Painting Chinese: A Lifelong Teacher Gains the Wisdom of Youth [NOOK Book]

Overview

As Herbert Kohl approached seventy, he realized the image he had of himself (energetic man in midlife) was not in keeping with how he was viewed by others (wise grandfather figure). To counter the realization that he was growing old, Kohl, a staunch believer in lifelong learning, set out to try something new. While on a walk, he happened upon a painting studio and on a lark signed up for a beginning class. When Kohl arrived for his first lesson, he was surprised to see the ...
See more details below
Painting Chinese: A Lifelong Teacher Gains the Wisdom of Youth

Available on NOOK devices and apps  
  • NOOK Devices
  • NOOK HD/HD+ Tablet
  • NOOK
  • NOOK Color
  • NOOK Tablet
  • Tablet/Phone
  • NOOK for Windows 8 Tablet
  • NOOK for iOS
  • NOOK for Android
  • NOOK Kids for iPad
  • PC/Mac
  • NOOK for Windows 8
  • NOOK for PC
  • NOOK for Mac
  • NOOK Study
  • NOOK for Web

Want a NOOK? Explore Now

NOOK Book (eBook)
$10.99
BN.com price
(Save 31%)$15.99 List Price

Overview

As Herbert Kohl approached seventy, he realized the image he had of himself (energetic man in midlife) was not in keeping with how he was viewed by others (wise grandfather figure). To counter the realization that he was growing old, Kohl, a staunch believer in lifelong learning, set out to try something new. While on a walk, he happened upon a painting studio and on a lark signed up for a beginning class. When Kohl arrived for his first lesson, he was surprised to see the students were Chinese children between the ages of four and seven.
Now, after three years of study, Kohl tells us what he learned from them. He shares the joys of trying to stay as fresh and unafraid as his young classmates and the wisdom he unexpectedly discovers in the formal tenets of Chinese landscape painting. As he advances into classes with older students, he reflects on how this experience allows him to accept and find comfort in aging. For anyone who feels stuck in the wearying repetition of everyday life, Kohl's adventures will clearly illustrate that you can never be too old to grow from new experiences.
Read More Show Less

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly

In this memoir, seasoned educator Kohl (36 Children) comes to terms with entering his twilight years. Kohl devoted his career to alternative education and to social justice, and in his mid 60s he created and directed a teacher-education program at the University of San Francisco that merged these two passions. In its fourth year, the program folded due to lack of funding, leaving Kohl despondent. On a walk through a predominantly Chinese commercial area near the university, he happened upon a fine arts school and on a whim signed up for beginners' level Chinese ink painting. On the first day of class, he discovered that he was by far the oldest pupil-his fellow students were five, six, and seven years old. He decided to stay, and over the next several years, painting took on a meditative quality for him. Kohl tells of studying alongside the children, reflecting on his life. The supportive environment and hands on, noncompetitive learning process renew his sense of wonderment, patience, love of learning and freedom of expression. The narrative is interspersed with samples of his painting as well as Chinese poetry and literary excerpts explaining the symbolism behind traditional Chinese painting imagery. Kohl writes with a bit of a tin ear, but his earnestness and plainly told account are fitting for a story of rediscovering the peace and unfettered joy of childhood. (Aug.)

Copyright 2007 Reed Business Information
Kirkus Reviews
Educator Kohl (She Would Not Be Moved, 2005, etc.) returns to the classroom, this time as a student of Chinese landscape painting. Approaching his seventh decade, the author realized that the impression he had of himself as a "middle-aged guy" was at odds with society's perception of him as old. He was feeling tired and vulnerable, worn down by his battles with the University of San Francisco administration over his social-justice program. As he wandered Clement Street in a predominantly Asian area of the city, Kohl noticed a storefront art school and decided to enroll. He hoped to learn more about landscape painting, which he had long admired; he also anticipated finding a fellow student who could teach him Chinese chess. When Kohl arrived for his first lesson, however, he discovered that all the other students were children, ages four to seven. Over the course of three years, the author learned the rituals and techniques of brush painting, moving from sketching monkeys and pandas to rendering graceful forests of bamboo. "I soon discovered that it was very difficult to breathe life into a bamboo," he writes, "to have it move with wind, to have it serene on a quiet day, to have it bursting with leaves or barren or budding." As the author relinquished his need to teach and learned to relish his role as student (albeit one who stuck out), the class served as a template for aging with enthusiasm and grace. The conclusion shows Kohl leaving the university to rebuild his professional life, re-energized by his experience and eager to embrace whatever time is left to him. Moving and perceptive-a delightful, engaging memoir on aging. Agent: Wendy Weil/Wendy Weil Agency
Read More Show Less

Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781608196524
  • Publisher: Bloomsbury USA
  • Publication date: 1/15/2011
  • Sold by: Barnes & Noble
  • Format: eBook
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 176
  • Sales rank: 876,748
  • Product dimensions: 5.50 (w) x 7.12 (h) x 0.68 (d)
  • File size: 3 MB

Meet the Author

Herbert Kohl is the author of more than forty books, including 36 Children, The Open Classroom, I Won't Learn from You, Stupidity and Tears and A View from the Oak, which we wrote with his wife, Judith, and which won the National Book Award for children's literature. He was the founder and first director of Teachers' and Writers' Collaborative and established the Center for Teaching Excellence for Social Justice at the University of San Francisco. He is a senior fellow at the Open Society Institute, a part of the Soros Foundation Network. He lives in Point Arena, California.
Read More Show Less

Read an Excerpt

Excerpt from Painting Chinese:

"Attention to ritual slows you down. Often I came to class after a day full of pressure and conflict, of juggling a dozen things at a time, and feeling overwhelmed. Before beginning to paint at Joseph's I brought all of the complexities of work home to Judy. Now, as soon as I entered the storefront for my lesson they all temporarily disappeared and the rituals took over. They were my transition from one way of pacing life to another."

Read More Show Less

Customer Reviews

Be the first to write a review
( 0 )
Rating Distribution

5 Star

(0)

4 Star

(0)

3 Star

(0)

2 Star

(0)

1 Star

(0)

Your Rating:

Your Name: Create a Pen Name or

Barnes & Noble.com Review Rules

Our reader reviews allow you to share your comments on titles you liked, or didn't, with others. By submitting an online review, you are representing to Barnes & Noble.com that all information contained in your review is original and accurate in all respects, and that the submission of such content by you and the posting of such content by Barnes & Noble.com does not and will not violate the rights of any third party. Please follow the rules below to help ensure that your review can be posted.

Reviews by Our Customers Under the Age of 13

We highly value and respect everyone's opinion concerning the titles we offer. However, we cannot allow persons under the age of 13 to have accounts at BN.com or to post customer reviews. Please see our Terms of Use for more details.

What to exclude from your review:

Please do not write about reviews, commentary, or information posted on the product page. If you see any errors in the information on the product page, please send us an email.

Reviews should not contain any of the following:

  • - HTML tags, profanity, obscenities, vulgarities, or comments that defame anyone
  • - Time-sensitive information such as tour dates, signings, lectures, etc.
  • - Single-word reviews. Other people will read your review to discover why you liked or didn't like the title. Be descriptive.
  • - Comments focusing on the author or that may ruin the ending for others
  • - Phone numbers, addresses, URLs
  • - Pricing and availability information or alternative ordering information
  • - Advertisements or commercial solicitation

Reminder:

  • - By submitting a review, you grant to Barnes & Noble.com and its sublicensees the royalty-free, perpetual, irrevocable right and license to use the review in accordance with the Barnes & Noble.com Terms of Use.
  • - Barnes & Noble.com reserves the right not to post any review -- particularly those that do not follow the terms and conditions of these Rules. Barnes & Noble.com also reserves the right to remove any review at any time without notice.
  • - See Terms of Use for other conditions and disclaimers.
Search for Products You'd Like to Recommend

Recommend other products that relate to your review. Just search for them below and share!

Create a Pen Name

Your Pen Name is your unique identity on BN.com. It will appear on the reviews you write and other website activities. Your Pen Name cannot be edited, changed or deleted once submitted.

 
Your Pen Name can be any combination of alphanumeric characters (plus - and _), and must be at least two characters long.

Continue Anonymously

    If you find inappropriate content, please report it to Barnes & Noble
    Why is this product inappropriate?
    Comments (optional)