I went on a field trip with around 120 ESL students from a local high school: Iraq, Liberia, Kenya, Somalia, Yemen, Afghanistan, Thailand, Burma, Congo, and Burundi. It was a celebration of the end-of-the-school year and the students had a picnic, played sports and relaxed.
I spent the majority of the day with students on a volleyball court, remembering my Brown School coaching and also trying to get students to be a wee bit more competitive than they wanted to be. I hate having a silly game of volleyball. What amazed me more than anything was the way they were often better with their feet than with their arms and they made miraculous plays that often went over the net. I was trying to think if this was fair.
Growing up in Syracuse, I believe I only went to Green Lakes once. As the students were enjoying themselves immensely, I thought proudly of the American dream and how international the scene truly was. It reminded me a bit of the Roskile Lille Skole Music festivals where students came from all over Denmark simply to be kids. A group of boys played drums, others played soccer, more played European handball and, of course, I had the volleyball game going. I said to a teacher that it was too bad more Americans couldn't see this truly remarkable display of America's future. So many languages, so many dreams and so many laughs revolved on this day to unwind at a park.
Karma is believing in the young.