Ok, so this is a HIGHLY edited version of my tatoo (located on the top of my right foot). It occurred to me today, while I was explaining to a student why they should not use a mechanical pencil to write on themselves…, that there’s some motivation in my generation for tattooing that was not there in previous generations. Students often comment on my tattoo and ask why I got it. It wasn’t an easy decision by any means. I thought about it four years before finally getting the courage to go do it, and even then it really wasn’t my idea, thanks Lacy!
The cherry blossom on my foot reminds me of a time that I felt connected to something. I would imagine that this is why many military service folks tattoo themselves with symbols and slogans from their particular branch. My husband has his fraternity letters tattooed on his ankle. For me, the week I spent in Washington, D.C. as a Cherry Blossom Princess was one of the most meaningful weeks of my life. I know “princess” sounds a little icky, but it’s really more like an ambassador program where women, ages 19-23, represent their state during the annual Cherry Blossom Festival events. During that week,
- I met First Lady, Laura Bush,
- Toured the White House (actually went into the rooms! FYI this was not too long after 9/11 so there weren’t tours going on),
- Toured parts of the Pentagon and City Hall,
- Got a personal tour of the Senate quarters by Ted Stevens…,
- Visited the Japanese, Lithuanian, and Thai Embassies,
- Packed care packages at the USO,
- Was the guest of honor at a party for South Carolinians living in D.C.,
- Attended a ball, and
- Walked in a parade!
It changed my life! What does this have to do with education? The only field trip that I have taken my students on this year was to an elementary school to perform for about 30 5th graders. I don’t discount that this was valuable, but I have to say that I’m ashamed of the lack of drive that I’ve had for offering my students experiences, outside of the classroom. I’ve decided, tonight, that I will now look at my tattoo and remind myself of the extra work that I need to put in, whether its grants or whatever, to change some lives.
(On a related note, I am having some stirring ideas about creating a co-op and wondering if anyone has opinions about co-ops versus charter or home-school? And do you know how they work? Thanks!)