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robertogreco : memoirs   6

You Have a New Memory - Long View on Education
"Last night I nearly cleaned out my social media presence on Instagram as I’ve used it about 6 times in two years. More generally, I want to pull back on any social media that isn’t adding to my life (yeah, Facebook, I’m talking about you). Is there anything worth staying on Instagram for? I know students use it to show off the photographic techniques they learn in their digital photography class. When I scrolled through to see what photos have been posted from the location of our school, I was caught by a very striking image that represents a view out of a classroom.

One of the most striking things about Instagram is how students engage with it (likes) way more than they do our school Twitter stream. I care about where their engagement happens since in the last two days of learning conferences, many students told me that they got their news through Snapchat. But neither Instagram nor Snapchat are where I have the interactions that I value.

This poses a serious challenge for teaching media literacy, but also for teaching the more traditional forms of text. With my Grade 9s, we have been reading and crafting memoirs. How does their construction of ephemeral memoirs on Snapchat and curated collections of memories on Instagram shape both how they write and see themselves?

Even though I understand how Snapchat works, I will never understand what it’s like to feel the draw of streaks or notifications. And with Instagram, I’m well past a point where I’m drawn to construct images that vie for hundreds of likes. I’m simply not shaped by these medias in the same way.

Beyond different medias, students really carry around different devices than I do, even though they may both be called iPhones. Few of them read the news on it or need to sift through work emails. But in both cases, these devices form the pathway to a public presentation of self, which is something that I struggle with on many levels. I’m happy to be out here in public intellectual mode sharing and criticizing ideas, and to reflect on my teaching and share what my students are doing, and to occasionally put out parts of my personal life, but I resent the way that platforms work to combine all of those roles into one public individual.

Just this morning, I received the most bizarre notification from my Apple Photos: “You Have a New Memory”. So, even in the relatively private space between my stored photos and my screen, algorithms give birth to new things I need to be made aware of. Notified. How I go about opting out of social media now seems like an easier challenge than figuring out how I withdraw from the asocial nudges that emerge from my own archives."
2017  benjamindoxtdator  instagram  twitter  facebook  algorithms  memory  memories  photography  presentationofself  apple  iphone  smartphones  technology  teaching  education  edtech  medialiteracy  engagement  snapchat  ephemerality  text  memoirs  notifications  likes  favorites  ephemeral 
october 2017 by robertogreco
Totto-Chan: The Little Girl at the Window - Wikipedia
"Totto-chan, the Little Girl at the Window is a children's book written by Japanese television personality and UNICEF Goodwill Ambassador Tetsuko Kuroyanagi. The book was published originally as 窓ぎわのトットちゃん (Madogiwa no Totto-chan) in 1981, and became an instant bestseller in Japan.[1] The book is about the values of the unconventional education that Kuroyanagi received at Tomoe Gakuen, a Tokyo elementary school founded by educator Sosaku Kobayashi during World War II, and it is considered her childhood memoir.[1][2]

The Japanese name of the book is an expression used to describe people who have failed."



"The book begins with Totto-chan's mother coming to know of her daughter's expulsion from public school. Her mother realizes that what Totto-chan needs is a school where more freedom of expression is permitted. Thus, she takes Totto-chan to meet the headmaster of the new school, Mr. Kobayashi. From that moment a friendship is formed between master and pupil.

The book goes on to describe the times that Totto-chan has, the friends she makes, the lessons she learns, and the vibrant atmosphere that she imbibes. All of these are presented to the reader through the eyes of a child. Thus the reader sees how the normal world is transformed into a beautiful, exciting place full of joy and enthusiasm. The reader also sees in their role as adults, how Mr. Kobayashi introduces new activities to interest the pupils. One sees in Mr. Kobayashi a man who understands children and strives to develop their qualities of mind, body and his concern for the physically handicapped and his emphasis on the equality of all children are remarkable. This was especially remarkable in light of the fact Japan was in the throes of a regime not unlike Nazi Germany. Handicaps and religions that were different from the worship of the Emperor were not tolerated. But, we see that "Totto-chan" making best friends with a boy who has polio. And to top things off, this boy is raised in a Christian family which could have jeopardized everyone who associated with them. Another boy that has joined the school was raised in America for all his life and cannot speak Japanese, let alone know some of the basic rules of etiquette. But the headmaster tells the children to learn English from him, despite governmental restraints against using the "enemy's" language.

