The apples are falling. It’s one of the signals−along with cooling nights and shortening days−that it’s time to return to school. So on Thursday and Friday we begin the usual meetings, which are seldom about teaching or learning and never about truth or beauty. One of my stock lines during my Heritage Project period was that you could judge the quality of a school by the quality of conversations that regularly occur there. Schools that take seriously the latest marketing trends−in our case the manufactured hoopla about PLCs (Professional Learning Communities), this season’s version of committees or teams−are probably somewhat inattentive to the enduring questions.
Waste seems to go with abundance. I grow many more apples than I have time to use during my current life phase, so they fall on the ground where eventually I will haul them to the garden compost heap−the ones that deer don’t eat, that is. Looking at the apples, I get the feeling that I should do something. I could clean them and make cider or pies. I could try to keep up with the fall, raking them into buckets and carrying them out of sight.
The poor use of time at school feels similar. All these days keep coming, and we barely know what to do with them. So we have meetings, invent tasks, and hope that our busyness fulfills the expectations that we drowsily imagine as our plight.
I left the apples where they lay. I did make a photograph, and I did give the matter a moment’s thought.