A Different Angle

Patterns and Angles

What you see every day can be seen in a different way.
photo by Sandra Dodd

A different angle

Something near your house, or in your town, that you see every day, would be exotic and beautiful to someone from another part of the world. Two things near your house, combined by looking at one while you're seeing part of another, might be worth a photograph and some loving thoughts.

Find beauty where you are today, whether you're a tourist or in your own kitchen.

photo by Sandra Dodd, of a roofline near the road in Stroud, Gloucestershire,
in the Cotswalds. Click it to see the larger image.

A softer vision of the world

What happens when you see other people differently is that you cannot help but see yourself differently. When you choose to find opportunities to give other people choices, you yourself have begun to make more choices.

When you begin to see learning from new and interesting angles, you yourself are learning about learning (in addition to all the things about bugs or food, bridges or clouds or trains that you're learning with your children, or when they're not even there).

Your softer, clearer vision of the world makes you a softer, clearer person.

Wednesday, February 6 chat on Personal Change
photo by Orion Larson

Learn to use "Learn"

If people learn to use "learn" instead of "teach," it helps them move to another angle, to see things through a different lens.

Some people see experienced unschoolers ("experienced" meaning in this context people who have done it well and effortlessly for years, who aren't afraid anymore, who have seen inspiring results) mention classes, and they think "Ah, well if the experienced unschoolers' kids take classes, then classes are good/necessary/no problem."

But if beginners don't go through a phase in which they REALLY focus on seeing learning outside of academic formalities, they will not be able to see around academics. If you turn away from the academics and truly, really, calmly and fully believe that there is a world that doesn't revolve around or even require or even benefit from academic traditions, *then* after a while you can see academics (research into education, or classes, or college) from another perspective.

photo by Sandra Dodd

Step right up

The same life can be seen from many different angles.
The same situation can be seen while holding one's breath and being furious,
or while seeing the alternatives and finding ways to be grateful,
no matter how small,
because on one small bit of gratitude,
one can step up and see another one,
and another.
words and photo by Sandra Dodd;
quote saved and provided by Leah Rose,
edited in that format, which is good.


The same person can see the same thing more than one way. With practice, you can see things different ways without even moving. In terms of thought, perspective is no more than "seeing" something from a new angle.
photo by Sandra Dodd

A different place

"Your perspective will change when you've experienced new things, seen the world from a different place."
—Debbie Regan

The quote above inspired this page:
photo by Sandra Dodd

Time and Perspective

As our children get older, our perspective changes, but no matter how lofty the view, we can't see forever.

Deb Lewis wrote: "In looking back I've not only had the pleasure of revisiting a lot of wonderful moments, learning. What I always believed to be true is no longer a matter of trust or faith; it is fact.

. . . .
"He is surrounded by the things that interest humans in the twenty-first century. He is surrounded by the whole of human history. He is a citizen of the world in a time when access to information has never been easier. He is learning all the time."

photo by Bob Cogliser

Toothpicks and miniature marshmallows—now there is a bonding activity. I recommend against using such words as "angles" and "pyramids" though, and just let conversation flow to sugar, campfires, trees, squirrels, Volkswagens, Utah, sandstone, soapstone, tobacco, sailing ships and the Spanish Armada. If you call it "geometry" you might not get all the way to England with it.

Stop thinking you know what they need and what you need. Try a new angle, a different trajectory.

. . . While you're playing, think about the huge difference made by a slightly different angle. Put your desire to control into that for a few days, therapeutically. While you're playing, think about what you can control, and why you would want to.

"Can't" sounds pretty permanent. We were careful not to say, in our kids' hearing "Marty can't read." We would cheerfully say, "Marty doesn't read yet" (or Kirby, or Holly). With that, every time it was discussed we were clearly indicating that we thought the child WOULD read before long, and it was not a concern. They were certainly learning in many other ways, as anyone close enough to discuss their reading could see!