The headmaster should have been reprimanded for such actions. But in the epilogue, we find that Headmaster Kobayashi had good connections with leaders in government. This connection is hinted when one of "Totto-chan's" friends is mentioned as having an aunt who was a poet laureate of the Imperial Court. That a child with such heritage would be in such an orthodox school would have been unthinkable during this time. There had to be something special about Headmaster Kobayashi.

But in this the school, the children lead happy lives, unaware of the things going on in the world. World War II has started, yet in this school, no signs of it are seen. There are hints of something awry when "Totto-chan" cannot buy caramel candies from the vending machine on her way to school, and it becomes harder for her mother to meet the requirements for a balanced lunch. In another scene, there is a boy who is bawling his eyes out at being removed from the school by his parents, with Headmaster Kobayashi helplessly letting the student vent with tears forming in his own eyes.

But one day, the school is bombed, and is never rebuilt, even though the headmaster claims that he looked forward to building an even better school the next time round. This ends Totto-chan's years as a pupil at Tomoe Gakuen."
books  education  schools  schooling  sfsh  tetsukokuroyanagi  1981  1984  children  japan  learning  howwelearn  howweteach  equality  totto-chan  tomoegakuen  failure  sosakukobayashi  childhood  memoirs  toread 
july 2016 by robertogreco
Notebook on Cities and Culture: S3E1: Buoyancy and Poignancy with Pico Iyer
"Japan's distinctive combination of buoyancy and poignancy, which leads to the pre-savoring of wistfulness to come; the culture's dissolution of mind, heart, and soul all in the same place, and his efforts to build an intellectual infrastructure around his Japan-related intuitions; his recent reading of John Cage, an unexpected master of the Japanese virtues of not knowing and not saying; the necessity, when you want to write about something, to write about something else, and of writing about a passion in order to write about yourself; the Californian question of "being yourself," and its inadmissability to the Japanese mindset; his relief at not having to be Japanese within Japanese society, and what being a Japanese in Japanese society has done to visit a female brain drain upon the country; what it takes to best remain an outsider in Japan, enjoying its peculiar kind of diplomatic immunity, and how Donald Richie mastered that exchange of belonging for freedom…"
passions  memoirs  notknowing  presence  time  fleetingmoments  poignancy  buoyancy  nuance  invisibility  reservedness  quiet  energy  friction  spontaneity  globalization  osaka  english  responsibility  interdependence  compassion  isolationism  isolation  canon  identity  collectivism  community  place  westpoint  books  listening  silence  understanding  vitality  comfort  nostalgia  pre-nostalgia  memory  women  familiarity  attention  donaldrichie  gender  knowing  writing  belonging  california  thoughfulness  japan  intimacy  society  culture  colinmarshall  johncage  2013  via:charlieloyd  picoiyer 
january 2013 by robertogreco
Six Writers on Their Favorite Reading -- New York Magazine
"Beach reads don’t have to be new best sellers or formulaic romances. In fact, summer is the perfect time to dig deep into books, classics and otherwise, you’ve missed. We asked exemplary authors in particular fields to recommend the books that matter most to them—the ones they keep going back to and, in many cases, that made them want to write. Their literary mix tapes, of a sort." [William Gibson here: http://nymag.com/arts/books/features/66294/index2.html
books  lists  toread  reading  recommendations  sciencefiction  scifi  williamgibson  fiction  science  history  historicalfiction  rebeccaskloot  memoirs 
may 2010 by robertogreco
A Lesson In Life From Michael J. Fox : NPR
"As an exercise, I recently picked up a course catalogue from Hunter College, part of the City University of New York. Reading through the curriculum, I recognized how my life experiences could fit into a prescribed outline for an undergraduate education: the one I had supposedly missed out on. Laying out a series of typical college courses, as described in the catalogue, can help make a case that I have, to some extent, fulfilled the requirements for each particular course while having absolutely no idea I was doing it.
michaeljfox  unschooling  deschooling  learning  education  dropouts  memoirs  books  adolescence  teens  decisionmaking  reasoning  brain  development 
april 2010 by robertogreco

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