Saturday, February 11, 2012

No Child Left Waiting For Superman

As the states opt out of The No Child Left Behind Act, it is clear that we aren't getting where we need to go using a national model. Looking at a documentary like Waiting for Superman shows a very clear need for a ground-up model. We need to make changes at a local level to help our children learn. Our children are literally the only real health insurance. It doesn't matter how good your policy is if your nurse's aide can't read and can't do the math for your injections.

Monday, February 6, 2012

Mu: Do We Really Need Complexity to Be Happy?

I was reading Zen Flesh, Zen Bones, which rarely references itself, and came across an anecdote referencing the Gateless Gate's first koan. It goes something like this: Does a dog have Buddha nature? The answer given is Mu (no-thing). In the anecdote a man is given this one paradox and thinks about it for two years. In this way, he becomes enlightened. Really? He didn't need a doctoral thesis? He didn't need five hundred retreats with Tolle or whatever puckish German fellow replaces him? Just one single paradox, and a great deal of thought. Here in Maine we momentarily pause for rest. They are called snow days, or ice days, or "the weathermen panicked and we cancelled even though there isn't any snow" days. But the rest of the country just keeps building speed. We're hamsters on a wheel that's accelerating down a hill to nowhere.