As Us

A Space for Writers of the World

Ramona Beltrán—Poetry

Teaching Philosophy (or First Day of Class)

Lios enchim aniavu
Cualli tlaneci
Buenos dias
Good morning, class

Please, do not take out your books.
Put down your pen and paper.
Come out from behind your rows and desks.
We will need access to your ombligo
your belly
the place
where your umbilical cord
once connected you
to your mother
to the stars
to all of creation.

Did you know it still does?

We will begin
with a dedication in haikus.

What do you think about love?
As an ethic?
As a philosophical principle
from which our social work practice
might emanate?
Are you able to transcend
candy hearts
and roller coasters
to consider love
as a process
that lights the fire
for equality
and honoring
as others
lift themselves to freedom?

We will not need the manual
evidence-based practice
from practice-based evidence
motivational interviewing
cognitive behavioral therapy

So, how does that make you feel?

No, this class is a dance.
We learn by joining the circle
even when we don’t know the steps.
You should expect
to slip
to fall
to bump into each other.
That’s how you learn, after all.

Close your eyes, please class.
We will be taking a guided meditation
a journey
where time and space
is measured
by footsteps
and memory
not calculated by
credit hours
dollar signs
price per unit
or final grades.

We are all connected
by process not product.

Your final project
is to
Walk In Beauty.


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Issue 3February 14, 2014
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