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Need joy? Sing.

December 12, 2011 Leave a comment

Winter Festival RehearsalWhether you prefer to say “Happy Holidays,” “Season’s Greetings,” “Happy Chanukah,” “Merry Christmas,” “Happy Kwanza,” “Merry Solstice ” or  “Happy New Year,” this is a time that we are all inclined to spread joy to others.

And this is the time (despite my efforts to the contrary), that I frequently find myself thinking about the ways that others can spread joy to me.  There is a primordial kernel of selfishness deep within us that even the holidays cannot defeat. So what brings me delight during the holidays?  Not candy canes, Christmas cookies, Hannukah gelt, twinkling lights or figgie pudding. I love the music of the season.

As the sounds of primary students rehearsing their winter festival songs come wafting down the hall every morning this week, I have felt blessed to work at a school like Evergreen.  As children prepare for Winter Festival, I realize that music and song are the finest ways possible to celebrate the season together—making a joyful noise.

What are some of your favorite holiday songs?

My top four are:

  • Let it Snow
  • God Rest Ye Merry Gentlemen
  • Do they Know Its Chirstmas?- Band Aid
  • Happy Christmas – (War is Over) John Lennon

Forward to the Future

December 4, 2011 1 comment

Like Marty McFly, we all want to see into the future (if your are too young to remember, Marty was the DeLorean time-traveler in the ‘80’s movie Back to the Future). If parents of young children had any free time, they might spend it imagining their children as grown ups. But as harried parents know, raising children is so all encompassing, it can seem impossible to think beyond the challenges of the here and now.

This Saturday, I spent the day as a judge at a middle school robotics competition. The event was sponsored by the First Lego League and included over 200 students on teams from 16 Maryland schools. I worked on a panel listening to each team’s research project presentation. As team after team presented, I could not help but imagine the toddlers at Evergreen School presenting their science fair projects, sales presentations, or doctoral dissertations in the future. All in due time.

These children soon will be reading, brushing his or her own teeth, being a good citizen and making a positive impact in the world. Diapers are as temporary as baby bottles, as is crying, biting and dependence. The only thing that is not temporary is the permanent impact that loving parents and a solid academic foundation make in the early years.

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