The meeting was at a very, very low point (one might say it was the nadir of the meeting where you must Never Admit Definition Ignorance Realistically) with several group members trying, once again, to out-acronym each other. Fingers flew across tablets and laptops. I could almost smell the synapses firing as they worked to prove themselves worthy of their membership in what I had mentally started calling the Educational Jargon League.
Realizing I needed to at least try to keep up, I began to create my own private acronyms, if for no other reason than to stay alert. And if a gun were put to my head, I could even make up an acronym of my own to describe the horror (Honorable Options Rarely Realized Over Rhetoric??) I felt as I slogged through the talk around the table. As they wrangled over definitions of demonstration of knowledge vs. depth of knowledge, my eyes spotted movement outside the conference room window. A quick flash at best, but something was alive out there.
A kid was climbing up a snow drift. I could only see him from the waist up. He wore a red jacket and a pair of black gloves, but no hat, and his cheeks were red. As he made his way to the top of the snow pile, he threw his head back, his hair flew out like a little cape behind him and his wire rimmed glasses glinted in the late afternoon sun. He raised his fisted arms up to the sky, shook his head from side to side, letting his lion’s mane fly, and he jumped.
A minute or two passed and I saw him reappear. He climbed back up into my sight line. The wind was swirling snow around him and he was shouting into it, fists in the air. I watched him do this seven, maybe eight times. Each time he varied the routine only slightly. Was he summiting Everest? Storming a castle? I would never know. But in a room filled with endless and lifeless chatter about policy and procedure, the kid in the parka threw me a lifeline (Lively Initiative For Experiencing Laughter and Innocence in the Normal Everyday). Thanks kid, I needed that.