My idea is to explore how other countries around the world are dealing with education and special education issues. I’d like to see different successful schools, wherever they may be, up close. I’d like to sit down with directors and administrators. I’d like to speak with government officials who keep a pulse on the education affairs of their communities. I want to learn more about education around the globe through speaking with locals, seeing the schools, and shaking hands with the people responsible for implementing the systems. If you know of any outstanding (public or private) special needs schools in other parts of the world, I’d love to hear about them. If you know any education experts from around the world, I’d love to be introduced to them. Please do not hesitate to share your thoughts or ideas. Read more about my mission.
Sunday, December 31, 2017
I am not an avid skier and, frankly, there is nothing about skiing that comes naturally to me. At 6'3, I find that my height usually works against me because skiing demands keeping your body low to the ground. For that reason and others, I was definitely outside my comfort zone, but I was excited about hitting the slopes nevertheless.
Once I started skiing, I was awed by the natural beauty surrounding me. At the top of one of our ski trails, we took in a panoramic view of the Wasatch mountain range. What a beautiful sight! The mountain range stood beyond the ski trails, wide and vast, impossible to perceive all at once. The mountains were brownish/gray and streaked with snow. I followed the peaks and valleys with my eyes, thinking that they seemed solid and unified, peaceful and still. They were expressive, rugged, natural, ancient, impressive, and awe-inspiring. As I admired them, I felt free and calm. What was most memorable was where it took me: to a happy and peaceful place where I felt connected to nature and to others.
After skiing, I tried snowmobiling for the first time. I was nervous at first, unsure of what to expect. When I started out on the trail, I was tentative. After a few minutes, I became more comfortable in my vehicle. We were guided to the top of a mountain where I took in another breathtaking view. We then descended a steep cliff and roamed free across wide swaths of snowy terrain. It was fun and exhilarating. Eventually, when our time was up, we made our way back to our starting point. In the few minutes before we arrived there, I slipped into a sublime mental state. The snow surrounding me blended into a single whiteness. I became part of an enveloping white blanket and everything around me went silent. I came out of it feeling a profound serenity and clearheadedness.
Apart from the exciting activities described above, my trip was also special because it was my first trip with my daughter who just turned four months old. My wife and I weren't sure what to expect. Being in the mountains at high altitudes and in wholly unfamiliar environs could have presented many problems for our infant. By all accounts so far, she has been a superstar (red-eye flight home pending). She was well-behaved throughout the trip whether we were sitting in a restaurant, shopping, strolling outside, or traveling in a car. Together we've enjoyed exploring Park City and relaxing. Most of all, I enjoyed seeing all of the miraculous things she is doing (breathing, eating, smiling, interacting, and expressing her needs, albeit without words) and felt very grateful for them. It has been amazing getting to know her and watching her develop.
This New Year's, I would like to wish you and your family all the best in 2018. I hope you experience awe, new adventures, excitement, peace, happiness, and family togetherness. I hope your children continue to develop, grow, and succeed and I hope you continued to be amazed by their accomplishments.
Finally, I would like to wish you serenity, clearheadedness, and connectedness, which I was fortunate to experience in Park City this year.