radical revision) of No Child Left Behind.

232 comments:

1 – 200 of 232   Newer›   Newest»
Karl Fisch said...

We'll start in a couple of minutes everyone.

Will said...

BUUUUUDDDDD!!!

Stephanie Sandifer said...

Hi Bud! Hi Christian!

Bud said...

Wiiiiiilllllllllll!. It's been too long.

Bud said...

Hi, Stephanie - Congrats again on the new additions!

Will said...

Oh yeah...congrats Steph!

Karl Fisch said...

let me know if you have any problems with the audio or video. Mebeam sometimes cuts out but I don't know because we minimize it after showing them your heads at the beginning.

Karl Fisch said...

steph - twins, right?

Will said...

wow..sounds just like my school used to sound.

Stephanie Sandifer said...

Thank you! Yes -- one is sleeping on the sofa next to me and the other is having a mid-morning bottle :)

Will said...

audio is really choppy right now, but it might be my connection...fading...crud

AlyssaC said...

Do you think that with out meaning your life won't be fulfilled?

AmberG said...

So, what did you guys think of Meaning? Did you like reading this chapter?

Bud said...

I guess I wonder about where we get our meaning from. I think there're lots of folks trying to tell me - and you - what's meaningful and important. Like Hallmark. Valentine's Day is all about somebody else deciding that a particular day is meaningful.

So, do you think meaning should be an internal or an external thing?

Will said...

Back

jeffreys said...

@Amber, I had a lot of disagreement with this chapter. I think that finding meaning in life is important, but being spirtual and walking in circles is not the way to do it.

Will said...

I think your life is much more fulfilling if you find your passion (i.e. meaning)

delaney n said...

I think you do need to find meaning to some extent for your life to be fulfilled. I don't know the extent that needs to be reached, but some sort of meaning in life is vital.

Is there usually one overall meaning in someone's life or can meaning be many things?

Bud said...

@Jeffreys: But might those be okay for other folks? Ismeaning universal - do we all need to agree about what's meaningful, or is it individual - whatever works for you?

Stephanie Sandifer said...

@jeffreys in what other ways do you think you might be able to find meaning -- if not through the methods desribed in the chapter?

Will said...

Bud...do you think meaning and passion are connected?

emilyh said...

I think that not everyone looks for the meaning in their lives and people can be fulfilled simply by being happy even if they haven't found thier meaning.

AmberG said...

Another question to get us started,can your meaning or purpose in life be to help other people find their meaning? Like Mrs. Moritz said she found her meaning when her kids were born, could her kids meaning/purpose be to give her a feeling of meaning?

AlyssaC said...

Bud: I think that you need to find a meaning within yourself, and that should be the drive for you to live, because you can't base your life around everyone else all the time because you wouldnd't have any structure really because you don't have control over anyone else really. So you need an internal meaning to base your life off of, but once you find that you can start having external meanings because oyu already have a base in your life

erinp said...

I thought this chapter was interesting, and pretty deep. It seemed like the most complex chapter, and it made me think more than the other chapters.

Stephanie Sandifer said...

Isn't it possible that finding meaning makes it possible to endure the unhappy moments or unpleasant tasks?

Will said...

Is meaning different from experiences?

matthewg said...
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catherinec said...

Meaning is both external and internal because other people definatly influence your meaning, but internal emotions affect it also.

hollyb said...

Amber- I thought that this chapter was boring. I couldn't really relate to it at all. I also disagree that the only type of meaning there is spirtual meaning.

Bud said...

Will: I think the two (meaning and passion) ARE related - but I don't know if it's cause/effect (I've found my passion because I get what's important.) or something more comples.

matthewg said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Will said...

The meaning of life is a personal thing, no doubt.

AmberG said...

I agree with Jeffrey, I did not get the whole walking in circles thing. Was it a form of meditation?

patrickd said...

Alyssa- I think that without meaning in your life, you won't be completely happy, and for me, life without happiness is not a fufilled life. You won't know what you are living for and will question everything you do.

matthewg said...

I actually didn't like this chapter. I just couldn't relate to this like I could Design, Story and Play. I think, however, that I do have meaning in my life, and I don't need to go looking for it.

