King Holiday. Celebrate, Dance, and Sing!
Dear Ecology Volunteers, Parents and Friends,
It seems to me that I often collide with Holidays, unprepared to properly celebrate them. So it is with MLK Day. I would like to have shared with our students the whole breadth of King’s life and work, the courage, the love, and the fury. Furious Love. I would have liked to share the music, the music of Freedom and struggle, of joy and celebration. But time moves too quickly. It is a fool’s errand to even attempt it. I’ve come to think that we need to teach the culture of justice, struggle, and activism from the first day of school to the last. And with our lives and actions demonstrate for our children our determination to challenge racism and discrimination, inequality and inequity, poverty and despair. A profile of our city from downtown to the west side would create a graphic model of disparity: the skyscraping peaks of the wealthy down to the scrabble, rubbish-strewn streets of the poor and working classes. It was, arguably, King’s pivot to addressing social inequality and the role of the rich and mighty in using military force to dominate the wealth of the world that brought about his tragic end. Some years ago our students were taught a popular Mexican song: Por Un Mundo Mejor, which ends with a powerful refrain:
For a better world Where there is a new sun Because love is a color thing For a better world I want a ray of light Enlightening everyone equally It would be a fine thing for our students to carry with them this message of hope and commitment to a better world. I recently encountered a version that we recorded in 2004 at Waters with Ms. Zelle conducting and me on piano. A link to the original song is below as well as lyrics in Spanish and English. This week, in ecology, we begin our Winter field trip schedule! On Wednesday, January 19, Third grade, Room 215, will bundle up and explore a Sauganash dressed in white, to track animals and remove the invasive species European Buckthorn. On Thursday, Jan 20, Room 216 will do the same. Winter trips are quite a miracle. Many things must come together: the Forest Preserve must approve the trip and order the buses, CPS must approve the trip, AND the weather must cooperate. Temperatures are ideally below freezing and above 15 degrees. In this range, the ground is frozen, the snow stays "dry", and our students will generally stay active and warm. We have taught them about basic heat loss and transfer, insulation and strategies to keep our bodies warm. Parents and volunteers meet by the fish tank at 9:00 for a briefing. We return to Waters at 12:30, so students can have lunch in a warm place.
Stay well and warm,
Por Un Mundo Mejor
Si entendieran que nada se logra Con las guerras Siempre por la paz Puede haber una solución No queremos ver contaminado el mar Quiero ver ballenas Volver a emigrar Que vamos a hacer cuando Los árboles no existan Cuando el cielo azul Se vea sólo en las revistas Por qué no acabar con esta polución Cuiden las especies que hay en extinción Por un mundo mejor Donde haya un nuevo sol Porque el amor es cosa de color Por un mundo mejor Quiero un rayo de luz Iluminando a todos por igual Que vamos a hacer cuando Los árboles no existan Cuando el cielo azul Se vea sólo en las revistas If they understood that nothing is achieved With wars Always for peace There may be a solution We don't want to see the sea polluted I want to see whales Migrate again What are we going to do when Trees don't exist When the blue sky Look only in magazines Why not end this pollution? Take care of endangered species For a better world Where there is a new sun Because love is a color thing For a better world I want a ray of light Enlightening everyone equally What are we going to do when Trees don't exist When the blue sky Look only in magazines