“Earth School”

August 25, 2010

Fall is in the air, which means it is back to school time.  For most of us that brings up memories of shopping trips to buy pencils, crayons, notebooks, clothes, new shoes, both when we were kids and then with our own kids.  I can still remember my own first day of school, standing behind my mom, begging her to take me with her and not leave me with a room full of other little kids and a kindergarten teacher named Mrs. Griblin.  Her very name sounded way to close to goblin, and taking one look at her stern look, imposing bosom and sensible shoes… well I was just sure that she was one and would just as soon gobble me up for lunch as read me a story. 

 For most of us, our school days, all the way up through graduate school are some of our most powerful memories.  But once we leave that behind… then what.  What about our “continuing education”? 

One of my drop dead favorite authors is Anne Lamott (If you haven’t checked her out, please, oh please, do.  Traveling Mercies, Bird By Bird are just two of my favorites.  She says that we are all here in what she refers to as “Earth School”.  How great is that?!  Earth School.  We are all enrolled and it is public education at it’s finest.  It isn’t dependent upon federal funding, test scores, grading curves or political agendas.  No debate about the value or not of home schooling or charter schools.  From the second we appear on this earthly scene we are on campus and school is in session.

The beauty of Earth School is that we each have our own lesson plan.  The syllabus is drawn from each and every experience that comes our way.  Our learning and our education is built a moment at a time, a choice at a time, an experience at a time.  

So just what are we meant to learn in our very own institution of higher learning?  Just that… higher learning, and while we are heading up, let’s head in every direction… deeper learning, broader learning, wider learning.  Our core curriculum encompasses coming to understand who we are, what we believe and what gifts and talents we can bring to our fellow students and our global campus. Our electives include exposing ourselves to the creative, spiritual, and physical classrooms available to us.  To truly have a well rounded education we might all consider traveling “abroad”.  Which doesn’t have to mean that we fly to a distant country, although it might.  Rather it means that we take a risk and venture out of that which is comfortable and familiar.  It means that we are willing to listen to ideas that are quite contrary to our own with an open mind. Not a day goes by that we don’t have the opportunity to sit in the front row of our own class and soak up the lessons. Learning is about choosing to live with a sense of curiosity and inquisitiveness, while at the same time engaging our critical thinking and analytical skills.

 Every day we have the choice to show up, ready and eager to learn, grow, expand and contribute, or, we can skip class, cheat on the test or call in sick.  The school bus is on the corner… Are you going to make it on time?

written by Molly Davis for one of our favorite websites http://stylesubstancesoul.com/category/matters-that-matter/

2 Responses to ““Earth School””

  1. Elissa Says:

    Molly. Great stuff, wonderful writing. It brought back memories, and brought in contemplation. Thank you.

  2. anna powell Says:

    So well said!
    I hope you guys are busily writing your book!

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