Thinking Across the Boundaries


The border line is the truly propitious place for acquiring knowledge.
Paul Tillich

While students in A. P. Art History were researching and writing in their reflective journals about the fin-de-siecle era of art history, I scratched out some quick sea shell sketches, while thinking back over my recent Laguna Madre visit. Looking up at a quote from Paul Tillich taped to my cabinet in the front of the classroom, I found my mind moving from Tillich to the lagoon environment to the issue of thinking, and wrote the following in my journal (I’m repeating it now, in case the photo is bad or my handwriting illegible):

While thinking back on the Laguna Madre experience, I found the littorals separating sand from the hypersaline waters an interesting metaphor. Paul Tillich always claimed that his knowledge was gleaned “on the borderline” that separated disciplines. I can make the same claim for myself. I have always been absorbed deeply by the arts, literature, philosophy and religion, but many times did not enjoy the actual classes that were taught by those who seemed to know nothing except the subject they taught. Now as a public school teacher, I hear the administrators stressing “writing across the curriculum”. Well, how about “thinking across the curriculum”? I detest the bell schedules and passing periods when they become barriers separating the subjects. I believe that students can gain genuine knowledge and insight in those borders that link the subjects. When studeents enter my art history class, I do not want them to think that literature, science and math are now closed. Thinking should transcend the borderlines imposed by learning institutions.

Thanks for reading.

I draw in order to relax and think.

I journal when I feel alone.

I blog to remind myself that I am not alone.


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