Most adult music lovers have heard of John Cage, the pioneering American composer. But even if you don’t know anything about Cage’s copious musical contributions, you can learn from this avant garde influencer’s impact on education.
Sister Corita Kent, a personal friend of Cage, credits him with inspiring a list of rules for both teachers and students that has, in turn, inspired very many others. Education, like all other arts, is a process that demands the best work of its collaborators to produce the finest results. Whether you are a student or a teacher (or more likely both), consider applying these clear rules to your craft:
RULE ONE: Find a place you trust, and then try trusting it for a while.
RULE TWO: General duties of a student: Pull everything out of your teacher; pull everything out of your fellow students.
RULE THREE: General duties of a teacher: Pull everything out of your students.
RULE FOUR: Consider everything an experiment.
RULE FIVE: Be self-disciplined: this means finding someone wise or smart and choosing to follow them. To be disciplined is to follow in a good way. To be self-disciplined is to follow in a better way.
RULE SIX: Nothing is a mistake. There’s no win and no fail, there’s only make.
RULE SEVEN: The only rule is work. If you work it will lead to something. It’s the people who do all of the work all of the time who eventually catch on to things.
RULE EIGHT: Don’t try to create and analyze at the same time. They’re different processes.
RULE NINE: Be happy whenever you can manage it. Enjoy yourself. It’s lighter than you think.
RULE TEN: We’re breaking all the rules. Even our own rules. And how do we do that? By leaving plenty of room for X quantities.
HINTS: Always be around. Come or go to everything. Always go to classes. Read anything you can get your hands on. Look at movies carefully, often. Save everything. It might come in handy later.
Great rules one and all, but they’d probably be more catchy if someone had thought to set them to music!
(Hat tip to Bob Gilvey of SelectPrep.)