This past weekend was an interesting one.
My little sister Rachel was in town for her spring break. Always trying to be the cool big brother, I was able to get tickets to the Opening Night Gala for the Sarasota Film Festival. As parties, nay, events go in Sarasota, this one’s a biggie.
One might imagine that, for a young lady of 17, the food, the people, the music, the fancy clothes would all be the memorable parts of the evening. Not so.
In fact, they were not the memorable parts of the evening for me either.
One unassuming man in a full tuxedo made the night.
His name is Edgar Mitchell. Sadly, it was not a name I knew before Friday night.
He is one of 12 men in the history of our planet to walk on the surface of the moon. 1 of 12!
For those of you familiar with film or photos of an astronaut throwing a javelin on the surface of the moon, that was Mitchell.
Now, here’s the thing, the thing that really stuck – he gets it.
Listening to Mitchell speak to some VIPs at the party, I heard him mention the need to improve education in America. The mention of such a topic by anyone will catch my ear, much to my friends’ chagrin.
When the VIPs moved on, I leaned in to Mitchell and said, “Do you mind if I ask you a question that doesn’t have to do with the moon?”
“Not at all,” he replied.
“I heard you say you thought more needed to be done with education. Can you explain that a little?”
Well, we were off. He gets it. He really does. Not often do I meet anyone outside of education who truly understands the need to change the way we do business. Mitchell did. “What we’re doing, the way we’re teaching these kids, it’s criminal. And you know I’m right.”
He is right.
Our time together was Swiss cheesy due to Mitchell’s frequent calls to be interviewed or meet VIPs, but here’s the short list of where we need to be looking:
- problem solving
- throwing away the old model
I made sure to get his card and will certainly be following up on our discussion in hopes of having this actual American pioneer come and share his experiences and thoughts with our teachers and students.
Let’s hope it doesn’t take the same kind of perspective to which Mitchell was privy before other outsiders start to see what’s important in education.