August 11, 2004

"We all run around in a ring and suppose/ and the secret it sits in the center and knows."

Sometimes I think there is one thing most learning is about: the way some discrete thing changes when one adds context or background or backstory -- something that's different and yet relevant. Think of the difference between being at a family celebration as a stranger and being there as family, having known all parties most of their lives. The accents under parts of the celebration are so different: one feels weight here, remembers here, treads lightly here. That's the model for lots of learning: look at this, take account of that, then go back to this and see how it has changed.

And all such learning is on two levels: one sees an African mask or an expensive present or a recreated pioneer fort differently, and one sees objects in general as centers of webs of connection and context one just hasn't mastered yet. One gets access to some things, and one learns a style of approach, an attitude, toward other things.

Posted by shea0017 at 1:10 PM