It's never easy

It's never easy

May the fervor of the young always be with you.

It started as a casual thing, yoga as loosening up; stretching out.
Grew to a regular event, to a special event not to be missed.

An enlightened moment when my daughter said, “I want to be a yoga instructor.”
Educating herself and concluding that if she applied herself all summer, between her freshman and sophomore years of college, she could get certified before returning to school.

$1500.00 dollars for the certification course plus she had to arrange on her own, to take sixty approved yoga classes, keep a journal, and get signed off on each.
She had to pay for those on her own. By joining a club that had such classes.

A part of her formal education Swarthmore doesn’t provide.
But they should, she argued, and got them to pay for $1,000.00 of the cost and promise her a teaching assistant class on yoga when she returned to school, certified.

Two-thirds into the program and yoga has developed into a philosophy for her.
She can’t conceive of spending an entire school year without a more active involvement in yoga that a single class will provide.

So, taking advantage of Swarthmore’s small size, small enough for students to have a direct relationship with their teachers, Kat has decided to push the school for an independent study for her that would enable her to continue to study yoga and get the credits of a college class.

Today’s post consists of the emails passed between her and he who would be her teacher.
I admire both my daughter’s aggressive pursuit and the informality and flexibility of he who would be her mentor.  


Today is Saturday, August 11
This is my 123rd consecutive daily posting.
Time is 6.02am and the weather is cloudy and rainy.
Today’s dinner is at my cousins, a bring-something, mine a lasagna.

Readers’ (or Blogger’s) Comments
Coincidentally, from another of my children, this from my son, Dom, topic unrelated

Thanks. Very interesting reading.  For me personally hearing a story in which a store is referred to as “Charley the Jew’s” is actually wonderfully descriptive in that it speaks to the time, place and attitudes of the people in the story.  Even if it were a derogatory reference (which, as far as I can tell, it is not) it speaks to the culture 65 years in the past, and it is a necessary detail that fills out the picture being painted.  Realizing that someone describing a store in that manner today would be repugnant, we get a sense of the assimilation that has gone on with many ethnicities in our country in the last  half-century; and it points out as well that there is still work to be done with a new list of marginalized members of our American culture.

Web-Meister responds:
Pretty amazing that even yet not everyone finds marginalization repugnant.
Note that here in Massachusetts, on the November ballot, we must vote on a bill making it illegal to discriminate against transgenders.
We need a law insuring basic rights?

For Encyclopediacs:

What novel ideas did Maria Montessori develop?

Find the answer just before today’s Post below. Partial answers for partial credits. 

Word of the Day

We may take a credit if we know the word without referring to the definition hereunder.

1.       impart knowledge to or instruct (someone) as to how to do something."she taught him to read"

synonyms: educate · instruct · school · tutor · give lessons to · coach · train

2.       cause (someone) to learn or understand something by example or experience.
"travelling taught me that not everyone shared my beliefs"

Thumbnail Biography:
Maria Tecla Artemisia Montessori August 31, 1870 – May 6, 1952) was an Italian physician and educator best known for the philosophy of education that bears her name, and her writing on scientific pedagogy.
At an early age, Montessori broke gender barriers and expectations when she enrolled in classes at an all-boys technical school, with hopes of becoming an engineer. She soon had a change of heart and began medical school at The University of Rome, where she graduated – with honors – in 1896.
She was a single mother.
Her educational method is in use today in many public and private schools throughout the world.

Thank you, Wikipedia

Movie Details
“The Miracle Worker” is a 1962 American biographical film about Anne Sullivan, blind tutor to Helen Keller, directed by Arthur Penn.
The screenplay by William Gibson is based on his 1959 play of the same title, which originated as a 1957 broadcast of the television anthology series Playhouse 90.
Gibson's original source material was “The Story of My Life,” the 1902 autobiography of Helen Keller.

