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Friday, June 10, 2005

Sports Day Post-Script

Sports Day was a success, even if a chaotic one. Several people did comment on the "Friends Come In All Colors" shirt that I mentioned in my previous post. It hadn't even occurred to me to consider how relevant that was to today's "color war" with red, yellow and blue teams competing in the day's events.

I had always thought my shirt icon was a little obvious or used. Diversity is most of what we talk about in public schools. But that's not the case everywhere. And as I said in my previous post, diversity exists in all settings. In a religious Jewish school it means really confronting what it means to be a Jew, or even an Orthodox Jew, and how to reconcile the differences. Yesterday when I played music for an activity a couple of kids freaked out a little and said, "But the omer isn't over! I'm not supposed to listen to music!" These particular kids seemed to understand just as well that other kids did NOT hold by that rule. Either way, we all agreed that most rabbis say you can listen to music for educational purposes. (Which this was... if you consider drawing about how feelings relate to music. It was an assignment I needed for report cards.) I was a little uncomfortable with the whole thing. I didn't want to step on anyone's toes as a teacher. But as a Jew I was annoyed at the thought that I COULD be judged for having begun to listen to music again after Lag B'Omer, and in fact really NEEDED to do so.

I had a great talk with a colleague about this diversity today. She later called me up before Shabbat to say how much she'd miss having me and my perspective on this in the school with her next year. (She's like-Minded.) How sweet!

The highlight of my day must have been at the tug-of-war. For one of the sessions staff and students all pulled together. A nine-year-old boy from my class said to another boy, "Yay! We've got Morah Arwen. She's strong. She survived cancer so she's really strong."

I'm beaming with this as I move into Shabbos.

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