Saturday, July 4, 2009

A New Way of Seeing Things

“One’s destination is never a place, but a new way of seeing things.” - Henry Miller

More than forty years ago, I celebrated Independence Day in Oxford, England.

I had never been outside of the United States before, but when the opportunity to study at the University of Oxford, during the summer between my junior and senior years in college, presented itself, I didn't hesitate.

In many ways, it was a life-altering experience.

Although computers were in existence during the '60s, they were not commonly available. Learning about other countries meant books or travel; the printed word or physical contact.

During my trip, I interacted with American students from all over the U.S. We found that our lives were quite different, our ideas of home, family, religion, politics often amazingly dissimilar.

There were numerous chances to travel - we saw London, Stonehenge, Stratford-on-Avon. Our group crossed the Channel to explore Paris, Bruges, Amsterdam, Trier, Cologne. I can still see in my mind's eye, even after all these years, the bright Impressionist paintings, majestic Rembrandts portraits, postcards pasted on the wall by Anne Frank in the Secret Annex.

Our students today have an unparalleled opportunity to connect with their peers in other states and other nations, to explore the riches of museums, galleries, and historic sites, to step outside of their local communities and join the global community.

Restricting access to resources by blocking and filtering imposes limits that may not always be in the best interests of the children and young adults in our educational system.

“Without new experiences, something inside of us sleeps. The sleeper must awaken.” - Frank Herbert

"ChristChurch.3" by Lamees.(L.Y.S)


Anonymous said...

Dianne, You are so right in what you say in this post. With the advent of webcasting, virtual tours etc, students have the opportunity to 'see' so many exhibitions, listen to experts, travel through many countries and experience many cultures etc without leaving their classrooms. However, even though I am one who encourages all this, nothing still beats seeing it all face to face. Do you hope to travel in the next year or so?

diane said...


I love to travel and hope to get out and about in the coming years, budget permitting.

I have seen "the glory that was Greece and the grandeur that was Rome" but it's a great big world out there and there's lots left to explore.