Wednesday, April 27, 2011


I am watching the world of education become so seriously derailed from what's right and good that I can hardly see straight any more.  I've taken the year off from being overly involved in any sort of systemic thinking about education.  I've needed to get really clear on what exactly I'm fighting for in this world.  And each day I work with students and teachers who remind me just how imperative this all is.  And it's not an argument about teacher salaries, unions, privatization, or even about what classes students should take.  It's an argument for creating spaces where students can think critically and creatively, where we can have real conversations about real topics, and where students can learn that their voice matters, and that a carefully constructed argument and confidence trumps bling or a fist fight any day.  

Unfortunately, I also live in an area that has let itself become mired in politics and not what's best for students.  I watch and listen to some of the most ignorant people I have encountered make decisions for our future.  And I shake my head at the agendas being put forth.  We are surrounded by people who operate out of fear, and who insist that their belief systems are "correct" if any of us can find any one viewpoint to set above all others at any given time.  

And my professional feelings spill into my personal life.  I realize that I'm becoming increasingly sensitive to people whose agendas overrule who they are, whether these be a desire to be perceived as something "more" than they are, or a desire to prove that they are "cool"or worth loving.  I am not 20 years old any more.  I don't want to one-up you, or feel the need to.  And I don't want you to position me as if I should. We all hope that we've moved past this by now.  (NOTE:  I wear my own insecurities on my sleeve, as I do my feelings...and I am just as susceptible to ego as anyone else...).  There are people who are able to live without blaming; these people are also able to find a way to take responsibility for their own actions.  And these people are happier, believe it or not, than those who shove everything deep deep inside and project only their feigned confidence.  I promise.  I want to scream:  "Have the courage to be imperfect for christ's sake."  Shake the facade.

That's what I really really want these days.  I want every person to say, "Hey, that one was me.  I own that" when they should.  And I want these same people to say, when they shouldn't be shouldering the shit they are, to say, "Nope, I won't carry that.  I am going to let that go."  And, then, maybe, we could have some realistic private and public discussions about what's real in this world.

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