Friday, December 16, 2011

"Free At Last"

Well I made it through the Masters program in Dance Education at NYU. I literally had to sing as my very last act of being a graduate student. With the exception of finishing up the final of this class I am done.

I wanted to share a few thoughts before officially being finished. First I really enjoyed looking at everyone's websites and blogs. I thought that many of them were very original and some are quite informative. Love Melania's and Catherine's sites and totally appreciate Rachel for posting the article about dance as a radical statement. I also really enjoyed being in class with people in other disciplines. Even if we did not get to interact as much as I would have liked, it was great to have another energy other than what exists in the dance department. I also think we actually missed many opportunities for cross disciplinary engagement because of how the entire department and program is structured. Maybe there is a technological answer to that, like some of the websites that people designed. 

I also want to put a shout out to my team, S.H.A.R, for doing an incredible job on our project with very limited time and fighting sleep deprivation. I was really pleased with what we came up with and totally into the fact that is was so different from everyone else's.

So as I complete these last few details for this class I want to leave you all with a few thoughts about "higher education" which I have a love/hate relationship with. Here are my queries: What constitutes education? Why is it higher? Why is Elementary education not called Formative education? Why is there "higher thinking"? What does that mean anyway? How important is that piece of paper? And is it more important than education? What happened to life as our teacher about the world? According to Billy Joel, isn't "just surviving a noble cause". Why don't we get credit for that? Have we so codified learning that it is more of a numbing, business-like experience rather then an expansive and transformative one? And as physical learners and educators, why do we still spend so much time learning in an very traditional manner with a large emphasis on knowledge that seems removed form our bodies?

I know, I am so analytical, as my brother has reminded me on many occasions.  So to answer some of these queries with a little light heartedness I have attached some of my favorite quotes that I have accumulated over the years and a few lyrics about the value of life and learning.

always remember :
"the wrong answer is the right answer looking for a different question"

“Life may not be the party we hoped for but while we are here we might as well dance.”

“If I can’t dance I don’t want to be a part of your revolution” 
Emma Goldman (if you don't know who she is, shame on you, but guess what, you can google her and "voila") Einstein would have loved google

“When we walk to the edge of all the light we have
And take that step into the darkness of the unknown,
we must believe that one of two things will happen --
There will be something solid for us to stand on,
Or, we will be taught how to fly.”


“We are what we repeatedly do. Excellence, then, is not an act, but a habit.”   

You were born with potential.
You were born with goodness and trust.
You were born with ideals and dreams.
You were born with greatness.
You were born with wings.
You are not meant for crawling, so don't.
You have wings.   Learn to use them, and fly.

and finally from a song I love and find totally appropriate for my conflicting emotions about "higher education"
from  Closer to Fine by The Indigo Girls
"I went to see the doctor of philosophy
.With a poster of Rasputin and a beard down to his knee. He never did marry or see a B-grade movie
. He graded my performance, he said he could see through me. I spent four years prostrate to the higher mind, got my paper and I was free.
I went to the doctor, I went to the mountains,
I looked to the children, I drank from the fountain. There's more than one answer to these questions pointing me in a crooked line
. The less I seek my source for some definitive
The closer I am to fine."

"Free at Last"