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Head's Corner, February 5, 2013
Greetings CMS Families,
I hope that you enjoyed your weekend more than I did. Unfortunately the stomach bug got the best of me and forced me to do something I rarely do. Rest. Forced rest is quite different from optional rest. After spending the weekend under the weather, I could hardly wait to host our Annual Super Bowl Party. My body had a different plan. Needless to say, we had no party and I spent Sunday the same way I spent Friday and Saturday, in bed. By Sunday, my mind was racing faster than Usain Bolt’s 400-yard dash. I began a mental checklist of all the things I would do while laying flat on my back. I could write my weekly update to the CMS staff. I could log on to mobile banking and pay bills. I could finally read my children’s grades and comments with no interruptions. I could get a head start on writing the weekly Head’s Corner. Now there’s a thought. I am the reason why the CMS News doesn’t go out every week at the same time. The truth is, as much as I love sharing stories, I have to be inspired. The “spirit” has to move me, and most times that happens before the deadline and occasionally it doesn’t. I have no problems completing tasks off my "things to do list." It gives me a sense of accomplishment. However, when and how I communicate with you really matter to me and I must do it authentically and from the depth of my soul.
As I laid in my New England Patriots sweatshirt on Sunday, looking like a Bill Belichick wannabe in mourning, I was captivated by a pre-game story that CBS aired about Hurricane Katrina and what the Super Bowl has meant to the city of New Orleans. Famous jazz musician Wynton Marsalis interviewed countless people from all walks of life about their experience living in N’walins (New Orleans). It was quite clear that they loved their city. They loved the music. The food. The people. The culture. Mardi gras. Bourbon Street. The Bayou Classic. Drew Brees and the New Orleans Saints. Everyone spoke so fondly of New Orleans. The love for their city mirrors the love between a mother and child. Pure. Loyal. Unconditional. Unbreakable.
When Hurricane Katrina decimated the city in 2005, thousands of people were driven from their homes and many evacuated the city, leaving their beloved New Orleans behind like a lost child in the wilderness. The city is known for hosting countless conventions, the Essence Music Festival and the Super Bowl. All of these events were held at the Superdome, the place where tragically many lost their lives, their hope and their dreams. One New Orleans native described the Superdome as the epicenter. The place that brings life to the city. When Katrina hit, the Superdome was the designated place where the residents gathered. It was their refuge. Ironically, what once was their sanctuary suddenly became their wilderness. Down but not forgotten, the people of New Orleans returned home to rebuild the ruins. The Superdome would be restored giving black, white, rich and poor people a second chance at life. It was important for New Orleans to restore the Superdome, not only for the Super Bowl but also for a revival, or birth.
As I listened to the various testimonies, I got a warm feeling in my heart. I thought of my sister-in-law, Dr. Tressa Ferrrier Tucker whose family has deep New Orleans roots. She loves New Orleans and everything that represents the city. She is proud of her Creole (mixture of African, French and American race, culture and ethnicity) background. When she married my husband’s youngest brother, they had the best New Orleans wedding ever. We marched behind a jazz band and danced feverishly under umbrellas all night long. Her relatives threw Mardi Gras beads, and some wore masks and costumes to help celebrate the special occasion. They explained that by wearing the masks and costumes, you can be whoever you want and no one will ever judge you. It was one of the best weddings I ever attended. Great fun. Great food. Great community. Every time she makes her famous gumbo, I am comforted and I feel at home. The people of New Orleans have something so special. They are a tight-knit community that genuinely loves their city and most importantly, each other.
Last week at the State of School I felt that same love and connectedness to CMS. I was so proud of all of the parents, board members, faculty and staff, Leadership Team and our very own student musicians who impressed the audience with their superb talent. The State of the School is no Super Bowl and Cambridge is not New Orleans. However, gathering in the gym with all of you discussing those things that make CMS special was indeed comforting. It was a homecoming celebration in our Superdome filled with the warmth of a mother’s love, surrounded by an extended family. Finally, when a lifetime resident was asked what the Super Bowl meant, she said, “When we come together, it’s us against the world. Yes we come together for football, but the most important thing is that we come together for each other.” How’s that for a big city of dreams? Reminds me of our Cambridge Montessori community. Pure. Loyal. Unconditional. Unbreakable.
I hope that you have an amazing week!