When I have talked about tension in discussions sometimes, I was thinking of the way tents stay up in the wind, or the way bridges can be suspended over wide, deep rivers.
The tension unschooler could use considering has to do with a pull from two directions. If a rope is managing to hold your tent up and also down, be grateful for that force.
The quotes above are taken from
Tension—not nervous jittery tension, but the kind of tension that holds a tent up—is hard to describe, and it's important for having direction, in life. It's why today's topic is an odd, important, difficult one.
We tell people to slow down and wait a while, but if they slow down too much and wait too long, they won't get it. But if we say hurry up and do it NOW, they will stumble and become overwhelmed and confused, and might give up in frustration.
Like the tension of standing up tall? All the muscles working together, and it's almost no effort?
It's like the clutch and the brake.
Maybe, Jill! Like the tension that makes a sailboat go. Not too tight, not too loose, needs to be just right.
Right about then, Frank Maier came into the chat, and he knows about sail boats,
and shared some details, in a bit, and more are at the link below.
Even the finest unschooling curriculum wouldn't work for someone who didn't get it.
Ah, I see what you are saying. There is effort (lots) in unschooling, and when you get it right or on or in flow, it's a lovely feeling, calmer and easier going.
That's better than what I was trying to say, Jill. Thanks.
Every system has a total amount of energy in it. How much of that energy goes into something "useful" and how much is used up in friction, waste, etc. determines the efficiency of that system.
So, Frank, I'm guessing you want the least amount of waste, to get the most efficiency. Am I on the right track? And ...hmmm....how would that translate into action for unschooling?
So, Frank, in the idea of the needed tension between approaching unschooling carefully and thoughtfully, and hurrying up and just DOING it, where would the energy and waste and all go? Waste of misstep or wrong direction?
Exactly correct. In theory. No system is perfectly efficient in reality.
It happens when people go "no rules!"
They're trying to hurry up and do it, but throwing out the baby with the bathwater.
It's still not thoughtful.
So, wow! Big question - how is that observed in attempting unschooling? Lemme use a sailing analogy. I choose a course and set my sails with my best guess. It ain't perfect. I see signs which tell me that I'm not "in the groove" - sail flutter, churn in the wake, whatever, so I make adjustments. Trim the sails, refine my course, whatever. Now, I'm more in the groove.
Was my first attempt incorrect? I don't think so. It was my best guess at the start. As I felt that and where it was weak, I worked to improve it. I think that's analogous to unschooling beginners.
Even an experienced sailor who's in the groove will notice that sometimes the wind changes or the current changes or the boat trim changes and you must readjust for that. What had been as perfect as humanly possible is now less so and adjustments are called for.
I like that Frank. Do you have an analogy for the wind? The force that drives the sails?
I think so, Alex. A sailboat works essentially on the Bernouilli principle, forming a pressure differential between the sails. However the direct force of the wind is also simply trying to push directly against the sail and push the boat over on its side. Balancing those forces to get the best bernouilli slot with the least knock down pressure is where "the groove" is.
Just when you've think you've figured something out, things change (growth spurt, new interest, life event).
The photo above is of the ceiling in a house in The Netherlands. That one is old, but there are companies still doing timber framing, or post-and-beam construction.