Monday, January 18, 2010

I had a Dream -- Celebrating Martin Luther King Day

Last night I had a nightmare. In my dream I was back in high school, which was not my alma mater, Yonkers High School, but, rather, the high school that my daughter attends now, Deerfield Academy. There I was, back in high school, but with a PhD in Applied Math (specialty in operations research), and with a Phi Beta Kappa key from Brown University. In the dream, I was completely evaluating the direction my life journey had taken me and I was being given a chance to take high school courses and, in a sense, to start over again. However, I could not relate to the teachers and just could not fit in. Yes, my daughter was also at the same school in my dream, which she adores in reality, and tells me that she would not change a single thing about Deerfield Academy. The nightmare was so real that I woke up this morning by literally jumping out of bed.

Then I realized it was Martin Luther King Jr. Day, a day in which we recognize and remember the journey of this great man. To commemorate this day, I listened to his "I Have a Dream" speech, while my daughter at her school is having a full day of special memorial activities.

I am an immigrant, having been born in Canada, and with my first language being Ukrainian. My nightmare cannot compare with the earthquake devastation and post-aftermath in Haiti. An article in a Canadian newspaper (yes, I still love Canada) traces some of the history of the island of Hispaniola, which is home to both Haiti and the Dominican Republic. It attempts to explain how the environment and various policies over centuries have resulted in such different national histories.

As for the resolution of the nightmare, I am most glad that I am not back in any high school, although Yonkers High School was a fantastic amalgamation of students, diversity, and outstanding teachers and led me to Brown University, whose President is the amazing Dr. Ruth Simmons, one of 11 children, whose parents were sharecroppers in Mississippi.

Let's continue to live the dreams and to help the less fortunate!