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The Sun Magazine

Culture and Society

Education

The Sun Interview

Keep The Hand Moving

Natalie Goldberg On Zen And The Art Of Writing Practice

When I write, my self disappears. That’s ultimately what happens with Zen practice too, but I linger more on my human life with Zen, whereas with writing I’m willing to give it over completely. When I’m done writing, I feel more refreshed, as if I’ve eaten and digested my angst. The same thing can occur with meditation for me, but in a lesser way. Writing is more alive.

Essays, Memoirs, and True Stories

Half Of What I Say Is Meaningless

The United States draft lottery for boys born in 1953, such as myself, took place during the first weeks of 1972. All 365 days of the year were dropped into the proverbial hat. The boys born on the first 150 or so dates plucked from the hat were sure to be drafted. Those with high numbers, two hundred or above, were safe: no draft, no war. No military of any kind. The ones who caught a seventy-five or lower could count on being sent to Vietnam.

Essays, Memoirs, and True Stories

The Gifted Classes

I have nothing to say about the politics of poverty, what causes it and what it causes and how to make it go away. I can only tell you what poverty does to a person. It gets inside you, nestles into your bones, and gives you a chill that you cannot shake. Poverty becomes you — it shapes what you see and taste and dream — till there is no telling where you stop and poverty begins. To be poor is to live in denial — not the denial of professional counselors and self-help books, which is an avoidance of some truth too painful to admit, but denial in its most literal sense: you must say no to yourself constantly.

Quotations

Sunbeams

School was a worry to her. She was not glib or quick in a world where glibness and quickness were easily confused with ability to learn.

Tillie Olsen

The Sun Interview

Thinking Outside The Classroom

An Interview With Zenobia Barlow

Many children who weren’t excelling in the classroom have suddenly become academic superstars, because they have aptitudes — kinesthetic, spatial, musical, interpersonal — that tend to emerge more successfully outside the classroom. When you give kids rich and varied contexts, they rise to a level of excellence you might not have anticipated.

Quotations

Sunbeams

My schooling did me a great deal of harm and no good whatever; it was simply dragging a child’s soul through the dirt.

George Bernard Shaw

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