Happy New Year to one and all. During this past week of festivities I had the rare opportunity to do some baking. One of the recipes I was preparing called for cinnamon, nutmeg and vanilla. It made me smile when I put all these ingredients into the bowl…because whenever you use this delectable combination it is bound to be a taste treat delight. My grandson was “supervising” me and said “Oh, I love cinnamon, put in some extra”. I tried to explain to him that more cinnamon would not help; in fact it would overpower the other spices and the final creation would not taste nearly as pleasant. He had a hard time understanding how this could be possible, why more would not enhance the outcome. It made me contemplate on the concept of balance; balance in all arenas.
Just the previous morning I was driving past a school building quite early. I saw a maintenance crew out removing snow from the parking lot. Later, I drove past a school bus and in the evening I went to our web site to do some emailing. This might seem like an ordinary day, but really when one thinks about it, it is extraordinary. Imagine all the individuals it takes to keep balance in our school district. I have not even touched on the dedication of teachers, administrators, secretaries, office aides, para-professionals, nurses, counselors and so forth. The list is endless and all of these individuals and elements come together every day to keep our schools functioning and in balance. I am indebted to each and every one of you. It is a minor miracle on a daily basis.
I then thought of the balance one attains in receiving a public education. I am a great fan of our school system, although I firmly believe in choice and that parents know what is best for their child, I can’t imagine one could find a better opportunity to bring balance and perspective to a child’s life than a public education. I am the first to admit that the system is not perfect, but neither is life. I once had a father tell me there was no greater foundation for his children than to send them to our schools every day. He felt it was a microcosm of life. He said his youngsters had good days and bad days, teachers that thought his offspring were awesome and teachers that prodded his juveniles to improve. He stated that they had classmates who were great examples and others not so much. They learned of phenomenal ideas and events such as man walking on the moon and yet they were also taught about the Titanic. He expressed his pain when one of his children tried out for the basketball team and was not selected, another lost a class election. But then he voiced that his daughter had painted a portrait that was entered into a regional art show and his son had taken first place at the science fair. Another son sang in the school choir and the boy that had been cut from the basketball team had tried another sport and he was finding great enjoyment and success. Ironically, the day I was talking with this father his youngest child, in kindergarten, was in the principal’s office for throwing snowballs at unsuspecting classmates. It was interesting to get his perspective of balance within our school system, he was grateful for the ups and downs as he firmly believed his children would be well prepared for their life ahead in our changing, challenging and amazing world.
Robert Fulghum who wrote the book, “All I Need to Know I Learned in Kindergarten” wrote, “Be aware of wonder. Live a balanced life-learn some and think some and draw and paint and sing and dance and play and work every day some”.
As we start this New Year, I thank you all for your dedicated service, for your unselfish acts of goodness and kindness, for what you do to make Weber School District such an excellent institution of learning. I wish all of you the best, may you find peace, happiness and balance.