Thursday, February 14, 2008

Happy Valentine's Day

I hope that everyone stopping by this blog will be safe, helpful, healthy, and kind on this day, Valentine's Day, 2008 and for the whole year ahead, as well.

We had a fine day in kindergarten. We began by singing my favorite Malvina Reynolds song, Love is Something.

The students knows the chorus—and the main message of the song—by heart:

Love is something if you give it away,

Give it away, give it away.

Love is something if you give it away,

You end up having more.

That's the Express Train to Happiness.

The photo below show the class decorating grocery bags with paper hearts cut from red pink and purple construction paper. We had lots of help to keep frustration to a minimum.

Thanks to all the moms who stayed through the first hour.

In Kid's Club Blaine, Sammy, Sergio and I played a Ravensburger Game whose rules I modified so that we were all on the same team. This small shift in the rules completely transformed the game. Instead of the usual way, where players are pitted against one another until there is a winner and three losers, we all played all the pieces. We all shared happiness together as each "winner" got to the end. We all shared consolation when pieces were sent backwards. The game drew us together instead of apart.


I don't have TV at home, so whenever I do see TV (usually in a motel) I am horrified by how much TV is built around the "survivor" mentality.

This "last man standing" regime is deeply corrosive to the human spirit.

In my kindergarten I hope to show another way of looking at the world. I prefer to look at our situation as Ben Franklin did during the effort to win American independence from King George.

He said, "
We must all hang together, or most assuredly we shall all hang separately."

Today, I believe, that's good advice not just for America, but for all humanity, nay all forms of life without exception.

To survive and thrive, we must take care of everyone, including—as all religions teach—the least among us.

Our little board game this afternoon is evidence that the taking care of everyone is A LOT more fun, too.


Anonymous said...

Once again you have inspired. Every day, there is a wonderful story "of the day" to read and something to ponder and learn from. Also, the book list is long!!! Thank goodness for the local library. Thank you Mr Gurney, for doing what you do. So much more can be said.....

Dan Gurney, Mr. Kindergarten said...

Thank you, Anonymous, for chiming in. It's most encouraging to hear from readers of the online newsletter. Yes, what a blessing the public library is! I've got a back log of books to talk about here. I hope you'll comment often.