From P. 80
"But continual composing, searching, questioning, reaching for a story, a metaphor, a line, delivered the main insight that helped me report my data successfully. I have to be sure to allow information to flow freely between compartments or categories I may have artificially constructed. I've come to understand that these types of activities are part of the act of continual composition. While we compose we try to connect disparate understanding, like connecting what we've observed about fruit trees to what we see in humans."
I've always referred to this act that Graves calls continual composing as "percolating". Just like an old fashioned percolator coffee pot, thoughts, knowledge, research and ideas need time and space in which to "brew". If we do not allow enough time or attention to them, or enough time to allow the ideas to simply come to us, we may never make those connections. Our beverage will be watery, weaker than it should be. I find that my best ideas and connections percolate while I am alone driving.
I often wish I had one of those voice recorders so I could record my ideas while driving; I often fine that I have forgotten them by the time I get around to trying to write them down.
I worry that in this age of continual structured time and constant barrage of media input, students may never have the experience of making those connections. How can we ensure that we allow students time to follow their thoughts down complex paths? How can we ensure that the act of thinking is valuable enough for students to choose it for themselves, over a video game or cable t.v.?