“Oh the Places You’ll Go” is one of my favorite books of all time, not just my favorite Dr. Seuss book. But it took a while to appreciate it.

Published in 1990, the book was Seuss’ final book before he passed away a year later. His real name was Theordore Geisel.

Its narrative is about a full life lived, through thick and thin and greatness and sorrow. When I was younger, those were just words. The darkness in some of the middle, as the main character deals with failure, never truly rang true to me.

But as I sat Firday in a chair too small for my legs in Lela Brister’s second-grade class at Martinez Elementary, where I was invited to read in celebration of Seuss’s 114th birthday, I found myself getting blown away by the meaning, not the sing-song lyrics that made the author famous.

As I’ve expressed in columns past, I love reading to children in schools. I welcome the experience and feel I learn more each time I do it. I hope the students learn more with me reading to them, as well.

This time, though, nearly knocked me down internally.

I held my own, practicing my acting with them as I read. Cheery voices came out during the positive parts, while melancholy escaped my lips in the sad. But I have to wonder if those children grasped what was actually happening, or if, like younger me, the negativity went over their heads as they listened to genius read aloud.

I was about the same age as the Martinez second-graders when the book was released. I didn’t think, at the time, about any of the life stuff. And part of me hopes they can remain innocent enough for as long as possible that the negative emotions stay away.

Brownwood hits the ‘Trail’

Sometimes, it’s easy teaching students about history. And sometimes, you do it in a hand-made dress and bonnet while eating dutch-oven biscuits and hoecakes cooked over an open flame.

That’s how eighth-grade teacher Ann Costa brought the Oregon Trail to her students, a district news release said.

Costa’s lesson was part of eighth-grade history students studying the western migration of the U.S. along the famed trail.

When I was in school, we just played the Oregon Trail computer game.

I’m not sure which lesson I’d prefer.

A note on student protests

Nationwide, students in middle and high schools are protesting gun violence by leaving class en mass and not backing down when asked to potentially compromise their lives so people can own guns.

One such nationwide protest is happening March 14, one month after the Parkland, Florida, shooting that left 17 students, teachers and coaches dead.

Those people don’t have a voice anymore to contribute to the national dialogue. Their voices were exterminated.

I’m not entirely sure Abilene students would take part in the first major protest, but it turns out they couldn’t even if they wanted to. See, March 14 is actually in the middle of spring break.

While there’s no protest, there is a Facebook event published for a march happening at 10 a.m. that Wednesday outside the Abilene ISD administration building at 241 Pine St. Details are available at www.facebook.com and search for “Enough!”

 

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