Monday I was subbing at Clemente High School, the place where I did my student teaching and all, and where I live across the street from. At the end of the day I went to see my friend and physics teacher, Tim P. Yes, my friends are nerds too.
On one of his walls, he had a flyer for a student-led show on Sudan. Something like "Uncovering Sudan: Genocide." I thought, "Hey, this is great. It's led by students in my community. It's about a subject that is increasing in attention. It's about social justice and an issue that, actually, I'm strongly considering doing with my youth in my church, etc., etc. I should go to this thing, at the very least to show my support."
So it was yesterday afternoon / eve. I came to the third floor, was kind of lost, but I heard a group of kids going, "It's Mr. Dye. Wow. He's here." So, after my initial embarrasment, I round the corner and - in my Superman black tee and knees-torn jeans - "Hey, are you guys running this?" It was students that I student-taught and tried to keep up with since. Many of those same students that Tim P. also has.
I'm so proud of them. The room was packed. Maybe close to 90 or so students and teachers / staff but definitely majority students. On a Tuesday evening - long after school let out. Freshmen to Seniors (my students, they're graduating this year). They did a good, albeit shy, job. And the audience was respectful, well, most of the time. The Windows Media Movie (is that what you call it?) that they put together was tight, minimalistic, and definitely upsetting, if not a little off-setting (Music tones to video were supposed to have a juxtaposing effect, I suppose. It wasn't so much). And the ocassional references to Hotel Rwanda, I thought, were in good company. I definitely hope more people see it and react to it (I'm still upset with my friends that haven't).
All in all: There's hope that kids aren't so narcissistic after all the media reports and bad days.