Liquid Ink

The official website of Gint Aras, Finalist 2016 CWA Book Award


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Progressive, compassionate education reform

Those of us interested in serious education reform so often bump up against intense opposition, enough to make us feel there’s little we can do as educators or citizens. Thankfully, some people are not left discouraged but take action.

Introducing, The Chicago Wisdom Project and founder Theodore Richards who is also a writer and activist. My conversation with him in a Chicago tapas joint inspired me to profile his mindful and creative approach to educating at risk youth in this week’s True Community, my weekly column about men and education. I hope you’ll check it out and share. This provocative project, which teaches permaculture and art education, deserves wider attention. I feel it’s a model for serious education reform, particularly for inner city schools and urban community colleges.

From the article:

The creative process, of course, is natural. It is not an artifice we impose on ourselves. To create, one must allow ideas to come, let them take their course as we also guide them. Creative ideas grow. Sometimes they’ll be attacked by weeds or insects. They’ll dry up in the sun or get washed away. People will taste them and like or hate them. They are born, ripen, rot and die, yet they are never “finished” completely; they lead to other ideas in endless cycles. The most valuable lesson of exploring one’s creativity, especially for a young person, is that we wish to perfect things but can never be perfect. Creating—cultural participation vs. cultural consumption—is a process. Its purpose is to journey, not to arrive.

Click here for the full article.

Wisdom Project


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College graduate who drives a taxi

This week, I got driven to work by a taxi driver who actually graduated from the college where I teach. He earned his liberal arts associates degree in 2003 and has been toiling through the remainder of a math and teaching degree ever since. I was so moved by his story that I profiled him in this week’s True Community, which I hope you’ll read and share.

taxi

 

Photo by Antony Mayfield.


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Independence is a myth (part 2, the expanded version)

I’ve written about this topic before, as long-time readers of my blog will know. This week’s True Community article deals with the myth of independence. Any basic look at human interaction makes it clear that we are interdependent, and that our fate and lot is determined not just by the actions of neighbors but by people who’ve long since died. Why does that offend us? Why are we so reluctant to think of ourselves as members of systems instead of islands.

I hope you enjoy tonight’s article.

Here’s another bit on the same topic from 2012, titled The Pre-Birth Menu.

Three Lamps


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Shaming men who seek higher education

This week in my column, True Community, I compose a portrait of a young man whose masculinity is pestered by his brother and father. His crime? He wants an education and to become a Spanish teacher.

I hear stories like these from young men very often. My hope is that, after reading my article, you’ll realize just how much courage and determination—even stubborn will—it takes to continue on when your family elders do not merely fail to support you but actively attempt to bring you down, either from jealousy or ignorance, usually from both.

I hope you’ll share it.


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Top 3 Education myths

Please don’t miss today’s True Community article that I’ve composed for The Good Men Project. It’s titled Top 3 Education Myths and How They Affect Men. Here’s an excerpt:

When you’re told education is something you need, you look at it the same way you look at a bologna sandwich or a sewage system.

Cheers.