In early October our high school students were invited to a book lecture/signing of the recently published book, A Path Appears; Transforming Lives, Creating Opportunity, by the best selling authors of Half The Sky, Nicholas D. Kristof and Sheryl WuDunn, at Brookdale Community College. They are the first married couple to win a Pulitzer Prize in journalism, which they won for their coverage of China as New York Times correspondents. Kristoff won a second Pulitzer for his op-ed columns in the times.
In Global Studies, prior to the event, the students were read some passages from the book and then they were to decide if they wanted to attend. All of the students, who were not already busy with prior engagement that evening, were eager to go. Those who attended stayed after school, ate dinner together, talked about how the evening would go and then left for the event. We were all very excited to begin our journey, both literally and figuratively.
After the usual introductions from the college producers of the event, Mr. Kristoff and Ms. WuDunn were announced. They spoke about their lives together and spoke passionately about both the good work that they had participated in, and the good work of others that they had witnessed, which they recount in their book. The overall message was pure, simple and incredibly inspiring: we all have to try harder; we have to look around and truly help to solve not only our own problems, but the complex problems that exist in our world.
We waited on line after the lecture to have our books signed. Our students were excited to have a picture taken with the authors. The authors were, of course, genuinely delighted to see these young people in the audience and we lined up quickly. All of the students were fantastic ambassadors of our school.
,This community experience has really helped to make us a more solid delegation for our upcoming participation in the Model UN program. The students were excited to bring what they had learned back to our discussions in Global Studies about the plight of the Syrian refugees. Through the authors’ talk and our ensuing conversations, the students seemed to feel a stronger bond to these displaced peoples. The world seems a little smaller and the issues closer to home when one is urged to do his or her part to make change, and is hearing from people who have spent their lives doing just that.