Oh, The Places You’ll Go!

Congratulations!
Today is your day.
You’re off to Great Places!
You’re off and away!

You have brains in your head.
You have feet in your shoes.
You can steer yourself in any direction you choose.

You’re on your own.
And you know what you know.
And YOU are the guy
who’ll decide where to go.

You’ll look up and down streets.
Look ’em over with care.
About some you will say,
“I don’t choose to go there.”

With your head full of brains
And your shoes full of feet
You’re too smart to go down
Any not-so-good street.

And you may not find any
You’ll want to go down.
In that case, of course,
you’ll head straight out of town.
It’s opener there
in the wide open air.

Out there things can happen
and frequently do
to people as brainy
and footsy as you.

And then things start to happen,
don’t worry, don’t stew.
Just go right along.
You’ll start happening too.

OH!
THE PLACES YOU’LL GO!

You’ll be on y our way up!
You’ll be seeing great sights!
You’ll join the high fliers
who soar to high heights.

You won’t lag behind,
because you’ll have the speed.
You’ll pass the whole gang
and you’ll soon take the lead.

Wherever you fly,
you’ll be best of the best.
Wherever you go,
you will top all the rest.

Except when you don’t.
Because, sometimes, you won’t.
I’m sorry to say so
but, sadly, it’s true
that Bang-ups and Hang-up
can happen to you.

You can get all hung up
in a prickle-ly perch.
And your gang will fly on.
You’ll be left in a Lurch.

You’ll come down from the Lurch
with an unpleasant bump.
And the chances are, then,
that you’ll be in a Slump.

And when you’re in a Slump,
you’re not in for much fun.
Un-slumping yourself
is not easily done.

You will come to a place
where the streets are not marked.
Some windows are lighted.
But mostly they’re darked.
A place you could sprain
both your elbow and chin!
Do you dare to stay out?
Do you dare to go in?
How much can you lose?
How much can you win?

And IF you go in
should you turn left or right…
or right-and-three-quarters?
Or, maybe, not quite?
Or go around back and sneak in from behind?
Simple it’s not
I’m afraid you will find,
for a mind-maker-upper
to make up his mind.

You can get so confused
that you’ll start in to race
down long wiggled roads at a break-necking pace
and grind on for miles cross weirdish wild space,
headed, I fear, toward a most useless place.

The Waiting Place…
…for people just waiting.

Waiting for a train to go
or a bus to come, or a plane to go
or the mail to come, or the rain to go
or the phone to ring, or the snow to snow
or the waiting around for a Yes or No
or waiting for their hair to grow.
Everyone is just waiting.

Waiting for the fish to bite
or waiting for the wind to fly a kite
or waiting around for Friday night
or waiting, perhaps, for their Uncle Jake
or a pot to boil, or a Better Break
or a string of pearls, or a pair of pants
or a wig with curls, or Another Chance.
Everyone is just waiting.

NO! That’s not for you!
Somehow you’ll escape
all that waiting and staying
You’ll find the bright places
where Boom Bands are playing.
With banner flip-flapping,
once more you’ll ride high!
Ready for anything under the sky.
Ready because you’re that kind of a guy!

Oh, the places you’ll go!
There is fun to be done!
There are points to be scored.
There are games to be won.
And the magical things you can do with that ball
will make you the winning-est winner of all.

Fame! You’ll be as famous as famous can be,
with the whole wide world watching you win on TV.

Except when they don’t
Because, sometimes they won’t.
I’m afraid that some times
you’ll play lonely games too.
Games you can’t win’cause
you’ll play against you.

Alone! Whether you like it or not,
Alone will be something
you’ll be quite a lot.
And when you’re alone,
there’s a very good chance
you’ll meet things that scare you right out of your pants.

There are some, down the road between hither and yon,
that can scare you so much you won’t want to go on.

But on you will go
though the weather be foul.
On you will go
though your enemies prowl.
On you will go though the Hakken-Kraks howl.
Onward up many
a frightening creek,
though your arms may get sore and your sneakers may leak.
On and on you will hike,
And I know you’ll hike far
and face up to your problems
whatever they are.

You’ll get mixed up, of course,
as you already know.
You’ll get mixed up
with many strange birds as you go.
So be sure when you step.
Step with care and great tact
and remember that Life’s a Great Balancing Act.
Just never foget to be dexterous and deft.
And never mix up your right foot with your left.
And will you succeed?
Yes! You will, indeed!
(98 and 3/4 percent guaranteed.)

KID, YOU’LL MOVE MOUNTAINS!
So…
be your name Buxbaum or Bixby or Bray
or Mordecai Ali Van Allen O’Shea,
You’re off the Great Places!
Today is your day!
Your mountain is waiting,
So…get on your way!

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From passion to a noble profession.

A great teacher has little external history to record. His life goes over into other lives. These men are pillars in the intimate structure of our schools. They are more essential than its stones or beams, and they will continue to be a kindling force and a revealing power in our lives.Deepak Mehta (Emperor’s Club, 2002)

Being a teacher is, for me, one of the noblest professions there is. The true teachers who have a passion for molding the lives of young people are a rarity these days. Many in the profession feel that in being a teacher, they have settled for a lesser destiny. This thinking is because of the fact that teaching does not compensate well (in the financial sense), especially in our country.

A real passion for teaching has in it every power to change and define the life of more than one person.

On the one hand, the teacher gets her high from the little steps, the little successes that her students achieve. She will realize that she can only share and guide them so much. At some point she will endure the hard part of standing back and watching. Her life is intertwined with the those that sit in front of her everyday, taking what she says as truth, trusting that she knows what’s best for them.

On the other hand, the student who leads a life she embraces her own, forever aiming for that bacon to take home, will realize later in life that at some point a teacher changed the way she saw things, inspired her to reach for her dreams. At the back of her mind, she knows that wherever she is in life, she owes some part of it to the teacher who first taught her to read and pronounce her words well, the one who gave a disapproving look every time she did something bad and unruly in class, the one who patted her back, urging her to go on face the crowd and recite for them her first declamation piece.

In the course of my education, I have met a few teachers who, I can say, were instrumental to my becoming what I am right now. To them, I will forever be grateful. They have instilled in me the value of honesty and hardwork. They were the ones who believed in my abilities and have encouraged and inspired me to follow my dreams.

To those teachers who think that they’ve been forced into a bitter fate by becoming one, I pity them, for they have neither found their passion and happiness by not becoming who they really want to be nor have they understood that by being a teacher, they have in their hands the capacity to influence the lives of other people more than any politician or celebrity could. Still, I wish them the best.

I love words.

Je t’aime.

I’m trying to learn basic French from my cousin who took up European Languages in college. I must say it’s pretty hard, what with 19 or so vowel sounds. He told me it’d be easier if I knew Latin because it is the mother of the Romance languages. Unfortunately, I don’t. So he had a pretty hard time trying to explain conjugation to me as well as how to properly pronounce the words–nasals and throaty sounds. I always knew French to be a most romantic language, with words delicate and soft in the tongue, but I never thought learning it could be so complicated.

Anyway, the French is just a segue.

I love words.

They are fluid and powerful.¬†One can play with them. I’ve been in love with words since I was a kid, always hungry for new ones to add to my vocabulary. I especially love the simple, evocative ones like twilight and sunshine. I also love prepositions, which when tossed around produces interesting little phrases out of boring ones. It is in pursuit of this love that I decided to put up a blog. I have no other motive but to share this love and allow my words to paint a picture of the scenes and the things that matter most to me.

So please bear with me because this is the first time I’ll pursue my love with a single-mindedness I’ve always lacked.