101 Ways To Get Educated

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-Grow enough grain for one loaf of bread — and make and eat the loaf

-Answer ALL the questions of a 3 year old for a week

-Spend a day alone in a wild place

-Follow your trash to its final resting place

-Collect food and blankets and spend a day giving them to homeless people taking the time to stop and talk about life

-Help in the birth of a lamb, cow, or horse

-Visit a slaughter house (try to withhold judgment)

-Organize a rite of passage ceremony for an adolescent, someone at mid-life, or yourself

-Switch genders for the day

-Build a house (your own, or for Habitat for Humanity)

-Ask a low rider how the lifters on their car work

-Apprentice yourself to someone you’ve always wanted to learn from

-Take a picture of you and all your stuff in front of the place where you live. Compare it to the pictures in Peter Menzel’s Material World

-Read the sacred texts of another tradition

-Imagine your most delicious relationship and then go first

-Work for a week on an assembly line

-Spend a week without stepping in a car. Pay attention to how your town looks from a bike, bus, or sidewalk

-Exchange tutoring with a teenager – math or bicycle repair in exchange for Web browsing, skate boarding, dance, or ??

-Go to someone else’s church, synagogue, or place of worship

-Go on a vision quest

-Take a dance class from a different culture

-Interview the oldest person you can find; record the conversation

-Interview a child

-Imagine a day in your life 15 years from now

-Plant and care for a tree

-Ask yourself, “What if everyone in the world behaved the way I am behaving?”

-Get the names of the favorite books of your dentist, grocery store clerk, mother, co-worker, and your minister/rabbi/priest or spiritual guide. Read those books

-Pretend to be someone else on the Internet

-Trace your water supply back to its source – and follow it down the drainpipes to its destiny

-Finger paint

-Spend a day in a neighborhood where you’ve never been before – without carrying any money

-Ask your friends, and your ex-friends, to anonymously send you a list of your five best and five worst character traits

-Live for a day off your garden

-Channel surf for an evening; ask yourself what about the programs is drawing people

-Be quiet for 5 minutes per day; increase gradually to 20

-Ask a young person what’s on his or her mind and heart, and listen (don’t try to ‘fix it’)

-Figure out when and on what part of your dwelling the sun’s rays fall at different times of year (for extra credit: calculate the photovoltaic potential of your roof)

-Take a year off

-Read a foreign newspaper

-Meditate on the life of your unborn grandchild

-Talk to the janitor

-Assume that everything is your responsibility, if not your fault

-Examine a handful of compost or rich soil under a microscope

-Go without food for three days

-Watch a child being born

-Write a creation myth

-Visit an observatory, and look at the stars through a big telescope

-Map the creeks, streams, and rivers in your watershed

-Choose six jobs that interest you; find someone to interview for each and spend a day working alongside them

-Watch a snail

-Find out what percentage of the world’s financial wealth is owned by the top 50 corporations, and how much by the 50 wealthiest people

-Visit the emergency ward of a major hospital

-Sleep outside under the stars

-Discuss these questions with a friend : If the Universe is finite, what happens at its edge ? If it’s infinite, how did it get there ? If the Universe started 15 billion years ago, what was there before it started? Does time go on forever ?

-Visit a spiritual healer

-Find out what the clerk at the grocery store is thinking about

-Follow your electric wires to the source of the electricity

-Learn to line dance

-Spend two hours with a counsellor exploring your life

-Pick three trees of different species and spend an hour meditating under each one

-Go on a week-long solo journey by bus, bike, or foot to a place you’ve never been; listen to the people you meet

-Learn how to build a wall

-Fall in love

-Take a bicycle to pieces and put it together again

-Visit a Native American reservation and talk with the people you meet about their past and future

-Learn how to give a good massage

-Spend a day watching a state or provincial legislature at work

-Calculate how much carbon dioxide your family is adding to the atmosphere each year

-Ask a good friend to share the most important lessons he or she has learned about sex and how to make love

-Perform menial or repetitive work at a job that lasts at least a week

-Read primary sources on history, science, social science (that is, avoid the authors who are interpreting the work of others)

-Carry all your trash around with you for a week. At the end of the week, weigh it all

-Write an episode of one of the current top-rated sitcoms on commercial TV; explain the story line to a friend

-Repair a damaged relationship

-Start that band/garden/book/art movement you told yourself you’d always do

-Throw the biggest party you can; try to get someone from every decade dancing

-Ask your parents about their relationship

-Refuse to do meaningless work for one week

-Offer to help your child’s teacher

-Admit that you don’t know and ask for help

-Tell people how you are really doing

-Go to a punk rock or hip-hop show

-Sell your car and go to India

-Seek out a friend of a different race & class

-Ask people what they are planning to do about the year 2000 computer bug

-Calculate the total miles traveled from the towns labeled on food cans in your pantry

-Ask a kid about divorce

-Teach yourself to play guitar

-Go to the industrial section of town and see how much free stuff is available (go dumpster diving)

-Make a movie about your neighborhood

-Visit the nearest creek once a week for a month and notice changes along the banks, in the water flows, in the pools

-Collect dumpling recipes from around the world; throw a dumpling party

-Imagine yourself looking back on your life at 90 years of age: what are the highlights? Who has been most important? What do you wish you had done? Now go out and do those things, thank those people and live those highlights.

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