Last night two of my grandsons came to dinner with my son and me. We’ve always been able to talk to each other—even when they were teenagers—(mostly, because they were always playing some instrument, drums or sax or guitar with another teenage boyfriend of my granddaughter, so we didn’t have to talk or confront each other!).
Maggie Doyne, founder of the Kopila Valley Children’s Home
Anyway, we had a great discussion that came from asking their help for my book. They both have jobs that they really like; the elder, Cazo, as a river guide for river boat voyagers on the Colorado and Green rivers, the youngest, Michael, as a waiter and sommelier wine steward at a fancy restaurant.
With my new conviction that it is our children—with new technology, but also with physical activity and resilience, and uncurbed imagination—it is they who are going to save our world. Hopefully, in the process they will educate us (old fogies like me, age 87) so we can help with an occasional glimpse of wisdom from some of our experiences! So I asked them please to think about ideas they knew about (like the Global Brain) or were actually doing (like teaching urban kids, who had never even seen a wilderness area; how to survive on a river boat trip and even grow to love the adventure) and to share them with me. Michael said, “But Granny, no one ever listens to us,” and I said, “No, that’s not true. People are beginning to listen, especially when you do something positive- like Maggie Doyne, that courageous girl who went to Nepal on a ‘gap’ year trip between high school and college. What she didn’t expect to see was a whole lot of orphaned children from the 1996-2006 civil war. Children without homes, or food, or love. She was outraged but also filled with compassion. She stayed. She bought some land, she found people to help her build a home, where she brought the children, fed and healed them (many were literally dying from starvation and diseases), and she started a school called Kopila Valley Children’s Home. And she is still there. And, her 3rd Graders are actually reading Charlotte’s Web. Are ours?”
“So please,” I continued, “think about what you’d like to see us teaching our kids; how you’d do it? What kind of space would you need? Would you just use computers or would you still teach cursive writing? Would you memorize anything for pleasure—not just for an AIMS test? In fact, what kind of education do you think we need? All kinds of questions like these…”
And, I’d like to throw these questions out to any of my virtual friends on Facebook who’d be interested in posting their responses or new questions—for discussion or sharing in my book (with their permission).
Maggie Doyne’s website: www.blinknow.org
Facebook page for Maggie Doyne
Educate the Children International