'Ff'lo (fflo) wrote,

regular e-L. to Mary C. Xxxx

Ah, Mary----I've got to be getting back to prepping the house for guests, but how can I not drop you a line after that last message. You sweet and feeling-feeling thing, you. Sounds like you're going through it a bit---but, hey, isn't that the best way to know you're alive? (I tell ya, I myself have had the kinds of pangs this year you surely don't get when you're dead.)

Anyway, two fairly quick thoughts for you, for what they're worth.

(1) It's All Relative

When I was first getting ready to teach a college class, my father's old officemate, the fascinating former hippie-ish Oregonder [here in Michigan we just add "-der"] folklorist and my new friend and the newly-lesbian Polly (all the same person) sat me down to chat & told me, among other things, about a model of learning styles as a continuum---and how I'd have students at all points along the line. It starts out, as we all did, with dualistic thinking. Yes/No, things are right or wrong, and there is always an answer, and the teacher knows it. Most of us move beyond that stage to the next step, which is multiplistic thinking, where the answer may be A or B or C or even X, but there's still a best answer, and the teacher still knows it.

A fair number of us get stuck at that point. And that's not so very bad. You can usually function, and you can certainly be a good citizen---especially if you take the current Administration's definition of a good citizen. But your more sophisticated and canny thinkers will sooner or later find themselves at the third stage, which is the uncomfortable & complicated truth: relative thinking.

There are many possible answers. Some are probably or arguably better under some circumstances than others, but no one is always right. And the teacher doesn't know the answer, either.

(2) Dang, I Forgot The Second Thing

Isn't that how it always is?

Anyway, don't be too hard on yourself, Mary.

Big Lisa Love,

(uh) Lisa.

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