Walking on Water: Reading, Writing, and Revolution

Walking on Water: Reading, Writing, and Revolution

4.5 6
by Derrick Jensen

ISBN-10: 1931498784

ISBN-13: 9781931498784

Pub. Date: 04/28/2005

Publisher: Chelsea Green Publishing

Remember the days of longing for the hands on the classroom clock to move faster? Most of us would say we love to learn, but we hated school. Why is that? What happens to creativity and individuality as we pass through the educational system?

Walking on Water is a startling and provocative look at teaching, writing, creativity, and life by a writer

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Remember the days of longing for the hands on the classroom clock to move faster? Most of us would say we love to learn, but we hated school. Why is that? What happens to creativity and individuality as we pass through the educational system?

Walking on Water is a startling and provocative look at teaching, writing, creativity, and life by a writer increasingly recognized for his passionate and articulate critique of modern civilization. This time Derrick Jensen brings us into his classroom--whether college or maximum security prison--where he teaches writing. He reveals how schools perpetuate the great illusion that happiness lies outside of ourselves and that learning to please and submit to those in power makes us into lifelong clock-watchers. As a writing teacher Jensen guides his students out of the confines of traditional education to find their own voices, freedom, and creativity.

Jensen's great gift as a teacher and writer is to bring us fully alive at the same moment he is making us confront our losses and count our defeats. It is at the center of Walking on Water, a book that is not only a hard-hitting and sometimes scathing critique of our current educational system and not only a hands-on method for learning how to write, but, like Julia Cameron's The Artist's Way, a lesson on how to connect to the core of our creative selves, to the miracle of waking up and arriving breathless (but with dry feet) on the far shore.

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Product Details

Chelsea Green Publishing
Publication date:
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Product dimensions:
5.52(w) x 8.50(h) x 0.60(d)

Table of Contents

A Nation of Slaves3
How to Not Teach13
Don't Bore the Reader25
Who Are You?41
The Most Important Writing Exercise55
Giving up Control139
Who Are You, Again?153
Falling in Love179
Walking on Water201

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Walking on Water: Reading, Writing, and Revolution 4.5 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 6 reviews.
umm-e-aiman More than 1 year ago
school was always and sometimes still is a torture for me..five days, 8 to 9 hours of school i hated it. since childhood we have been brainwashed that we have to obey the system. SYSTEM IS NEVER WRONG. Going to work on time, doing a 9 to 5 job, low on cash wait until pay day that's all we do our lives is WAIT for the time to come, but after reading this book i think we should snatch the time and make some change...if you want to work don't..obviously you will come across a lot of hardship but that's when you will learn, experience life. Jensen ask How well can education foster the uniqueness of a child. Education has become a industrialized mass culture instead of individuality, creativity and enrichment. By telling us some short stories about his class tells they way of how to teach and how to recognize each individuals creativity, he also gives an alternative vision of education. Jensen moves in and out the matters and focus on the larger issue which is how to be human in this dehumanization world. you can also get good writing tips from some its chapters. Especially recommend for teachers and people of industrialized mass culture.
Jamila18 More than 1 year ago
This is the first book I've read from Derrick Jensen but it's a great book and I would recommend to everyone. Jensen speaks the truth about everything on writing and life. He sounds like a great teacher and i wish I had a teacher like him in school to show me the true meaning of writing. Jensen also steps into your life by helping you find yourself and changes your perspective of life. I love how in this book he is very versatile in his teaching, he teaches to a variety of groups, such as young boys in seventh grade to men in prisons. But no matter who he teaches he changes their lives and helps them become in tune with themselves and their writing. No matter what you're passionate about in life, Jensen's book helps you move forward with your dreams and not make you feel like you're alone about hating school. Not everyone likes to be in school everyday a week for six hours. Everyone is not the same and can not learn the same but Jensen is one person who helps you deal with that. He explains that it's not something wrong with us but with the schooling system. This is a great book everyone should read!
Alexanderthegreatest More than 1 year ago
This book is a real "attention getter." I think "Walking on Water" is most useful for students or just about anyone who is interested in writing and exploring new ideas. Jensen describes valuable lessons and ideas that will stick with you and that you just can't seem to forget. He stresses keeping the reader interested and to not be afraid of what others think of you; especially authority figures. The book may seem a little repetitive with the classroom scenes, but all in all I think "Walking on Water" is a good book that keeps the reader thinking.
Natty92 More than 1 year ago
I would easily recommend this book to anyone that is searching for powerful insight on a variety of topics concerning education, society, learning, and writing. My opinion on these issues were different after I read the book because Jensen brings up a lot of solid points that I never thought of before. Each page made me want to keep on reading more because it was so inspirational, yet it was full of useful information. Each chapter dealt with a different topic, and the majority of them I could relate to, especially since I am currently taking a philosophy class. If you like reading books with good beginnings and even better endings then I highly recommend taking a look at it. Although there were many strengths, the weaknesses were that I wish he would have explored some of the concepts more in depth and talked less about writing tips for students. Other than that, I thought this was well worth my time to read!
kevin_klawitter More than 1 year ago
Derrick Jensen, an author with strong critique of the educational system, offers a view of the lessons taught in his classrooms, both in a college and a prison. His ultimate goal in the book is to show how students are molded into a cultural standard and that the way to be in power and happy is to live outside those standards; he does this is the classroom by guiding his students to think creatively and find their voice in writing. He explains to them to "show, not tell" in their story writing. This meant to really desribe a feeling, as though they had to explain anger to a person who didn't know what anger was. Any one who feels like they learned nothing and were bored in school might gain some perspective about taking learning into their own hands. Also, educators and their supervisors, particularly those in fields that require students to really think creatively, would be able to gain some positive insight on alternative ways to teach without lecturing. At times, the book felt like Jensen's angry rant about education, however, his arguments were logical and sometimes necessary to the story to show just how passionate he really is on the topic.
Guest More than 1 year ago
After reading this book I was able to understand more fully how one can be open to new things and new ways of looking at something. I feel that a person should be able to understand and freely learn just as the author states throughout his work. Jensen is able to reconfirm my beliefs and my ideals as to how one should teach and how a student should learn by being open to life, love, and the world itself.