Self-tutoring: the tutor reflects on an inexorable process.
Seeking a solid foundation, I look up archaic:
1) ancient; 2) out-of-date.
-Collins Essential Canadian English Dictionary and Thesaurus, HarperCollins, 2006.
For the purpose herein, archaic’s second meaning – out-of-date – is the one I’m exploring.
For me, as a tutor, and as a parent, the word archaic defines a challenging philosophical boundary. The reason is simple: to me, truth never goes out-of-date. Yet, to society, truth has a shelf-life. Past its shelf-life, any truth becomes archaic, so people don’t respect it.
A person can have an archaic point of view without realizing. Such happened to me with the kids’ piano lessons. They had recitals and exams to prepare for, so I spurred them to practice. One of them argued that it didn’t interest him, so he shouldn’t have to.
I was shocked at the notion that not wanting to practice can remove its requirement. After all, if people only do what they want in this moment, the world as we know it will cease to exist within an hour.
Over time, I have realized that my point of view is archaic. Today, in this society, people don’t generally believe a kid should have to practice the piano if they don’t want to. That philosophy extends well beyond practicing the piano – and well beyond just kids.
Mentioning the fact that, failing to practice, the student may fall short at the recital and the exam, only sinks me deeper, since I’m expressing archaic reasoning. People don’t typically think of consequences in that way nowadays – at least, not around here.
My kid did practice the piano: it was a battle, but I won. It’s probably my last victory.
Nowadays, the concept of preparing for exams is being challenged as archaic – “How will this help me in life? In the real world, people work in groups – don’t you know?”
I’m becoming a marginal character. Academic learning – seeking understanding for the purpose of self-improvement – is outmoded in the world that surrounds me. It is, so I am, archaic – at age 48, I’m out-of-date:)