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Imagine Going to School to Learn to...PLAY
Bil Gilbert
October 13, 1975
That's what they do at Emporia State in Kansas. Believing that students—after years of homework, classwork, workbooks, workouts, work schedules, work sheets and workshops—don't know how to play, a madcap professor is going about the business of teaching them
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October 13, 1975

Imagine Going To School To Learn To...play

That's what they do at Emporia State in Kansas. Believing that students—after years of homework, classwork, workbooks, workouts, work schedules, work sheets and workshops—don't know how to play, a madcap professor is going about the business of teaching them

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"Man only plays when in the full meaning of the word he is a man, and he is only completely a man when he plays. I promise you that the edifice of esthetic art and the still more difficult art of life will be supported by this principle."
—FRIEDRICH SCHILLER

"Wanted: persons to play. No experience necessary. Part time, no pay. High returns. Qualities of spontaneity and carelessness preferred. Equal opportunity employer. Apply at PLAY FACTORY, Division of Health, Physical Education, Recreation and Athletics, Kansas State College, Emporia."
—BILL HARPER

"Is it possible that the unleashed competitiveness of the school system actually perpetuates the very things education is created to erase, namely fear, mediocrity and uniformity? Are persons then extinguished rather than cultivated?"
—BILL HARPER

"One cannot in the nature of things expect a little tree that has been turned into a club to put forth leaves."
—MARTIN BUBER

"The trick is not to arrange a festival, but rather to find the people who can enjoy it."
—FRIEDRICH NIETZSCHE

"You may be among those who are eager to label the Play Factory as ludicrous. But, out of kindness and respect, anticipating our sensitivity, you have probably withheld the urge. However, we encourage you to give vent to your urge. Go ahead, shout it out, scream at the top of your lungs, 'The Play Factory is ludicrous.' Ludicrous derives from the Latin word ludere, to play."
—BILL HARPER

"Any culture oriented toward work will find play to be incomprehensible and dangerous. A few people will respond favorably to the possibility of play, but many more will respond unfavorably; the vast majority will respond ambivalently. When play evokes ambivalence, leisure becomes a problem."
—ROBERT E. NEALE

"The worker defined: a person having a chronic behavioral disorder manifested by undue preoccupation with work to the detriment of physical and mental health further manifested by a loss of control when working has begun."
—BILL HARPER

"Answer the following questions HONESTLY, and finally discover the truth about yourself—whether you are a worker: 1) Do you lose time from drinking due to working? 2) Is working making your home life unhappy? 3) Is working affecting your reputation? 4) Do you often 'sneak' your work in so that others will not know how much you work? 5) Do you want to work right after (or instead of) having sex? 6) Have you lost interest in everything other than work? 7) Do you avoid activities which might interfere with your work? 8) Do you prefer moonlighting to moonshine?

"If you have answered YES to any one of these questions, there is warning that you may be a worker. If you have answered YES to any two of these questions, there is a good probability you are a worker. If you have answered YES to any three, you are definitely a worker. It you were too busy working to even answer the questions, you are quite pathetically beyond any help whatsoever."
—BILL HARPER

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