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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Stories, and that has made all the difference.

Bookin' Down Brown Street              by Forrest D. Poston

Never one for doing things the usual way, I once ran away to home.  Of course, it made perfect sense to me at the time based on what I knew, or rather what I thought I knew from listening to the older kids in the neighborhood.  According to them, school was a nasty place where only bad things happened, not a place where anyone would go or stay willingly.  Okay, then I wouldn’t put up with it. 

Some of my logic has always been quite direct, simple some might say.  If something isn’t right, then you don’t tolerate it.  Ah, but there’s that little problem of knowing your sources, knowing them, checking them, and making up your mind based on something more than gossip.  Hey, I was six years old.  What did I know about sources?  I determined even before my first day of school that I would run away.

The first recess on the first day of first grade, I was ready to make my break.  The architect had even worked in a secluded corner where the building hid part of the playground, so I had a spot to tell my best friend what I was doing and swear him to secrecy.  Guess the secrecy part would be easier without telling someone, but I’m a storyteller.  Where’s the drama if no one knows what’s happening?

The bell rang to end recess, and I was off, bookin’ down Brown St. for home.  I doubt that I ran the entire trip, a bit over 1/2 mile, but that’s how I always see it.  That stretch is one of my memories seen through the part of me that’s my Watcher Self, a bit that’s me but always seems to be looking on from outside.  In this case, it’s a nice, high shot of this little kid running down the middle of a street that goes on and on.  It’s a common shot in films these days, but this was back in the days of three channels and not a lot of fancy effects.  Maybe I'm a storyteller because part of me sits out there seeing the story, or perhaps part of me watches the story because I'm a storyteller, and sometimes melodramatic.

I have no idea what I was expecting when I got home.  I don’t think I was expecting a reward for standing up for what’s right.  I don’t think I was thinking.  Of course, it didn’t matter since my sworn friend had told everything as soon as he was asked, and I got home to find that my arrival was expected and quite anti-climactic.  Without even time to catch my breath, I was being driven back to school.  The story doesn't always go quite how the storyteller intends, which can be rather confusing, but the story also doesn't always pause when we want time to think.  The drive back was much faster than the escape, and I had another issue coming, something else I couldn't control.

Walking back into that room wasn’t easy.  I was fully expecting a full plate of ridicule and embarrassment, probably some laughter on the side.  Mrs. Hobart welcomed me back and went on with the class.  As far as I can remember, not a word was ever said, not a joke, nary a whisper or a giggle.  All I do remember is that by the end of the day, I no longer felt that school was a wrong to be righted or avoided.  I wasn’t an avid student, but I was having a pretty good time.

Did I have a revelation about not trusting gossip or taking time to gather facts and form careful, considered opinions?  No.  However, I like to think that it was a bit of a lesson learned, a direction to follow.  On the other hand, some things haven’t changed, some ideals and tendencies.  I still don’t believe in accepting what’s wrong or settling for “that’s just the way things are.”  If I’d gone back and found school as bad as described, there’s no doubt I’d have soon been bookin’ down Brown St. again.

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Writing and Education

Autobiography Challenge

Considering Conclusions

Considering Introductions

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


What Makes a Story True?

What's the Subject of This Class? (Being revised.)

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

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

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

Links to Other Sites