I just finished reading Walking on Water by Derrick Jensen – a book that made me think, rethink, laugh, and nearly cry (nearly, because I mostly read this in coffee shops where I tried to make sure I didn’t cry). It was one of those books I didn’t ever want to end. It was one of those books where I felt sad, enlightened, inspired, as I read the last word. It’s one of those books that I recommend for anyone and everyone.
Synopsis (From GoodReads): “This is a hard-hitting and sometimes scathing critique of the current educational system that not only gives a hands-on method for learning how to write, but also a lesson on how to connect to the core of our creative selves.”
Initial Reactions: This is probably, no, definitely, one of the most accessible books I have read about education/writing/learning/teaching. It’s an easy read in the sense that it’s understandable, fun, pretty quick, not dense with jargon or super hard to decipher philosophies. I wouldn’t classify it as ‘easy’, because it’s not something to read and never think about. It makes you think. It makes you question. It makes you rethink. It sticks with you. It’s about the discovery of self, both for teachers and students and anyone.
“The only real job of a teacher, especially a writing teacher, is to help students find themselves.”
“Thinking can, and should be fun.”
“It’s okay to be happy, it’s okay to live your life exactly the way you want it… It’s okay to find what makes you happy and then fight for it. To dedicate your life to discovering who you are.”
“We do no need to be taught. We need simply to be encouraged, to be given heart, to be allowed to grow into our own large hearts… We need to be given time, not as a constraint, but as a gift in a supportive place where we can explore what we want and who we are, with the assistance of others who care about us also.
Thoughts: I feel like I have so much to say about this book, so much to think about. Considering I only just finished it, and that saying everything I want to say would make this a ridiculously long post, I’ll stop here for now. I’ll probably write about it later, more in depth about my thoughts and reactions.
I’d love to here from anyone else who has read this book, and what you thought. I’d love to hear about his other books, or anything related. I’d love a conversation about this, quick comments, reactions, suggestions, or anything.