Teague's Tech Treks

Learning Technology and other Tech Observations by Dr. Helen Teague

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Of books and frigates and school change

Can you write something today that will be referenced in a future technology that you can’t even fathom?

Emily Dickinson did.

In a letter she wrote in 1873, she included the lines that would become known as her poem, “There is no frigate like a book.” This morning, 142 years later, I heard Dr. Jack McManus, professor in Pepperdine University’s GSEP, reference it in his TED Talk, “Schools of the Future: Time to Develop Your Metaphor.” It is so interesting to me that Dickinson’s editors “fixed” her poems and published them after her death in order to conform to more “regular” language usage of the time.

The curriculum-based lesson connection is: How would you retool Dickinson’s metaphor for technology? or life today?

But, the enduring value question rotates back to the question Dr. McManus’ posed at his TED talk:

How do you and I change the metaphor for schools?

Read the poem. Listen to the talk. And help start / continue the conversation.

There is no Frigate like a Book
By Emily Dickinson

There is no Frigate like a Book
To take us Lands away
Nor any Coursers like a Page
Of prancing Poetry –
This Traverse may the poorest take
Without oppress of Toll –
How frugal is the Chariot
That bears the Human Soul –

 

Schools of the Future: Time to Develop Your Metaphor: Jack McManus at TEDxManhattanBeach

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If you are an English teacher and would like more of the history of Emily Dickinson’s poems and the revisions they endured after her death, click to Tim Gracyk‘s You Tube video here
Source: The Poems of Emily Dickinson Edited by R. W. Franklin (Harvard University Press, 1999). Retrieved from: http://www.poetryfoundation.org/poem/182908

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