Hope Index Vol. 3: An Education
It occurred to me this week -- maybe it occurred to you, too -- that there are gaps in all of our educations. Reading The Brothers K and thinking about ways in which we inform and educate one another, for better or for worse, adds a new layer to the idea of "community." We aren't just living and breathing and serving and dying amongst our personal communities. We are teaching each other how to exist in the world, we are sharing what we know about how the world behaves and what we can expect from it. This week I found some links that seemed especially timely and connected to this idea that I wanted to share with you. May we seek to teach each other better things to know, and purer ways to be.
- Revisionist History podcast: Malcolm Gladwell's podcast ventures into a three-part series about education and class status in America, starting with this episode, "Carlos Doesn't Remember." Whether you're a teacher, student, or just curious about the way the American education system functions, the statistics and stories in this episode are eye-opening. I know I was reconsidering many of my own preconceptions of how college admittance functions and who benefits from them. Listen closely.
- The Atlantic: Story Arcs, Digitized: So a bunch of statisticians/peeps that do math found a way to algorithmize the way that the most popular stories of our time break down in terms of plot. Basically they fed Harry Potter et. al into a computer and identified the plot arcs that our minds crave the most. Not surprisingly, the results supported a theory that Kurt Vonnegut expressed years before computers were even capable of this kind of calculation. TLDR; math and stuff + plots = cool, you'll like it. Side note, if you're a fan of the KV, maybe you'll like Blue Monday Review, a literary magazine (where I happen to be one of the content editors.) It's a whole mag full of bizarre, poignant, unexpected stories and poems all submitted by readers and writers like yourselves that seek to maintain the Vonnegut zeitgeist.
- Lithub: Poetry is the Place for Joy : I. Don't even know. What to say about this piece, except that if you're a poetry lover you'll be so grateful as you read it. A poem is not a means of escape, but a place for joy, writer Jonathan Farmer argues in this long form essay. And boy does he prove it, with examples galore of wonderful poems and quotes by the masters. It's a delight, guys.
- Which leads me to this poem: Zombie Blues Villanelle, by Tim Seibles. In honor of people falling off cliffs and discovering dead bodies in their quest for Pokemon, this poem seemed especially relevant and deliciously ironic to feature this week. It could be the zombies are already near. Or it could be that we all could use a little re-education. Happy weekend, friends.