I’ve been doing quite a bit of reflecting this Spring. Since no one asked I’ll start with the first post and the William Hogarth print that graces the cover of this blog. “Bathos ” or “The End of Everything” was the last work completed by Hogarth and preceded his death by two months. Like all his works it is loaded with small hidden jokes, what we would refer now to as “easter eggs”, a play open to the last page of the final act, a will made out with “Chaos ” as the heir, and every object broken excepting the gallows. Saturn the winged g-d of Death and Time breathes his last in the ruin of the “World’s End “Pub. So a morbid image that expels a lingering cloud of dark humor.
I think all students have felt “the end of everything” the unexpected failure and the certain, looming one. The g-d of time also weighs on all of us heavily. That is why I chose this image and the title. Most students, especially my generation, relate to morbid images and dark sentiment. Yet in all of this there is hope. The gallows is unbroken which means to me that even in the coming world there is still justice. Time, although broken here, is still with us and we all march on. So I hope to give some small amount of hope at least to my future students that they too can survive their education path with success as I will.
I have learned quite a bit in this cohort and of late in this course. One thing that has struck me repeatedly as I read our discussions is how much we all agree on regardless of our differences. There are several constants that keep popping up.
All students should be treated equally with concessions granted on a legal basis rather than an individual level of sympathy. This isn’t as common as you would think outside our cohort.
Education begins at home. I see all of us struggle with deciding how and how many hobbles placed on students by their parents we should try to remove.
We all empathize with the struggling student and want to assist them. Where we differ is on what is appropriate and what is fair.
As for myself I am in awe of the skills of my surrounding cohort and hope to become an educator as skilled as them. It’s not easy for me, my trade is not as familiar or well defined as theirs and it is sometimes difficult to put it in a context that fits the coursework. So I am envisioning a grindstone filling my vision for the rest of the courses as I learn to impart the best of my skills to my future students. Planning is not my strong suit so I try to learn from example with how the more experienced members of the cohort plan things out. I go over their presentations at home and see what I can adapt to mine.
The image above is a tree in my garden that blooms briefly in the spring. It is my favorite tree in the garden and reminded me this Spring of the last time it bloomed when I viewed it from a wheelchair. All things come to an end and hope springs eternal.