experience & interpretation
"My constant contact with the street through the scraping of my cane provides me with a direct, uninfluenced connection to visual information" (Carmen Papalia)
After talking about "direct, uninfluenced" experiences in class today, I feel more and more convinced that it is not possible to experience something without its being mediated by a prior experience, a facilitator, a lens, a memory, an expectation. It's quite possible that I've been brainwashed by Dewey and my Critical Issues in Education course, but I keep going back to the idea that every exprience leads to further experiences: “there is some kind of continuity in any case since every experience affects for better or worse the attitudes which help decide the quality of further experiences, by setting up certain preference and aversion, and making it easier or harder to act for this or that end” (Dewey, Experience & Education). In terms of the classroom experience, I do believe that students should have more authority/choice in how they can frame their experiences, but again, I think there will always be a frame of some sort that helps decide what kind of information we take in.
I think this relates to interpretation - so I thought of a statement from Frank Kermode: "Yet the world is full of interpreters... So the question arises why would we would rather interpret than not?" Still thinking about this... looking forward to continuing this discussion in class on Monday.
- Kermode, The Genesis of Secrecy (50)