"I stand upon my desk to remind myself that we must constantly look at things a different way The world looks very different up here . . . Just when you think you know something you have to look at it in another way . . ." - John Keating, Dead Poets Society

You may remember my post last year about teaching from the film "Dead Poets Society." Well, we are back at it, and once again it has me thinking.

Perspective. Isn't perspective that one thing that smacks us all in the face sometimes? My other LA class isn't watching the film, but I was thinking about a way to give them perspective one something. So I showed them the trailer for the movie, "The Soloist." If you haven't seen this, it is a film based on a true story about a homeless man [played brilliantly by Jamie Lee Fox] who has schizophrenia. He is discovered and befriended by a journalist when the journalist hears him playing his cello. As the story unfolds, the viewer learns that this man, the soloist, was once a student at Julliard before his disease over took him and left him on the streets. It is a beautiful story. After viewing the trailer, I had them write either from the perspective of a homeless person, or write a reflection/story while thinking about how everyone we pass on the streets has a story to tell.

Last night our local girls basketball team played for the second year in a row for the Sectional title. They didn't play their best, there were several things that were upsetting me while I watched the game, I got mad at the refs, I was upset they lost...and then...PERSPECTIVE. I looked across the gym and saw a woman from our community who had just buried her mother that very day. Next to her was the wife of the son she buried last week. PERSPECTIVE.

The other night I woke up in the night and had a hard time getting comfortable again. Several parts of my body ached. And then...PERSPECTIVE. ...
I thought about a couple I know who have been trying to get pregnant unsuccessfully. PERSPECTIVE.

The other day I'd had a student who had been absent for a few days. He already had missing work stacking up and I was a little frustrated. And then...PERSPECTIVE...I learned that he had been sitting by his mom's bedside in the hospital as they waited for test results that gave them bad news. PERSPECTIVE.
So if you need to stand on a desk or table today to get a little perspective, I urge you to do so :). Sometimes things look a lot better when you're standing up there.

1 comment:

Sharon said...

So so true. I have a quote on my desk that I see everyday. It says "Be kinder than necessary, for everyone you meet is fighting some kind of battle." Some days I heed it, and unfortunately, some days I don't. Thanks for the "perspective".