Saturday, December 29, 2007

By Definition: Me, Myself, I

I occasionally shuffle from being a Board member to just being a parent with staff members involved with my kids. It's a touchy thing.

But I know a lot about education - its been a passion of mine for a long, long time and I know a lot about kids although the biggest enigma in everyone's life is their own family and I must admit that my own kids befuddle me on a daily basis. And so everyone must take what I write with the understanding that I am humbled by my own words often enough to understand that I am not imparting wisdom so much as grain of opinion that I can only hope makes its way into the realm of shared wisdom.

In the past few days, one of my most anti-establishment sentiments has come to the fore. And it is the question of who has the right to define who you or I or somebody else is, is capable of being, or has the seed of becoming.

To me the answer is that we each must find our own way and that schools, teachers, coaches, and others are there to guide us into being and becoming. However, that's rarely how it works.

Guidance counselors or coaches or local pundits will insist this athlete, of this size, of this high school playing time, of this so and so measure USUALLY WIND UP at some predestined post-secondary place. This applies to lots of subjects and corollary conjectures.

It presupposes, of course, that free choice is the free choice of societal shackles, chains, dungeons, and we-who-know-better directives.

If we take the time to self-examine ourselves, we are often most happy in life when we follow our bliss, do it the hard way, fail the test but win the race, and so on.

In the play Wicked, the song Defy Gravity is worth humming to ourselves when someone tries to pidgeon-hole our sons and daughters. At the end of the day the only question worth answering is not What is gravity? but rather, Do you have the courage to defy it?

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