Migration to Better Education 

“I feel gooder, I can’t go home, because my dad says that I need to be at school to learn and I can’t learn if I miss a day of school.” A child said to me today after I was informed that she had just thrown up. 

Remember when we were children? When we got that little bubble of gas in our tummies and we rushed to the nurse or asked to go to the office in hopes that our parents would pick us up so we could go home and watch cartoons… 

Or when we were older, and could drive… And would take advantage of our privileges and be out if we weren’t feeling it? That feeling that you get when you are sitting at a desk at school. 

So when a 3rd grader, who has every reason to go home, pleads with me to stay because the importance of education has been drilled into her, I realized how much we take our opportunities for granted. 

Originally from Guatamala, this child’s parents arrived in the US in hopes of a better life. Much like MS, Guatamala has a high poverty rate. In Guatamala children as young as third grade choose work over school, because let’s face it, it’s not a choice, it’s a necessity. 

Also, like the state of, MS The current state of education in Guatemala is significantly under-funded. Many classrooms nationwide, especially in rural Guatemala, do not meet minimum standards for many classroom space, teaching materials, classroom equipment and furniture, and water/sanitation.

Mississippi is not alone in these similarities. Our nation as a whole is substantially behind in education. In a nation where it’s against the law to not attend school, we have less graduation rates, high crime, high poverty, and less of the rising generation prepared to adequately participate in the workforce. 

So, on the news when I listen to the discussion of building a beautiful wall to keep others out, I think about what that will look like if it came to that.

We have people who are desperate to reach US soil, not to harm us, but to get crumbs of the pie that we, in retrospect have opportunities to receive the whole pie. 

So let’s take a moment and look at our education system, look at all who comprises it, look at the blessings we have as a country.

 We need to decide what we are going to be;rather we are sitting at the desk, or standing in front of it. 

Will you get sick and stay home? Will you call in?  Or will you see it through to the end, because you know that at the end of the lesson, there is a greater possibility that you can have more than the crumbs of the pie. 

#thoughtsareout  

 

Dear Ahmed Mohamed,

Due to your name,your skin color, and your religion, your hard work, creativity, and passion caused a set back. I don’t know how to sincerely apologize to you for a world that is filled with fear and ignorance. I see the pictures of your face and imagined the excitement as you sat down to build this clock to show your teacher. I imagine how proud you were to bring it to school and show your finished product. Only to have that excitement be trampled on by the ignorance and misguiding of others.

I looked up the meaning of your name-“A person in which praiseworthy traits are abundant, or one who deserves constant praise due to their good character.”

Living in a world that judges you based on skin color a name, or religion is not fair nor is it right. The way you were treated and ridiculed was not right. The lack of support you received in an environment that is supposed to encourage creativity and learning– your school. That was not right.

But I want you to know that: You are not a criminal. You are not a terrorist. You are a person, a person in which praiseworthy traits are abundant and you deserve constant praise, because through all of this, your true character has shown. You are simply a child with wonder and you don’t waste time wondering, you take chances, you make attempts, you take action.

CNN quoted you as saying “that clock was apart of your future.” That response made me think of The Agile Method.  Agile Methodology if you are not aware is usually used in software development.  The Agile Method is used to help teams or in your case.. it would be you, respond to unpredictable situations through small changes which are otherwise known as “sprints.”

Your idea to create a clock and bring it to school was faced by an unpredictable situation. It was ridiculed, and you were put in a situation that no child should ever have to be placed in. However, by making the statement about this clock being apart of your future helped me realize…that even at an early age and through this adversity, you are not going to give up until you have your goals.

We can easily compare life to the Agile Method. As you reflected on those times you were bullied as you were younger, you had to respond to these situations. However, you never let those harsh words stop you from letting your gifts and talents be a viewed as a waste of time.  Life is full of “sprints” basically a time of self-reflection.

Ahmed, you are a remarkable human being. That clock is your future, because… you are not wasted time.

I am glad that you are seeing the good from this situation. “I will fight for you, even if you cannot stand up for yourself.” Such powerful words for such a young man. Know that you are not alone in this fight.

Thank you Ahmed for being an example. Thank you for sharing your creation that was stifled by your school, but has ultimately become appreciated and praised around the world.

Keep thinking, Ahmed. Keep creating, Ahmed. Keep the courage, Ahmed.  Keep fighting, Ahmed.

Ahmed, I also stand with you. I support you. Never stop learning. Keep living up to the standards that you have set for yourself. Never settle for good, for good is the enemy of great. Always strive to be great, and to be honest Ahmed, I’d say you are pretty damn great.

Best Regards,

C. Spann

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