Friday, February 26, 2010

Day 24 (or: What color is your…box?)

I don’t know if you can tell, but I’m fairly alternative minded. I think outside the box, and I pride myself on my ability to think outside the box. I also excel because I think outside the box. And I have fabulous friends because I think outside the box, and I make pretty remarkable decisions in my life (interesting ones, to say the least) because…yes…because I think outside the box.

Why am I so skilled with the box identification and departure, you ask? Because, I reply, of the incredible alternative education I had access to as a kid. Kindergarten through 5th grade, there were no desks for me, no prescribed curriculum, no “everyone else is doing it, so you will too”, no "See Spot Run" kind of an approach to education. It was delightful. I studied Michaelangelo and Leonardo when I was in 3rd grade (because I wanted to), learned science in the field, where it should be learned, was taught by visiting poets, artists, writers, scientists and mathematicians. And since I’m on my soap box, I’ll convey to you that the kids who were enrolled with me went on to Yale and Julliard, and have excelled as leaders and innovators. I’ve traveled my own interesting path, but I’d like to think that I’m a sort of an interesting and successful person because I had an opportunity to grow in a non-traditional way.

By the way, In case you're wondering, and as an aside, I was a spunky but horrible failure and ne’er do well in regular grade school once I got there.  Except in music and art. Because I was a rebel. And hated to be told what to do (I once took a teacher to the principal because he accused me of cheating. Spunky, alternative minded me!). But that’s another blog. Oh, and I can’t spell for beans. It might have been helpful if someone had insisted that I learn to spell. 

Why am I ranting? Ok, I’ll stop. In a minute. But first…Day 24 of One Thousand Days: Call your senators, call your representatives, call every mover and shaker you know and tell them to call their leaders in the House and the Senate. Washington State, in its budgetary woes and infinite group think bureaucratic wisdom (is my opinion showing?), is considering cutting alternative education programs for k-6. Maybe if they’d had access to alternative education, our lawmakers would be able to find a better solution. Maybe they’d be able to think outside of their red, white and blue box. Honestly.

I called. And emailed. And because I like to be just a little bit different, I’m considering an interpretive dance titled “Out of the Box.”

24 down, 976 to go.

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