Sparked by Words

Archive for September, 2013

D is for Dares with Dreams

I’m writing this post on the 50th anniversary of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.’s I Have a Dream speech as it was presented at the March on Washington on August 28, 1963. It’s fitting that this entry be more somber than others in the Alphabet of a New Blog series.

Many of you reading this only know Dr. King and the Civil Rights movement from history books, documentaries, news articles, TV broadcasts, and the like. I knew Dr. King from my place in the generation to whom he addressed his concerns. Too young to march with him, I later spent my college years singing “We Will Overcome” and rallying against continuing inequalities, the heady sense of social justice and righteousness fresh from the earlier Civil Rights marches. I worked on behalf of lowering the voting age to 18, figuring that a man deemed old enough to fight and perhaps die for our country should be considered old enough to vote. I’m still proud of my contribution to that success. It cost me a semester of perfect university grades to help get that job done, and I don’t regret my choice. (more…)

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The Kid in the Second Row

There’s always a kid in the second row who reacts to the ordinary events in class by laughing hysterically. She engages the other kids in companion giggles and breaks up the rhythm the teacher has so carefully plotted. A lesson on carrying numbers from one column to the next, and the kid in the second row is laughing because the lines of numbers on the board wobble like a falling tower. A lesson on the construction of a sentence into parts that move, parts that enhance, and parts that command, and the kid in the second row is laughing because the teacher finds more life in those parts than in the kids listening to her. (more…)