Days 184 – 222: The Log

I haven’t fallen off the edge of the Earth, although it might look like it. I’ve been contemplating and working since I posted that I was Taking Time To Think about Tucson. Thus, my time has been made up of one part making money on unrelated assignments and one part mediating on the shooting and its aftermath.

I admit to being rather flummoxed by Tucson, especially by the resulting debate about the responsibility pundits and politicians and their rhetoric may or may not bear for the violence. I’ve already written one complete post, which still doesn’t seem quite right, and thus, hasn’t been published. Everything I produce feels decidedly, well, not good, and I don’t mean the quality of the writing. The impact of saying what I want to say would probably be most decidedly un-good, so I’m staying silent, at least for the moment.

The only thing that has made sense to me is to shrug out of the stereotypical blogger persona. Blame, fury and snark can’t be the point of my post, which makes it hard to write because blame, fury and snark have been my constant companions lately. The only solution I’ve been able to stumble on has been to write about my own emotional reaction to Tucson and ignore what everyone else is saying. I hope to get that post finished and up on this blog very soon.

Meanwhile, the quest continues. I’m happy to announce that I’ve got my first paying  assignment based on the search for goodness. That won’t be published for a couple of months, so I can’t provide details right now. More later when the work is done and the article is up online.

I’m also pleased to announce that I’ve completed an interview with Duke University Professor Ruth Grant. Her book, In Search of Goodness, with contributions from philosophers, political scientists and theologians, will be published in April. I’m working on an article based on that interview. More on that later.

And so that’s it. I’m more than seven months into this quest. Progress is being made, although more quietly than before.  I feel like I’m finally beginning to understand the way people think about morality. Living goodness, of course, is a far different from thinking about it.

143 days to go.


Do the LIKE thing on the In Search of Goodness Facebook page, and I will eternally be in your debt!

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4 Responses to Days 184 – 222: The Log

  1. KJ says:

    Great to have you back in the saddle, Diane!

  2. Linda Herzberg says:

    Living goodness, of course, is a far different from thinking about it. This is very true in more ways than one. The obvious take would be of course people can talk about goodness but not live it. However, you statement reminded me of a book I just finished reading about teaching Native American students math. The author asked a Native American teacher about Native American pedogogy. The author assumed there was a mainstream way of teaching that was taught in the universities, and a Native way that was used by Native American teachers. The teacher was not able to vocalize the Native way of teaching until they discussed the cultural values and then talked about how she integrated those values into her teaching style. I think this relates to your search for goodness. There are many people who live life with the goal of goodness, but cannot express what it means.

    I can point to deeds and say that was goodness, such as when someone helps me unexpectedly. One time I ran out of gas on the road right at the gas station. Two men got out of their truck and pushed my car to the gas pump. When my partner died, her son said that he would reimburse any bills that came in (even those that were by both of us). He did not have to do that but he did. Those are both acts of goodness. But trying to put into words a definition is so hard because what may be good in one situation is not in another and because we don’t talk about it enough to be able to put into words what we know about goodness.

    • Rob Ramcharan says:

      I’m curious about how one integrates Native American cultural values into the teaching of mathematics. If I were to sit in the back of the classroom watching a Native American teacher explain long division, how would it be different from what I would see from the back of a classroom run by a practitioner of the “mainstream way of teaching”?

  3. dianesilver says:

    Thanks so much, KJ, for the support!

    Thanks, Linda, for your magnificent thoughts. One of the things I find so delightful about your comment is that it is based on almost exactly the same idea I just heard from Duke Professor Ruth Grant. In particular, your last sentence mirrors her motivation for putting together her new book.

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