Hi there tout la gang,

We don't have much to say about research in practice at the Café right now

but we are talking policy and practice over here now: Literacy Enquirers.

Thursday, July 10, 2008

hopeless and faithful

Yesterday, the incomparable Jo Petite posted her facebook status as 'hopeless and faithful'. That phrase hit me right in the heart right away. Why? I am not sure. But those three words have been wafting in and out of my reflections for about 48 hours now. Hopeless and faithful is such a human way to be caught in the terrible and beautiful thing that is this life. And this literacy work. Surrender and perseverance. Humility and resolution.

I went to an exhibit at the Royal Ontario Museum last night (free Wednesdays!) called Out from Under: Disability, History and Things to Remember. It is an amazing collection of artifacts and words and at every turn your eyes prickle with the tears you would cry for an hour if you were not out in public. Here is a poem by Mae Brown, the first deaf-blind person to get a university degree in Canada -- in 1973!

When I lie down, tired, worn out,
Others will stand, young, fresh,
On the stairs which I have built
They will climb, and on the work
Which I have done, they will mount.
At my clumsy work they will laugh
And when the stones roll
They will curse me.
But they will climb, and on my stairs,
And they will mount, and on my work.

I have heard a couple of very tough stories about literacy work this week. Stories of people working hard to make impossible choices. Stories of thoughtful evaluation and planning in the face of, at best, carelessness and, at worst, disrespect. I am not sure if Ms. Brown's words will help them, but they sure helped me.

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