Wednesday, March 21, 2012

A Revolutionary's Thoughts on Teaching

Graphic novels are one of the favorites in my reading lists. When I checked the library's latest, I found one written by none other than Bill Ayers, of Weather Underground fame. He is now newly retired from the University of Illinois at Chicago where he was a distinguished professor of education. He wrote the book with a graphic artist and it was so interesting, I dropped everything else to finish it in two days. His ideas reminded me of Summerhill, the English school that allowed students to choose their own learning goals.

A few days after I finished the book, I had an hour's drive out to do some grandkids sitting and turned on NPR. A local weekly program of music, lectures, etc., The Paper Machete, was on and Bill Ayers was the guest. He was recounting the dinner he and his wife, Bernardine Dohrn, had donated in February 2012 as a raffle item for the Illinois Humanities Council. Instead of getting a measly couple of hundred dollars for a home-cooked dinner for 6 at the Ayers/Dohrn home - as they have gotten for this type of dinner donation for other causes, someone chose to eliminate all other bidders by bidding $2500 - right-wing commentator, Tucker Carlson! Carlson also invited the notorious Andrew Breitbart, who attended the dinner with Ayers and Dohrn just a few weeks before his sudden and unexpected death. Hear what happened at the dinner in the WBEZ podcast, which takes about 15 minutes. Scroll down the page to the podcast arrow. Fascinating.

1 comment:

  1. I'm reading your column next door here about how hard it has been to get the two BEST AMERICAN ESSAYS books. I was astonished today to find there are absolutely NO BOOKS by Mary Rose O'Reilley in all of the DC libraries. O'Reilley has written THE BARN AT THE END OF THE WORLD, which is one of my very favorite books. She has some fabulous books on teaching, too. (Teaching is mentioned in the opening paragraph of this post before it slides into Tucker Carlson, et al.) I forget exactly where she teaches in St. Paul, but I think it's St. Thomas.


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