We've used the same angle with food. "Marty doesn't like spinach yet" leaves the spinach gateway open. "Holly doesn't eat much meat" is better than "Holly's practically a vegetarian."

[M]aybe the next level of "completion" of my site will be when every question anyone might imagine will lead to a page that introduces the site to them from that angle. I've been trying to have three links from any page I put there, which is a reasonable prairie-dog-village design. If each hole leads to three tunnels...

Sometimes light is from an Aha!! lightbulb moment.
Sometimes light is more information, or
seeing from a new angle, "in a new light."
Sometimes light is from the sun, or the moon, or a fire.
Sometime light comes from just lightening up. (Not "lightning up," or "lighting up," so spelling will make a big difference, in those lights.)

Live lightly.

Holly, 18, had been out yesterday. She came in and saw the ponies out, so I showed her the photo and read her a bit of the article above. She went and got another pony to show me, and was telling me stories about the plan of the braids and the angles to get them to cross and stay crossed, and what could be done with those braids, but that she usually twists them into a bun, and had left some unbraided hair out at the bottom of the mane to fasten that bun up with.

He watches movies differently than anyone I've ever known. He pays attention to how music is used, to the lighting, to the camera angles, etc. For Dylan watching moves (or TV) has never been about sitting mindlessly addicted or zoned out...

Unschooling is priceless. It cannot be bought. And "cost" is a difficult concept, so if you have an easy answer floating to mind, try to scatter it and look from many different angles.

Even people who really want to understand unschooling have a hard time getting it. No one definition will cover all the angles, but recently I've been saying that unschooling is arranging for natural learning to thrive.

[If] you "accept" those things, simply or otherwise, do it because you yourself have thought it from every angle and found it valid.

The same life can be seen from many different angles.
The same situation can be seen while holding one's breath and being furious, or while seeing the alternatives and finding ways to be grateful, no matter how small, because on one small bit of gratitude, one can step up and see another one, and another.

Sandra, on narrow perspectives and the distortion on online discussions

Facebook makes people feel surrounded by like minds and they project that sample (their FB friends) on the whole world, I think.

It's easy enough even in the real world to do that. When I was a teacher, and then I travelled and visited other people, my questions were sometimes about the size of the school district, and any local oddities of funding, and of magnet schools or special projects. Now I don't even think about that when I visit out of town. I don't think of it IN town.

Someone VERY involved in a Baptist church might know the other Baptist churches in the area, and when their Vacation Bible Schools are, and what their camp schedules are, and who's coming and going as to personnel, and whose building fund is flush or low, and whose offers of free rides are impingeing on that church's imagined territory.

So it's possible to be so close to something that perspective is skewed. But everyone has a perspective, however narrow or broad or open or paranoid.

In the real world there are clues and realities of appearance, presentation, "ride" that can give others information they can use (fairly or unfairly) to decide who to interact with or to trust. Then there are ranks, positions, the recognition of others, introductions, whatever-all. We don't all look the same. We are not all the same.

On facebook, though, the template and format ARE the same. My "handwriting" looks like everyone else's. I plug in a photo of me, and something pretty or funny, without knowing how to code that—just click "update cover photo" or "update profile picture" and it looks like I know what I'm doing. But anyone with a facebook page can do that.

So we lose the real-world social strata and markers. Sometimes that's good; sometimes it's not. Someone who declares vehemently that Everyone MUST do this, now!: —————(whatever it is) might be the sort of person who, in person, would command the room, and make sure lunch wasn't going to be late, and that everyone had a comfy chair. Or it might be someone who, in a group, would find it difficult to get into a conversation for one reason or another. Yet on facebook, they look the same. They have the same access to the microphone, as it were, it seems.

Or one might be an absolute happy, solid, reliable person who exudes trustworthiness, and another might have just come in from the parking lot smelling like pot and giggling nervously. I could hang out with both, but I'd prefer neither of them tell me what I HAVE TO DO right now or else.

(original, June 2017, my facebook page)


Seeing it

How unschooling changes people