4 October 1956

4 October 1956

Progress report on Kurt Zachmann:

  1. Was a Y.M.C.A. counselor for 2 years.
  2. Went ahead and made 2 more speeches at work afterhis first speech was a flop.
  3. Spoke up with a good, hard, sound arguments whenCharlie Vaughn was made his superior.

I’m routing for Kurt’s fight! I’m irrevocably on his side and aiming for him to win his fight against the handicaps and underbrush of his up-bringing.

Tuesday night Kurt and I went to the evening session of the Collinwood P.D.A. After the meeting we stood talking with Mr. Hudson in the hall. He is [the] truant and corrections [faculty] member of the high school, also evening principal of Collinwood’s night school. Kurt remembers him as being the nicest referee he ever had while playing football at Shaker and usually referees did not register with Kurt.

Hudson started out by saying he differed with Dr. Bowman regarding Bowman’s phraseology: “a problem child”. Hudson felt that it was incorrect to call a child a “problem child” when actually you really had “a child with a problem.” When you separate the “child” from the “problem” you have something you can deal with. A “problem child” does not separate the problem from the child. He felt it was wrong of Bowman to use the expression.

The logic he applied in his explanation instantly caught my attention and we talked on. Here, I felt, was a man with a keenly logical mind.

Hudson went on to speak of night school. We talked on the telephone a few times while I was Director of the Memorial School Community Center.

The conversation got around to a discussion of Lydia’s cake decorating instructor. “He is what you probably could consider a ‘queer character’” said Hudson. Kurt, Lydia, Eddie and I laughed at the measured way he said this. As he enlarged upon his statement he related that this instructor started with him five years ago. He was a man with 40 years of experience in his trade, but he did not know how to teach. Also, he was a bit of a character in his manners, due to lack of learning in the more gentle refinements of life. The instructor would walk into the school building where no one was wearing a hat. He would end up in his classroom with his hat on, pulled down over one eye.

Hudson said he took the instructor in hand and began to teach him how to teach. “I explained to him,” said Hudson, “that first you told your class what you were going to do. Then you showed them how to do it. And then you let them do it.”

The instructor was quite willing to let Hudson help him learn to teach.

“He told me,” continued Hudson, “If I don’t do something right, you let me know how to do it!”

One example of this training of the cake decorating teacher’s course in teaching centered around the fact that he loved to decorate cakes, decorated most of them himself very beautifully, but the class was not learning much.

Here is how Hudson explained to the instructor what was happening: “Look,” he said, “I can stand up in front of a class whose students never had a hammer or nail in their hands. I can stand up front and pound nails into a board with that hammer all day, explaining how to do it, and no one learns. Give the student a hammer, nail, and board and when they attempt to hit the nail with the hammer – swoosh! – there goes the nail across the room and the student in addition has a sore thumb!” Hudson used a sweeping gesture to indicate the direction of the nail and held up his thumb to give physical action explanation to his words. “No one can learn from just having something explained, or from just watching. It comes at the last from practice in doing.”

Quite a guy! – Hudson.

Portion of the Chapt. On “The Seven Beatitudes” from “Discover Yourself”:

“. . . we have much faith, but little faithfulness. Many men believe in an ideal, but few follow it to the far end. Achievement only follows struggle. The discipline of life is ever present. Every man has a problem behind him. If life were smooth from year to year we would cease to evolve. The world represents opposition, waiting to be conquered. He who would achieve must overcome, and not yield . . . How strong is your desire to know truth? Truth is so subtle and elusive that unless you have that keen longing for it which persists year after year, you will never find it. (In this revolutionary age, when so many of us are tired of the old formulas and the teachings now threadbare, thoughtful persons subscribe to no special cult or creed or shibboleth but want the Truth that transcends them all. This is the mysterious El Dorado which lies beyond the borders of common knowledge.) No matter what happens, you must not let disappointments in life keep you from your quest, but you must continue your search, no matter what come, and if you do that you will eventually attract that which you seek. However, you must seek truth for its own sake alone. You must be prepared to avoid sidetracks. (We are here to find our lost awareness of our divine self, self in its largest and loneliest aspect. We haven’t lost this self; remember we have only lost track of it, which is quite a different thing.)

“If you seek it (Truth) expecting material benefits or psychic experiences, you are looking for that which is fleeting, and you will miss the truth . . . One must have humility that does not mean feebleness which places you under the feet of other people; it does not mean a cringing attitude in the   presence of other humans; it does not mean whining supplication for favors as a beggar whines for alms at a street corner; and it certainly does not mean a cowardly fear of the world. All that is . . . despicable . . . True humility means you are humble towards the higher power of the Spirit, but towards nothing else. Yu have to be as submissive, as reverent, and as childlike as possible towards divinity. But towards the world at large, and towards humanity at large, you may be as strong and a bold and as self-reliant as you wish.

“Truth is the highest goal, because from that mountain peak you can see everything else as it really is. You can see that many stages in your development. It will show you how so many half-truths and quarter truths and imitation truths have posed as whole truths. It will give you an understanding of the truth about yourself, about life, about the universe as a whole, which will eliminate all doubt.”