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What really matters?

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I want to share a post I wrote years ago that still thumps in my now retired teacher heart:

Some days, I want to hurl the textbooks and state-mandated curriculum through the windows that open only to the windows of another portable classroom, and announce:

Okay, let’s talk about what really matters.

Let’s talk about what you’ll face in the world. How tragedy and joy are holding hands, and they’ll play Red Rover with you for the rest of your life.

I know some students are experts at the “divert the teacher from the lecture” game. And some teachers are sucked in and allow class time to be swallowed by rambling tales of the teacher’s children’s latest antics, their spouse’s occupations or lack thereof, or the state of their disunion. 

But that’s not what I’m advocating.

I’ve squandered so much of my own life afraid of the unknown, afraid of deciding, afraid of not deciding.

I wonder, if someone had grabbed me by the collar of my uncertainty and encouraged me to risk, to ignore those who did and who would steal my dreams…what would that life had been?