My 18 year old son has had a difficult time of it in high school. He is gifted. No doubt, having me as a dad didn’t help him go all bright and bushy tailed about school, hearing me bitch and complain about schools all the time growing up. Now Evan is in an experiential school in the Colorado mountains (Eagle Rock) and doing things like 25 day wilderness trips and 4 day solos and he is changing. He just didn’t need to be in Columbine High School, where four years ago as a 9th grader skater was actually bullied by a group of senior football players in that school. No exaggeration there – he was bullied by football players at Columbine High School and the teacher did nothing about it, even joined in a bit. (Note: the culture of Columbine has not changed since the shootings – you still have to be a football player or cheerleader to count as a person there. The same principal who was there at the time of the shootings only retired only last year.) Now, in this new school in Estes Park, my friend Nathalie Donchery who is French and works at Eagle Rock is teaching him and a few other kids the language but with TPRS. So….drum roll please….I just got a note from Evan in French telling me:
Je parle un peu Francais. Bientot, je parle beaucoup Francais!
SARCASM: I felt a little pissed off that he spelled “French” wrong. It isn’t capitalized when it’s a LANGUAGE, only when it’s a PERSON who is French!! Seriously, any serious student who has studied seriously because they had a serious teacher who taught them the right way could see that! And he missed the circumflex accent on bientot. It’s been moved out of the French language (1994) from the i and the u but not the o. Any 14 year old should know that!
I decided to not say that to him. Just let it go, Ben….
Why do I say this here? No, why do I SHOUT this here?
BECAUSE WE ARE CURRENTLY WITH EACH SUCCESSFUL OR FAILED STORY MAKING IT SO THAT KIDS CAN HAVE HOPE AND CONFIDENCE IN THEMSELVES WHEN IT COMES TO LANGUAGES BECAUSE WHEN THEY HAVE HOPE AND CONFIDENCE IN THEMSELVES IN LANGUAGES THEN IT WILL CARRY OVER TO THEIR GAINING HOPE AND CONFIDENCE IN THEMSELVES IN OTHER ASPECTS OF THEIR LIVES AND EVAN AND I ARE ONLY TWO OF THE MILLIONS OF PEOPLE WHO WILL THEN BENEFIT FROM PEOPLE LIKE NATHALIE USING TPRS TO TEACH KIDS LIKE MY SWEET EVAN WHO IS SO FREAKING SMART AND THEN KIDS WON’T DROP OUT OF SCHOOLS AND THE WORLD WILL CHANGE AND I WON’T APOLOGIZE FOR THE RUN ON SENTENCE HERE BECAUSE MY LOVE FOR EVAN GOES FAR BEYOND EVERYTHING IN THE ENTIRE WORLD SO MY MESSAGE TO US HERE ON THE BLOG TODAY IS KEEP ON KEEPIN’ ON AND DON’T QUIT STORIES BECAUSE EVERY TIME WE PREVENT A CHILD FROM FEELING BAD ABOUT THEMSELVES IN A LANGUAGE BY OUR OWN HERCULEAN EFFORTS TO MAKE THINGS RIGHT FOR ALL KIDS IN ALL SCHOOLS IN LANGUAGES AND NOT JUST THE WHITE PRIVILEGED ONES THEN WE MOVE CLOSER TO WHAT OUR COUNTRY IS ALL ABOUT AND STORY BY STORY THINGS HEAL AND SO THE PAIN WE ARE IN RIGHT NOW WHEN TAKEN IN A LARGER PERSPECTIVE TAKES ON A DIFFERENT QUALITY KIND OF LIKE RIDING UP A BIG MOUNTAIN BUT ALWAYS KNOWING THAT THERE WILL BE AN EFFORTLESS AND EXHILARATING RIDE DOWN LATER SO WE FEEL THE BURN AND WHEN THAT NEXT CLASS COMES IN WE TRY AGAIN AND YEAH LIKE THAT.
I guess it’s time to stop this post but you get the idea.