Will said...

matthewg how did you find your meaning?

matthewg said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
delaney n said...

Bud- You were talking about Hallmark giving us ideas of "meaning." I do not believe the idea of this sort of generic meaning is at all what Daniel Pink is trying to convey.

How can we get away from this society-driven idea of meaning (being successful, being 100% happy, etc.) and find true meaning in life?

hollyb said...

Emily I agree with you. Many people go through their life with out finding meaning or purpose in their life. People can be happy with out meaning.

Bud said...

Will: Is it totally personal, though? Don't we discover value and meaning and passion and purpose as we relate to others? Aren't there shared meanings? Shared passions? And, aren't some "meanings" always "bad" in the eyes of society?

jeffreys said...

@bud, some people might be able to find meaning through these things, but nobody agrees on what makes their own life meaningful. I personaly don't think that these things would work for me, but they may work for others.

@stephanie, Like I said above, these things might work for some, but maybe not for others. For many people, just having a job that they love is what gives their lives meaning. I think that it is different for absolutly everyone.

emilyh said...

Bud, I think it is impossible to make meaning universal because the individual is the only one who can find thier meaning, someone else can't find it for them.

Kalyn K said...

will- I think that meaning and passion are connected if you want them to be. I personally think that you find meaning in your life you become passionate about that meaning.

matthewg said...

- Will
I find meaning by doing something I deem useful, which could be anything from practicing my religion to drawing.

Every time I refresh, it seems like it posts my comment again! Sorry if it pops up a few times, and I'm trying to delete all the duplicates right now.

Will said...

Bud: By personal I meant my meaning is my own. Certainly, my meaning comes from connecting to others around that passion. Not sure that has to be the case though.

hollyb said...

Here a question: Are there negitive forms of meaning?

Bud said...

@emilyh: But are there ANY universals? My wife and I argue about this.

AmberG said...

Can someone tell me, this book is about making yourself ready for future jobs, so how does meaning help you further your career? The only idea that I have on this is you have to find the right career for you through meaning,but that does not say much.

catherinec said...

Delaney-
I think that the problem with our society diven idea of meaning is that you don't have to be 100% happy in order to find meaning.

Bud said...

@Will: Gotcha.

Kalyn K said...

bud- what do you mean by some meanings are "bad" in the eyes of society?

Stephanie Sandifer said...

Very good point -- I think the terrorists did have meaning

AlyssaC said...

Do you think that having a 'realizing' moment will help you find meaning in life? Will this help you find deeper meaning?

Bud said...

@amberg: Life's more than jobs. I think that's Pink's point. And I hope you agree.

hollyb said...

Hey stephanie, when you had children, did they give you meaning in your life?

AmberG said...

Holly, I think meaning can come from negitive things, but I don't think finding your meaning can ever be negitive... well unless you belive that your meaning is to do something bad to the world.

catherinec said...

Bud-
Like Delaney said, I think there are false universal meanings created by our society

Mike H said...

How might the "meaning" in your life impact the college you choose to go to or employment you might seek?

hollyb said...

and congrats.

Bud said...

@kayln K: I think your classmates are talking about some interesting examples.

Stephanie Sandifer said...

@amberg
I think you'll find that various people have different theories on finding meaning in work/careers --

Some will say "follow your passion" and you'll do work that you enjoy and find meaningful...

Other will say that it's possible to find meaning in any career and the challenge for all of us is to find that personal meaning regardless of what we do for a career...

patrickd said...

Holly- I think there are no negative forms of meaning because it is like what Ashley is saying about 9/11, it may seem like it is bad meaning but it is dependent on the point of view because for the people doing it, it was a good meaning.

matthewg said...

kalyn k-

I think that "bad meaning" goes with what they're saying in the inner circle, about some religions that glorify dying for a cause, like Japanese komakozies (probably misspelled that).

erinp said...

I agree with Catherine. Sometimes, I think bad experiences can help you find meaning. If someone close to you died, you wouldn't be 100% happy. The experiences that happen to us make us who we are, and can help us find our meaning.

Kalyn K said...

Holly- I think that you can't define a universal negitive form of meaning because what one might think is bad another will see as good.

OliviaO said...

