Tuesday, April 28, 2020

an opportunity for us

On one hand, I need another project right now like I need a hole in the head.

But sometimes life and circumstance bring us an idea too important to ignore. Something just came up for me. I don't know why I didn't think of this sooner, when I gave the journal option, but it's distracting me from everything else, so I'm posting it to see what you think.

The public doesn't usually get to hear from students. There are exceptions: Malala Yousafzai, Greta Thunberg, and Emma Gonzalez (and her fellow survivors from Parkland) have become well-known, respectively, for their advocacy of important causes. They have proven that the world listens to teenagers when those teenagers have something important to say.

Think of every dramatic character you've seen in movies or read in books. One of the things that makes them so interesting is the challenging circumstances they are forced to deal with.  Right now, that's you. I believe that you have something important to say, and readers around the world want to know how you survive because they need to as well. I will help you edit and refine what you write so that it says exactly what you want it to say in a way that you will be proud to share for years to come. If we get this together, I will self-publish a copy for each author. If I can find a publisher to actually buy the book, every author will be an equal partner -- except me. I'll contribute my share to you, or to nonprofit organizations that help first responders and families in need.

Topics might include:
  • Grieving a loved one's illness or death
  • Losing freedom
  • Taking care of young/old family members
  • Home with a difficult family situation
  • Working in the fields without adequate protection
  • Worrying about finances, college, or life in general
  • Feelings of anxiety, depression, rage -- or happiness, relief, safety, or [however you're feeling]
  • Perspectives on the government's response
  • Visions for the future of education [what will HS look like in the fall and beyond?] 
You will undoubtedly have different ideas, those are just off the top of my head. Right now the internet is full of blogs, columns, and social media posts about everyone's experience during the pandemic.

I have been so impressed with every student who has connected with me since school closed. Some of you have grieved family members, or lost opportunities, or simply been bored out of your minds, but every conversation and email and blog comment has been kind, and graceful, and it's made me proud to be part of this community.

What do you think about this for a title?


Is that cheesy? You tell me. If you have a better idea, we'll use it!

The book will be a collection of student stories, essays, letters, rants, etc. I will help edit, but YOU will be the authors.

If you have a story/thought/feeling you want to share, comment to this post or send an email.  If you know someone (like a senior who's missing out on prom/grad night/graduation) who isn't in our class but would like to contribute, send them my way.

*This is one of several options for your final project this semester.  I'll share the others in a separate post by Friday, May 1.

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