Saturday, April 11, 2009

In Need of Some Inspiration?

Let it be known,
That British liberties are not the grants of princes or Parliaments
many of our rights are inherent and essential
agreed on as maxims and established as preliminaries even before Parliament existed
we have a right to them
derived from our maker
our fore fathers have earned and fought liberty for us
at the expense of their ease, their estates, their pleasures, and their blood
liberty is not built on the doctrine that a few nobles have a right to inherit the Earth,
no, no,
it stands on this principle
that the meanest and lowest of the people are
by the unalterable, indivisible laws of God and nature
as well as entitled to the benefits of the air to breath, light to see, food to eat, and clothes to wear, as the nobles or the king
that is liberty
and Liberty Will Reign
in America

Where is thy salute?
For presenting yourselves on this battlefield I give you thanks
This is our army to join it you give homage
I give homage to Scotland
and if this is your army why does it go?
We didn't come here to fight for them
The English are too many

Sons of Scotland, I am William Wallace
William Wallace is 7 feet tall
yes I have heard, kills men by the hundreds
and if he were here he'd consume the English
with fire bolts from his eyes and bolts of lightning from his arse.
I am William Wallace and I see a whole army of my countrymen
here in defiance of tyranny.
You've come to fight as free men
and free men you are.
What will you do without freedom?
Will you fight?
Fight, against that? No, we will run and we will live
Ay! Fight and you may die. Run and you'll live,
at least awhile and dying in your beds many years from now
would you be willing to trade all the days from this day till then for once chance, just one chance to come back here and to tell our enemies that may take our lives
but they'll never take our freedom.

Anybody know what this place is?
This is Gettysburg, this is where they fought the battle of Gettysburg
50,000 men died right here on this field
fighting the same fight that we're still fighting amongst ourselves today
this green field right here was painted red
bubbling with the blood of young boys
smoke, hot lead pouring right through their bodies
listen to their souls men,
I killed my brother with malice in my heart
hatred destroyed my family
you listen and take a lesson from the dead
if we don't come together right now on this hallow ground
we too will be destroyed
just like they were
I don't care if you like each other or not
but you will respect each other
and maybe, I don't know, maybe we'll learn to play this game like men.

I was warned not come here, I was warned, they warned me.
Don't stand behind that coffin.
But why should I heed such a warning? When a heartbeat is silent and a child lies dead. Don't stand behind this coffin. That boy was as pure and as innocent as the driven snow. But I must stand here because I have not given you what you should have. Until we can walk abroad and recreate ourselves, until we can stroll along the streets like boulevards, congregate in parks free from fear, our families mingling, our children laughing, our hearts joined, until that day we have no city. You can label me a failure until that day.

The first and perhaps only great mayor was Greek. He was Pericles of Athens and he lived some 2500 years ago and he said all things good of this Earth flow into the city because of the city's greatness. Well, we were great once. Can we not be great again? Now I put that question to James Bone and there's only silence. Yet, could not something pass from this sweet youth to me? Could he not empower me to find in myself the strength to have the knowledge to summon up the courage to accomplish this seemingly insurmountable task of making a city live able, just live able?

There was a palace that was a city, it was a palace, it was a palace and it can be a palace again. A palace in which there is no king or queen or dukes or earls or princess but subjects all, subjects beholden to each other to make a better place to live. Is that too much to ask? Are we asking too much from you? Is it beyond our reach? Because of it is then we are nothing more than sheep being herded to the final slaughter house. I will not go down that way. I choose to fight back. I choose to rise not fall. I choose to live not die and I know, I know that what's within me is also within you.

That's why I ask you now to join me, join me, rise up with me, rise up on the wings of this slain angel. We'll rebuild on the soul of this little warrior. We will pick up his stand there and raise it up, carry it forward until this city, your city, our city, his city, is a palace again, is a palace again. I am with you little James, I am you.

