2006 Summer Teacher Institute

Preliminary notes on our next teacher institute

At the 2006 Institute in Butte, June 19-20, we will explore questions raised by Robert Frost’s poem (below) through Montana literature such as The Big Sky and Fools Crow.

The main character in each novel lives in a time when the economy and community is changing, and each refuses to let go of some things. They make different choices and endure different consequences.

These are some of the questions that arise for Montanans at this moment in history, as well as for individuals at nearly any point in their lives: What should we leave behind? What should we refuse to part with? What might we restore, or return to?

I Could Give All To Time

Robert Frost

To Time it never seems that he is brave
To set himself against the peaks of snow
To lay them level with the running wave,
Nor is he overjoyed when they lie low,
But only grave, contemplative and grave.

What now is inland shall be ocean isle,
Then eddies playing round a sunken reef
Like the curl at the corner of a smile;
And I could share Timeís lack of joy or grief
At such a planetary change of style.

I could give all to Time except - except
What I myself have held. But why declare
The things forbidden that while the Customs slept
I have crossed to Safety with? For I am There
And what I would not part with I have kept.

Butte provides a rich context to think about what we lose, what we refuse to let go, and what we might restore. It might be a good place to read an education writer such as Diane Ravitch, who wonders what we might have lost in education that we could restore.

Stegner took the title of his fictional study of friendship, Crossing to Safety, from the last stanza of Frostís poem. What does it mean to cross to safety? What can adolescents be told of safety, and how to cross to it?

What readings would you suggest? What historians, scientists, writers, moral philosophers, educators, etc. would you like to hear? What topics would you like to explore? 

Posted by David Hume on 07/11 at 02:20 PM
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