How do you like the summer-like days? :)
Last Sunday we went biking as planned on Memorial Drive (okay, only with 40 minutes delay due to first me and then daughter napping. :) We saw a lot of friends there at different times. It's great to see everyone out enjoying the beautiful weather after the long winter.
As you know, I've been working on the Cambridge Parent Summit, now just a week away. It's kind of taken over my life honestly. :) I'm grateful that we have such an awesome organizing team (one parent called it the most high functioning team he's been on); and amazing support from both the parents who have RSVPed or told me they are excited to come and school admins like Gerald and Marguerite from our school and other schools who are helping to spread the word.
I want to talk a bit about overcoming differences, as I have to do some of that this week in organizing the event and dealing with my kids as well. Tuesday I went to PAUS our upper school's Diversity Dialogue.
One of the things I really liked that they brought up, is that people often avoid talking about race or SES based diversity for fear of offending. They encouraged us to talk about it openly with our kids and others, but we could also be open and curious, and learn. As long as we remain respectful and kind to others.
My son's in third grade, far away from the days when asking about his school day gets me a mono-syllable answer of "Fine" or "I don't remember." (Grr...) The topics they discuss are definitely much more complex. And there are topics I mention that immediately feels taboo to him, race being one. So now I feel I'm more prepared to start asking and talking about that.
The other thing I've noticed is many folks feels marginalized in some ways, and not always in the ways you expect. You might think based on the way people look that they are privileged, but once you start really talking to them that they also feel marginalized due to being an immigrant, their education level, medical condition, or their religious beliefs or lack thereof.
So one reaction would be to indeed not talk... cuz you can easily offend anyone! The other way, and what I'm determined to try to navigate and help my kids to do the same, is to start talk about differences, acknowledge I'm going to make some mistakes, apologize if I need to and be open and curious. That's the only way I can reach better understanding and a better collaboration with others. And indeed, we can also agree to disagree as well, with full respect. :)
Let me know if you have thoughts on this... it's very much a challenge I'm in the middle of working thru. And you'll probably hear more when you come to the Parent Summit next Saturday. :)
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