Pokémon is a favorite in our household . . . Sweet M is a fan, and she can tell you more or less anything and everything you would ever want to know about the morphing, evolving, world of these creatures.
Tonight our dear neighbor and family friend brought over this prize: a large, battery-operated Lugia figurine. Her own daughter, now at college at a distinguished private liberal arts college in Connecticut was also a Pokémon and Digimon fan, and Sweet M has been the beneficiary of that young woman's cache of figures.
I occasionally wonder about their mutual love of Pokémon, and the kinds of thinking required to master the Pokémon geneaologies and typologies that are involved. From a pedagogical point of view, I wonder how I might use these interests to build out Sweet M's capacity to summarize and generalize, two of the areas of formal education that remain a challenging.
Along with the lovely, if too short, visit with our neighbor and friend today, the day also brought Parent Conference Day. We used to loathe the day, for even if there were no long faces and stories of putatively impossible challenges, there was always the othering, the endless othering. The stories of why she wasn't like the other kids, the stories about how, even though this was a school for kids with language-based learning disabilities, the her particular language-based learning disability was, well, just too much of a disability.
So can I tell you how fabulous it is to go to a parent-teacher conference and hear stories of spontaneous conversations that Sweet M has struck up with her peers and teachers? Can I tell you how wonderful it is to get a list of actual challenges rather than a global dismissal of her potential? Can I tell you how much I love these middle school teachers and their principal? It would be hard for me to express it, other than to say that I love them as much as Sweet M loves Pokémon, and then maybe just a bit more.
It's so much easier to learn when you love what you're learning, and when the folks you're learning with love you, too. Pokémon, our neighbor, her daughter, Sweet M, the middle school teachers, and social worker, and principal, today it's just a love-fest all around. If I were to have my own Pokémon character, the creature would be called LiLoLe: for life love learning (a constantly evolving type).