What A Wonderful World?

This morning I attended my 4-year-old grandson’s end of year show. The class had studied the earth’s biomes all year and each child wore a different costume and sang songs to reflect the many different climates and animals on the planet. My grandson was a proud penguin. 

Before the performance began, the children waved and blew kisses to their beaming parents.

The show’s theme, “What A Wonderful World” contrasted sharply with the images and reports from the news. Watching the show, I saw children filled with promise, excited about summer: day camp, library programs, travel to grandparents, and lazy days swimming and going for ice cream. My joy for my grandson mixed with anger about the children, the same age as those in the room and younger, being separated from their parents.

On the radio, as I drove, I heard horror stories. Tales straight out of both fiction, The Handmaid’s Tale, and fact, Nazi Germany, an event  generations have vowed: “never again.”

It’s also UN World Refugee Day.  I want to share my sister Madeline’s Facebook post. She teaches English as a Second Language in the DC area.

A week ago, I delivered a promotion speech to the English Language Learners at my school. I told them how they had left me deeply humbled. In a society where ELL students are seen as limitations or students who are lagging behind their peers, these kids have proven they can do anything at all. They arrived shattered and beyond hope. They came seeking asylum in a country built by immigrants who once sought asylum. My students and all the immigrants before them came here to learn English and build a better life. In the process, they shared lessons about experiences no one should have to witness; about starting over and about transformation. Let’s remember what this country was built on and by whom. When my grandparents, (asylum seekers) came to America, they were greeted: “Give me your tired, your poor, Your huddled masses yearning to breathe free,……” Their journey wasn’t easy but it wasn’t further traumatized by being put in a cage. This policy is nothing less than inhumane.

As the children sang, “What a Wonderful World” https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=A3yCcXgbKrE, my eyes misted.

Surely, we can do better.

The November election can’t come soon enough.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

About cyclingrandma

I was a journalist (Danbury News-Times, Ct), before becoming a teacher, and continue to write for professional journals. I have written several study guides for Penguin Books and write for Education Update, a newspaper based in New York City. (www.educationupdate.com). I’ve interviewed many authors, college presidents, and scientists. I wrote “The Kentucky Derby’s Forgotten Jockeys” for Smithsonian Magazine's website, www.smithsonian.com. (April, 2009). Two essays have been published in book anthologies; one for Wisdom of Our Mothers, (Familia Books) and the other in “College Search and Parent Rescue: Essay for Parents by Parents of College-Going Students.” (St. Martin’s Press). I was a middle school Language Arts teacher for more than 10 years and have just completed a five year grant position under No Child Left Behind in Newark, NJ public schools. I have three children, two daughters-in law, and six grandchildren. I'm an avid cyclist, knitter, cook, and reader. I love theater, museums, and yoga.
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4 Responses to What A Wonderful World?

  1. As I sit here at my desk, the window open beside me, listening to the sounds of the river, the trees whispering through the leaves, distant traffic humming, I think of those children. Your grandson. My grandson. And I wonder… what kind of world are we creating? Where is our humanity?

    Thank you for this. I have hesitated to write about it. You have given me courage and resolve.

    Blessings.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Thanks, Louise. It’s been a hard year and a half. I’ve barely been able to write anything. I just hope we can change the regime in November.

    Liked by 1 person

    • And yet, it is in speaking up, in writing it out, we create pathways to understanding, change, possibility — at least, that’s my vision. I must admit, the man in the White House and his cronies, make it harder to hold onto my vision — even here north of the 49th, I wonder, where is our humanity? Hugs

      Like

  3. Adorable picture of your grandson, and moving words from your sister. I can barely stomach the news anymore!

    Like

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