Tuesday, July 26, 2005

Movie Recommendation For the Reform Minded

DOWNTOWN--Last week Crosswinds Weekly's cover story was entitled, "What's wrong with our schools and how to fix it." Well, I'm not going to get pulled into that squabble today except to say that life for the young is a little more complicated than 3 short articles in a weekly newspaper. At any rate, before you start thinking too seriously about school reform, see Mad Hot Ballroom now playing at the Century 12 Downtown.

There are a lot of people out here telling us what is wrong with education today. But few listen to children and observe their actual growth in the course of a school year. This is what this film does best: it listens. Besides that, the movie is cute as hell. I might mention, however, that on the day we saw it, of the 50 or so members of the audience, the only other male left early. Just to let you know...

It doesn't have to be about dance, you know. I coached chess club at Monte Vista ES for several years. We had an active membership of about 100 students. We competed locally, statewide, and at the U.S. Chess Federation K-6 Nationals. One of our students was National Champion in his rated section, a section of over 800 kids...undefeated in 7 games against opponents who were mostly from those big New York City schools.

We also placed 2nd at the Nationals in Portland at the K-3 level rated under 800. We finally were defeated by a team of 12. We had 5. The 4 best player scores counted.

I am not bragging...well maybe a little :-). The point is that school isn't just preparation for life, it IS life. And whether it is Art Club, Young Astronauts, Soccer, or Dance isn't that important. Children need some ways to help them grow up. See the movie.

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