Hey I have a question for everyone. Does age matter when you are trying to find your meaning in life? Can your purpose or meaning in life change?

Bud said...

@olivao: My purpose certainly continues to change and evolve as I get older, have kids, etc.

Stephanie Sandifer said...

@hollyb
I am a very introspective person by nature and I have always tried to find meaning and purpose in life.

What happened when the babies were born (even before that when we knew they were on their way) was that my outlook on life, my priorities, and my sense of meaning/purpose changed dramatically.

What was important to me before is not neccesarily the same now.

catherinec said...

But I think when we think about meaning, we think of our job. Do we mostly find our meaning in our career path?

AlyssaC said...

Olivia: I totally disagree when people say you have to be older to find meaning, because I think that it's what you have experieced in your life (as I've said about a billion other things) that help you find meaning and a realization in your life. SO I think you can find a meanjing for your life at any age

matthewg said...

@oliviao

Purpose can definitely change, but it doesn't have to.

Bud said...

In regards to happiness and meaning, there was an interesting article in Newsweek recently about happiness and value - I thought it was a fascinating read and speaks well to whether or not there's meaning in unhappiness. Here's the link:

http://www.newsweek.com/id/107569

Kalyn K said...

Olivia- I think that it is harder the younger you are to find meaning but I think if you find your meaning young there is always a possiblity it will change.

Mike H said...

@oliviao, yes, I think your meaning in life can change and it should. If it's 20 years from now and you have your own family, I would hope your meaning is different than now. If your meaning doesn't change, that probably doesn't show much growth in your life.

OliviaO said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Stephanie Sandifer said...

@olivao
Absolutely it changes (see post above)...

I've found my focus and sense of meaning change several times for several reasons (births, deaths, moving across the country, etc.)

emilyh said...

Bud, I think that the large meaning of your life, can only be found by the individual, though some people can have the same meaning as you do. I guess that the meaning of Valentine's Day is also universal but that is not the meaning of your entire life.

catherinec said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
hollyb said...

Stephanie- not to get personal, but what was your meaning before you had your kids?

patrickd said...

Olivia- I think that your meaning in life can change because it is what Alyssa was saying, you can have one of those moments where you realize what is going on around you. That point is not only a point where you can find a meaning but also change your meaning.

patrickd said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
AlyssaC said...

Catherine. I think that people make the mistake of making thier job the meaning to their life instead of just putting meaning to thier jobs. Because the meaning of oyur life shouldn't be just your job.

Will said...

having some internet issues...back for the time being

delaney n said...

Meaning being universal is like the question of if good and evil is universal. As we talk about the terrorists' meaning it is both a positive and negative thing. For them, it is positive because they are following their religion but for us, it obviously was bad. It is like the question of if good and evil is universal.

Will said...

There are multiple levels of meaning in life. Personal, professional, spiritual, etc.

catherinec said...

Matthewg-
So then can purpose change, but not meaning?

matthewg said...

@mike h

If your meaning doesn't change, I would think that you've found a good, solid meaning in life, wouldn't you?

AmberG said...

Oliva, I think anytime after like 5 when you start to really understand things you can find your meaning. I don't think you can change your meaning. Meaning is something that may really bring you joy, and hopefully it will so you never have to worry about knowing that you have found the correct meaning. I have a feeling that on day you will say "I know this is what I want,and need to do" and then never change.

Mike H said...

@AlyssaC I agree with you 100%

OliviaO said...

Thanks for answering everyone. Of who answered do you have meaning in your life now? How often does your meaning change? What is most important to you and what gives you meaning?

Will said...

Right...it's your life's work. But that work can change.

Stephanie Sandifer said...

@hollyb
That's complicated, but in essence I can sum it up like this --

Before children I was more career focused and now I am more family focused -- even to the point of looking for an employment change that would allow me to work from home (distance ed, e-learning, consulting, etc.)

matthewg said...

@Catherinec

I don't see why either couldn't change. I think that purpose will definitely change, but meaning doesn't HAVE to change.

hollyb said...

oliviao- I think when you are very young, you already have meaning. You have the meaning to learn the new world. Then I believe that you lose that meaning when you get older.

Kalyn K said...

Okay I have a question for you guys....Do you think you have to have passion to find meaning?

