Saturday, March 24, 2012


Last night, I had the pleasure of spending two hours being wowed by Millard West's production of the musical Footloose. West is known for it's musical talent, which I had witnessed three years ago with The Music Man and two years ago with Les Mis, both of which were wonderfully done, but last night's performance was by far my favorite.

The music took me back to listening to my brother's Footloose soundtrack on cassette tape. I almost hesitate to admit that I didn't actually see the movie until several years ago at a "movie in the park" event here in Omaha, but I grew up dancing around the house to "Let's Hear it for the Boys," and when I was in elementary school, my cousins and I choreographed an amazing baton twirling routine to the "Footloose" song (serious hours spent practicing in their garage, thinking of costumes, and cajoling the youngest cousin, who was about 5 to dress up like a boy so we could push her during the "Jack, get back" line...ahh, memories....)

More than enjoying the trip down memory lane, though, I was filled with pride as a teacher. Not that I had anything to do with the students' musical talents (which were impressive, I'm telling you), but I am so proud to witness what wonderful young men and women those talented actors and actresses have become.

For example:
  • Ren (the rebel new kid in town) was a freshmen and sophomore student of mine who had a tendency to talk too much in class. He actually brought a guitar and amp to class one day to sing a song that he wrote for a book report project...the only student who has ever chosen that particular project option.
  • Willard (the country hick who learns to dance) is my favorite homeroom student who is the kind of kid that every parent hopes to have. He'll be dancing up a storm at the Omaha Community Playhouse in "Hairspray" this summer.
  • Reverand Shaw was a freshman who was teased for being a bit weird at times. I had to remind him to stop doodling and start reading many times.
  • Vi (the pastor's wife) is a sweet young lady who was in a crazy 4th block sophomore class of mine. She was the girl who would give me a sympathetic look when the boys were out of control.
  • Chuck (the lead rebel) was a freshman and sophomore of mine. His freshmen year he had to stay after school once to scrub a doodle of a skater logo off the table, and I remember being so excited when he found a book that he actually enjoyed!
  • Lyle (one of the local rebel boys) was soft-spoken sophomore who had great creativity but was not great about handing in work on time.
  • Travis (another local rebel) was a exhausting freshman who just would not shut up but says hi to me in the hallway every time he sees me.
And there were others that I won't bore you with. It's just amazing to see kids come alive when they are really doing something they enjoy. Their zest and enthusiasm are inspiring and remind me that just because I'm then 34 year old mother of a 1 year old, doesn't mean that I have to lead a dull life. I'm challenged to find more ways to "let loose" in my own life, whatever that may look like.


At March 24, 2012 at 3:58 PM , Blogger Brooke said...

That is awesome, Jane! We teachers do have an impact!!


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