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Thursday, September 28, 2006

Brain GPS

I have been totally off the mark this week, epistemologically speaking. I made two very basic errors of grammar in class this week that have led me to believe I might be forgetting how to put language together. If it is as Lev Vygotsky states that language “is a series of impressions,” then I think I have reached the limit of however many impressions my mind can carry. What’s interesting about all this is that my students have been the ones to notice, not me. I know, I know… with all of this about the move to the new house and all of that the errors might very well be excused. Furthermore, I am not one of those teachers who is easily irritated by students’ corrections. I just think that there is always room for the little error, the lack of presentmindedness that keeps a person on his or her proverbial toes. What a relief to recognize errors, no? Well, not exactly. I shouldn’t say this but I work with some people who are hyper-sensitive to any correction or criticism. Their contention seems to be that their wealth of knowledge is incorrigible, or better yet, as error-free as Our Lord and Savior. But I am getting off track. What I need the most is an error-tracking device—one of those GPS systems which will guide me through the confusing nautical region of knowledge process and pedagogical strata. Having one of those would be a delightful addition to my already crammed brain. But it would go a long way to helping me sort through basic information and avoid common mistakes. I can see it now: teaching as a kind of magical act in which information is presented so clearly to students that they just cannot help but learn. Ah, the perfect world.

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