By MARIKA O'BAIRE-KARK, student in the Writing and Consciousness MFA program
You are in charge of your education. As your knowledge, intelligence, and understanding evolve, then perhaps wisdom can focus and accelerate your advance into becoming the person you wish to become. You are going to create a future anyway out of the unknown that lies ahead. You could be well aware and do this deliberately or not. You decide.
Kris Brandenburger, a poet and professor at CIIS, introduced me to Tobin Hart, an educator. He wrote a philosophy in his book, "From Information to Transformation: Education for the Evolution of Consciousness." I created an algorithm from his work in parallel with that of Patricia Benner, from her work, "Expertise in Nursing Practice: Caring, Clinical Judgment and Ethics"; Stuart Dreyfus, an applied mathematician, and Hubert Dreyfus, a philosopher wrote about how air force pilots, chess players, and army tank drivers acquired their skills. Benner and Dreyfus and Dreyfus collaborated on the second chapter of her book, about how nurses, who are artists and scientists, acquire their skills. I write here about their viewpoints in relation to writers. This may seem complex. And why do it?
Writers initially work alone, or perhaps in the company of others but not with others. However, in the journey of their work, they learn from everyone and everything around them. Once they produce their piece, writers and other artists often seek supportive observers to respond to their work. Doctors, nurses find that from the beginning of their professional life in becoming educated they must learn to work as a team, even though as healers they find their actual presence with someone experiencing illness, may often be solo. It is a creation in the moment. The medium is the space between them. This demands great skill.
Artists and writers use similar skills of observation—listening, watching, feeling, then intuiting what action must come next and originating it. How does one learn a high level of skill? Or would someone want to stop at the level of being competent to perform certain physical tasks? If an individual knew how to deliberately develop his or her own skill, I believe most individuals would want to go for excellence, for the extraordinary. Here is a comparison of algorithms between Hart and Benner.