To Build a Trail

Essays on Curiosity, Love & Wonder

Paul J. Willis

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Retail Price: $18.00
Subject Category: Essays
Length: 174 pages
Size: 5 1/2 x 8 1/4 inches
Binding: paper
Published: May 2018
ISBN: 978-1-60226-020-7


When Paul Willis set out to build a couple miles of trail in the wilder parts of his California college campus, he had no idea that it would become a metaphor for a lifetime of teaching and learning. But curiosity, love, and wonder always take circuitous paths toward understanding. That is what he came to believe, and this is what has put him in conflict with present-day promoters of efficiency in education. This collection of essays switchbacks through moments of learning and moments of pain, pausing briefly at trail junctions of gratitude. Put on your boots, pick up a shovel, and join him in making a way.

Book Excerpts

Selected Essays [PDF]

Table of Contents

Into the Wilderness

I. Curiosity
The Shirt on Our Backs
Remembering Those We Forget
Piano Lessons
Here, Mr. Hoerth
Hitchin' a Ride
Can't You See Lear?
Epiphany at Patsy Clark's

II. Love
To Build a Trail
Trail Maintenance
A Meditation for Ash Wednesday
Poems Lost, Poems Found
By Any Other Name
How Are You, My Friend?

III. Wonder
The Place
A Letter to the Faculty
The Sixth Chapter of Acts
The Garrison Keillor Koan
What's a Laureate to Do?

IV. Gratitude
My First Summer in the Sierra
Three Old Ones
A Meditation for Good Friday
A Century Past "The Soldier"
An Evening with the Palestinian Poets
My Date with Mary Oliver




About the Author