“Yes… that’s what I’d do,” said young Gerald McGrew.
“I’d make a few changes If I ran the zoo.” (If I Ran the Zoo, by Dr. Seuss)
Tonight I read a bunch of stories by the master of children’s writing, Dr. Seuss. Yep, I went to the bookstore, sat in the kid’s section and read children’s books. Don’t laugh. Everyone should try it sometime. The funny thing is that I was there around 11:00 p.m. and a little girl was there with her Dad. She was probably five or six, but I don’t understand how she was still going that late at night. She read books out loud to herself and talked to herself, totally enthralled by all the books. Too bad her Dad was engrossed in his newspaper. It was kind of an odd sight. You don’t expect to share the children’s section of a bookstore with a little kid at 11:00 p.m. She must be getting ready for college a little early.
Anyway, I was rather impressed by young Gerald. He had quite an imagination. But more than that, he had a vision. He had a dream. He knew what he would do to that boring old zoo. If only Gerald was given a chance. How many of us have dreams like that? I wish I did. Can you dream of dreams? I suppose it comes to my mind so readily because I’m at a spot in life where you either chase your dreams, or spend your life wishing you had. It seems like only young people think they can change the world and still have the guts to try. I guess I’m one of those people, and I’m still waiting to see if I have the guts.
On a totally unrelated tangent (or is it?), I heard these words in a song today, and they really resonated with me:
“But tonight I’m so lonely / Just put your arms around me / And tell me that you love me so much / I’m tired of seeking slowly / Lately I’ve been crazy / Maybe I’m just getting out of touch / Now I’m holding on / ‘Till the night is gone” (Put Your Arms Around Me, by All Star United)
Today is Dr. Seuss’ birthday. He’d be turning 95 if he were still alive today. Throughout my life I don’t think Dr. Seuss has really played any kind of big role at all. I don’t remember reading a ton of his books as a kid and I don’t think he had any profound impact on me. Although I do remember reading “If I Ran the Zoo” in kindergarten and I loved it. But a certain friend of mine who happens to be an Elementary Education major has opened my eyes to the wonderful world of Dr. Seuss. The old doctor has said some amazingly profound things. The best part is that all of it is said in the wonderful language of children. It’s wacky rhymes and silly made up words that only kids could love. You don’t have to have a doctorate to understand it. So knowing that, I present a few quotes from the good doctor:
“Marvin K. Mooney! Don’t you know the time has come to go, Go, GO!” (Marvin K. Mooney Will You Please Go Now)
“UNLESS someone like you cares a whole awful lot, nothing is going to get better, it’s not.” (The Lorax)
“A person’s a person, no matter how small.” (Horton Hears a Who)
“Left foot. Right foot. Feet, feet, feet. Oh how many, many feet you meet.” (The Foot Book)
He even provides some wise advice, “You must not hop on Pop.” (Hop on Pop)
“If you never did, you should. These things are fun, and fun is good.” (?)
Unfortunately, that little sampling fails to even touch on the amazing world of Dr. Seuss. Do your self a favor and go find one of his books and read it. It won’t take you very long, and you won’t have to think very hard. Remember being a kid again, and gaze at the cool pictures (I heard an old man say “cool” today. I couldn’t help but smile.). If you can, I highly suggest you read a Seuss book to a child. But if a child can’t be found, your immediate friends will do.
“Adults are just obsolete children.” (Dr. Seuss)
In one of my classes we’ve been reading a book about a Hmong family (The Spirit Catches You and You Fall Down by Anne Fadiman) and their clash with American culture through the illness of their daughter. Even though it’s one of those obnoxious books you have to read for a class, it’s been rather eye opening. We have to do a service learning project with some Hmong people in the Twin Cities, so there are actually practical applications to this. What amazes me the most is how little people know about the Hmong. For example, I’m typing this in Word 97, and the spell checker doesn’t recognize “Hmong” as a word.
Continue reading The Sacrifice of the Hmong People