Monday, September 8, 2008

Rules to Live By

In preparing for the design course I'm about to teach at RISD, I came across this list by the experimental music composer, writer, artist, and all-around smarty-pants, John Cage, which I think applies outside the classroom just as well as in. Let me know what you think:

Some Rules for Students and Teachers

RULE ONE: Find a place you trust, and then try trusting it for awhile.

RULE TWO: General duties of a student - pull everything out of your teacher; pull everything out of your fellow students.

RULE THREE: General duties of a teacher - pull everything out of your students.

RULE FOUR: Consider everything an experiment.

RULE FIVE: be self-disciplined - this means finding someone wise or smart and choosing to follow them. To be disciplined is to follow in a good way. To be self-disciplined is to follow in a better way.

RULE SIX: Nothing is a mistake. There's no win and no fail, there's only make.

RULE SEVEN: The only rule is work. If you work it will lead to something. It's the people who do all of the work all of the time who eventually catch on to things.

RULE EIGHT: Don't try to create and analyze at the same time. They're different processes.

RULE NINE: Be happy whenever you can manage it. Enjoy yourself. It's lighter than you think.

RULE TEN: "We're breaking all the rules. Even our own rules. And how do we do that? By leaving plenty of room for X quantities."

HINTS: Always be around. Come or go to everything. Always go to classes. Read anything you can get your hands on. Look at movies carefully, often. Save everything - it might come in handy later.


Jim DuBois said...

Thanks for putting those up, they are inspiring.

Jim DuBois said...

"RULE EIGHT: Don't try to create and analyze at the same time. They're different processes."

Yes, they are different processes, but sometimes I do both at the same time and it works out too.

I would say instead, understand they are different, and let each do its own work.

patti said...

I keep coming back to read these. Great advice. I think I'll print them out and post them in my workspace. Number 8 is very important to me. Something I need to remind myself of often. Thanks for sharing.

Michael Rigg said...

I'm with Patti. #8 is a great one, though I think I'll keep coming back to these as well!