Sunday, April 3, 2011

Yoda Says Do (Embodied Aphorisms)

I wrote recently about a phrase that popped into my head one morning.   I was thinking about how to explain my five year old on her best days.  The words that popped up into my head were "fearlessly creative."  And then I thought, what does that mean? 

Well, the most important thing that it means is that when you are fearlessly creative you DO no matter what.  The doing doesn't have to be Art with a capital A, but a lot of times it has to do with making something.  So, you just DO.  Even if doesn't turn out exactly the way you planned.  Even if it's not perfect (whatever that is).  Even if it amounts to nothing.  Even if it just leads you to the next question or the next idea. 

In the process of mulling over this idea, a classic aphorism popped into my head:

You never know until you try.

And then I wondered what other words of wisdom speak to the doing, so I asked my Facebook friends and here's what they came up with:

Practice makes permanent.
Nothing ventured nothing gained.
All work and no play makes Jack a dull boy.
If at first you don't succeed, try, try again.
Genius is 1% inspiration and 99% perspiration.
Failure is always an option. (Myth Busters)
"Play your own special music, play your own special song; play your own kind of music, even if nobody plays along..."  (Mama Cass)
Do, or not do.  There is no try. (Yoda)
Just do it. (Nike)

When I look at this list I see Math in Your Feet.  And, I think the program embodies almost every saying there:

Practice makes permanent.  Kids practice and practice and practice.  It's part of the process.  And then, lo!  They remember and they understand! 

Nothing ventured nothing gained.  You just gotta get going.  Move your feet.  Even though getting started is sometimes the hardest bit.  The journey of a thousand miles begins with one step.  Literally.

All work and no play makes Jack a dull boy.  Kids play with math for possibly the first time in their lives. 

If at first you don't succeed, try, try again.  Trying is like practice, you just do it and see how much further you can get with each try.  If it's not working, then try something else!

Genius is 1% inspiration and 99% perspiration.  Yes, we perspire in Math in Your Feet.  I would expect nothing less!

Failure is always an option.  You know, I don't really require the kids to be good dancers, or even good at math.  I just require they be present and put in the effort.  Plus, in my experience, I've learned more from failure than from doing something exactly right.

I'm thinking I might make these aphorisms part of the residency reflection and wrap up.  Wouldn't that be cool?  "Okay kids, have you ever heard the saying 'If at first you don't succeed, try, try again'?  Yes?  Well, give me one example of how it relates to your experience in Math in Your Feet this week."

We'll create a whole new assessment trend:  Aphoristic Assessment.  It's at least worth a try.  I'll let you know how it goes!

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