Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Overwhelmed With Peace!!!

One of the things that I love about being an elementary school bus driver is…. well… everything – LOL!!! I have a lot of fun with all of these students.

We play twenty question games and trivial pursuit and occasionally the bus will break out into “The Wheels On The Bus Go Round And Round” song. When the song gets to “The horn on the bus goes beep, beep, beep”, I’ll (if we’re not on a major road where I could confuse another driver – Safety always first ya know!) beep my horn along with them and they’ll all laugh ‘til I’m deaf!

Of course, I occasionally give them all one of my peace stik-ers and other times I’ve found fun ways to give out some of my prints. Since it was nearing the end of the school year, I decided that I wanted to give out one print to each student. This time, however, they would have to earn it… I had a ‘peace’ assignment in mind.

I told the busload that they could create a poem about peace or draw a picture of peace. I asked them to print their name and age on the bottom, hand it to me, and I would give them some stik-ers and one print. They had until the end of the school year to do this – I was well aware that they had many other school assignments and rehearsals to keep busy with – which was about seven days.

The next day, the first poem was handed in. The next day, three poems and one drawing fell upon my lap. By the end, I was being swamped with handfuls of pages of poems and artwork. I was amazed with each student’s achievement and I delighted in sharing these arts with many fellow workers and Joanne, in the evenings. Here’s a sampling…

Vanessa, age 13


War doesn’t bring peace!
Helping people in need gives everyone peace.
Recycling pop cans and other materials causes peace.
Carpooling everyday adds peace.

I’ve talked a little bit – here and there – about how the world’s environment needs help to heal itself from all the pollution we’ve created and that by working together we will make a better future for everyone. It seems that someone was listening. I smile!

Many of the students decorated their sheet of paper with happy designs of rainbows and flowers…

One little girl, whom I’ve known before she was old enough for kindergarten, heard about my “Peaceflowers From Around The World” art project on Facebook and she decided to draw me a peaceflower to add to my growing collection. In the last three days I’ve received photos of peaceflowers from Mexico and British Columbia… sorry – I’m off topic – LOL!!!

More than one student had decided to help me build more designs for my ‘Stik-man’ stik-er collection. This really impressed me. “How incredibly thoughtful and amazing that they would do this for me”, I thought to myself. Here are two designs…

The students often asked me about aspects of my stik-er designs and one time I told them to look at the peace symbol in the stik-er they were asking about, and notice that it is draw with one continuous line, moving this way and that way, to fill the space. Julia must have noticed this and tried to use this technique in her fun design.

One student chatted with me about how they liked the stik-er where Stik was laying on the beach, enjoying the sunset – in the shape of a peace sign. Emily must have enjoyed seeing Stik relaxing – for a change – so she drew him relaxing on a boat in the ocean, enjoying the peaceful sun. I couldn’t believe it when I saw that she had gone to the extreme lengths to write ‘www.bitsandpeaces.com’ all around the border of her design – just like my stik-ers! She had thought of everything.

Julia also wrote a poem for me…

P is for patience
E motion is E
A ll those words
C ompare peace and me
E verybody who loves peace

I love peace, should it be
S cience at least

F abulous peace, could it be
A ll about love
B est, keep a tree
U nique personality
L illies are beautiful
O ptional is free
U nlikely is evil
S urely peace is fabulous!!!!!!

Cassidy, age 10


Peace sounds like a little dove flying very slow
Or water coming onto the beach
And it comes to your feet
It feels great!
Peace makes me feel like I am walking
In a forest
And I look at a deer and birds and fish
That’s what peace sounds like to me
What does peace sound like to you Mr. Jim?

Hmmmmm…. I had to think about that for a little while and later that night, I was looking up thro’ the disappearing twilight when I heard the answer…

Peace sounds like the stars
As they are winking into the night
Pointing to our way home.

Peace sounds like the Earth
Underneath my feet
My companion wherever I may roam.

I’m going to finish this story with two poems that really lit up my face. I could tell that these artists really had fun with this assignment…

It always amazes me – tho’ it shouldn’t (by now), yet it always will – when I see brilliant creativity unleashed in such a positive way. When I look through the eyes of these students I am able to realize that the strength and imagination needed to reinvent ourselves as a global civilization is already here.

ps - Happy Canada Day - tomorrow - everyone!!!!

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