Monday, October 5, 2009

Everything I Need to Know About Life I Learned in...

It's funny how quickly things go back to "real life." There's an opening number to be taught and polished, harmonies to master, and lines to drill. The show must go on.

I'm thinking tonight about big picture stuff...karma, and the mysterious workings of the Universe that bring us all to where we need to be, just when we need to be there. There are a variety of big doings afoot in my life right now. Winds of change a'blowing, and I'm feeling the flow of that.

I taught a lesson to my kids today on the Robert Fulghum essay, "Everything I Needed to Know I Learned in Kindergarten." Play fair. Put things back where you find them. Take time to draw, play, work, dream, laugh and build every day. When you go out into the world, it's best to hold hands and stick together. Then I shared the poster in my room called, "Everything I Need to Know about Life I learned from Star Wars." Do, or do not. There is no Try. Anger and aggression are the path to the dark side. When on the path to justice, the force will always be with you. As you might imagine, their job now is to create their own Credo. Here were some good ones that they created:

Everything I Need to Know About Life I Learned from Baseball: When you're close to your goal, sometimes you've just gotta bear down and slide. Listen to your coaches when you're heading to second - you don't want to overrun. When the count is 3 and 2, sometimes you've just gotta swing.

I know. Sixth graders rule.

We had Everything I Need to Know About Life I Learned from...Harry Potter. (It's your choices that prove what you truly are, far more than your abilities.) Fishing. (If it's not up to par, sometimes you've got to throw it back.) Gardening. (You've got to wait until the fruit is ripe to pick it.)

Mine is, of course, Musical Theatre. If you forget the steps, smile big and keep going. When in doubt, waggle some jazz hands. Bit by bit, you're putting it together. Sometimes the best ending is just to hold hands and sway. Sing out, Louise! Smile, Baby! Everyone loves a jazz's a crowd pleaser.

We all have our little Credos that get us through and help us to move through conflicts and honor important moments. I also taught the kids the phrase, "The unexamined life is not worth living." Maybe eleven-year olds are not quite old enough to put much energy into examining their lives...but then again, if not now, then when? If they get into the habit early of living mindfully, reading metacognitavely, relating compassionately...won't that ease their way a little bit later?

I don't know the answers, but I sure feel inspired to ask the questions.

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