Bud said...

@oliviao: Wow - big question. I feel little bits of meaning when I help someone solve a problem, or can make someone laugh, or whenever I write something that I'm proud of. Holding my two little girls is pretty meaningful.
But I don't know that I'll ever feel like I've found my complete meaning/purpose/place in the universe. Someone in class said that you might not know until the end of your life - I don't think I agree with that - but I don't think I ever will be able to say, with 100% complete certainty, that I've found my complete purpose.

Stephanie Sandifer said...

will said "There are multiple levels of meaning in life. Personal, professional, spiritual, etc."

Personal example -- my "professional" meaning has changed dramatically since becoming involved in the education blogosphere and other web 2.0 social networks.

Will said...

What about many of the transcendentalists who found meaning in solitude?

Bud said...

I think you have to care about something to do something meaningful.

AmberG said...

Olivia, I have not found my meaning and nothing has clicked saying this is it, this brings you joy and always will. Have you found yours?

Mike H said...

@matthewg, sure I think you can find one early that you can stick with, for example, becoming Christian or having a child. However, even there it changes. For example, I have an 8 and a 4 year old (I'm the visitor in the room, not a student) and my girls will always be the center of my life. However, right now, I have a different influence in their life than when they will be teenagers and adults. Right now, I'm focused a lot on their day to day needs. Later, i'll be focused on their long term needs. It's subtle, but I think a different "meaning" in my life. Good point!

hollyb said...

Stephaine- thanks for answering my questions :)

emilyh said...

Olivia, I think that people who are older are more focused an bringing in meaning to thier life because they realize that they don't have that much time left. Kids are sometimes less focused on this because I think they think that they have plenty of time to find even though they really don't.

Bud said...

@will: But they found that meaning in response to their time with others.

raelangas said...

The inner circle was talking about finding your meaning. As a teenager I feel that everyone has a set purpose and meaning for me. My parents want me to get good grades, graduate high school and go to college. My paster wants me to minister Christ to others and go to youth group. I believe that teenagers need to discover their own meaning and they can not let others tell them their meaning.

Will said...

I think the key is changing the way you live if the meaning in your life becomes lost, or if there is a higher, more profound meaning that you find.

jeffreys said...

@kalyn, I don't think that I passionatly search for meaning in my every day life. In fact, I very rarly even question if my life had meaning.

AlyssaC said...

Amberg:

Yea I have had a moment where I 'clicked' and I realized that I waan't living my life the way I shouldn't and I found a meaning in my life and I started living my life in a better way for that meaning.

Will said...

raelangas...that's a great point, and one that marks a transition into adulthood.

Kalyn K said...

Jeff- But do you think you have meaning in your life?

OliviaO said...

Amber- Good question, to tell you the truth I think I have found my meaning, it may be lame but right now my meaning in life is to be healthy happy and get through high school and enjoy my life as much as I can..

Stephanie Sandifer said...

@emilyh
I think that's a good observation. When I was a child, my sense of what life is/is about changed when I experienced the first close death in my family (grandmother when I was 16) -- I suddenly became more aware of mortality and my sense that life does end became very real to me.

matthewg said...

It seems like meaning for people is a reason to stick around here. Like taking care of kids, or working, or whatever else. That would mean that you can have more than one "meaning" right? It seems like in this definition meaning and purpose are the same thing.

AmberG said...

Kalyn, I have not made finding my meaning a big part of my life because I'm happy and I have the rest of my life to do that. Now, I may not live until I'm 90, but I hope so, but I do not feel I need that now.

Bud said...

@will: Yeah - it's can you walk the walk. I think most of the people I respect and believe in are constantly fighting the fight of matching their actions to their beliefs. That's noble. And really, really hard.

catherinec said...

I think that meaning is more long term, not like in the next couple of years, but the BIG picture of our life.

jeffreys said...

I think that there is meaning in my life, I just don't think I put a focus on finding it. I don't see a reason to look for a meaning when I could just wait for it to come to me.

Will said...

@bud You're right. It is really, really hard. It's one thing that makes us all human.

erinp said...

