Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Take "Transition" Across The Floor...

At Torres Elementary, classes were interrupted for a few moments yesterday, the students were divided between the gym and the library, and televisions were arranged so that everyone in the school could watch the inauguration of President Barack Obama.

I wondered what the kindergarteners would get out of it, but they may remember the day later.

As the term of George W. Bush ended at 12 noon eastern time, I was sitting among fifth and fourth graders, listening to a piece of music I found less stirring than the end of the era itself. George W. Bush was no longer president, and Richard Cheney was no longer co-president. An administration accomplished only in incompetence and disdain for the law was finally out of office. What I felt about this was relief: please, just go.

There is an uncertain cease-fire in Gaza as Israel's soldiers have left the strip and Hamas is holding rallies. Victory rallies, of all things. The lunatics.

In an uncertain time, in my county where there is 10% unemployment, where parents are struggling, the children were led back to their classrooms to learn history and social studies and prepare for the current round of standardized tests. They also get some time with me, and this week we are doing expressive movement. By the end of class, they are crossing the floor "reflecting" adjectives I throw at them like creative challenges: fast, slow, sharp, smooth, tangled, buttery. Then they reflect different kinds of music, not thinking, just putting the sound into their bodies and seeing what expresses itself.

Expressing the inexpressible, doing things that are impossible. Might as well start the practice early.

1 comment:

Pam said...

My Connor was afraid he might miss the inauguration by going to school. He wanted to stay home.

I knew the school was going to allow the kids to see it in the classrooms so I made him go. He was impressed, very. Much more so than the 9 year old.

Connor was pulling for Hillary in the run-up, but he settled on Obama when she lost the primary.

I was home yesterday. I actually teared up and stood up and clapped.

I'm very hopeful for our new President. I said prayers for him and for our country.

He's got a tough row to hoe.