Kindergarten Moments - Lessons From Our Youngsters 

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"The learning and knowledge that we have, is, at the most, but little compared with that of which we are ignorant."

- Plato

I love writing haikus. To me, the Japanese-inspired 17-syllable poem is the bonsai tree of creative writing. Elegant. Profound. Succinct. And I try to inspire myself each day by writing a new one — which I duly post on my Facebook page. They're not conventional, and they are not always very good, but I find the exercise of writing them stimulating — and liberating. I guess over time I've created a bit of a following. Go figure. Still, I'm always amazed at people's response to my little bonsai poems...

Well, it just so happened one morning that I was feeling rather jaded about 21st century life. I can't remember exactly why — I dimly remember some kind of conflict with a middle manager who had drunk a little too deeply of the company koolaid — but it seemed to me that day that the rigidity of corporate life was suffocating the very joie-de-vivre that makes our all-too-human existence bearable. This particular guy had no imagination, no curiosity... and absolutely no sense of humour. It was like talking to a rock. So this is what I wrote:


It's on the endangered list.

Use it or lose it!

And it inspired some fine online rhymes. But the most intriguing response came from my friend, Dawn Titus. "Try teaching kindergarten," wrote the Spring Creek educator. "Lots of imagination abounding; and so inspirational!!" And in a following post: "Why don't you come visit and see for yourself."

Challenges are like catnip to me. I just can't resist them. So when the inimitable Ms. T invited me to visit her class, well, how could I refuse? Besides, I reasoned, what a great way to check into Whistler's future. I mean, these four-and five-year olds were the very kids who would inherit — and ultimately have to live with — what we've created here.

A little background on the teacher first. This is what I wrote in a past Alta States column:

"Educator, athlete, mentor, coach — and an inspiration to Whistler gals (and more than a few guys) for the last three decades — Dawn Titus is devoting her not inconsiderable energy these days to wrangling South Whistler's rambunctious kindergartners.

Frankly, I can't imagine a more daunting task. Fun, for sure (yeah — maybe for an hour or two). But riding herd on 20 happy-faced, question-filled, mischief-making Whistler tots for five days a week, ten months a year? Oh, my aching head...

But somehow it fits. For Dawn is no ordinary human. Think endorphin-charged Energizer Bunny — but without the need for batteries. I mean this woman is a walking, talking perpetual motion machine. Wanna go for a bike ride to Pemberton? Dawn's ready. How about a stretch of Nordic skiing? Same. Or what about combining a handful of sports in one day? No problem. What's more, Ms Titus can probably loan you whatever equipment you're missing. And teach you something about the sport along the way..."

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