Monday, August 23, 2010

Gravity Arc

I was just walking the big black dawg, on one of the very first pleasant evenings of the fall. I watched a bird flying and had a moment where an analogy formed and I want to share it.

Gravity Arc.

A sparrow flew out in front of us. You've all seen this, I know you have. The tiny bird flew in spurts, beating its little wings and gliding and falling, then beating its little wings again to proceed. I thought, "That fall must have a name, let's call it the Gravity Arc." That's the space it falls in, where gravity takes over, it rests, and, inevitably, it works again. That's where we are now, in the Gravity Arc.

We presented our program to the Metro Nashville Public Schools Board of Directors today. Barbra set out the state of our progress to date: Website creation, identifying students in our core pioneer group of 13 students, all with qualifying states of their own education that made them prime candidates for involvement in our first group of full-time students, all eager to learn in ways that traditional schooling fails them, all with parents who want them to succeed. Kecia shared some important legislative issues we need to deal with. The Board was interested, supportive, and I think visibly excited for the possibilities. Our key advocate, Jay Steele, MNPS Associate Supervisor of High Schools, was supportive and vocal. I do believe that I heard a little tentative applause at the end of our presentation. We went back to work, involved ourselves in the incredibly difficult and insanely complicated task of enrolling our pioneers into online classes. Flapping our wings we were.

Tonight, I'm walking the dog, and I'm watching that sparrow (maybe a wren: no matter) and thinking, "This is what I'm doing now, falling, resting, and the inevitable next thing is flapping our wings again to make the next forward progress. Tomorrow."

The process is predictable and repetitious. The path is not. The path is forward.

I hope this analogy will help those of you who are making progress. I'm happy tonight in ways I haven't been happy in a long, long time.


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