Sunday, September 20, 2015

The Impossible Dream

For the past several months, I've spent the better part of my evenings rehearsing for a theater production of "Man of La Mancha". It's the theatrical version of Don Quixote and I have the pleasure of playing his trusty sidekick Sancho Panza.  As I prepared for the part, I decided I should read the book as well and found that this is the 400th anniversary of its printing.  I quickly discovered why this story has kept its appeal over the centuries.  Yes, it's a funny story and full of adventure, but mostly it's about hopes and dreams, things that never go out of style.  The longer I spend time rehearsing the play and reading the book, the more fascinated I am by its universal theme of hope in a world full of despair.

The three main characters from the story embody three distinct characteristics.  Don Quixote embodies the best traits of humanity and all we strive to become.  He's bold, brave, courteous, and never gives up.  Ironically, it's his own "goodness" that makes him a comic character.  He stands out from all around him as an oddity, but secretly many admire him and wish for his courage.  Sancho, his squire, personifies all the qualities we want in a friend.  He's true, loyal, faithful, and adds a bit of humor to every circumstance.  What a fun role to play!  Finally, there is Aldonza.  She really is the pivotal character in the story as she is the one who is transformed through Don Quixote's sheer belief that she can be more than she is.  In the beginning, she sees herself as worthless and is angered by the mad knight's insistence that she truly is a lady.  He even calls her by a new name, Dulcinea, the name of  a lady.  By the end of the story, she has learned to see herself through new eyes and looks toward the future and not to her past.

When I read the exploits of Don Quixote and how he sees the world "not as it is, but as it should be", I think that's why I went into education.  I want to change lives for the better and like Don Quixote "add some measure of grace to the world".  His song The Impossible Dream sums up what I believe as an educator. 
To dream the impossible dream
To fight the unbeatable foe
To bear with unbearable sorrow
To run where the brave dare not go

As educators, we help students believe that anything is possible.  We fight against the constant foes of budget deficits, diminishing resources, and apathy. We help students when they face loss, grief, and sorrow.  And most importantly, we keep going no matter what!  Teaching is not for the faint of heart and like Don Quixote we know that it is our privilege to follow the quest!  Our quest is a never-ending battle to inspire students and help all children reach their full potential. 

 Having fun as Sancho Panza! 

PEARLS OF WISDOM (FROM "Man of La Mancha")

"I have never had the courage to believe in nothing." - Don Quixote

"I'll tell all the world proudly, "I'm his squire...I'm his friend!" - Sancho Panza

"Perhaps maddest of all is to see the world as it is and not as it should be." - Don Quixote

 Clip from the Film Version with Peter O'Toole (3 minutes)


Monday, September 21: Tornado Drill 11:00 am
Tuesday, September 22: Principal Meeting at Wayne-RESA 7:30-9:30 am
Wednesday, September 23: Parent Meeting / REED Limberg/Boggs 8:30 am
                                            iReady Training at Johnson (Benson) 1:00-4:00 pm
Thursday, September 24: Staff Meeting in the Lab (iReady Overview) 8:00 am
Friday, September 25: Jon in Lansing for MEMSPA Board Meeting
                                     Skate Night at Riverside Arena 6:00-8:00 pm

Wednesday, September 30: Achievement Team Meeting 8:00 am
                                           Lock Down Drill 2:00 pm
Thursday, October 1: Elementary Principals Meeting 1:00-4:30 pm
                                   PTA Meeting 6:30 pm
Friday, October 2: Rosedale PTA's Walk-a-Thon in the afternoon (info to come)

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