Sunday, October 26, 2008

The meaning of life

In On The Road, Kerouac summed it up thusly: "...our one and only noble function of the time, move" (1976, p. 134). Perhaps a hint at Kerouac's answer to the BIG question: what is the meaning of life? (By the way, this passage is the subject of Day 66 of The Beat Handbook.)

I don't know what the meaning of life is for you, but for me it's in part about learning. Endless learning. We are born learners. And born teachers. By teaching we learn (docendo discimus). There is one Gaelic word for both teaching and learning: foghlaim. I have it tattooed on my shoulder, which I think is some evidence of my commitment to the principle.

All of which is why this cartoon is especially poignant but also frustrating, since I can relate it to too many of my students.

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