8.24.2007

Update from Karin Boonstra

I have been thinking about our seminar and the people in it frequently of late. I love reading about the projects people are working on and I am often humbled by their achievements
and their wit.

Last fall I returned to teaching at the christian high school here in Ontario with a renewed sense of passion and purpose. That feeling has not abated.


I told my brother (who is also an English teacher in my department)that the seminar was transforming. Our discussions filled me with a sense of opportunity and possibility in my work with teenagers. At a time when I had lost some direction and enthusiasm our big picture discussions made me hungry to teach.

I came up with an awesome plan, I thought. I was going to organize a drama group that would serve children in our community, through hospitals and schools, by focusing on storytelling and literacy with drama as our medium. My students would write their own adapted scripts and we would take our stories and our affection into our community where paying for the arts is so often a struggle. Our group was to be called "Play It Forward."

The plan was to speak to the school in an assembly about my experiences in the seminar and the $100 project I had undertaken. Interested students and I would then meet and create a vision for how our group would operate. Shortly after I came up with this plan, I found about the money mixup. No matter, I thought, it never really was about the hundred dollars anyway. I just needed a new angle.

Then basketball season started (I coach jr. girls bb), and auditions for the school play I was codirecting (West Side Story) got underway, and one of my children started struggling in school and acting out at home.

It was around then that I realized that my most valuable currency right now is time, and finding a hundred dollar bill under my pillow won't change that. Perhaps that is why I am so in awe of the people in our seminar. They, like me, are busy professional people with families, and aging parents, and church obligations, and... How do they do it all? Are my priorities different? They must sleep less.

So, I stand committed to the vision. I'm still going to do it because it's an idea worth doing. I'm going to try again this year. And I'm going to forgive myself for not getting it done last year. And I'm going to be the most passionate, loving, knowledgeable, exhausted, smart-ass teacher I know how to be.


1 comment:

joonna said...

Do it!!! I've found that I can do anything I want. I just have to do it. The time will materialize. Somehow it always seems to. Great to hear from you.