My son created this video when he was 16 and in high school. I remember sharing the video with friends, family and colleagues and laughing about what a relief it is not to see it happening live when I would most likely have
tried to prevent it from happening in the first place.
I hadn’t viewed it in while and I see that in the meantime many more folks have: over 17,000. And yet to watch it again, to see the pure joy of accomplishment on my son’s face, is to experience a thing of rare beauty. Only now do I get that IRL stands for “in real life.” There is a richness to these 48 seconds that astounds and amazes me. The editing, the second take in slow motion with this eerily sentimental music, the brevity – all of it makes for a wonderfully compact composition.
Back then, that is how my son spent much of his time – on the computer, creating, editing, producing video – outside of school; the ongoing genius hour for which there was no time or space in school. His interests have since moved on to music production, DJing, and serious gaming. When I need a lift, this video is one place I’ll remember to come back to again and again.
You may think you don’t have 9 minutes to watch this video.
Here’s what happened when I decided to take the time: I was drawn in, taken hold of, turned around, embraced and fully uplifted. I was changed: By poetry, by surprise, by exquisite use of language, by my sense of kinship, by every ounce and bounce that this entire composition holds. Let Sekou Andrews break it down for you: awesomefied belongs in your vocabulary and mine. Now.
My 19 year old son shared this spoken word video by Suli Breaks with me today. It is powerful, poignant and painfully real.
Over the years James has introduced me to all sorts of internet lore from gaming circles to college humor to deep house drum and bass. While my immediate response (often in the middle of preparing dinner) might not have always been enthusiastic, the impact of so much internet exposure on his learning and self-development has never been lost on me. So when he sent me a related link through Skype (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=D-eVF_G_p-Y), I knew it was a thoughtful choice on his part.
My oldest son’s educational trajectory has been so fundamentally shaped by the range, reach and audacity of the internet and the fact that we were able to have a heartfelt and deep conversation about the direction education needs to go in the future after watching this video together tells a much deeper tale of connection and the path to mutual understanding than any conversation we ever held related to his actual school performance.
When you watch this, ask yourself:
What am I doing to redefine education?