In November – There is a huge, cool, project known as National Novel Writing Month, NANOWRIMO, and listening to NPR’s Saturday’s edition, the reverberations of Stephen Sondheim were again emphasized and with good reason. I realized how VITAL transfer is to EVERYTHING when it comes to internalizing and creating deeper meaning of concepts, ideas, and how we live our lives.
Stephen Sondheim truly revolutionized and rewrote the modern day musical is and has become. The fact that he waited until the script was done, SO HE COULD REPLICATE WHAT THE CHARACTERS were feeling, and no WONDER the scores he created seemed to come from within each character of his shows. He was painstakingly specific in his craft. This is a lesson that can be applied to EVERYONE and should be applied to every single individual as they live their life.
Football– our WHS team is undefeated and I hope they continue to keep their eye on painstakingly honing their craft, even in victory – it makes a difference in how you conduct yourself on and off the field.
Cross Country – Our WHS ladies and boys did what most people can not, and would not do over a period of five months, and some are still learning this – the dedication and commitment that they can use to hone their craft of doing their best when people are watching and when people are not – they can painstakingly create a shell of who they were if they pay attention to the details that make up their minutes, hours, days, weekends, weeks, seasons, championships.
National Novel Writing Month – It sounds impossible to create a 50, 000 novel in one month. It sounds pretty impossible to go a whole season undefeated, moving up to be 15th out of 31 XC teams in the state, impossible to get all A’s in the middle of a pandemic, impossible to move ahead in front of countless assignments week after week, and yet – it is possible. It is attainable and worth the sweat in the end.
Students – How much more powerful would studies be if every assignment created was tied to a childhood experience that teacher had, or someone else that that reminds them, ties them to something they experienced?
Teachers – the Fight is real to grasp and balance what is required and needed, and yet, the personal tied to the real life a-ha is there, and often so hard to bend around to get to, yet a lifetime of value is there when students transfer the personal to the real – and yes, the struggle is real when we are surrounded by 30 + at a time- the fight towards this is the payoff is lingering out there. It needs to be EASIER to allow teachers to get students to that point. I STILL to this day remember my Bilo Managers, teachers from Butler High to college, that provided lessons I connected to my life, we are lucky to have such teachers at Woodbridge High and it makes the difference in everything.
Stephen Soundheim changed the way musicals were received, I ALWAYS thoughts musicals as a young age were – flowery, not for guys at all, too MUSHY, too, “Soap operay”- and then I took over the Aloha yearbook at Seaford High School and moved to Mexico and began Repentino. with a bunch of the most talented students ever, there it began with Camila de la Parra, at Seaford High, it was all due to a legend of a principal, Clarence Davis. However, my transfer of what I thought I knew about musicals, changed to what I felt inside after seeing my first that I can remember, The Christmas Show at Radio City and then onto Warhorse. I walked out dazed and surprised at what I thought I knew.
Had I not done any of the above, or met any of the above, I would be stuck in the same thought of what I thought I knew musicals to be, and yet, NANOWRIMO, POETRY OUT LOUD, and SO MUCH AROUND US provides a chance for individuals of all ages to take what they thought they knew, or what they think they know, and have it all mysteriously change right in front of them.
Stephen Soundheim is certainly responsible for changing the perceptions of hundreds upon thousands of people’s views, but so can coaches, athletes, school and public librarians, educators, parents, and more. He is a lesson in what the perceptions are versus what the reality can be.
Powerful, POWERFUL experiences that can change lives. That perhaps is the best lesson and gift one can receive at Christmas, having that chance to see through a different part of a life lens, isn’t it?