I AM SURROUNDED BY KIDS. Our upstairs neighbor's kids are hanging out with us right now. Their parents are out for the evening. We've got a pretty sweet deal here surrounded by friends and family. There are tons of people to keep an eye on my Offspring and vice versa. My sister was over earlier which was awesome. We've only got a few more days with her in town so we try to squeeze every second out of the Sisterhood.
I snuck out for a few minutes, leaving The Husband with all the kids to take the Sister back over to our parent's place where she is staying. We found our father watching a documentary called, "Black America Since MLK". Grandpa is fully woke. He is starting to make me look like I'm the one who isn't even close to being millitant. The husband finds all of this amusing because he is probably the most conservative out of all of us.
The Big Event of today I suppose was that my students are working on a new project. Last month they built these ADORABLE video games, but now they are working on planning a dream vacation. They have to plan out their trip, stay on a budget and create a presentation to share with the class. 4th graders are touring California, fifth graders are taking a tour of the United States and the 6th graders get to tour the world. The end result of all this, is that every day this week I've been showing new groups of students how to research vacations on line. I did NOT know how inexpensive some of those European cruises can be -- I keep getting distracted while teaching thinking about how cool it would be to run around Thailand. Surprisingly, the most challenging part has been getting my students to think bigger. "Can I got to Florida?" A sixth grader asked me. "You can plan a dream WORLD vacation. Florida? What about Tahiti?"
Meanwhile, I've been teaching my littles (2nd/3rd graders) how to insert image into a doc or slide. You should hear the room when I show them how to look up pictures of puppies or kittens! They are ADORABLE! "Can I look up a picture of a tiger?" One of them asked me. "Yes." I told them. "A baby tiger?" He continued. "Yes." He fist pumped the air, and turned to his neighbor. "We can look up pictures of BABY animals!" His neighbor high-fived him. "We can look up tons of stuff, dude!" Those kids know how to dream big.
Little kids are awesome that way; infinitely confident, and infinitely curious. Time always seems to chip away at that, until you find yourself in middle school second guessing every idea you've ever had. I guess, I can be the same way sometimes -- limiting what I can do or accomplish. "It probably wouldn't work out anyway," is what we tell ourselves. We lose that expectant joy and confidence that yes, of course, we can learn how to do that new thing! It's no problem. We are clever, and hard-working, and we can figure things out. I want to not only nurish that spirit in my students, but keep it alive in myself as well. It is that spirit of inquiry and discovery that I have learned from my father, who is never afraid to reexamine not only the world around him, but his past ideas and understanding of that world.
"Do I dare disturb the universe? In a minute there is time for visions and revisions that a minute will reverse?" I always liked to think that T.S. Eliot was trying to push J. Alfred Prufrock to rethink things, and approach life anew and afresh. I hope to think that I can create visions and revisions of the world and my place in it. Or, to quote the favorite lines of my favorite poem,
"For my pupose holds to sail beyond the sunset, and the baths of all the western stars, until I die.
It may be that the gulfs will wash us down;
it may be that we shall touch the Happy Isle and see the great Achilles, whom we knew. Though much is taken, much abides;
and though we are not now that strength which in old days moved earth and heaven,
that which we are, we are;
One equal temper of heroic hearts,
made weak by time and fate, but strong in will
to strive, to seek, to find, and not to yield."
Let's go, friends.