Sunday, September 28, 2014

This Is Water

I included this link in my first think piece, but I am including it in this blog post as well because it is one of my favorites.  The video contains audio from an excerpt of a commencement speech given by David Foster Wallace at Kenyon College in 2009.  Take nine minutes and check it out if you can…it will open your eyes to how you view the world:

Lisa Delpit's piece, "The Silenced Dialogue: Power and Pedagogy in Educating Other People's Children" made me think of of Wallace's "This Is Water".  In his speech, Wallace challenges individuals graduating from a well-known university to broaden the perspective and not be as quick to pass judgements on others.  This idea reminded me of Delpit's piece.  The fifth aspect of power, according to Delpit, is, "Those with power are frequently least aware of -- or least willing to acknowledge -- its existence.  Those with less power are often most aware of its existence" (Delpit 24).  When people fail to recognize others'  perspectives and possible struggles, they will fail to exist in harmony with one another.  Delpit also said, "Children from middle-class homes tend to do better in school than those from non-middle-class homes because the culture of the school is based on the culture of the upper and middle classes --of those in power" (Delpit).  I think that if more teachers in schools today applied Wallace's perspective into their outlook on students and teaching that the success difference between classes would be greatly reduced.

On an unrelated topic, I saw this this week and really liked it.  It would be great to post in a classroom or a home, but even we as adults could definitely apply it in our lives.


  1. I completely agree with you. It is crucial to accept diversity AND to work with it. Most students of diverse backgrounds struggle to adapt to this arbitrary method of learning and are labeled as "remedial learners". As future educators we should find a method to accommodate students that struggle when speaking and writing formal English.

  2. I think it is true that kids from middle class homes do better in school, and i think that is so sad. Public schools are geared towards those in positions of "power", and very little is done to help those with less. This seems to be the reason for the endless circle of poverty and poor education.