Pleasantville Schools are full of pretty awesome traditions… the Kindergarten Circus; grade-level plays that culminate in high school musical extravaganzas; Walk in My Shoes day, were kids experience what it is like to have learning and physical differences; parades featuring Halloween, favorite book characters, and graduating seniors; prom dress viewing in the front circle; concerts; pep rallies and games, art shows, and…Revolutionary War Day.
Today I literally walked into the 4th Grade Revolutionary War Day march from the elementary school to Soldiers and Sailors field…experiential learning at its best. The kids are somber soldiers, no smiling for cameras, they are at war. The flash back to the joy my kids had living this incredible event was overwhelming. I cried.
I am an experiential learner…hand me a book on a day in the life of a soldier, it is a blur, the words taken in by my eyes, but never reach the “save this file” in my brain. Give me a day making ammo, putting up tents, and eating food from 1776, I will remember it til the day I die. Imagine if we all were given the gift of knowing how we retain information…the world would be a better place. Our differences are beautiful and learning is not a cookie cutter situation. Thank you Pleasantville school district for Revolutionary War Day…it is a gift.
There is another little battle going on in our little town these days…for a seat on our school board. I have been asked to run many times, and always refuse. It is important to know ones strengths, this is not mine. One…see the paragraph above, piles of papers that need to be read is my idea of hell on earth. Two…I hate meetings, talking for hours on end makes me break out in hives. Three…I have no patience for people like me…yes…me. People who know the solution to everything with out knowing all the facts, obstacles, or issues. People like me drive me crazy.
I am in awe of the two candidates running for the board. As a person who shared an office with the Mayor for years and was PTA President for more years…being in local public office is a thankless job. There are plenty of people who know exactly what should be done…forget about the history of the situation and pesky things like laws, money, and time. It was a wonderful to learn that there is always so much more to any situation than what the public saw…that things are always complicated…that nobody can swish in and change the world.
My advice for this (and every) election…experience it…do your research, watch the debate, ask the candidates questions. Learn what the position actually has the power to do…many leadership positions are not about specifics, they are about larger visions. Go with what you learn, not what people tell you…other people will tell you what they want you to know, edited versions of reality. After watching the local debate it was like the clouds of conflicting and often negative opinions became clear, and I will vote based on the clarity of what was communicated.
In the end… it’s gonna be all right.