On Monday morning my partner-in-charter Janet and I drove to the Central Office to deliver 15 binders, each full of 350 pages of public charter school application. It was finally completed at 11:30 the night before with the substantial participation of about 40 teachers, parents and general citizens and included 100 pages of public support letters and petition signatures. Working on this project was an exhilarating experience of grass-roots collaboration, and yet what also kept me going as the lead writer on the project (I came as close as I ever will to "pulling an all-nighter") was working some carefully selected poetry into the Academic Design section.
Here are the first two: an epigraphical gem that opens the whole application, and a really fine, serendipitous summary of what it is we want children to learn at our school--a poem from Marilyn Singer's Footprints on the Roof.
Lyric from Ancient Arabia
are our hearts
~Hattan Ibu Al Mu'alla
(incorrect formatting; I still haven't learned to make blogger obey my indents)
Ask me where is home
and I will tell you
Someplace safe and solid
where I eat
Someplace I can pinpoint
on a map
But what if I were an astronaut
with the world dangling below me
like a yo-yo from a giant's hand
and home was the whole planet?
Would I be wise enough to understand
of my new address: Earth
~ Marilyn Singer