Currency

I’m teaching Fahrenheit 451 right now. First of all: Ray Bradbury is something else. I got lost in a spiral of internet interviews and biographical information this weekend and I can tell you that I like him as much as I like his writing. He seemed like a sweet man, not a cynic’s bone in his body.

Second: I’ve been thinking about currency. Fahrenheit 451 is only partially about books and burning. It’s mostly about the currency of ideas. Sometimes when I think about education and the transaction of teachers and students it seems like students are paying for answers–or degrees–rather than ideas. Maybe that’s my adjunct work at for-profits speaking. But I wish the currency of education was ideas. I can get behind that. It makes me think of my summer counseling at a camp in Northern Minnesota. The caretaker at the camp once trades a fleet of broke-down riding lawn mowers for a trailer of birch logs. I wish education was like that: I’ll trade you my ideas, theories, and learning for your ideas, theories, and learning.

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