Sunday, September 05, 2010

Learning and Lore

It was inspiring to recently discover that the word “learn” is related to “lore”, for it gave this brand new school year a special air of honor and glory. “Lore” refers to a body of traditions and knowledge on a subject or held by a particular group, typically passed from person to person by word of mouth, and I feel honored to think that I am part of this essential and somewhat sacrosanct process. I’m proud to take part in the indispensable work of “passing the torch” – handing down whatever wisdom I’ve been blessed with to the generation on the rise. Teaching, after all, is not simply about telling kids a collection of facts; it’s more about making a pristine, state-of-the-art world with and for them. A teacher’s task is to pass along the seeds of wisdom so new sprouts can spring up in the students for years to come, sprouts that will become ideas for fresh and more wonderful ways of living. As a teacher, I have been entrusted with the task of giving the good gifts of humanity’s knowledge to the young scholars in my classes. I teach poems and stories, but what I really teach is lore – the stockpiled wisdom that hopefully will let the new generation be relatively joyful in the journeys ahead.

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