Day 17 #SOL17
Many Bits of Our Wonderful World, All in One Day
I had the privilege of experiencing little bits of different parts of the world today.
It started this morning, at the elementary school where I teach for the first half of the day. The entire student body assembled in the gym, where a troupe of Irish dancers from a local dance school put on a show. The dancers -- all school aged children -- were quite talented, and their costumes were festive and colorful. While lively Irish music played, dancers of different experience levels performed various jigs and reels. Graceful figures kicked and stepped, tapped and leapt. It was a charming program, and a fun way to celebrate St. Patrick's Day!
The "bits of the world" continued this afternoon, where a talent show was put on at my second-half-of-the-day school. The full student body of that school assembled to watch various students -- their own peers -- display assorted talents. I watched in amazement at their bravery as many students sang or danced, some solo, some with a partner, in front of an audience of hundreds. One boy put on a comedy routine, another boy recited from memory the Gettysburg Address. Two different students demonstrated different forms of martial arts. One young boy sang what I presumed to be an Indian chant....I'm not quite sure, but it was impressive.
It was at about that point -- when the boy was singing the chant -- that I became amazed for a different reason: I was witnessing many bits of the world coming together, all in that one room. The student body itself is fairly diverse, but they were sharing different aspects of cultures that aren't normally seen at school. And it was remarkable to me. I had never had such an education when I was a child; here in that room were several hundred students who were all enjoying a diverse, multi-cultural experience, all from their own student body....What a privilege!
The realization that the children of this generation are living in a worldwide global community...well, it really hit home for me right then. I was watching it play out before my very own eyes; I was seeing and hearing marvelous things that I never could have even dreamed of as a child. It reminded me of some lines from Louis Armstrong's "What a Wonderful World":
I hear babies crying, I watch them grow.
They'll learn much more than I'll ever know.
That's a little how I felt at that moment. Do today's children realize how much they are able to experience and learn, compared to past generations? Of course not, because to them, it's just normal. But I am in awe. In awe of the experiences and opportunities that today's children have, in awe of the vast amount of things that they already know about our wonderful world and the beautiful people in it. Much more than I ever knew as a child.
So much more.
"What A Wonderful World"
JudyK March 17, 2017
Happy St. Patrick's Day!