In response to Mrs. Moritz's question: I wouldn't do the same things I had planned. I think I'd take in the $10 million because I like my life too much to end it or be told I only have a certain time left. If I got the money I could do all these things that I have wanted to do, and at the end of it, I'd still be alive (hopefully!) But if I were told I only had a short time left, I'd do everything I wanted and spend time with everyone I loved, because a year would be over before I knew it.

Will said...

Do we have to be materialistic? Do we have a choice?

matthewg said...

Teenagers can often be rebellious to their parents and authority. Is this because they are trying to find they're own meaning and make their own choices in life, or is it just an attitude problem?

AmberG said...

Olivia, I don't think that is lame, and that is my purpose now too, but I don't think it is my life purpose.

AlyssaC said...

I think that people are hesitant to start things or to do things because they seem to just always be waiting for the right time, or for the time to come for them. ANd that the people who really have found meaning are the ones who have gone out and starting meaning.

OliviaO said...

Hey! The inner circle has a good discussion going on about this question so why not see what you guys would do. If you got 10 million dollars or found out you only had a year to live would you still do the same thing you are doing now tomorrow?

Stephanie Sandifer said...

@matthewg That's a good question. Do teenagers jsut have. by nature, an "attitude probelm" or is it more about finding one's own identity and purpose in life?

raelangas said...

If I had one year to lived or 10 million dollars I would defiantly change the way I live. Before I die I want to travel and experience new things. When I die I want to have memories of excitement. I want to leave my mark on the world. But then I think that why am I waiting? If you are waiting to "live your life" why are you waiting?

catherinec said...

I don't think that there trying to find the meaning of life at the age of 15. Like Jeffery said, we rarly think about the meaning of our life. Teenagers are just trying to discover the limits of their world.

delaney n said...

There's a song called Three Wooden Crosses by Randy Travis and there is a line in it that says "its not what you take when you leave this world behind you, its what you leave behind you when you go".

How do you interpret this related to meaning?

Will said...

But again, I think meaning is built around passion. Just starting a charity if you're not passionate abou the cause doesn't bring meaning.

Bud said...

@matthewg: Probably some of both. But mostly, I think it's a manifestation of the fact that parents have plans for their kids, and teenagers begin to have plans of their own. Even the best parents, who recognize that teens have their own plans, sometimes react poorly to that realization. And teenagers, too, aren't often in the place to see that for what it is - so there's more struggle.

matthewg said...

I really don't think that teenagers would have an attitude problem because of their nature. I really think it's because they're making their transition to beginning to think for and take care of themselves. I think there's a problem if they aren't rebellious.

hollyb said...

If I only had a month to live, I would not continue the way that I am living right now. Just like the movie Last Holiday, I would be traveling, spending money, doing the things I always wanted to do in life.

Stephanie Sandifer said...

@oliviao
If I got 10 million dollars -- I would still be involved in education, but I would then have the freedom to be more flexible in how, when, and where I am involved. I would also buy a new bigger house for my growing family!

If I found out that I only had one year to live then I would definitely spend more time with my family -- which is something that I am already trying to do right now (before it's too late).

OliviaO said...

Rae-I dont think that as teenagers have much if a choice about living their life yet because we are so held down and restricted. What do you think?

Mike H said...

Kalyn wondered if you needed passion to find meaning. I think there are times that you can act first, and then find the passion. For example, if you play a sport, did you start it b/c you WANTED to, or because mom and dad signed you up, and then you found you loved it

AmberG said...

Olivia, If I was going to die soon, I would probablly stop doing school work, my friends are here and I put alot of effort into my school work, but if I'm not going to make it to a job anyway, I don't need to use school to "prepare for the future"

patrickd said...

About the 10 million dollars question, in fifth grade, my math teacher gave us a project where we had a million dollars and we could spend it on anything. Being the young person I was then, I had no idea about finding a meaning in my life so I spent it on candy and cars. Now that I am older, I think that if I was given a project like that again, I am closer to finding a meaning so I would spend it on a more sesible solution. Do you think that if you told a fifth grader about meaning, they would have enough understanding to realize what to do and spend it on good things unlike me?

Will said...

Coach basketball

Will said...

find other ways to funnel your passion into building meaning.

emilyh said...

