It's the little things that make life interesting, especially when you spend many of your days job-hunting. Today I was doing background research for a job application and I came upon a lovely passage in an article about experiential pedagogy, taken from a book of conversations between two radical educators, Myles Horton and Paolo Freire. One of Horton's reflections is retold,
"Recalling an incident when someone criticized [Horton's] workshops at the Highlander Folk School [in Tennessee, which he co-founded], he recalls: 'All you do is sit there and tell stories.' Well, if he'd seen me in the spring planting my garden, he would've said: That guy doesn't know how to garden. I didn't see any vegetables. All I saw was him putting a little seed in the ground. He's a faker as a gardener because he doesn't grow anything...' Well he was doing the same thing about observing the workshop. It was the seeds getting ready to start, and he thought that was the whole process."
The conversations are in the book edited by Brenda Bell, John Gaventa, and John Peters, We Make the Road by Walking: Conversations on Education and Social Change, Temple University Press, Philadelphia, 1990.
Here's a blurry copy of the book cover, courtesy of amazon.com:
The quote is on p. 99. I found the quote in: "Critical Experiential Pedagogy: Sociology and the Crisis in Higher Education," on pp. 146-147, by Brian P. Kapitulik, Hilton Kelly and Dan Clawson, The American Sociologist , Vol. 38, No. 2 (Jun., 2007), pp. 135-158, accessed July 12, 2013, at <http://www.jstor.org.proxygwa.wrlc.org/stable/27700496>.
Reading this story makes me feel inspired and grateful for people who are patient and willing to spend time planting seeds, faithful that they will grow, or having conversation, believing that dialogue makes a difference.