swimming in the compromise

slide from glossary deck

slide above from glossary slidedeck found on this page.

and written out below…

swimming in the compromise

Schools today are filled with people, lovely people. People that have no ill intentions. People doing their best to make things, to make life, better. However, most people are bound by policy. The policies the institution of school has birthed and bred, now hold many captive. The following speaks of teacher and student. We’re thinking it addresses a captivity most all of us are in or have been in, teacher, parent, admin, etc.  This is us, each one of us, swimming in the compromise:

Defining children as full-time pupils permits the teacher to exercise a kind of power over their persons which is much less limited by constitutional restrictions than the over wielded by the guardians of other social enclaves. Their chronological age disqualifies children from safeguards which are routine for adults in a modern asylum – madhouse monastery or jail.

Classroom attendance removes children (teachers/admin) from the everyday world of Western culture and plunges them into an environment far more primitive, magical, and deadly serious. School could not create such and enclave within which the rules of ordinary reality are suspended, unless it physically incarcerated the young during many successive years on sacred territory. The attendance rule makes it possible for the schoolroom to serve as a magic womb, from which the child is delivered periodically at the school day’s and school year’s completion until he is finally expelled into adult life.

We are rather concerned to call attention to the fact that the ceremonial or ritual of schooling itself constitutes such a hidden curriculum. Even the best of teachers cannot entirely protect his pupils from it. Inevitably, this hidden curriculum of schooling adds prejudice and guilt to the discrimination which a society practices against some for its members and compounds the privilege of others with a new title to condescend to the majority. Just as inevitably, this hidden curriculum serves as a ritual of initiation into a growth-oriented consumer society for rich and poor alike.           – Ivan Illich, Deschooling Society

for more on calling into question how we spend the hours of our day: redefining success as slidedeck as ebook

click to hear Adam recite..  swimming in compromise



added note..

in regard to swimming/drowning.

one lesson taught in lifeguarding is to never go in alone. to get back-up (people, line, preserver) first. don’t just jump in.

this image is embedded in my mind, even though my heart thinks it would just jump in.

the embedding part comes from a middle school experience. my friend’s brother and his best friend were seniors, and i think it was senior ditch day. they were up in the mountains and the rivers were crazy. one got caught in a current, the other went after him. they both drowned.

the heart part comes loving people. and being a lifeguard. i can’t imagine not lunging.

i’m feeling this now.. with a people experiment. daily there are people/things i’m dying to jump in after (not referring to the conferences per se – but the thousands of worthy causes.) but perhaps then it would be a fate like b & a on the mtn. ie: in 5-10 years we’d realize we’d crafted yet another/prettier/friendlier bandage.

it’s a daily battle to hold out.. till we are ready… till we have no-strings-attached. so we don’t all drown.

too doable. too urgent.

a narrative for 100% of humanity.


two-loop theory ness – as hospice rather than jumping right in