Something About Me: In a Word
My schooling was all about absorbing Western/American approaches to life. It was about acquiring ways to perpetuate that Western way of life through Western attitudes and modes of being. Knowledge was part of it. School had little to do with helping me follow my own spirit or with nurturing my own vision. The program of study--as is to be expected considering the kind of people it was designed by--and for--was on the whole uninspired. Along the way though there was a teacher or professor here and there who realized that schools were rapidly becoming ever more mechanistically bureaucratic and who,despite the difficulties, tried to see us and reach out to us as individuals.
Now here I am within things that are once again all about the "system", albeit one that is different in some ways. This time my program is called "teacher". But I live a more vital life outside "the matrix", or outside "the system", in what I call poetry (Zion, or Hope, Possibility,etc.).
Simplified personal history
1982 Graduated from University of Delaware. M.A. Language & Literature.
1986 Assistant Lecturer of Tohoku Gakuin University. 1996, Professor, TGU
|My heart is in what I do, in poetry, and my teaching comes from that (much more than from any teacher's manual), from the heart of poetry which is to say the source of life and death.
Life provides learning that is vital. I learn by living and dying. And what I can humanly share(= "teach") comes from that learning. (Otherwise it's just empty repetitions of what someone else came up with as knowledge.) In poetic teaching(which is not "teaching poetry"), words come directly from life itself, and from death. The words as well as the teaching-sharing come from my own experience as a livingdying thing, as an individual (not as a certified, credentialed automaton). I live my life and walk the earth and accept the joy as well as the sadness. I go beyond the "good" and the "bad". I breathe the whole of it.
It's much more than I can understand. The intellect itself is but a small aspect of our entire being.
There is no particular way to teach but certainly teachers should look at things with clear eyes and open hearts; we might try to feel what it is we teach (beyond the run of the mill "moral" teacher passions convention prescribes). It doesn't matter who is a good teacher or who is not--nor is it important whether students are good or bad--at any school--if even the "brilliant" professors and "genius" students are locked into a social system that itself is stupid (= needlessly destructive).
The tragedy is that--like Oedipus--we all believe we can take pride in what we do without knowing what we do.