Everyone in the world has gone to bed one night or another with fear or pain or loss or disappointment and yet each of us has awakened or risen. Somehow made our pollution seen other human beings and said, "morning how are ya?"
"Fine thanks and you?" It's amazing. Where ever that abides in the human being there is the nobleness of the human spirit despite it all. Black and white, Asian, Spanish, Native American, pretty, plain, thin, fat, vowed, or celibate, We Rise.

You may write me down in history
With your bitter, twisted lies,
You may trod me in the very dirt
But still, like dust, I'll rise.

Does my sassiness upset you?
Why are you beset with gloom?
Just 'Cause I walk as if I've got oil wells
Pumping in my living room.

Just like suns and like moons,
With the certainty of tides,
Just like hopes springing high,
Still I'll rise.

Did you want to see me broken?
Bowed head and lowered eyes?
Shoulders falling down like teardrops.
Weakened by my soulful cries.

Does my sassiness upset you?
Don't take it so hard
'Cause I laugh as if I have got gold mines
Diggin' in my own back yard.

You can shoot me with your words,
You can cut me with your eyes,
You can kill me with your hatefulness,
But just like life I rise.

Does my sexiness upset you?
Does it come as a surprise
That I dance as if I've got diamonds
At the meeting of my thighs?

Out of the huts of history's shame
I rise
Up from a past that's rooted in pain
I rise
A black ocean, leaping and wide,
Welling and swelling I bear in the tide.
Leaving behind nights of terror and fear
I rise
Into a daybreak miraculously clear
I rise
Bringing the gifts that my ancestors gave,
I am the hope and the dream of the slave.
and so naturally
there I go

Hey, what are you doing here? Don't you have practice?
Not anymore I quit.
Since when are you the quitting kind?
I don't know I just don't see the point anymore.
So you didn't make the dress list? There are greater tragedies in the world.
I wanted to run out of that tunnel, for my dad, to prove to everyone that I...
Prove what?
That I was somebody.
Ah, You are so full of crap. You're five feet nothing. 100 and nothing and you got hardly a speck of athletic ability. And you hung in with the best college football team in the land for two years and you're also gonna walk out here with a degree from the University of Notre Dame. In this lifetime you don't have to prove nothing to nobody except yourself. And after what you've gone through if you ain't done that by now it ain't gonna never happen. Now go on back.
Sorry I never got you to see your first game.
I've seen too many games in this stadium
I thought you said you never seen a game?
I never seen a game from the stands.
You were a player?
I rode the bench for two years. Thought I wasn't being played because of my color. I got filled up with a lot of attitude. So I quit. Still not a week goes by I don't regret it and I gurantee a week won't go by in your life you won't regret walking out letting them get the best of you. You hear me clear enough?

What did I miss? What are some of your favorite movie scenes?

The Face of Change

Bob Dylan declared in the 1960's that The Times They are a Changin' and we've probably reached a point in our contemporary history where these changes will remain constant. Change can be a challenge for many of us where we are forced out of our comfort zones and placed in very risky situations that may expose our weaknesses, biases, and fears. Change can also be exciting for many of us where we embrace the idea of being pushed to our limits and are comfortable exposing our weaknesses and willing to learn from such shortcomings.

I imagine that we would all place ourselves somewhere in the spectrum when considering the change that takes place in our own lives, both professionally and personally. However, I would like to take but a moment to point out some very exciting changes that are occurring at our school.

The first monumental change is that we have begun to craft and design a Shared Vision for our school. "What does our school stand for? What do we believe in? What do we value?" These are questions that we are beginning to answer but it certainly takes time to develop. Interestingly enough, when we all first met the Principal framed these questions within a 21st Century context and the challenges we face.

In the wake of that first conversation we did not carve out any answers, rather we were left with questions, questions that were bigger than ourselves. Despite this however, we came together and began talking about the future, talking about how we can become the best school in America, literally.

A couple weeks have gone by since that first meeting and there are still no answers, but very constructive conversations are everywhere in our building and the morale is sky high. From my observations I believe that the staff has overwhelmingly embraced this idea of change and we are willing to expose our strengths and weaknesses in an effort to construct not only a Shared Vision but the true sense of what it means to be a Learning Community.