Thursday, June 21, 2007

my head is full

So, I was leaning over the tub this morning, washing my hair in the 2 minutes I had before I had to hit the road to go to work when I realized that “my head is full of beads”.

No, of course not literally. It’s not like I heard some kind of jingling up there when I bent over. Or like a few came rolling out any of my cranial orifices.

More like this…

When I was just out of college and a mere 21 years old I took my first teaching job at an inner city school in Denver. It was a “progressive” school, trying to implement classic upper middle class liberal philosophies about ‘choice’ and ‘freedom’ with kids who probably couldn’t find one person in the history of their lineage for whom those words had any significance in reality.* Needless to say I was not the only young idealist on the staff.

At this time an artist called KiKi was experiencing some commercial success. One of her images, this one,** was being reproduced on t-shirts with the title “my head is full of children” written underneath. All of us new, young (did I mention we were young), open, loving, accepting teachers who were going to save the world one child at a time bought the shirt.

By Christmas, just 4 months later, overworked, overwhelmed and just a little disillusioned we would spot each other trudging down the hall, recognizing immediately in one another the reality of having your head “full of children”.

I realized whilst washing my hair that my head is full of beads.

A couple small, but important differences in my head being full of beads vs full of children:

1. children are children and beads are, well, beads.

2. Related to number 1, and yet qualitatively different… I leap out of bed to go work with beads. I can’t say that was quite true for children.

So, of course my point here is this:

If you have children, particularly in elementary school but really at any level, you better have gotten their teachers a really good end of the year present – really good. These people had your kid in their heads for 9 to 10 months straight. Perhaps something like a handcrafted beautiful Venetian bead necklace from Italy would be appropriate.

*for the record, I still believe strongly in choice and freedom for children – no matter who they are or what their life circumstances.
**The irony is not lost on me that, admittedly after only a little searching, the only place that I found an image of these shirts was on a place called "find-a-therapist".

A couple of updates:

1.thank you to everyone for the anniversary well wishes. To celebrate we gifted ourselves with a CD from a band of four old guys we stumbled upon playing in the Piazza San Michele in Lucca. They were really good! One of them could go back and forth between the clarinet and the accordion like nobody’s business! Talent.

2. Neighbor Augusto and Lina’s first granddaughter arrived today. Many welcomes to Camilla. Girl, I’m sorry your blanket isn’t done yet. I’ll get right on that.

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