Will, I think that in the overaundant society that most of us have grown up in , the only way that we know how to live is being materialistic. I think that our standard of living is so high in relation to the rest of the world that we are incredibly materialistic but we don't realy break away from that because that is how we live. I think that some people don't realize how fortunate they are and take it for granted so they are over-materialistic.

Kalyn K said...

Mike H- Interesting point

Stephanie Sandifer said...

In response to question about basketball in college -- will your life have meaning ever again if you don't play basketball...

Yes -- but it will change and you will have to figure out some way inside of yourself to refocus and find new meaning.

Will said...

Meaning comes from what you do...it's a product of action, not a precursor.

matthewg said...

With the 10 million dollars and one year to live thing, the only way to tell what you would do is for it to actually happen. Often, you would like to think you would do something good and worthwhile with that money, but would you really, if you were ACTUALLY presented with the opportunity?

AmberG said...

That's a cool connection patrick, and I know what you mean.

OliviaO said...

Stephanie- Good answer. It says above that you just had twins?(Multiples are fun! Im a triplet!)Are they the meaning of your life right now or do you have more meaning in other areas?

raelangas said...

Delaney: "its not what you take when you leave this world behind you, its what you leave behind you when you go". I think that this line means that people wont remember you for what you wore or the cell phone you had. People will remember the great accomplishments that you made.

AlyssaC said...

Once you find meaning in your life do you think that you come to peace with the fact of dieing?

Will said...

emilyh -- I agree. I'm wondering though, if we know that to be the case, can we choose not to care so much about what we have?

delaney n said...

Everyone says meaning just comes to you. What if you are homeless? Is that your meaning in life? How can we find meaning in a situation such as that?

Will said...

Let's sing!

Bud said...

@will: Yes.

AmberG said...

Lets talk about the inner circle, do you agree with Jennifer that you will find a meaningful job without school's preparation for jobs?

matthewg said...

@alyssac

It depends on if it's a good meaning or not.

catherinec said...

Will-
I agree!

Kalyn K said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Will said...

I think schools have to do that. We're losing too many kids to boredom and irrelevance by making everyone take the same curriculum at the same time (for all intents and purposes.)

Stephanie Sandifer said...

@oliviao
I wouldn't say that the twins are my purpose in life -- but they are part of the bigger picture and they are a catalyst for change in my life -- change in routine, change in focus, change in needs and desires, change in meaning and purpose...

In terms of my meaning or purpose in my career -- that has changed because of my online interactions with other educators and now the babies have impacted my focus on work/life balance.

Mike H said...

What if something you had "meaning" ends? Say basketball . . . what if it's your life, your passion, then you blow a knee. What if you're passionate about Clinton, Obama, or McCain, and your person loses? How do you handle the loss of meaning?

AlyssaC said...

Matt G:

So do you think that if you find a good meaning in your life, that your more with ease woth death in your life??

raelangas said...

I do not think that schools are helping you find your meaning. You have to explore and discover your own meaning. I believe that most of the things we learn in school are meaning less facts that are not going to help us in the future. I would much rather be developing my creativity through acting and singing classes than memorizing which layer of the earths atmosphere is the coldest.

hollyb said...

Delanye- I think that homeless people want to live their life like that. That is their meaning is to just get through the day alive.

Bud said...

Music IS math - but that's not the reason why you have to take the test.

catherinec said...

Will-
A lot of the time kids drop out beacuse they just are not interested in the classes that are offered beacuse it is not their passion

matthewg said...

@will

It's odd, because learning about the Nazis and their efficiency in using concentration camps, I've been drawing a lot of comparisons between that and school. Of course, however you look at it, school is definitely on a lower scale than the concentration camps.

delaney n said...

@holly- so then is that their life meaning? How can people handle situations like that when they are so far gone already?

Will said...

We need to help kids become passionate about learning. We do that by connecting them to the things they love. It's much more complex, but in this world, learning is more important that knowing...

AlyssaC said...

Mike H:
I don't think that your soul meaning should be based off of something that's not within yourself. Because there is no stability or base in the world to base your meanings off of because of all those things that should happen.

Will said...

matthewg -- ouch

Kalyn K said...

Bud- That is the truth, music is math. In fact, in my honors math class we just discussed how math is music.

