Fits & Fugues

Education can be so much more.

TxDLA 2008 Conference -Day 2 and A Man with a Crazy Story

Dave Carey, a POW in Vietnam from 1967-1972, spoke today using the analogy of his life in captivity as lessons for educators. As a side note, he wasn’t actually at the conference here in Galveston, but delivered his presentation via videoconferencing technology from Austin. I thought that was a great way to spotlight that kind of technology at a Distance Learning Conference. (Harriet gives her take on the talk as well.)

He prefaced his talk by saying he is most often asked variations on the question: “How did you do it?” As he spoke, he repeated several main points (among others) that translate to our journey as educators.

  • Do what you have to do.
  • Fix the communications.
  • Decide to grow as a result of and through your experiences.
  • Keep the faith in each other and beyond yourself.
  • Learn from each other. 
  • Use your sense of humor.

He mentioned that we initially may think that we, as educators, may not have a whole lot in common with POW’s and their struggle, but he repeatedly brought his story back to us and illustrated the connections. At the beginning he referenced that his captors firmly believed in the divide-and-conquer through isolation and the prisoner’s way through that was to develop a system of communication so they could share and transmit their common knowledge and experiences. The POW’s, used their collected knowledge, simply, to survive. They relied on the experiences and knowledge of everyone to educate, entertain, and, even in a POW camp, grow. It’s a great illustration of how a community of connected individuals united under a common purpose does more than just survive.


March 26, 2008 - Posted by | Education | , , , , , ,

1 Comment »

  1. Thanks for sharing the post. The creativity and will to survive of the human spirit is marvelous to observe.

    Comment by Charlie A. Roy | March 26, 2008 | Reply

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