Snow Day

I’m convinced… that our basic nature is to be curious and self-directed.  And I say that not because I’m a dewy-eyed idealist, but because I’ve been around young children, and because my wife and I have three kids of our own.  Have you ever seen a six-month-old or a one-year-old who’s not curious and self-directed?  I haven’t.  That’s how we are out of the box.  If, at age fourteen or forty-three, we’re passive and inert, that’s not because it’s our nature.  It’s because something flipped our default setting…

Perhaps management isn’t responding to our supposedly natural state of passive inertia.  Perhaps management is one of the forces that’s switching our default setting and producing that state.

-Dan Pink,Drive



It snowed this week, the first semi-significant snow of the year.  As a western Pennsylvania native, It’s hard to perceive the snow that sends kids in this area of the state home from school early to be any sort of real threat.  But as the students turn into live-wires, waiting for the announcement that will send them out the doors a few hours before the end of the managed school day, the excitement is contagious.

I found myself standing by the studio door, transfixed by the snow falling on this pot outside.  This pot has lived outside since 2009, after it proved too unwieldy and cracked to glaze.  It has a story to it, and that story has everything to do with motivation, and a “flipped switch” of the sort that Pink describes.

It’s a story that reminds me why I teach.

But that snowy day, I just watched as the snow covered its curves, individual flakes coating the undulations in the form.

And the announcement came, and the students went home.

It’s been a long week.


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