Magpie Speak: The Giant Pool of Wisdom
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The Giant Pool of Wisdom
While I was in the process of Leaving Church, I often found myself doubting my heretical ways. But in time, as I continued to move through life without falling into the very pit of hell, IÂ began to trust my internal wisdom. â€œDammit,â€ Iâ€™d say, â€œI know shit!â€ (It isÂ a post-religious goal of mine to use as many previous forbidden words as possible.Â But I digressâ€¦)
My point is, I know stuff. Lots of it. Furthermore the wise souls and creative people around me know a lotÂ more stuff. It â€™s just that itâ€™s not all collected up between theÂ pagesÂ ofÂ hard-back book, bound with leather, and titled in goldÂ letters.Â So what do we call all that amazing collective wisdom? And furthermore, how do we access it?
In 1997 while atÂ graduate school, I’d becomeÂ enamoured with the concept of â€œteaching-learningâ€Â introduced to me by Dr. Thena Ayres.Â In this model instructors donâ€™t just disseminate informationÂ from the top-down. Rather they create an environment in which the teachers and the students inform each other; using their collective experience to createÂ aÂ larger pool of knowledge than what the instructor alone could bring.
Then, in September of 2008 the team at This American Life produced an excellent radio piece about the national mortgage crisis, calling it The Giant Pool of Money. The title of that program wouldn’t let me go. It got stuck in my teeth.Â I loved the way it felt on my tongue.
When I began writingÂ aboutÂ Soultribes at Magpie Girl, the practice of teaching-learning and theÂ titleÂ Â The Giant Pool of Moneycame together. (SlurpClick.)Â In my imagination every post and every reader’s comment was likeÂ aÂ fat dropÂ of water gathering together to form first a puddle, then a pool, and someday a sea. Thus was born the phrase: â€œThe Giant Pool of Wisdomâ€¦forming now.â€
I use this as a metaphor to describe the teaching-learning process that happens at Magpie Girl. It captures the back-and forth wisdom-sharing that happens in the community forming there. And it embodies the beliefs that it’s okay to be learners, that questions are as valuable as answers, and that “there ain’t nowhere to go but together.”
What about you? What bit of knowledge do you possess that you could share with the world? What is your area of wisdom specialty? Put it down in black and white on this special page. (Writing it down makes it feel more real.) We can’t wait to hear from you!