My Best Teaching Is One-on-One


Of course, I team teach and do special lessons, etc.


But my best work in the classroom is after the lesson is over --
going one-on-one,
helping individual students with their assignments.


It's kind of like with computer programs, walking the client through hands-on.
The job isn't really done until the customer is using the program.


Friday, July 1, 2016

Love Yourself!

Some music critics cynics have been using Justin Bieber's 2015 song as an excuse to help push the meta-semantics of "love yourself" towards something vulgar, not really appropriate to the greater meanings of the word, "love".

This is business as usual. The concept of love as a desire for someone else to be happy has been under attack since well before this world welive on was organized into a solid form out of the "waters" (hydrogen gas and other dust) of the void between the stars.

The lying spirit has always been unsatisfied with the idea that one person could desire that someone else could be happy, let alone the idea that one person could do things so that another could become happier.

That lying spirit has always wanted to consign general happiness to the domain of illusion and false shadows. It has always been jealous of that wonderful thing we call happiness, in which it could not deal without becoming that which is not a lie (and thus, according to itself, negating its reason for existence -- confusion on confusion).

So we can understand why cynics who pose as critics would try to paint Bieber's song and the meme of the title especially black.

Admittedly, both the lyrics (sung with the Biebe's usual style) and the video (choreographed and performed wonderfully by Keone and Mari Madrid) focus on certain  simpler aspects of a relationship in which both partners are focused on themselves rather than the other. It could be treated as a kiss-off, if it weren't for the Biebe mumbling something before he starts, about love being more than expecting to get things in return.

He was trying to say something important, even though we might have reason to believe he still doesn't understand. (Hey, there are some things about that I don't think I understand yet.)

And trying is an important thing.

Irony can be used intentionally, and even lack of intent does not cancel the art of irony. (This is where the cynics get it wrong. Art transcends the intent of the artist, so they're asking a question that we don't have to ask.)

And the point about this meme is that you have to love others to love yourself, and you have to love yourself to love others.

I think this is the reason the video fascinates me. Keone and Mari do a very nice job of portraying both the puppy dog and the spoiled cat approach and demonstrating that both approaches end up failing to reach beyond self. The characters they portray share the same space quite easily, but they forget to properly look at the other person's needs, and fail to look at their own needs, as well.

The puppy dog fails, for instance, to say, "Let's share that apple!" after the spoiled cat has failed to say the same thing. The puppy dog gives it up and the spoiled cat takes it all.

(One thing that might help in interpreting the video my way, if you really want to try, is considering that, in most relationships, which partner plays the puppy dog, and which the spoiled cat, is not fixed.)

Just for fun and confusion, I'll bring up the Japanese words 「慈愛」 (jiai, charitable love) and 「自愛」 (jiai, self love), and leave you to think about the implications. (It's a commonly misplayed meme among Christians.)

(And I want to re-write this in Japanese, but even the time to write this much in English is time I didn't have.)

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Courtesy is courteous.