An old philosophy. A new semester.

One way to learn…
One way to teach…

nameless simplicity

Laguna Beach, CA.  Photo Credit: Catherine Keefe

Inspired by “the way,” or Tao:

The Tao makes no effort at all

yet there is nothing it doesn’t do

if a ruler (professor) could uphold it

the people (students) by themselves would change

and changing if their desires stirred

he (she) could make them still

with simplicity that has no name

and stilled by nameless simplicity

they would not desire

and not desiring be at peace

the world (classroom) would fix itself

A metaphor, an ideology to guide the learning process.

We read.

We discern.

We write.  We strive for “nameless simplicity.”

We forget desire – for a “perfect” grade, for a “perfect” student, for a “perfect” assignment.
We find peace with the learning process because we learn together. We are all authors, joining in the unending conversation.


p.s.  The above passage is from Lao-tzu’s Taoteching, translated by Red Pine, pg. 74.

About Catherine Keefe

Catherine Keefe is the founding and managing editor of *dirtcakes* a journal of poetry, creative nonfiction, art and photography. Her creative nonfiction essays, interviews and book reviews have appeared nationally. She teaches undergraduates how to Write About Literature, or Write Creative Nonfiction, or Compose Self at Chapman University in Orange, CA.
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