Today is Valentine’s Day. A day where human feelings are commercialized on a mass scale for profit (says the cynic). A day where individuals can get the opportunity to express their love via over the top ways (says the romantic). Luca C & Brigante, the Balearic disco duo tastefully re-edits Lucio Battisti‘s Italian pop song “Amarsi Un Po”, thereby creating a sound that seems perfect for today. I can’t understand anything that is being sung, but I don’t think that’s the point of it. Just let the music take you in. I can not wait to play it as I ride the metro into the city at night. Seriously, this is beautiful. Love is typically associated with human romance but is it possible to fall in love with concepts, ideas, art and life? I say absolutely, as I am awestruck by the progress made by people around me. People who work so hard and push themselves beyond the limits that were set forth by institutions like school and sometimes even by one’s own family. To do the unimaginable, to do something that no one else in the family has done before… that very idea is so forward thinking that I just get shivers thinking about it.
I’m in love with the fact that thanks to Dream Project, I got the chance to witness some incredible things last week. I found out that one of my students was accepted to Washington State University, making him the first person in his family to EVER be accepted to a higher education institution. All the hard work he did, bringing a math textbook to all the Dream Project visits (to demonstrate his desire to be an engineer)…that guy deserves the highest honors university life has to bestow upon him. God knows he’s gone through a hell of amount of adversity to get to this point. Coming from Kenya, being the caretaker of a family of ten because he’s the only one who can speak English… I love the spirit and intellectual curiosity my student has. A desire to learn and improve can never be quelled, and I hope that I get to see him grow some more over the years as he hopefully gets an acceptance letter from UW. Now this brings me to my other student, a winner of the Act 6 scholarship for Trinity Lutheran College in Western Washington. As I went to Cleveland High School to go see her ceremony, I found myself meeting her family. Her father kept asking me to shake his hand and continued to call me “the remarkable young man” from UW. Her younger sisters started chatting away with me about their future plans for college and what concerns they had (I also realized that in a few years, these same girls would participate in the UW Dream Project and that our paths would cross again). Again and again I had to emphasize that it was my mentee who did most of the hard work, but I couldn’t deter her family from their gratitude. Funny how my mentee gushes about how I stayed up alllllllll night to help her out with her essays, but in reality, those midnight edits were merely apart of my night owl routines. It’s amazing what a few hours in a week can do. A couple of sit downs and edits, and then a few months later your student tells you that her essay got her an interview….and then another month later you’re at the high school to see her get that scholarship in person. Now I don’t want to come off as egotistical, but damn it was an awesome experience to see how choked up they were that their daughter is going to college, where she can use her education to improve her community. An immigrant family that champions education beyond all other pursuits, a story that I find myself quite familiar with. It’s hard not to get to attached to students like these, and I am so honored that I got the privilege to work with these students and see them grow and build a better future for themselves and for their family. For the longest time, I agonized over what to say to my students about college, scholarships, and even what they want to study in college. I had this fear that despite a college education, my students may not be able to secure themselves a stable job that would compensate for the sacrifices made by their family. However, after being there at that ceremony, I realize that all is well. Education is what one makes of it, despite what the naysayers claim about useless degrees (Eff those people). The students have worked so hard to get to this position, there was no way in hell that they would rest easy in college…especially when one of their scholarships is worth 200k (Fulllllllllllllllllllllllll RIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIDDDDDDDDDDDDDEEEEEEEEEEE Baby!).
“Lucio” has a blissful, wonderful sound. This song evokes feelings of a very laid back contemplation of both the sound and the implications. In particular, in moments like these, I can’t just help but think about all the progress that I and other people I have come to known these past few months, have made so far in such a short time, and I get so excited thinking about what’s next. Yes. This song has that futuristic sound that will be able to inspire contemplation and make an individual better for it. Life is beautiful. Happy Valentine’s Day y’all.
Original (Still top-notch also! With a little disco element in there).