Friday, September 1, 2006
When I first began school as a kindergartner it was during the build-up towards putting a man on the moon before the Soviets, and doing it within the decade of the 1960s as the late President John F. Kennedy had envisioned.
With the shift in emphasis from language arts to math and science, we were among the last in that era-at least in our school district-to be taught phonics and among the first to be taught something called the "new math".
It's impacted my life ever since.
Having a foundation of phonics gave my language and communication abilities a big jump. Conversely, the new math put me behind the eight-ball in that subject for the next few years.
But the U.S. did get its man on the moon and that push in math and science may have been a reason why many from that generation went on to be pioneers in computers and software programming.
This week and next a new generation will start kindergarten.
It is a generation born in 2001, the first to have the terror attacks on 9/11 a part of their country's history and fabric from their first year.
The country's move as Generation 9/11 begins school is less focused on outer space-though in a bit of deja vu there is a renewed focus on moon exploration-than making this country a safer place from terrorism.
With pundits given to generational letter labels, like Generation X, it's understandable if the generation born in 2001 becomes Generation Y, as in why did 9/11 have to happen, why did so many have to die?
But I don't think that will be the case.
I am hopeful that these new kindergartners will have-and be taught-a greater appreciation of home and country in the aftermath of the attacks on this nation.
Most of all I am hopeful they will grow up to be a generation that works in whatever ways necessary to ensure there won't be another 9/ll for future generations to encounter.