A Posthumous Interview with John Dewey

Last week John Dewey returned from his postmortem travels to grant me a special interview for the educational philosophy class I am currently taking. We met over coffee on Tuesday afternoon at Weaver Street Market in Carrboro, and the weather was nice enough for us to sit outside in the common space. The meeting was arranged by William James, with whom I spoke two weeks prior, during a séance. Having previously only spoken to the dead, but never actually seen the dead, I was nervous Professor Dewey would show up as a zombie-like corpse and thereby attract attention. To my relief, however, he arrived as an apparition, and in the outdoor lighting that day, one had to look very closely to notice he was not a living being. The stares, therefore, were minimal, and we were able to conduct our interview uninterrupted. Our conversation, which follows, was mostly about his classic work Democracy and Education. Continue reading “A Posthumous Interview with John Dewey”

Motivating Students: The Mr. Miyagi Way

Daniel stands precariously on the bow of the canoe, practicing blocking movements as he queries Mr. Miyagi about the nature of fighting and karate. Mr. Miyagi explains that though he’s been in many fights, he’s always tried to avoid violence.

Daniel: You mean there were times when you were scared to fight?
Mr. Miyagi: Always scare.  Miyagi hate fighting.
Daniel: Yeah, but you like karate.
Miyagi: So?
Daniel: So, karate’s fighting. You train to fight.
Miyagi: That what you think?
Daniel: (hesitates) No . . .
Miyagi: Then why train?
Daniel: (contemplating his response) So I won’t have to fight.
Miyagi: Miyagi have hope for you.

Those of us who grew up during the 1980s remember and love the original Karate Kid film. We will never forget the dramatic fight scene at the film’s climax, when Daniel defeats his nemesis, Johnny, using the unlikely Crane Kick.

Continue reading “Motivating Students: The Mr. Miyagi Way”