Friday, February 29, 2008

Participation, thats whats gonna save the human race

There's this kid in one of my drama classes who all the adults treat as a second class citizen. There's obviously something different about him, for sure. I know he's got a diagnoses of some kind (it seems every kid today needs to be diagnosed with something). Not all his synapses are firing at the same time as everyone else. But, it occurred to me recently, that maybe he's a genius underneath all that mismatched thought. Maybe he's the guy that's gonna cure cancer someday.
He talks out of turn, but no more than any of the other kids. It's what he says that can seem a little crazy. It appears like he's not paying attention, but then he shouts out an idea (part of our job as teaching artists, is that we're constantly asking for ideas from the kids) that on second thought (give it a moment....i think to'll hit on the mark...he's got something there..) is BRILLIANT. He just wants to be heard. Instead, he's constantly being met with "Stop!" "Be Quiet!" "Go sit out!" from his teacher and the helper aides that sit in the class. And so often, there he is, sitting in the corner, while class is going on, making his intelligent little insights under his breath. I hear him. It makes me want to shout out: LISTEN TO THIS KID!
Yesterday, he was raising his hand, from way over in the corner, where no one could see him...and eventually, he lowered his hand and sighed very loudly and said, "I give up."
It broke my heart. I wish I could save every one of these kids.

*today's title, a direct quote from Pete Seeger, on one of the most moving documentaries i've seen. It's about Seeger, but it's really about the power of music. he's amazing. I recommend checking out more footage.

No comments: