SUPPORT: Live and Learn

Soul of Sand

A Serious Slice of Life: SOUL OF SAND (Global Lens Collection)

Interpreting an education via the sights, sound and sensibilities of daily life

“Summertime and the livin’ is easy”–isn’t that what Ella said?  Days become longer, lazier.  Clothes are looser.  Planets hang low on the horizon, just above sunset…

I think it’s safe to say most people enjoy summer.  And I’m no exception.  For me, the ‘easy livin’ represents a better classroom, a time to take the world in, without rush; certainly that’s what happens at the Global Film Initiative, when we spend countless twilights, reviewing hundreds of films and scripts, to determine our next season of Global Lens and grant-recipients.

But work aside, summer does really seem to represent a time to pause.  Schools are out, and most governments are not in session.  And if I think back to childhood–and my annual, transcontinental summer experiment of living in India and Malaysia, courtesy of my parents–I certainly learned just as much from that season as I did in school…

For example, I’ve always loved maps, but never really found interest in geography and history until we crossed the border between India and Pakistan.  I learned about topography when we cut a course over the Strait of Malacca.  And I picked up an understanding of ecology and biology, in realizing the dirt beneath our feet can change the taste of food that goes in our mouth—whether an egg or apple.

In a similar vein, these summers also taught me to think in creative and sometimes absurd flourishes [as only a child would do, listening to nightsongs in Penang, and wondering if dogs bark with accents].  And, in certain circumstances, they also pushed me to defend, and question, the strength of any belief (i.e. “Does America define democracy, more so than the world’s largest democracy?”).   It also opened me to nuance, and what really defines a “culture”…

Still Life: CRAFT from Global Lens 2012 (Now playing--all around you!)

Daily life.  People walking to work.  Fires being lit, food being cooked.  The type of things you don’t learn from books, or formal schooling.  It was from those trips that I learned about class difference, and caste.  I attended funerals and weddings, spent hours watching men ride by our house on bicycles, and even more hours, watching rain-showers from a verandah–not unlike what I did at home, in Seattle.

Of course, not everyone has the ability to travel, especially now that Kerouacian ideals of the ‘open road’ aren’t as free as they used to be.  And not everyone has the luxury of a lazy and carefree summer.  But I suppose the point is to consider summer as a time to take a break, and look at the world around you.  Catch some of the details you might’ve have missed during the rest of the year…

Things you can’t find on a website.  In a classroom.  Off a shelf.  But in the air.  On the streets.  And…

Since 2003, Global Lens has presented audiences with some of the most innovative and unusual perspectives on daily life from around the world–from the Caspian Sea to the heart of Distrito Federal and beyond.  It’s no substitute for the real thing, but it’s a very near and wonderful second–and if you’d like to support the series with a donation, visit our online giving site or purchase a DVD (all revenues from Global Lens directly support our filmmakers, grants and other charitable activities).   

Print Friendly
Facebook Twitter Email

Leave a Reply