Tuesday, May 16, 2017

Things Fall Apart, Things Come Together

I can't think of the phrase things fall apart, without thinking of Chinua Achebe's Nigerian novel with the same title.

Things do fall apart--not just African tribes, but tangible, organic and inorganic objects. An unused muscle will atrophy, dead roses will turn to compost, bikes at the beach will tarnish with rust, the Roman Empire fell. Eventually. Motors quit, tires wear, vertebrae lose their cushions--and we become little old men and women.

But...things do come together, and when we are a part of the miracle, we know it to be true.

When I learned about the No Border school in Athens, created for the refugee children who washed up on shore and didn't have an opportunity for schooling---energy, love, and concern came together. People came together and created a school that knew no borders. When I learned about it, I wanted to help it come together too. I'll be teaching teachers for just one night, but one night may help just enough.

When a math teacher colleague learned where I was going, he asked if I wanted to take a brand new box of math curriculum to the No Border School. I'm not sure how I will cart it all the way to Athens, but I have faith it will come together.

When a group of students learned about Kara Tepe refugee camp, they came together to earn money for a needy situation.

We are in the last days of high school with our seniors. We gathered the seniors and juniors together for a spontaneous question and answer session concerning the senior project. The conversation evolved from the capstone to their last lecture writing. After a year of sometimes-resistance to assignments and learning, our seniors testified how the year's learning had prepared them for this final assignment. They gave high regards to the beginning-of-the-year essay-a-day; they even saw the value in the poetry unit and how it helped them with choosing details and making careful word choices.

It was a clear reminder that things do, eventually come together.

Friends forgive, children return home, Nazi-stolen artwork is recovered; even ISIS is losing ground in Iraq. We can't lose hope or focus. Persistence in the mundane and the most dire of circumstances is a must. Hang on, hold on, after things fall apart, things come together.







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