One quality of the Connected Educators movement that I like is its pro-innovation mindset that encourages healthy failure. The Silicon Valley model is to “fail forward” and fail fast, then learn from your mistakes and move on to the next iteration. Today I learned that I wasn’t chosen for an internal position for which I had applied, and this was a good opportunity for me to practice failure. I know that I made choices in my application and interview that hurt my candidacy, and I can learn from them. The other candidates were formidable, and I can hold my head high knowing that I pushed myself and took a chance.
Teachers need to model failure. Most often we say this in reference to class work, but our students also apply for leadership positions, jobs and internships, and ultimately college admission. Along the way they experience rejection and disappointment. My students aren’t even aware that I applied for a position and learned that I didn’t get it, but I can still model healthy failure by staying classy and doing my job with a smile. Setbacks, both large and small, don’t define us.
Welcome to our Advanced Sophomore Literature and Composition creative writing project based on Italo Calvino’s novel Invisible Cities. The first original city is below. Follow the link at the bottom of each city to read the next city in the sequence. There are seventeen cities in all.
Cities & The Sky 6 by Gabby C. ’17
When you enter the city of Zodica, you gradually sense that the city is slowly revolving around you. The inn has moved a few feet to the left, the bank to the right, and the blacksmith’s shop is on the other side of the city by the day’s end. When you wake in the morning, the shoemaker’s store has been replaced by the sporting goods; the theater by the auto mechanic’s; and instead of the smell of fresh baked bread, there is the mixture of dozens of candles from the wax maker’s shop.
In an effort to replicate the sky on earth, the city was constructed to mimic the dance of the stars, planets, galaxies. The city lies on wooden discs that sit atop iron wheels. Each building matches a celestial body, and each has its own disc to complete its orbit upon. A series of grinding gears, rusty pulleys, old ropes control each disc’s orbit as it rolls upon rails; the system is digitally automated, the time based on the measurements of an atomic clock. The city revolves around a launch pad from which astronomers send up telescopes and satellites to observe the heavens more closely and improve the city more accurately. There isn’t an object in the city that you could not look up and match it with something in the sky.
The astronomers have continued to launch these satellites, observing every point in the sky. However, the satellites have become so numerous that one cannot see anything except a gray metallic blanket above the city. So the city is now based upon pictures coming from the telescopes. If you were to visit the place today, you would find Zodica, silently revolving beneath the blank sky.
To read the next story in our project, click here.