Saturday, March 9, 2013

When I Grow Up

It is 5:36pm Saturday afternoon and I am sitting in the library at school watching the closing ceremony of Techlife 2013.  As per usually my mind, although feeling a bit sluggish and tired is racing: thoughts and ideas, roller coasters and dead-ends clamor about. Each striving for attention.

In front of me a young man, plays an electric piano, whilst whispering some of the most haunting and beautiful lyrics I have recently heard. I am shocked that he is only thirteen years old. As is often the case when I see talent like his stuffed into such an unripened, youthful soul, I am slightly jealous.

How is he able to do that? I couldn't do that when I was thirteen. I cannot do that now! Despite the fact that I would love nothing more than to write beautiful songs.

The sun is setting and the library is still and quiet expect for this voice. My mind drifts to vacant phrases like, "When I grow up I want to....."

I am reminded of Saiyuri's post about her dream job. I start to think about passion and love and art and life and growing up. Why do we allow kids to talk about what they will do when they "grow up?" Why don't we talk to kids about what they can do now? Why don't we find their passion and love and dreams and exploit their present? I think of all the skills that this young man, Chris Jones has learned about music and marketing and online branding and I wonder how many of these skills I am teaching.

Are you getting what we are trying to do? Do you understand that I am here to help you meet the you that is alive now. Can you see that I am trying to help you be relevant and heard today, not at some future time? You can be you now, you don't have to wait till you grow up. You just have to begin the exploration of yourself.

Soon, I start to think about a video I recently watched. Created by an online friend and fellow teacher:

Passionate Teachers from Paul Bogush on Vimeo.

We can all wait until we grow up to think about our lives or we can start fine tuning our talents and exploring our weaknesses so as to turn them into strengths, and start living our lives now.

I have done some research on Chris Jones and have been blown away by his work. This young man is not waiting till he grows up to live his life. He is doing it now.

How can we build schools to help you find where you need to be to be happy? How can I help you? What do we do if w don't know what we love? How do we find out? Would love to hear your thoughts on my thoughts. 


  1. I know this seems like a small nit picky thing...but I think we have to be really careful with the use of the word happy when talking about passion. The second we connect happy with passion we might send the kids on an never ending search for something they will never achieve. Those that search for happiness are some of the loneliest people I know, and some of the saddest. I don't know if your passion has to make you happy...hows that for weird. I do believe it has to drive you to get out of bed every morning, and is something you are willing to work hard at. the things that make me happiest...funny how they are not the same things I am willing to work my hardest at. They are the things that make a difference, and the things I have to do. Maybe it just comes down to building a school in which the work the people in side of it do matters, their work makes a difference not when they "grow up," but it makes a difference today. In the end, passionate people follow not what makes them happy, but what makes a difference. And if they get lucky, they do both.

    1. Great point Paul.

      Maybe it should read more like this:

      How can we build schools to help you find where you need to be to be happy?

      Actually that whole sentences sounds wrong. Maybe this?

      How can we build schools to help you find you?

  2. I'm so sad about missing Techlife. Could you write a blog post about what happened? I think many people would really appreciate that. Thanks

    1. I think Marius has begun to tell the story and will do so in the future. So stay tuned here:

    2. We are actually starting to organise TechLIFE 2.0 (, which will be taking place next March! I will be posting more on my blog shortly as well with more media and recounts from TechLIFE 2013 as well, so you can hear all about it.