Howard County Blog

A Blog on what is going on in Howard County

Thursday, September 07, 2006

New Blog in Town

Regular reader and occasional commenter on the Howard County Blog Bill Santos now has started his own blog: Columbia Compass. Bill is another person like myself, HayDuke, and David Wissing who grew up in Columbia. Like me, he is incredibly passionate about the future of Columbia and though he and I seem to rarely agree I found some his opening thoughts on Columbia right on the money. Go read the full thing for yourself, but here is a passage that really hit me:

I have been told that one of the principals that worked on Columbia, Mort Hoppenfeld had written a paper that said that the Columbian built environment was created on the ideas of discovery and surprise. When I heard this, it instantly clicked in my head what he was talking about. It seems in this town, sometimes while driving, but most often on foot or bicycle, we are in a continual state of discovery. Most amenities in Columbia are not right next to the road, they need to be “discovered” in order to be used. Every time I have ever trekked out onto a path in Columbia, it was never a given what lie ahead. It had to be “discovered.”

One of the related experiences with discovery is the experience of learning. It seems to me that when discovering things, that which is discovered is learned, and this experiential learning becomes ingrained in each Columbian’s life outlook. I would also go so far as to say (in my lay opinion) that the experiential learning that occurs lays the groundwork for cognitive and higher learning. I think this may be the most important aspect of Columbia; because continual learning over a lifetime enriches the community at every level.

My mom’s a science teacher with her undergraduate degree in Early Childhood Education, so experiential learning was something I have lived and breathed my whole life, but when I read that passage by Bill I realized that I have seen something similar in my peers I grew up with here and my mom’s impact was magnified by the broader environment of Columbia. Maybe that explains how my sister and I turned out. We got a double dose and went a little overboard. :)

Bill welcome to the blogging world. You have a lot of long nights writing posts ahead, my friend. May the muse be with you.


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