Monday, February 21, 2011
It was the best of times
"It was the best of times, it was the worst of times, it was the age of wisdom, it was the age of foolishness, it was the epoch of belief, it was the epoch of incredulity, it was the season of Light, it was the season of Darkness, it was the spring of hope, it was the winter of despair, we had everything before us, we had nothing before us, we were all going direct to heaven, we were all going direct the other way - in short, the period was so far like the present period, that some of its noisiest authorities insisted on its being received, for good or for evil, in the superlative degree of comparison only."
Charles Dickens, A Tale of Two Cities
What a great time to be alive. To be surrounded by such creativity and opportunity is truly a blessing. The world seems full of people fighting for change, lifting others up and creating beauty in places where hope is sometimes absent.
Two recent reports from Good magazine got me pumped. The intersection of street art and education at Manual Arts High School is a good example of what can happen when people are willing to step outside their comfort zone. In a school where gang activity and lockdowns are not unfamiliar, some teachers chose not to bury their heads in the sand. Instead, they sought creative ways to reach kids likely labeled at-risk.
While reading Dickens is a valiant exercise, I feel like it's clear how forcing everyone into the same box won't work. Bringing street artists into the school and supporting the arts program gives kids the option to explore other strengths and, judging from the article, inadvertently learn collaboration and respect. It gives the students another way to be special. Anyway, I think it's cool. I'm supportive of any teacher doing what they can to inspire and educate.
Want to know what else is cool? It's the collaboration between Google and Red Bull that allows you to peruse Google maps and view street art around the world. I'm going to have to forget I know about this site, or I'll waste hours on the hunt.
Girl picking mushroom in Norway? Why, yes, it does exist!
Oh...you think I'm a little Pollyanna? I thought I should throw a little positivity out there before my political rant tomorrow.