Bud said...

This conversation is fascinating to me - I wonder about schools as credentialing stations and how much longer that will work. I also wonder about the necessary essential information anyone needs to have to thrive in society. And how much of that you ACTUALLY get in school, versus how much of it you find on your own via passion-based exploration.

Stephanie Sandifer said...

@catherinec
Our schools in general are not designed to educate all students (despite stated mission/vision satements). Until we transform the system, kids will continue to drop out.

emilyh said...

I think when you are in fifth grade you may have a natural instinct of what meaning is and what your meaning is but you don't relaize how short life is and At least for me, I didn't understand other lifestyles of the world as I do now. I think that now I would want to use that money to help the rest of the world than I did in fifth grade becasue I didn't understand about the sufferings of the world or the solutions.

catherinec said...

Holly
most homeless people don't want to live like that, they just choose not to fix the problems that their faced with

matthewg said...

@alyssac

I really think that if the meaning is good, as in worthwhile, that you're not going to be afraid of dying.

Will said...

There are many ways to learn...my learning community online is more powerful and important than any classroom learning I've done. Ever. Period.

AmberG said...

Bud, music does involve math, but does it involve every kind of math? In order to be good at music things, do you have to know how many angles are in an dodecahedron?

raelangas said...

Matt- What do you mean that schools are like concentration camps?

Bud said...

Does school serve a "lowest common denominator" by protecting society from people who don't have passions?

hollyb said...

delaney- Now that I think about about it, I believe that homeless people use to have some sort of meaning. Then then lost that sense of meaning when they became homeless and created a new meaning in their lives.

Will said...

Instead of teaching "stuff" let's teach learning. You are going to have to know how to learn a whole heck of a lot of stuff on your own.

Will said...

amberg -- What's a dodecahedron? Serious.

jeffreys said...

@bud, everyone has a passionm just not everyone discovers what it is. You may be following your passion every day and not realize it.

Bud said...

@amberg: Point taken - but I find that the connections between weird bits of math and music and science and literature and history and people are what make the rich fabric of the world so interesting and meaningful to me. Whether or not - and usually in spite of - how useful those bits of information may or may not be to me in a job.

Stephanie Sandifer said...

@bud
Not sure about that... Your question makes me think of the school system/prison system connection... eeek!

patrickd said...

Matthew, I see your comparison with school and the concentration camps. I might seem a little wierd but I do see how we are getting rounded up and transported in high numbers(bus) to a place where there are people with a lot more power than us and we have do do what they say.

Bud said...

@will - 12 sided polygon. Right?

emilyh said...

I think if we make a conscious effort to not care about the materialistic things we have,we can, but we would have to fully commit to not caring because of the pressures of society which tells us that we have to have certain things.

raelangas said...

I do not really understand how music is all math, can anyone help me?

matthewg said...

@will

It's mainly that everyone learns the same thing, and that it's required to go here. It's such a rigid, inflexible system that doesn't conform to individual students, except in severe cases where students NEED extra help.

Kalyn K said...

Do you think there is only 1 meaning in our life?

erinp said...

I agree with Catherine (again!) because I can't remember when but we were talking about homeless people and how they would decide not to get a job or accept food when all they want is money. They choose to live like that and not fix the problem although they probably don't want to live like that.

Bud said...

@jeffrey: I hope you're right. I used to completely believe that. And I wish that schools sought to both nurture everyones' passions as well as helped to make connections between them.

delaney n said...

patrick and matthewg- wow. I never really thought about that before. How scary...

hollyb said...

Rae- You have to count the notes, that's math.

AmberG said...

Will, That proves my point, we spent 8 weeks learning about it this year and by the time we get a job, it does not matter. It is a solid figure that has many properties and is made up of hexagons.

catherinec said...

I think there is only one meaning, but many, MANY purposes

Will said...

Meaning occurs in the moment. Is this moment meaningful? Are you putting your best effort into it. Meaning is not a summative assessment...it's ongoing from moment to moment. If you do that, everything takes care of itself. Not saying that's easy, mind you...

Kalyn K said...

Erin- Some homeless people do not choose to live that way. Sure some of them do. But there is also tons of them who have mental disabilities.

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