The film went on to be an instant critical success and a moderate commercial success.
The film was nominated for five Academy Awards, including Best Director for Arthur Penn, and won two awards, Best Actress for Anne Bancroft and Best Supporting Actress for Patty Duke.
The Miracle Worker also holds a perfect 100% score from the movie critics site Rotten Tomatoes.

Answer for Encyclopediacs
The Montessori Method of education, developed by Maria Montessori, is a child-centered educational approach based on scientific observations of children from birth to adulthood. Montessori's method has been used for over 100 years in many parts of the world.

The Montessori method views the child as one who is naturally eager for knowledge and capable of initiating learning in a supportive, thoughtfully prepared learning environment.
It attempts to develop children physically, socially, emotionally and cognitively.

Although a range of practices exist under the name "Montessori", the Association Montessori Internationale (AMI) and the American Montessori Society (AMS) cite these elements as essential:

Mixed age classrooms; classrooms for children ages 2½ or 3 to 6 years old are by far the most common, but 0–3, 3-6, 6–9, 9–12, 12–15, and 15–18 year-old classrooms exist as well.

Student choice of activity from within a prescribed range of options.

Uninterrupted blocks of work time, ideally three hours.

A constructivist or "discovery" model, where students learn concepts from working with materials, rather than by direct instruction.

Specialized educational materials developed by Montessori and her collaborators often made out of natural, aesthetic materials such as wood, rather than plastic.

A thoughtfully prepared environment where materials are organized by subject area, within reach of the child, and are appropriate in size.

Freedom of movement within the classroom.

A trained Montessori teacher who follows the child and is highly experienced in observing the individual child's characteristics, tendencies, innate talents and abilities.

Thank you, Wikipedia.

From: Katherine Capossela
Date: Wed, Aug 8, 2018 at 12:37 AM
Subject: Re: Yoga Independent Study

To: Kim David Arrow

On Mon, Aug 6, 2018 at 7:59 PM, Katherine Capossela  wrote:

Good evening Professor Arrow,

My name is Kat Capossela, and I am interested in creating an independent study on yoga this upcoming semester.

This summer, I will be obtaining my yoga teaching license approved by Yoga Alliance. I will teach a class at Swarthmore, and I would like to continue my self study on the topic outside of teaching.

I’m not too sure of the independent study parameters, but I have some ideas that I would like to discuss. Please let me know if this is a possibility—and if you’re even the right person to be speaking with!

Thank you so much,


 On Tue, Aug 7, 2018 at 8:36 PM, Kim David Arrow wrote:

Aloha Kat--



--Kudos on getting your yoga teaching certification!

--Well, I guess I am the 'right' person to talk to.  Although I haven't done a yoga independent study before and don't really know if I'll have the time in my teaching schedule.  Will know more after the first week of classes.

Please do feel free to stop by my office any time (or make an appointment) that first week.

--It might be helpful were you to let me know (by reply) some of your ideas we may discuss when I return.



On Wed, Aug 8, 2018 at 7:59 PM, Katherine Capossela wrote:


Thank you for your speedy reply :)

Essentially, I would like to extend what I've been doing this summer into the school year. Having structure though a designed course will help me to delve into the subject in a depth that I cannot achieve on my own.

That would potentially involve:

Physical practice. I would take yoga (asana) classes online and occasionally at Swarthmore, practicing more challenging inversions on my own time

Reading. I have a laundry list of resources that my current yoga instructors have recommended and that I'm itching to dive into

Studying. I would love to have yoga terminology under my belt, such as the chakras and yamas

Practicing teaching. I need to learn how to sequence great classes in order to teach great classes!

Reflection. This could take many forms: meditation, journaling, essay writing

If you provide some additional details for me—such as hours per week dedicated to each portion of study, how you would be involved in the process—I would be delighted to draft a framework and pass that along for feedback.

Also, how does an independent study translate to my course load? For example, would it appear on my transcript with a grade?

I look forward to hearing from you,