Turned in my “Reflective Wondering on Socrates” tonight. I have absolutely NO idea if my paper hit its mark, or was w-a-a-a-a-a-y off… Essentially, I was trying to summarize the basic (extremely basic) tenets of what Socrates managed to teacher although he, himself, would have argued that he “taught” nothing. If others “learned” it was due to their own personal quest for “Truth,or “the Forms” or some end point reached through the rhetorical journey that they had begun, and were directing.
That’s the “Socratic” thing in a nutshell. He was an outcast of sorts; I’d imagine sort of counter-cultural guy, but non-violent with it. Actually, he seems (ironically) almost ‘aggressive’ in his method of “banter”/rhetorical-sounding to today’s ears; but the Socratic Method of inquiry where every outcome was questioned, and challenged to decide its truth or non-truth status. He seems to exhaust or irritate those he questioned, like Euthyphro- in the “Trial and Death of Socrates.”
Listening in class tonight, I learned that i really only remember very little from my undergraduate/high school readings. I’ll need to find time to read more, and to study more. Not sure when, but I suppose if I decide it has to happen, it will. (glancing stage left, I notice that Socrates smiles.)
I’m fairly confident that my paper hit a sort of middle ground with Dr. B. but I am more aware of what I don’t know. I’m also painfully aware of the lack of active thinking that happens in schools today. I’m thinking now that if a classical, traditional liberal arts curriculum were introduced at FHS tomorrow, there would finally be an influx of parents to the school board meetings! (Most of these meetings, like school board meetings at many high schools are woefully under-attended by community members and parents) The parents would show up, I believe to complain about the difficult curriculum. They would ask, “how will this help my son or daughter get a job?”
Our high school, like many American public high schools, is either a holding cell, or a vocational machine, depending upon which hallway one finds himself in. It is the rare classroom experience where students are challenge to “think” about anything more broad or deep than the specifics of a given discipline or course or study.
Still pondering last week’s comment that we are “human BEings” not human DOings”….this is still bouncing between synapses in and along the folds of my weary gray matter.