Walking on Water: Reading, Writing and Revolution

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Chelsea Green Publishing, Apr 30, 2005 - Biography & Autobiography - 232 pages
4 Reviews

Remember the days of longing for the hands on the classroom clock to move faster? Most of us would say we love to learn, but we hated school. Why is that? What happens to creativity and individuality as we pass through the educational system?

Walking on Water is a startling and provocative look at teaching, writing, creativity, and life by a writer increasingly recognized for his passionate and articulate critique of modern civilization. This time Derrick Jensen brings us into his classroom--whether college or maximum security prison--where he teaches writing. He reveals how schools perpetuate the great illusion that happiness lies outside of ourselves and that learning to please and submit to those in power makes us into lifelong clock-watchers. As a writing teacher Jensen guides his students out of the confines of traditional education to find their own voices, freedom, and creativity.

Jensen's great gift as a teacher and writer is to bring us fully alive at the same moment he is making us confront our losses and count our defeats. It is at the center of Walking on Water, a book that is not only a hard-hitting and sometimes scathing critique of our current educational system and not only a hands-on method for learning how to write, but, like Julia Cameron's The Artist's Way, a lesson on how to connect to the core of our creative selves, to the miracle of waking up and arriving breathless (but with dry feet) on the far shore.

 

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Walking on water: reading, writing, and revolution

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Jensen (Culture of Make Believe; Strangely Like War) has written a meditation on education using his experiences teaching writing to college students and prisoners as a vehicle to illustrate the ... Read full review

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This book was an eye opener for me. It made me look back at all my years of being in school and realize how my individuality was stifled all along the way. I could relate to his feelings towards school in the beginning of his book: watching the clock, squirming around in my seat, daydreaming and not fully paying attention to the lessons at hand. This is a huge problem. Not only do I think most teachers are not even interested in the material they are teaching but I also feel like they need to instead of telling us what we "should" believe, let us explore all the other options and establish these opinions for ourselves. Critical thinking should be taught in schools. Asking questions. Disagreements and debates. These are all helpful tools to help us grow as unique individuals of society with our own ways of thinking (not ones force fed to us from early ages).
Valentina Truppa.
 

Contents

I
3
II
13
III
25
IV
41
V
55
VI
71
VII
87
VIII
103
XI
139
XIII
153
XIV
161
XV
179
XVI
187
XVII
201
XVIII
219
XIX
221

IX
113
X
127

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About the author (2005)

Derrick Jensen is the prize-winning author of A Language Older than Words, The Culture of Make Believe, Listening to the Land, Strangely Like War, Welcome to the Machine, and Walking on Water. He was one of two finalists for the 2003 J. Anthony Lukas Book Prize, which cited The Culture of Make Believe as "a passionate and provocative meditation on the nexus of racism, genocide, environmental destruction and corporate malfeasance, where civilization meets its discontents." He writes for The New York Times Magazine, Audubon, and The Sun Magazine among many others.  He is an environmental activist and lives on the coast of northern California.

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