The Critical 'I'

Read. React. Repeat.

Sunday, August 08, 2004

On Friday, my boss mentioned that one of her daughter's new high school teachers was a declared Druid. A cornerstone of Druidry is reverence of trees as living beings, and thus an aversion to harming them or using products made from them. As such, he's informed his students that all assignments for the year will be delivered and received wholly electronically--no paper whatsoever.

My initial thought was that it was a kooky way to structure your class. But then I thought that, these days, it's probably not very unusual. More and more, the college classroom experience includes Web-based syllabi and back-and-forth emailing between instructor and student, cutting down on paperwork immensely. It's only natural that high schools should adopt this too, where possible (this particular teacher is instructing an advanced honors program, so there's a certain expectation as far as having access to computers, etc.).

I also noted that the Internet Age is the perfect time for a Druid to be a teacher. In years past, there really was no way to avoid dealing with paper all the time. Now, electronic media allows this guy to practice his beliefs closer to the letter than he ever would have been able to, and still be employed. Of course, he's still teaching in a building that's made at least partly from wood, and there's tons of other dead-tree products all around; but every little bit helps.