One of the most inspiring TED talks I’ve ever seen.
For some reason, my brain just turned on. It’s been hibernating for a few days. Over the past few months, the five of us have asked ourselves the critical question that we often try to evade amidst the comfort of our conservative utopian university. What is the purpose of learning?
With the excitement of working with the Ray workers, why not extend this question to the students, faculty and employees of PC? And then it hit me: why don’t we ask this critical question to the entire PC community? Sure, the ideas are undoubtedly in a nascent stage of developing, but we have to start somewhere.
About ten minutes ago, after an explosive facebook thread amongst the edugals, I sent the following email to Dr. Sears, Ms. Yee, and Ms. Hay:
My name is Grace and I’m a senior here at PC. As part of my senior thesis, I am working with four other Global Studies majors (included on this email) on an activism project related to language learning, education, and identity. Thus far, we have re-conceptualized education to mean a broad spectrum of things: learning to cook, learning languages, learning to collaborate, learning to communicate, to explore the world, etc. Over the past six or so months, we have asked ourselves the following critical questions: what does it mean to learn? What is the difference between school, learning and education? How does language learning relate to identity?
Last week, we were notified that our project, titled Visualizing Language Learning: Narration through a Lens was awarded a $700 grant, funded by PC. We are planning on using this money to fund the photography portion of our project. But, we need your help.
In addition to working with the ESL program at PC, we are hoping to bring our ideas to the PC community. In doing so, we urge students, professors and employees to ask themselves the same critical question that has been inspiring us all year: what is learning? If you could learn to do anything, what would it be?
Forgive me for the length of this email, but I wanted to preface my request with some overview of what we are doing. We are hoping to spend part of our grant to inspire the campus to ask themselves the aforementioned question, using the platform of a chalkboard the size of a wall to do so. On the chalkboard (which can be peeled on and off, don’t worry, nothing is permanent!) we would ask a similar question, leave chalk, and hopefully after a few days see what the students and professors have to say.
Clearly this is a big request, but we are motivated and have big dreams for this project. Our intentions are not to instigate controversy or unrest, but just to read what people have to say. We are hoping to utilize a wall in slavin for this chalkboard, but are willing to work with whatever you are willing to provide.
We are also willing to meet with you in person and explain our goal face to face. Please let me know if there is anything I can do in the meantime to get this project off the ground!
Thank you for your time,
If we aren’t going to dream big, why dream at all? It sounds so cliche I almost just threw up in my mouth, but it’s kind of true. In order to sustain the excitement about re-conceptualizing education through a diverse lens, we need to hear from as many people as possible.