Dorothy Ramsey Started It

The italics are paraphrases, tributes, expressions of gratitude
For wisdom shared…

“A group who look to me for provocation or narration from time to time..”

I’m a nerd,
One who can clear a coffee table
With a gross joke that is over the edge without a rope
And still find time in the day
To nourish a soul with plenty of exercise,
Mental stimulation, and chilling with a sleeping dog.
It’s that mental stimulation that is calling out,
For I have for too long needed some provocation,
A little narration,
A stiff kick in the ass.

“We have in common a thirst, curiosity, are
Interested in figuring out what’s next…”

I had a moment today,
An intellectual concussion
That broke my mental filament
Which has been dimming
With an apathetic persistence
For the last few years.

“…and who are restless to make a difference.”

Fundamental shifts,
Philosophical tectonics,
This personal quake
Exposed my faults cemented by complacency,
Those rigors of passive acceptance,
The rejection of risk-taking,
An absence of purpose, or
Being ghosted by meaning,
The movement inspired today
Was that kick, the one I needed,
To push me into the open
Where I had not been in so long.

Sliding beyond now,
Drifting into the gray,
The place that matters,
A spongey area of chaotic ideas
Wrestling with what is known
And the fuzzy energy
Crackling when dissonance
Grabs the front of the brain and
Squeezes out the sour thoughts that have been
Clogging potential, shutting off
Excitement, fun, positivity.


Finally, it’s happening,
I see it now,
I saw it after being poked
Authenticity has left, mechanized teaching had arrived,
I have become a Tin Man robot
Going through the motions
With no oil to release me from my voluntary servitude.


I heard Seth’s narrative,
I really heard Seth’s narrative,
So much so that I could not contain my excitement
I scribbled some notes
With only two minutes to get to class,
Where a disinterested bunch of ninth-graders waited
To talk about the ills of alcohol.

Instead, we drank from a cup of educational inspiration
Allowing a class to raise themselves to heights unseen,
Pushing me to use skills dormant since the end of RJP
Thoughts of self-efficacy rose,
Risking too big of a leap we talked of group efficacy,
And when the emotion was nearly too much,
I pointed out the window with excitement and worry
As a red pickup truck made a tight turn
With palettes stacked high in the bed.
The distraction let me have the moment I needed to clear my head
And wipe the tears from my eyes
As these kids were sending me to that happy place
I rarely get to experience.
I could have been standing below the Pamper Pole
Or having a quiet conversation at the top of a team beam,
There was that kind of honesty and importance
To what we were talking about.


Those little effing bricks,
Directions, no directions, bricks, kits

Then, one student said,
“Sometimes you gotta use what your parents taught you
Even when they ain’t around.”

My gosh,
They got it,
No homework,
No quizzes,
No threats of detention,
Only a conversation, something we have been working towards,
Something elusive, just when it was there,
It was gone,
Until today, when we did it,
We broke through and school quit being SCHOOL for twenty minutes,
Becoming realizations, reflections, connections,

Real, messy, untethered to directions,


“Raise kids who know what to do when there are no instructions.” Seth Godin

[Inspired by Seth Godin, Akimbo Podcast 1/22/2020, Sportsmanship. Please check it out!]

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