Two nights ago I attended my son and daughter’s piano recital. As they each faced the anxiety of performing in front of a crowd, I shared in their anxious moments, hoping for their sake, for their well-being that they performed well and were personally pleased with their performances. After all, they had worked hard for their moments, and my wife and I want them to understand the truth in hard work. As they performed, I leaned in as if my leaning somehow brought me closer to their moment, adding my strength to theirs. And as I leaned, I watched, surveying the crowd for their reaction to my children’s hard work, seeing if they too were held in the same moment as I, marveling at the magic of work done well by youth. And assuredly, they were. We all were, and after the anxious moments were over, I reveled in their work, grateful that I was able to be a witness. And while it is hard to fully equate the pride I feel for my own children to the pride I feel for my students, it is not a completely dissimilar feeling.
Yesterday, as our project presentations resumed in room 219, I found myself lost in more anxious moments, surveying the crowd, leaning in to give my strength, marveling at work done well. In particular, one such moment came during my student Kasia’s presentation when she shared her product, a video she made to demonstrate what she learned about why we fall victim to brain and body teasers, which she has graciously granted me permission to share with you through this link. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fAo4UJqTc2U After hours of work (those who have ever made movies know) and a major obstacle (it wouldn’t play the day before on my computer), Kasia was able to shine in her moment, and we were able to share it with her. And it was truly her moment. I can take no credit for it. She learned, worked, persevered, and succeeded on her own. All I did was give her an opportunity. That’s it. And as we round out the presentations over the next two days, I look forward to leaning in and marveling at the wonder of my students’ hard work. Thank you for the moment, Kasia. Thank you all for the moments.