Monday, March 11, 2013

more on competition.

Competition is central to animal existence. It is strange to me that conservatives seem to have forgotten that cooperation is central to animal existence. It is dissonant for me to speak ill of competition, because I latched on to track and to a lesser extent soccer as live-savers in the midst of a very interesting childhood.
  I remember years later I told my old ( don't read this Fred) track coach that he saved my life. He demurred saying that I was seeking something and he happened to be there with this experience which I proceeded to make the most of. In my mind I picture a life preserver thrown off the back of a swiftly disappearing boat.
  This feeling of almost being swept away by the vagaries of life gives me empathy for those who never saw a lifeline or were unable to hold against the current.
  Anyway(life line back to original subject) Competition is a fine motivator as it seems to be programmed into human nature. For some reason the national mood seems to be that that is the only motivator besides fear. So we get these notes home from school that k through 2 graders are playing too much when there is ample evidence that play and fun are great motivators and excellent ways to learn. I am not saying that fear does not motivate and that the desire for victory does not motivate. I am saying that it is just alright with me if kids play and have fun while they compete and learn.
  It is funny I also remember talking about too much athletics in school and my old coach (who I remember telling me to go to a college with a good track team so I would have a reason to stay when I doubted my reasons for being there. No don't ask) and him responding that I should consider what track did for me in high school. ( I had to be in attendance at least three days a week in order to compete, so I attended school during soccer and track season)
    So we reduce art and recess and we suddenly have a lot more ADD and ADHD. (I do know that all the symptoms cannot be controlled by diet and physical activity, free play includung art and good diet,but that does not mean that we should not use them for what they do work for!)

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