Monday, July 13, 2015

Walking with dogs and kids (and Proustian sentiment)

Signed off this morning's podcast about walking with children somewhat plaintively with the unpremeditated lament that, while I used to walk with dogs and kids, now it's mostly dogs. The kids prefer to drive.

But, I should hasten to add, I do still walk with kids: the kids at school, when we make our rambling class rounds. Planning to expand the peripatetic classroom format this semester, especially with the 8 a.m. Intro to Philosophy ("CoPhilosophy") class. We'll wander the groves of our middle Tennessee Lyceum just as Aristotle and his followers wandered theirs, back when their homeland was still solvent. Sitting rigidly still and silent before breakfast makes no sense to me at all.

8 to 9 has long been my favorite morning walk-time. In fact, I've come to regard it as my sacred hour.  Nothing - doctor's appointments, committee meetings, philosophy classes - has been allowed to interfere. I'm not about to let that change, just because the scheduling and room allocation tsars have decreed that we must occupy that slot or none at all. We'll occupy it alright, and with a bounce in our steps. Or at least in mine.  Some students may sense that a grade could be at stake, but that should only quicken their pace.

While I'm indulging the sentimental mood for those days of yore when the pre-collegians who happened to share my roof and my last name walked with the dogs and me enthusiastically, without any hint of obligation or compulsion, I'm tempted to hunt up and share some old and gauzy images of our dogs-and-kids expeditions of yesteryear.

But maybe this borrowed image, reproduced in yesterday's Times review, will paint the picture with just a little less tint of embarrassment for them. The day will come, I promise, when (like me now) they're beyond embarrassment and feel only nostalgia for temps perdu.

And there's my self-reminder to address the question I posed the other day about Proust and Whitman. I will, eventually, time permitting.

No comments: Accelerating Intelligence News