"One of the great failings of our culture is the nearly
universal belief that there can be anything universal."
"...I also sometimes liken writing to fishing. I can't take
out a club, start beating the water, and expect to catch
many fish. So I can't be too aggressive, try to force the
writing. But neither will I catch fish if I don't have my
line in the water. So I can't be too passive. I always
need to be attending to the work. When I got stuck
yesterday and did other things, I kept returning in my
mind to the place where I was stuck to see if there was
any movement, any sign of what I should do next.
All this is true, I believe not just of writing, but of many
"We are told that standardized testing must be imposed
to make sure students meet a set of standardized criteria
so they will later be able to fit into a world that is itself
increasingly standardized. Never are we asked, of course,
whether it's a good thing to standardize children (sorry,
I mean students), knowledge, or the larger world."
"We live in a culture that is based on the illusion- and
schooling is central to the creation and perpetuation of
this illusion- that happiness lies outside of us, and
specifically in the hands of those who have power."