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Paying the Piper: Project 180, Day 25

Though the price is neither too high nor unfair, there is a price. Exhaustion. One only has so much energy to burn, to give, and when one goes beyond, the piper will be paid. I am paying this morning–the piper unmoved and unempathetic. So, I pay, and I will continue to pay, for while it is exhaustion, it is sweet exhaustion, the satisfaction of tagging along with kids on their journeys, both my high school and college kids. Lovely beings all. Lucky they’ve let me in. Couldn’t part even if I wanted. The price.

Why so tired today? Well, above all, it stems from my helping kids work through their thinking yesterday with their topics and essential questions, work that not only necessitates but also generates enthusiasm–genuine enthusiasm, a two-sided coin of exhaustion and excitement, a light burning bright with an appetite as big as the world. And while a good deal of work remains, we made marked progress yesterday, and I am thrilled with the topics and EQ’s the kids are generating. Here are some that come to mind this morning (pardon the paraphrases, hard to be exact with 89 topics and EQ’s dancing in my head).

Topic: The Decline of Rodeo in American culture.

EQ: What will we lose if we lose rodeo?

Topic: Christianity

EQ: What does it mean to be a good Christian?

Topic: Future Business Leaders of America (FBLA)

EQ: Do FBLA students have a real-world advantage over their peers?

Topic: Art

EQ: What is art?

Topic: Sloths

EQ: Why do sloths get such a bum rap?

Topic: Elephants

EQ: Should we end the practice of keeping elephants in captivity?

Topic: Personality

EQ: Why does our personality change with our environment?

Anyway, these are some that come to mind. It’s important to remember that the kids are not searching for the answer, they’re seeking to deepen their understanding. I am excited to see where their seeking leads.

Yesterday, I invited you to ask me questions about P-180. Below is a question from former student and faithful follower, Amarise.

Question: Since starting P-180, have you seen a difference in student behavior compared to previous years before P-180? Ex., student motivation, completion of assignments, respect for teacher and peers, desire to learn, etc.

Great question, Amarise. Actually a hard question to which I am not sure I have a ready answer. But it certainly has given me pause to reflect. I want to say, “Yes,” it’s better than before, but I am not sure it is that simple, so I won’t for now. In truth, I think we have to give 180 more time. So, for now, I will simply say, “I am not sure.” But be assured, it will definitely be on my mind as we continue down the path. Thank you for making me think.

Happy Wednesday, all.


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