Monday was one of those days.
A connecting principle
Linked to the invisible
Logic so inflexible
Yet nothing is invincible
Currently, I am teaming with my English teaching colleague on an interdisciplinary project for my seniors throughout which they are working to identify the sociopolitical narratives that surround us and then deconstructing them to see, well, what lies beneath, I suppose. Before the semester ends they will be producing a journal of self-produced investigative reports examining the power of the dollar in politics focusing on topics ranging from factory farming to fracking to the SEC (non)regulation to SOPA to NAFTA to… well, you get the idea.
The project is pretty ambitious to lay on a group of 60 seniors who at this point in their academic careers really just want to get the flock out of high school. And it is also something I am not sure I would have had the inclination or ability to grock at that age. But no matter, we forged on, hoping that we could hook them with a series of WTF moments as they questioned how our government, ostensibly of, by and for the people was working for them – or was it… working against them? [maniacal laugh…]
In the midst of the abrupt return to school (that only comes after a really rewarding vacation), I took a little step up to Shattuck to get a mid-morning Americano. As I was walking back in my own little reverie (that only comes after getting a delicious coffee and the knowledge that your prep is only half way over), I glanced over at a shop window that I had never noticed before, as I never really walk on this side of the street.
There staring out of the window at my wondering eyes was this:
Okay, so yeah, I know I work in Berkeley and as such we might not be such an accurate reflection of the rest of the country, but still. There I was face to window glass with the exact premise, neé purpose of the project I had been envisioning.
I quickly shot photos of each of the other twelve panels which chronologically outlined the key turning points in the transition from a government of, by and for the people to a government of, by and for the $$$$$. And then I ran back to tell my colleague. And… being that it is Berkeley, we decided to take a little field trip the next day. We would have them look at the images and try to work out what the purpose of the store front was, the agenda, who might be behind it…
When we got there we talked about it a little bit and I challenged some of the kids to see if they could find out who was the occupant of the building. Boy, do seniors love this kind of challenge. Before I knew it they were on it and had gotten the attention of someone in the building. Suddenly our field trip was a seminar in a local progressive think-tank called Maplight.org. They took us up and showed us what they do and offered any sort of assist that our students might need. Just because they can. “It is what they do,” they said.
Talk about amazing. And whether or not this would only happen in Berkeley, I cannot really say, but I am certainly glad it happened on that day.
If you act, as you think
The missing link
We know you, they know me
A star fall, a phone call
It joins all
It’s so deep, it’s so wide