Re: Directions  Re: Conceptual Metaphors of Orientation

Yesterday morning, I got to the school.  Bright.  Sunny.  Super sun.  First student comes.  He’s into bird watching.  Struggle with lock, find out interesting things about City Honors and gardening.  Lock opens.  We are inside the outdoor classroom.


Researchers like, Gemma Corradi Fiumara, Lakoff & Johnson and others explored Conceptual Metaphor in the 1980s and 90s.  Aristotle had thought about this way earlier.  Obviously.  I mean, he’s Aristotle, guys.  Come on.

metaphor: meta  phora changing states, going from up and down, inside to outside.  transformation (it’s always always about transformation). 

metaphors of orientation: different cultures use different directions to mean different things.  American culture uses —-> right, for forward.  The future is to the right.  We read from left to right. ex. “You got the right idea!” (opposite references include Arabic and Hebrew language systems, think of reading the Torah from right to left.)

Cool thing: Aristole was Greek.  Greeks thought time in front and behind them.  We are walking backwards into the future while viewing the past.


Children don’t know conceptual metaphor.  They know bits of ideas.  Like, my guess is that we, as, children know observations and then construct these pieces of knowledge into some kind of confusing system of beliefs that makes us drink too much in college because we’re so confused.  But, that’s another direction.  One, I am going to dart around right now.

At the school, inside the outdoor classroom, three kids stare at an “E” I painfully made out of pine cones.  Painfully because my back hurt a lot.   I’d later find out that a European pick up style game of soccer was not the solution.  But, it wasn’t the problem either.


  • E can be formed out of pinecones
  • E means the letter E
  • E sounds like “Eh” elephant, but also weirdly like, “eeeeeeek! my back is hurting you lovely jerks!”
  • The direction of the sun
  • The sun was rising over the school
  • I am a sailor

Construction/Montessori BAM! moment: The sun rises over our school, from east to west, moves in an arch like pattern over our playground making us all very hot and sweaty and thirsty if we are playing soccer and not smart enough to stand in the shade like many of the other teachers who are clearly professionals.  I use my right hand to point this way —> and if I go all the way that way East, I end up in India, where I’m from, where everything is hot but the sugar there is a better kind of sweet.







2 thoughts on “Direction!

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