Thank you Glora Steinem
By Buhach WomenStudies on November 11, 2011
For nearly an hour, Gloria Steinem spoke with my students. You would not know that she probably had a million other things to do, including a book to finish, or a Lifetime Achievement Award to receive that night from Glamour. She was poised, confident, and as one colleague put it, completely unapologetic for her views, beliefs and honest responses. In other words, she was simply Gloria.
When a student expressed nervousness, Gloria simply said there was no need to be, as it was just the two of them having a conversation. While my students had studied her, researched her and prepared for the conversation, they were not completely prepared for her insight or the magnitude of the impact the discussion would have on them or the other generations in the classroom. And yet, it was almost palpable and profound.
As the students reflected on their experience, the full breadth of the event began to dawn upon them. As the staff, able to attend the event, began to reflect upon the experience, they reflected upon the paths their own lives have taken. Many spoke of a need to challenge themselves and utilize the insights that they gained.
For me, it was truly humbling. As a young girl, I picked up my first issue of Ms. at the age of 7. To talk to a woman whom I have held in the highest regard for the past 32 years was emotional and overwhelming. To introduce her to my students, who inspire me, and push me to be a better teacher, was simultaneously terrifying and exhilarating. Thus, when she was questioned by a news reporter about the quality of questions asked by high school students, it was not lost upon my students when she said that the quality of questions asked exceeded many of those asked by veteran reporters.
Many people often discount young people, simply because they are young. But, as Gloria pointed out, we can learn from them and their observations. Thank you students!
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