Friday, May 13, 2011

Taking a break

Taking a little break from working in the garden. Between teaching, co-parenting, animal care, and trying to get the garden started, I am overwhelmingly busy. I just don't have enough time to get everything into the garden when I'd like to get it planted.

I was thinking about the educational philosopher John Dewey last night. John Dewey writes, among other things, about the role of experience in education. Experience, writes Dewey, is the cornerstone of a meaningful educational experience. Sure we can learn a lot from books. We can even memorize tidbits of information. But in order to really learn something we have to have an experience with it.

When I was 18 I wanted a car. My friend had been given a broken car by his grandmother. Having given up on fixing it, my friend, in turn, sold it to me. For $500 bucks. I knew nothing about working on cars. I could have read the shop manual, and sometimes I did, but I didn't learn how to work on cars until I got underneath one with a wrench. I fixed that car and drove it for another 5 years. Best $500 vehicle I've ever had. It usually ran, and if it didn't, I could make it run within a day or two. I worked on that car in some memorable places.

So, back to the original point, it was the experience of working on cars that taught me how to work on cars. There was no better way to learn than to buy a broken car and possess a strong desire to make it run.

So back to John Dewey in a roundabout way. One of my favorite quotes for my life right now is,

"To find out what one is fitted to do, and to secure an opportunity to do it, is the key to happiness"

I am fitted to do more than just teach in a classroom. I can garden, I can hunt, I can fish, I can care for animals. I can teach on the farm, I can teach at the food c0-0p, I can teach the boys, I can teach my friends. Teaching in a classroom is just one of the many things I am fitted to do. Perhaps another way of saying that would be that I am called to teach. But I can be called to many types of teaching. That calling can change over time. If teaching is my calling, then God will find a way to present me with an opportunity to teach. It is not my place to know how and where and what I will teach. Only to know that when I am called, I must serve.

Don't get me wrong. A salaried job as a school-teacher sounds like it may have some clear advantages, but whatever happens, I will be put to use if I am willing. God, show me how to be willing to serve in whatever way you see fit.

So, I pray that I may open my mind to see how I may serve as a teacher today. Whatever form that may take.

I am so blessed. Time to go plant some snap peas. Blessed be!


  1. As I was reading this, I thought, "Why don't you tell about HOW you do things on the farm?" Why don't you "teach" about the snap peas that you just planted? I'm sure there are people out there, like me, that can learn how to do curtain things. "Teach" on your blog. Just a thought. Either way, I think you are on the right track.

  2. I used to post more recipes when I first started the blog. Maybe I should get back to that. And you're right, maybe more information on "how-to" do what we do here.