Went and saw a local high school showcase of solos, duets and forensics. Seeing these brings back a bit of nostalgia from my teaching days as well as reminding me of one important ideal: the Arts belong in schools.
I know what you are thinking… oh great, another screed on how crappy it is that the arts are usually the first item to be sliced and diced when budget cuts loom. Well, yeah, that is crappy.
But what moved me more is how much talent we have bottled up in our young people. There were some hysterical and moving presentations, and some very nice voices with loads of potential. And without outlets like forensics or music, that talent is going to waste. These are the kinds of qualities we should be encouraging in young people: hard work, imagination, creativity, teamwork, independence, a drive to excel. Aren’t those the exact qualities I saw manifested on stage last night? You’re darn right they are!
One of the students is planning on pursuing engineering in college, sings in his church choir, plays trumpet in band and runs track. Another is a football player who gave a speech on stem cell research and sang a solo. Another will be studying to become a pediatrician. And last night, they showed why the term Renaissance should stay alive in the schools. Each of these students was Enlightened and enlightening.
These are the people we should be encouraging on to bigger things. And keep encouraging, cajoling and guiding them to keep using all their talents. There is a future for us, and its starts with these students.
If only the people who have decided to control this country by hook or , more often, by crook, had kept any shred of the great and optimistic dreams that inhabit these kids…