The first of a series of blog posts I wrote is up now on the Penguin Blog! It’s called “The Story of Preschool Gems: The Children of Portland.” It gives a bit of insight into how I was first inspired by the crazy kids I work with to start writing down and posting their quotes online. I’ll post a preview here, and you can click through to read the rest of the post!
I grew up in Portland, Oregon, and it appears as though my hometown has been enjoying some time in the spotlight recently, which has probably given many people at least a cursory knowledge of some “Portland Basics.” I think some essential truths about Portland can easily be seen reflected in the population of the school where I have been teaching for the past three years, thanks to the trickle-down effect. For example:
- We take our food seriously. One time a three-year-old told me “I don’t like kiwis, because they’re not in season.”
- We enjoy being “weird,” and celebrating said “weirdness.” If you’ve never heard of a “Smelly armpits freak show,” I know a little boy who will gladly tell you all about it. Personally, I’d rather not inquire.
- We think pretty highly of ourselves. “Look at me—I’m skiing and I’m perfect and I love myself!”
I think my school exemplifies these notions. It is essentially a mini-Portlandia, full of tiny eccentrics, with the freedom to formulate their own unique world views and discover commonalities in one another. This a rare community of people who are given the opportunity to figure out what their thing is and then to do that thing as loudly and proudly as they want.
The children are speaking in tongues. I’m frightened.