William Stafford's philosophy of teaching, "no praise, no blame" is something I aspire to. He felt it is not our job, as teachers, to deal out praise or blame, but rather to create an atmosphere where, in the end, the teacher is envious of the work the students have done. I want to cultivate an environment that is not oriented to what others' think, or what the teacher thinks– but that arises from the inside, brings out surprises, and elicits the best each student has to offer. "I would rather be envious of my students' work than encouraging them." (Wm. Stafford)Read More
Ghost Ranch New Mexico
"The true voyage of discovery consists not in seeking new landscapes, but in having fresh eyes." -Proust
I have been reading World Enough & Time by Christian McEwen. She interviews the Scots poet, Thomas Clark. She asks him his advice on homework for her students that are aspiring poets. His answer was not what she expected, and applies to any of us who wish to make room for whatever it is we are reaching for:Read More
This morning the full moon is on the floor of my sitting room– making me reluctant to turn on any lights. There is no other light like moonlight.
I look forward to this time of year, heading toward the winter solstice. It is the pull toward night, seeing the stars and milky way, and the silence of the desert that draws me back to Ghost Ranch, where I have been going for over twenty years.Read More