It was 1998, the Year of the Tiger, and I felt like prey.
Band nerd, speech and debate, theatre, chess club, choir, and math/science club were just the beginnings of what would be an overall horrific successful high school career.
Backpack in tow, my best friend and I navigated past pubescent uncertainty and headlong into outright confusion of adolescence.
I was lucky, looking back, to have moved from Colorado a couple years prior, to wind up in a school that celebrated hard work and work ethic, that trusted the students to build their own educational experience and strive to perfect it.
Things changed in April 1999.
April 20th to be exact.
In one fell swoop, two high schoolers changed the course of educational safety. They brought up questions like "What does it mean to create a safe space?" and "What rights do students have in their environments?" and "What are the legal ramifications of protection?".
Once that sun sets, the stars come out, and the Englishmen
get quiet. The wind makes the sails swell a gentle cascading rhythm with the
waves. During the night, I am well. I am free.
"Up, apes," the monstrosity of a man shouts from
the top of the stairs. I have not revealed that I speak and understand English.
English was mandatory in my home. "No, son," my
father would correct. "It is pronounced Free-dum. Write it out, f-r-e-e-d-o-m."
He would smile at me while his gentle hands guided my clumsy fingers. "We
will leave our home, Chichi," he would whisper. "We will leave, and -
make sure your 'o' closes at the top - and you will see the land of plenty.
There will be grain and milk, and you will be full."
The last light of dawn fell to the contours of his face and
made laurels of his greying temples. "I will be there with you, Chichi.
Now, pronounce it like Dr. Wellesly."
We would sit in the dark corner of our home, l…
My daughter just turned three today. A bittersweet moment, to say the least.
We all get older, and with age we have more responsibility. We start to realize our many potentials: potential to do good, potential to think, to reason, to live with each other. It is these responsibilities that mould us and shape us into the adults we'll be. I listen to the podcasts of a psychology professor who does an excellent job of explaining the philosophy of Piaget. People must learn to be good to one another. And, guess what, it starts at home.
After the party was all said and done, and the other three-year olds left with their parents, my daughter cuddled up on the couch with her nana, and the two took a nap, and I started to think about my role. I'm writing now while they sleep on the couch. And, while they sleep I wonder if I'm doing the right thing by her.
Then, I started wondering what I meant by "the right thing." Kant, one of my idols, believed there must be a moral impe…