Friday, September 07, 2007
Back to School in Houston
Today I visited three elementary schools in Sheldon ISD. My thoughts about foreign language skills fresh in my mind, I asked every group, "How many people here can speak two languages?" In every case, the majority could! I let them know how much I admired their skills. I think it's important to let kids know that being multi-lingual is an amazing opportunity, not an embarrassing disability.
I had a great time sharing poetry with a whole lot of help from my friends -- call and response with attitude! In each school I was impressed with how attentive and involved the principals were with what was happening. In each school, kids had prepared questions leading to some fun discussions.
And then there was Jesus. Most students had prepared one question or maybe two. At the end of the assembly there was the usual gathering of kids who had more to say about their own writing or other cool stuff to talk about. Jesus came up with his small notebook and asked me a question. I talked to other students and Jesus stepped forward again -- he had another question and when I responded, he carefully wrote down the answer. More interaction and I noticed, there was Jesus again.
"How many questions do you have?"
"Okay, let's hear 'em." And he seriously asked each, writing down the answer.
One of his questions was, "What did you want to grow up to be when you were a kid?"
"A reporter," I answered. "You know, for a newspaper."
"Like the Houston Chronicle?" Jesus asked.
"Yeah. Exactly like that."
Jesus wrote that down. I asked to take a picture of Jesus' notebook and he agreed. I had to enhance the photo so that his careful note taking showed clearly in the photo.
A reporter needs to have the tenacity of a pit bull and and an unquenchable curiosity -- the urgent need to get an answer. I never made it as a reporter, but today I think I met a young man who really has the stuff.