“Indeed, Neill does not try to educate children to fit well into the existing order, but endeavors to rear children who will become happy human beings, men and women whose values are not to have much, not to use much, but to be much. Neill is a realist; he can see that even though the children he educates will not necessarily be extremely successful in the worldly sense, they will have acquired a sense of genuineness which will effectually prevent their becoming misfits (those that harm others) or starving beggars. The author has made a decision between full human development and full market-place success - and he is uncompromisingly honest in the way he pursues the road to his chosen goal.”
Erich Fromm 1960 Foreword to A.S. Neill: Summerhill – A Radical Approach to Child Rearing
We had to read Summerhill in the School of Education when training to become teachers. It made an impact on my teaching philosophy. Make the classroom fit the student, not the student fit the classroom. I tried. I tried to make every lesson one that made the student want to learn more. Did the lesson encourage the student to be a lifelong learner? I didn’t care so much if they learned what I taught, just that they wanted to learn more about themselves and the world. I wasn’t often successful at this, but occasionally…
I am equally proud of both of these former second grade students of mine. I think both of them have chosen to follow honest lives that are fulfilling to them and they continue to follow their dreams. I hope I am right.
James Vain, Artist
Yesterday after helping clean and pack 50-100 yr old art deco dishes and pottery on Haight and having a hot meal of Nepalis fare, I headed over to North Beach and was present for a live interview of Les Claypool and Larry Lalonde interviewed by a music journalist of some note. Afterwards, I went to an alley and drank 40s with a one armed guitar player. I fell asleep in a window sill near the edge of Chinatown. I woke up before dawn and went to a coffee shop to read Interzone by William S. Burroughs. I then went to the poorest part of town where the liquor stores open first and bought a 40. The sky was grey but the western edge showed light, so I smoked a joint and decided to ride the train to the beach. Drinking my 40 on the train I noticed a beautiful young female student seated perpendicular to me was reading the satanic verses. I spoke to her about this until she got off at the college. I continued to the beach where it was uncharacteristically warm and sunny. I chugged my 40, puffed on a roach and fell into nap probably around 9 a.m. and didn't wake up until 3 pm. I rolled up my pant legs, took off my shirt, let down my hair and walked into the ocean. The waves and the mist and color of sea foam today were more soft and inviting than ever.
* Ph.D., English, Southern Illinois University, Carbondale
* M.A., English, Eastern Illinois University
* I am a Visiting Assistant Professor in the English Department and teach American Genre Film, Film Production Theory, Introduction to Literature, and College Composition. My research and teaching interests include British, European, and American film history, representations of exile and diaspora in film, post-World War II British drama and literature (particularly Harold Pinter), and writing center pedagogy. I have written articles on the films of Joseph Losey, Jean-Luc Godard, Roman Polanski, Jerzy Skolimowski, Howard Hawks, and Anthony Mann in film journals such as Quarterly Review of Film and Video and Senses of Cinema. My forthcoming publications include a book chapter on Joseph Losey for the anthology Fifty Hollywood Film Directors (Routledge, edited by Suzanne Leonard and Yvonne Tasker), and the book chapter “From the Ground Up: Shaping Community, Collaboration, and Multiliteracies at Georgie Tech” (co-written with Rebecca E. Burnett, Karen Head, Brandy Ball Blake, Andy Frazee, Diane Jakacki, Christopher Ritter, and Nirmal Trivedi) for the anthology Making Space: Writing Instruction, Infrastructure, and Multiliteracies (University of Michigan Press/Sweetland, ed. James Purdy and Danielle Nicole DeVoss). I am currently writing a book on Joseph Losey and Harold Pinter’s film collaboration.