When I was little about 6 or 7 and in the first grade at Kennedy Elementary School in Brockton I remember making a time capsule that would be opened 20 years later. It was a very defining moment in my life. It was the moment I thought all of my values were right. I felt I knew how to do all the right things in being decent to others, learning the important things in life. The things everyone valued, our communal and patriotic values. I decided that my desires of the world were noble and felt confident sharing them. This time capsule for me was so important because I had to take a part of myself and make it easy enough to remember in the future when I opened it. I had to remember all of the things that I knew had a universal truth and I had to record them. One of these things was the philosophy of the Kennedy Elementary School.
In order to live and work productively in a changing society, all children in our community will learn to manipulate information, solve problems, think critically and work collaboratively.
The educational philosophy of the J.F. Kennedy School is to assist in the development of the child in such a way that he/she will become a productive member of his/her society. We assume the responsibility to challenge our students to academic excellence and to motivate all children to extend themselves to their full capacity and develop an enthusiasm for learning that will last a lifetime. With the recognition of their individual learning styles, we believe that all children can learn.
I watched The Last Emperor of China and I had an interesting idea. I thought there had to be some way to combine the tools Pu Yi used to achieve his goal of passing on the spirit of communism that I could use to pass on the spirit of the values I came to understand. I wanted to share the Ghanaian culture my parents shared with me and the American culture I came to appreciate. Pu Yi used games and stories to help him. The games, an addictive childhood activity, also served as a memorization tool. The more you play a game, the more you remember the rules. If I wrote a story about a game based on values, then the more I played the game the more I would remember those values. The spirit of Kennedy Elementary had to be apart of it and the spirit of The City of Champions had to be in it. Based off of these two ideas I decided I could use my imagination to look for patterns. For some reason, I strongly believed the most important things in life to pay attention to were the patterns in any subject matter; the formulas that make up our world. I started to think the smartest people in the world were smart because they noticed the most efficient patterns. I remember a teacher sharing this with me at The Belmont Street Elementary School where I had attended preschool. I used this as inspiration for what I would put into this time capsule. It was very exciting for me, it felt like I was a wizard crafting a spell. The last part of this was how would I connect it to the future. One thing that I remember learning about was Niyya. This was the Arabic word for intention. I thought that this was very interesting. The idea that the value of an activity is mainly in the intent in it. The reason I really believed in this is that I saw a pattern. This same idea appeared in our American laws; intent to break the law is just as bad as breaking the law. If you flip that, then intent to do good, genuine intent, is just as good as doing good. I also linked this to the power of belief. In a way, our belief can be just as powerful as the reality that belief narrates to us. I felt that if all children were born with equal potential, then
I knew the next twenty years would be quite difficult. There were a few tales that were told to me that I strongly believed. I don’t know whether these tales were true or not, but
I saw a movie, The Last Emperor of China. For some reason, the movie was really interesting to me. Every time I saw the movie I saw something new and appreciated the growth in perspective. I remember the first time