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Posts Tagged ‘Chess’

For part 1, click here

We left off talking about my former autism website, Forming Horizons, and about a more traditional understanding of the word horizons as denoting limits rather than limitlessness. (more…)

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Just saw this movie a couple nights ago — I regret not having heard of it until recently.

I won’t launch into a full-scale review or commentary, but I want to say a quick word about I.S. 318.  While the school’s thriving chess team is, in many ways, the main focus of this movie, chess is not the only thing I.S. 318 has to offer.  They also offer their students a variety of great programs in the arts, music, technology, etc…and you get a nice snapshot of these at the beginning of the film.

Plus, they appear to have a very active student government; and whenever their school’s programs are threatened with budget cuts, the students work hard to raise necessary funds — and with remarkable success.

The whole thing reminded me very much of the the story of Eden and God’s original vision for humanity.  When we hear “Garden of Eden,” we typically think of God’s prohibition: “Do not eat from that tree.”  But we tend to become so focused on the prohibition that we forget about the far greater permission given in the very same story.

God gave to our first parents the right and the mandate to cultivate the Garden.  Many of the Early Christian Fathers saw in this His endorsement of the human project — of human flourishing in the arts, sciences, politics, and all of those very exciting things that show forth the dignity of God’s children.

When we talk about educating “the whole child,” we are getting at something much deeper than we think.  Would the world be made magically perfect if a school like Brooklyn’s I.S. 318 was replicated everywhere?  By no means…but I hope you are presupposing my acknowledgement of this in reading this article.  But I do think that in a school such as this, we can see something of the Edenic ideal in action.

One more thing: I was very impressed with the fact that the students in this documentary didn’t whine about their school’s budget problems or sit around waiting for the City to give them more money.  They took ownership for their school, and for the programs that meant so much to them.  That’s another aspect of God’s vision for humanity that we need to recover: Personal responsibility…agency…free will.

Anyway, I’d recommend the movie. (I would also recommend reading the first few chapters of Genesis, but one thing at a time :))

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