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Step 7: Tom Sawyer & Learning

Attempting to complete my DIY task list, I stopped by Lowe’s during this “stay at home” quarantine. It was absolutely packed with people, which made me reconsider the role of chores and the DIY list in our culture.

This is part 2 of a few episodes on our attitude towards labor and chores, but I find it fascinating that during this quarantine time the chore list has become the must-do list. It seems to reflect a change in attitude due to a change in lifestyle, and while I mainly lay a foundation for attitude manipulation in this podcast, I want to dive into the compulsion to work, and how our leisure time has become labor time and a means to define ourselves.

To consider the attitude change, I discuss Mark Twain’s “Tom Sawyer” parable with the picket fence and the difference between work and play. I leap this idea of the dread of chores and Sawyer’s duplicity simply to get out of work into the larger dread of learning —learning as chore— and why “edutainment” —learning as play— is a frail form of education, where students do not learn how-to-learn or draw pleasure from the learning process. (This pulls from Neil Postman’s “Amusing Ourselves to Death”. )

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Mark Twain’s “Tom Sawyer” and the picket fence [link]

Neil Postman “Amusing Ourselves to Death” [link]
I think the last chapter is on “edutainment.”


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