From Round to Square (and back)

For The Emperor's Teacher, scroll down (↓) to "Topics." It's the management book that will rock the world (and break the vase, as you will see). Click or paste the following link for a recent profile of the project:

A new post appears every day at 12:05* (CDT). There's more, though. Take a look at the right-hand side of the page for over four years of material (2,000 posts and growing) from Seinfeld and country music to every single day of the Chinese lunar calendar...translated. Look here ↓ and explore a little. It will take you all the way down the page...from round to square (and back again).
*Occasionally I will leave a long post up for thirty-six hours, and post a shorter entry at noon the next day.

Monday, May 19, 2014

Goofus and Gallant Teach History and Ethnography—Oneself As Another

Click here for the "Goofus and Gallant History and Ethnography Resource Center"—(all posts available)
Click here for the introduction to the Round and Square series "Goofus and Gallant History and Ethnography"
This is a "small" (小) post—click here for an explanation of Round and Square post lengths.
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On this date in Round and Square History 
19 May 2013—China's Lunar Calendar 2013 05-19
19 May 2012—Primary Sources: Come With Me, Little Doggie
19 May 2011—La Tour de la France: Introduction
You probably didn't see this coming. Here is one of the oddest pedagogical experiments in the twentieth century, and it makes the Republic of China (on Taiwan) primary school readers look almost tame in comparison (well, sometimes). It began as early as 1936, depending on the hoary sources you investigate. By 1948, it was a part of Highlights magazine for children, and I got my copy every week (several decades after 1948, I might add) at Randall School in Madison, Wisconsin, back when the Badgers lost eighty percent of their football games. 

This series will teach us a great deal about culture, society...and history. I lived some of it. I would be lying if I said that I didn't aspire to be Gallant...even as I recognized the stupid lack of irony in all of these unreflective adults-writing-for-children-DIDACTIC posts. Still, throughout my childhood, I aspired to be Gallant.

"Let's eat all the cookies before Tom comes."
"Let's save some for Tom." 
[b] Binary RF

I have been thinking a good deal about social dynamics...for the last thirty years. Lately, Paul Ricoeur's Oneself As Another has been on my mind. What does that mean? At least in one respect, it means R-E-S-P-E-C-T. Take a good look at the three binaries here. In each case, Goofus leaves a wake of inconvenience for others. Similarly, in each case, Gallant considers the feelings and needs of others.

This reminds me of an American game (often associated with joy and youthful happiness). You might know it. It's called "Musical Chairs." How does it work? Well, it's a Goofus-Fest of self-interest. The music plays and all march and dance in concert. The music stops and it is dog-eat-dog and every-child-for-herself—tearing the innocent heart-minds from the very beings of young children.

This game is sometimes inflicted on Japanese children by Goofus-ridden American teaching assistants. The music plays and the children laugh and march. The music stops, and children scramble (it is vital to be with the group, and most of the group sits). Two are left. They dicker politely, trying to give the chair to the other, and sacrifice themselves.

Gallant lives on.
[c] Social RF

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