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  • Rainey Knudson

Sister Corita Kent's Rules for Students and Teachers (302 words)

John Cage loved these rules by Sister Corita Kent, the radical nun and artist. His partner Merce Cunningham supposedly kept this copy in his studio until his death.


I wish I had known about it when I was a student. Most of it still applies to those of us long since past the academy.



Rule 1: Find a place you trust, and then, try trusting it for awhile.


Rule 2: (General Duties as a Student)

Pull everything out of your teacher.

Pull everything out of your fellow students.


Rule 3: (General Duties as a Teacher)

Pull everything out of your students.


Rule 4: Consider everything an experiment.


Rule 5: 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 6: Follow the leader. Nothing is a mistake. There is no win and no fail. There is only make.


Rule 7: The only rule is work. If you work it will lead to something. It is the people who do all the work all the time who eventually catch onto things. You can fool the fans--but not the players.


Rule 8: Do not try to create and analyze at the same time. They are different processes.


Rule 9: Be happy whenever you can manage it. Enjoy yourself. It is lighter than you think.


Rule 10: We are breaking all the rules, even our own rules, and how do we do that? By leaving plenty of room for "x" qualities.


Helpful Hints:


Always be Around.

Come or go to everything.

Always go to classes.

Read everything you can get your hands on.

Look at movies carefully and often.

SAVE EVERYTHING. It may come in handy later.


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