Skip to content

Following suit…

April 29, 2010

I’ve been sending Stephen Harper a literary work every two weeks for the last three years…

I’m sure he does read…

but it’s mostly non-fiction…

and my point is you have to read fiction if you’re going to lead…

That’s one of the sources of our dreams and also a source of knowledge about the human condition…

If you’ve never read a book of literature, you’ve only lived your narrow life…

— Yann Martel in the Vancouver Sun…

I had never thought of this before,

but I tend to agree with what Yann is saying…

I also think that if you’ve never taught Kindergarten,

or Grade One,

you really have no place in being the principal,

of an elementary school…

You just wouldn’t have the right skill set,

to get the job done properly…

I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again,

I’m not all that well read…

I have not read any of the so called classics,

or much literature…

And there have been times in my life,

when I haven’t read anything at all,

aside from bills,

and cereal boxes…

That was after I graduated from university…

Higher learning killed the reading for enjoyment,

that I once knew,

as a child…

Funny how too much of a good thing,

can also be the death of it…

As a teacher,

I’ve often wondered how it was,

that I was in the place of instructing five and six year olds towards reading and writing,

when those were not activities that I myself,

engaged in,

other than when I was with them…

I couldn’t write a journal entry for the life of me,

yet I expected them to do it each and every day,

in less than thirty minutes please because now we’re moving onto math…

I discovered that once I chose,

to forget everything I’d ever learned in school,

about punctuation and the correct way to begin a sentence,

my reading and writing really took off in directions that I could live with…

Once I said,

NO!!!

my writing sang,

YES…

And my students,

and my own children at home,

sang right along with me…

It was like we were rewiring each other into another dimension of what matters,

what we love to do,

and how we want to do it…

Starshine and Little Gem are each currently working on books with their school friends…

The seed was planted last Sunday on our trip out to the Riefel Bird Sanctuary on Westham Island…

After fish and chips in Steveston,

I took them past my old school,

and one thing lead to another…

They noticed the mechanical blinds covering the school windows,

and talked about how it was too bad that they didn’t have the same kind of blinds,

on their school windows…

And that maybe if they had,

the school computers wouldn’t be so easy to steal…

Then they started to unravel the story of the latest set of stolen laptops,

with no sign of break and entry…

As they speculated on possibilities,

I said,

That sounds like a mystery that needs solving…

You should write about what you think happened…

They said,

But it’s too late…

the evidence is all gone…

I said,

Then make some up…

By Sunday night,

through back and forth phone calls,

Starshine and her friend Sunshine had charted out a cast of characters…

And at recess the next day,

Little Gem and her friend had sketched out ideas for their book,

in the school yard,

with building momentum…

Yesterday afternoon I was throwing bowls on the wheel,

and I looked up from my work to see a little girl watching me,

intently…

I was happy that her father gave her the time she wanted,

and didn’t hurry her along,

even though he looked uncomfortable,

watching women,

through a window,

from underneath his hoody…

She watched and watched…

No attention deficit disorder here…

A fellow potter commented on how this is so much better to be watching than television…

The little girl and I smiled a conversation through the window,

and by the time we said goodbye I had four bowls on the board…

During the process her dad came in to ask if there were classes,

for children…

He said,

My daughter would love to do this…

This made me think about all of the things that we could be doing in school…

All the adults and children in the institution,

doing all of the things that they love to do,

together…

Making mincemeat out of standard operating procedure…

Before I sat down to write today I sat on my back porch with a chai latte…

My neighbour Leonard was pulling apart all of his artwork that has been infested with silver fish in his damp basement…

I told him that I’ve learned to make friends with my silver fish…

They help me stay connected with my prehistory…

And I asked him if he’d heard the new baby next door being born…

He said,

We didn’t hear her but we sure heard you when you were giving birth…

I remembered that the moment I went into hard labour with Little Gem,

was the same moment that a cement truck pulled up in his back yard,

and started pouring a foundation for his studio…

I asked him if he found the sounds scary…

He said,

No,

not at all…

It was primordial…

I’d never heard anything like it before…

I told him that I was happy to be of service…

I have to say that I’ve never heard of anything like a city major,

making an official day to celebrate the city’s professional hockey team,

and raising a flag in honour…

I know that I’m not alone in thinking that we Vancouverites need a long weekend,

to punctuate our stretch of rainy winter months…

If we can take a day off to celebrate a Queen’s birthday,

we can certainly agitate for a day off to celebrate new history made,

with the win of a Stanley Cup…

Now I’m getting way ahead of myself,

with absolutely no ambivalence,

or ambiguity…

Your attitude toward cuttlefish could be improved if that's your wish...

Advertisements
No comments yet

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: