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2004-01-08 | 12:13 a.m.

As I sit here writing up my monthly administrative paperwork for the charter school, documenting all the schoolwork the kids have supposedly accomplished in the past month, it occurs to me that I am no mere bullshit artist. I am a bullshit artisan.

My bullshit is artisanal.

I'm not saying they don't do anything; I'm definitely not saying they don't learn anything. I'm just saying, between you and me and the clock on the wall, that it doesn't go down the way I say it does. A lot of the best work we do is just, to borrow the musician's term, "riffing." Undoubtedly the worst of what we do is under orders and under the gun--because I'm afraid that we're not living up to expectations. Whose? I'm not sure. Valerie, the teacher I work with? Yes, to a degree. Though she likes me, I know she disapproves of the way I do things. Mostly the way I let the kids walk all over me sometimes. Maybe I'm fooling myself, but I like to think that what looks like a disaster to her is actually, in my mind, a process. I'm reaching for something that I can't quite explain to her, so I don't really try. She is a person of faith and I am not, we all know this, and yet. I trust my instincts because they have served me well. My gut is my rudder (Oh hell, she's bringing on the nautical metaphors now, abandon ship) and even when I'm sailing through a impenetrable fog, I am not afraid. Though she walks through the valley of the Jolly Green Giant (or whatever it is, just roll with me here), the Lord is her shepherd, she shall not want. Right? Well, me neither. Because my gut is my rudder.

Jeez, I am so totally avoiding work here. This always happens.

Anyway, this all reminds me that I saw a book in the bookstore called The Unschooled Mind by Howard Gardner that I really wanted to find out about. And now I will.

Okay, I want that book. And I also really want this ten-year journal called Journal 10+: 2004-2014 by Masayo Koshiyama or, if the paper is crappy in that one (if any of you have seen one of these books, please report!), there is a five-year journal at Levenger, but it costs $90. Which is, come on, that's ridiculous. I love Levenger but I can't even afford to sit at their table, much less play. If only I weren't such a paper snob. I could give a fig about full-grain leather but the paper! the paper!!

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