Friday, February 25, 2005

The end of the chapter is so close I can taste it. Come on, big conclusion! Baby needs a new pair of shoes! While writing I'm listening to a CD I found used at Ithaca Books the other day, the Dilletti Pastorali of Johann Hermann Schein. Somehow it seems appropriate that the guy's last name would mean "appearing." Beautiful baroque choral music—a suitable soundtrack to what I'm writing. Other distractions: a new blog called The Great American Pinup with some refreshingly direct and thoughtful appraisals of poets as diverse as Mary Jo Bang and Adrienne Rich. And then there's this invitation from a new local outfit called the Ithaca Free School: anarchist education at its finest. I found the invitation letter inspiring and got permission from the School's founder to post it here:
My greetings to everyone.

I want to invite you all to join the email group for the Ithaca Free School. I hope
to generate more interest and participation in the School.

At present we have about ten regular or semi-regular participants. Our classes
mostly take the form of reading and discussion groups. There are no teachers,
although in some cases attendees with relevant knowledge may serve as facilitators.
All our classes are free and open to anyone with an interest in the subject matter.
Each class adapts its schedule to the needs of the participants and its pedagogical
procedure to the exigencies of the material. Classes are formed based on mutual
interest of at least two people. Therefore, if you have a friend, an interest, and
a time, whether one-time, weekly, bi-weekly, or monthly, we can declare it a Free
School class. The structure is intended to be as decentralized and
non-authoritarian as possible.

Our current subjects include Plato, Aristotle, Euclid, Lucretius, Shakespeare,
Chaucer, Blake, the Bible, Heidegger and introductory Latin. Prospective classes
include German, the Cantos, American history from primary sources, the
Transcendentalists, and Dante. We have a weekly potlatch 7pm Thursday evenings at
the home of David Brazil and Crystal Koening. Our weblog
( updates daily with schedules, announcements, course
notes, and so forth.

At a time of political despair in our country, it is my belief that the individual
can best contribute not through alienated forms of protest politics but rather by
rethinking social practices and putting alternatives in place, here and now. Our
commitment to free education, to a non-institutional format, and to a common
interest in culture, is meant to question the usually unconsidered greed, ignorance,
selfishness, and obedience to power which governs our country, our cultural life,
and too often our own hearts. I hope that people who are committed to rethinking
education, and not only education, will contribute to this email group and
participate in the school.

For those of you out of town, I thought you might be interested in the goings-on. I
think this idea is one whose time has come (or come around again), and I hope it

Best wishes to all -- David Brazil
They have a blog you can check out here. Right. Enough procrastinating. Either this chapter goes down or I do.

No comments:

Popular Posts