People let me tell you ’bout my best friend

If that title brings a melody to your memory and you have visions of Bill Bixby walking on the beach in the early 70s sticom, your where my mind was at Saturday morning. Do you want to ride along with my memory for a moment or two?

I’m walking out the door with my oldest son, on his way to a whole-day, four-game , soccerfest. Clad in cleats and sporting a spray painted coif of yellow and blue, I’m giving him the part-time Dad’s once-over , grilling him on his last couple days in school. These conversations normally morph into rants against the superfluous, ”how can a middle school teacher in his right mind penalize a student for an improper margin on a hand-drawn picture of the solar system”? But this one was different, his book report poster could be crafted with tech tools, it didn’t have to be cotton balls glued to construction paper.

Sometimes, your kids surprise you. But even if it’s blatant pandering, it still warms a parent’s heart.

“Dad, can I use Jott?”

“That might not make sense Nelson, your time would be limited. Besides, why not just type it?”

“Dad, can you Jott to Skype?”

“What!!??”

There’s nothing quite like a shared laugh between father and son. Especially when it involves something that sounds as ridiculous as that.

Don’t Return to Sender

Hoping to start a tradition of “social justice” programs every year, our school (with the generous help of the PTO)  hosted Jim Keady of Educating for Justice last Friday.  The presentation, describing the sweatshop conditions under which $200 Nike sneakers are made for less than $18,  was thoroughly engaging.  Jim Keady’s genuine, passionate commitment to workers in Indonesia gave students an example of what one person can do to make a change in the world.  Any teacher would be impressed at how many students were inspired to ask questions, though it was particularly refreshing to see students take issue with Mr Keady’s representation of the issue. Yet, it’s a small detail that shows how our world is changing.

As part of the program, pre-printed postcards addressed to the CEO of Nike are available for students to sign.  There was also one for Tiger Woods asking him to travel to Indonesia to visit the factories where the products he endorsed are made.  He makes more in a round of golf than an average worker in nine years of making sneakers on an assembly line.

As a handful of students crowded the stage after the assembly to fill out the cards a couple asked what they should write on the lines in the top left of the front of the postcard.  Even though their innocent question was met with a chorus of laughter, their ignorance is not a failure of our education system.  How often do you address an envelope?  How often to you click “send”?