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October 31, 2005
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· Literacy, Halloween Style ·
Stemming from my cleaning a desk Saturday to make room for a new computer, it's ordered less by space than by time — and for serious consideration of college-level literacy. Here is my tale.
In papers horizontally filed and archeologically found, I chanced to spot an old letter I'd sent a few years ago to my local newspaper. The paper had done a piece on a forty-year-old who had started reading through the dedicated help of our college staff. You can imagine what personal courage it took to tell his story. My thank-you letter appeared as
It so happens I've some youngsters at my door begging Halloween treats. Understandably, I'd like to tell them how Martin Luther, four-hundred-eighty-eight years ago tonight, changed the world by showing that the real trick — always requiring "missing what we call a target" — demands more "leading out."
As I recall, Luther posted reasons why on his church door and created a Reformation by his effort — one with true Literacy, Halloween Style as its start.Permalink
OK, Styles, I think you're talking about critical literacy, but I'm not sure. Help me out?
"We only miss what we call a target." Wow! You're right — on so many levels!
Critical literacy, though not my sole aim, does fall within the scope of my larger concern. Leroy Searle, quoted in Function Follows Form (Indicitively Speaking), happily defines it as liberating "authority." He rightly suggests "if we wish to concern ourselves with literacy, let's go all the way with it."
In his Democratic Vistas, the poet Walt Whitman authoritatively comes to Searle's aid:
But then again seldom does anyone ever fulfill such a promise. Even here, I confess, we all need help.
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