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Life Arts    H2'ed 12/9/09

Teaching Peace with Greg Mortenson

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Later, while brushing my teeth, I reflect on the evening. I wish I had found out about his appearance soon enough to tell my students, but now it is on me to tell the tale in class. How to distill and transmit that good feeling so they can pick up on it too? Which anecdotes to I try to repeat? Reading his book changed me, and now, hearing him and watching him connect with his audience, I am again inspired. I think of another book that inspired me as a teacher, The Peaceable Classroom by Mary Rose O'Reilley, and how similar her teaching philosophy is to Mortenson's commitment to winning war through education, and how they have shaped my own philosophy. I believe that if everything we do is geared toward teaching peace, perhaps we will eventually, incrementally, make a difference.

Something else: One of Mortenson's aphorisms sticks in my mind. It is ironic, because the treatment of women in Pakistan and Afghanistan is abhorrent, yet this is something they believe. I'm probably getting it wrong, but the gist is true, I know. They say, "When you teach a boy, you teach an individual. When you teach a girl, you teach the whole village."

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I'm a college English teacher working on my dissertation. I am an anime junkie and a Shakespeare scholar, a voracious reader and a political rebel.
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