professornana (professornana) wrote,

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All the world's a stage...

As I was scanning posts and status updates and the like, I cam across something that stopped me in my tracks.  Someone was posting out from a PD workshop about "staging epiphanies."  I have to admit that,  without context, I find this rather disturbing.  I understand planning lessons so that learning is more likely to occur.  But I am still unsure about planning for epiphanies.  The dictionary defines an epiphany as a sudden revelation.  That insight is brought about generally by something simple or commonplace. For me, most epiphanies are those AHA moments, when something just connects.  Most of these posts are results of moments that could be described as epiphanies.  But, I assure you, they are not planned or staged.  I am not certain I COULD plan or stage an epiphany for someone else.

Here is how an epiphany happened to me yesterday as I was strolling through the Museum of Modern Art in NYC.  I came across a sign in one of the exhibits that asked WHAT IS PAINTING?  It went on to explain that all the parts of a good picture are involved with each other and no simply placed side by side.  Art is a creation.  (EPIPHANY MOMENT!)

So is literature, I think.  A good book is when all the parts are involved with each other, when character and setting, and theme, and plot and more all exist, not side by side, but concurrently.  Yet we often want to take literature apart and dissect it.  I am not sure that when we do this we are respecting the piece of art that is the book.  The sign about painting talks about how words can fail when we try to explain the piece of art. I think sometimes great literature causes us to become tongue tied as well.  

The point here (and I do have one) is that the epiphany was not staged.  It happened.  I was in the right place at the right time with the right frame of mind.  If it had been staged, I am not certain it would have had the impact it did.  Learning has to be natural and not forced.  But this could just be the ramblings of a very tired tourist...

Tags: aha moments, epiphanies, staging
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