When I was 15 years-old, a singer-songwriter named Carly Simon released an album and song called Anticipation. When I was 15 years old, I didn't pay too much attention to any song's lyrics. But I do remember that song's refrain, "These are the good old days." Which meant absolutely nothing to me back then. Today, it means everything. On one of the world's best websites, The Writer's Almanac, Garrison Keillor tells the story of the 19th and 20th century French novelist and performer, Colette. Near the end of her life, Colette said, "What a wonderful life I've had! I only wish I'd realized it sooner." For many of us, for the fortunate among us, no matter what stage of life we're in, Colette's
What Should We Talk About?
My favorite part of teaching was sharing evocative passages, affecting scenes, meaningful lyrics and innovative ideas with my students. We’d read, watch and listen to them, then think, talk and write about them.
It kept me from the curriculum. But then I’d think, Why isn’t this the curriculum? This is what kids need to learn! For example, after watching the scene where Tom Hanks scolds Geena Davis in A League of Their Own,
“It’s supposed to be hard. If it wasn’t hard, everyone would do it. The hard is what makes it great!”
I’d share it with students and explain why I showed it to them. And now I’m sharing passages, scenes, lyrics and ideas with you with the goal of getting a thought-provoking, life-enhancing conversations started.