I dare you.
Philosophy and Nonsense      
(Thoughts about writing, education, and experience.)    Presented by Forrest D. Poston

The first goal of teaching is to strengthen, deepen and refine our intrinsic love of learning. All other goals and all methods must stem from that idea. Any that do not support that goal must at least be questioned and adjusted, if not eliminated. Otherwise, we are not teaching but training.
Think, I dare you.

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Learning patience only requires two things: time and patience.


Years ago a teacher said that he enjoyed conversations with me because I was "lucid." Other people don't always seem to agree, and while this site isn't likely to resolve the dispute, spreading the confusion to a wider audience should produce some good conversation, which is one of life's greatest delights. I'll be posting ideas about general philosophy, education, composition, and bits of quirkiness that may occur late at night.


This site is for both students and teachers, anyone who likes to think, who wants life and education to be more than memorize, regurgitate and forget. Feel free to use or adapt the ideas here. Of course, I wouldn't mind getting credit, especially when the ideas work, but more than that I'd like people to get in touch. Let me know what you tried and what happened (or didn't). Ideas are like clay: the more you work it, twist it, squash it down and start over, the more workable and useful it becomes.


Essays in the first column focus directly on issues relating to education and writing.  Some are off on the theoretical, philosophical end, while others have more immediate applications in or out of the classroom.

The material on the far right is rather varied with my essays and poetry, plus some material from former students.  The essays range from the obviously serious to the mysterious, romantic, and absurd.  Thesis statements are scarce, but I think there's meaning even when it's not as overtly stated as a pie in the face.  Still, most of this material is for general entertainment with just the hope that they'll also generate an idea or two.  I hope you enjoy them.

Some of these essays were written long ago, some of the poetry goes even farther back.  Some need revision, I'm sure, but they may still induce a chuckle or a thought, or a chuckle at my thinking.  One friend with insight said that I'm at my most serious when I appear to be joking. I'm also at my most irritating when my pompous aspect takes control. If you run into some pomposity I neglected to edit, just pretend that it's really an attempt at humor.


In the picture above, I'm the one with the longest fur over the least of my body, Forrest D. Poston, teacher, student, writer, auction junky, idealist, and cat cushion. I've slipped past 50, still writing my dissertation, and hoping to find a college that lets me teach students to do more than memorize, regurgitate, and forget. In the classroom, I do look marginally more professional, and just because I have long hair doesn't mean that I'm a revolutionary. Then again, it doesn't mean that I'm not.  Once upon a time (high school actually), I had short hair, black plastic glasses and wore plaid polyester way too often. I was no more or less revolutionary in my philosophy.  Still, I do have a tendency to bring out latent insecurities in some people without trying, perhaps because in their eyes I'm a revolutionary.  Sometimes, rational and revolutionary are the same thing.

If you have thoughts or questions, feel free to get in touch.

     From time to time, a student decides to use some of my ideas, or perhaps they even quote me in a paper. Great, I'll take what fame and traces of immortality I can get. However, I should also warn such students that my ideas are not always the things that your teachers want to hear. I'm a stubborn idealist, and that puts me at odds with quite a bit of education theory and literary criticism. Sure, I think I'm right about some things, and I'm sometimes convinced of my own brilliance, but don't jump into the fire blindfolded.


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Writing and Education

Autobiography Challenge

Considering Conclusions

Considering Introductions

Conservation of Mistakes

Four Meanings of Life

Godot and the Great Pumpkin

A Major is More Minor Than
You Think

The Poetry Process (A look at 4 versions of a poem.)

Thoughts About Picking a Major

Quick Points About Education

Quick Points About Writing

Reading Poetry and Cloud Watching

Revising Revision

Reviving Experience

Reviving Symbolism

Using an Audience

Videos (short looks at poetry, movies, and more)

What Makes a Story True?

Why Write?

Writing and Einstein (The Difference Between Information and Meaning)

Writing and the Goldilocks Dilemma

Links to Other Sites
Other Essays and Poetry

Something Somewhat Vaguely Like a Resume

Alec Kirby, Memories of an Earnest Imp
Being Like Children

Beyond the Genes (Dad)

The Blessing and the Blues

Bookin' Down Brown Street

The Cat With a Bucket List

Conservation of Mistakes

David and the Revelation

The Dawn, the Dark, and the Horse I Didn't Ride In On (an odd, meandering, semi-romantic story)

Getting a Clue

Ghost Dancer in the Twilight Zone

The Hair Connection and the Nature of Choices

I Believe in Capra

The Mug, the Magic, and the Mistake

Roto, Rooter and the Drainy Day

Sadie on the Bridge

Trumpet Player, USDA Approved



Selected Poems

The Poetry Process