Rules for students and teachers

sister corita kent x john cage rules for learning and teaching

🌱 2022-08-08

Sister Corita was a nun, visual artist, and a teacher at the Immaculate Heart. A strong proponent of slow-looking, she used to take her students on walks across the city with a paper frame. Allowing them to focus on typographic and design elements in the everyday. [1]

John Cage was a music composer. His deep interest in Zen buddism led him to make what he considers his most important piece, 4′33″. Four minutes thirty-three seconds of silence. [2]

When you walk into a battle with fear, one needs to arm themselves with the wisdom.

  • RULE ONE: Find a place you trust, and then try trusting it for awhile.
  • RULE TWO: General duties of a student — pull everything out of your teacher; pull everything out of your fellow students.
  • RULE THREE: General duties of a teacher — pull everything out of your students.
  • RULE FOUR: Consider everything an experiment.
  • RULE FIVE: Be self-disciplined — this means finding someone wise or smart and choosing to follow them. To be disciplined is to follow in a good way. To be self-disciplined is to follow in a better way.
  • RULE SIX: Nothing is a mistake. There’s no win and no fail, there’s only make.
  • RULE SEVEN: The only rule is work. If you work it will lead to something. It’s the people who do all of the work all of the time who eventually catch on to things.
  • RULE EIGHT: Don’t try to create and analyze at the same time. They’re different processes.
  • RULE NINE: Be happy whenever you can manage it. Enjoy yourself. It’s lighter than you think.
  • RULE TEN: “We’re breaking all the rules. Even our own rules. And how do we do that? By leaving plenty of room for X quantities.” (John Cage)
  • HINTS: Always be around. Come or go to everything. Always go to classes. Read anything you can get your hands on. Look at movies carefully, often. Save everything — it might come in handy later.

  1. Sister Corita is a fascinating person, who left behind the church in her 50s and continued making more art. A documentary Become Microscope about her life. The brilliant art assignment youtube channel talking about these rules. ↩︎

  2. His collected diaries, Diary: How to Improve the World (You Will Only Make Matters Worse), was an eye-opening look at how curiosity can drive a person's spiritual and intellectual growth. John Cage has truly been a pivotal influence on how I want to approach the world. ↩︎

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