14 Sep Unlimited
It was as if FedEx had made a special delivery straight from the Olympic pool in Rio. We found ourselves staring at the most wicked green water to ever jettison out of a decorative fountain. Or should I say Wicked green water? That’s right, a few friends and I went to see the emerald-green Elphaba befriend the bubbly-blonde, Galinda (pronounced Glinda, the Ga is silent) in the Broadway production of Wicked this past weekend. And, outside of the Morris Performing Arts Center on the loveliest September day in South Bend, Indiana was a beautiful water fountain spewing water the color of the Wicked Witch of the West. I loved that special touch. A little splash of green added to the water made a beautiful backdrop for pictures and memories. Because experiences like this will change you for the better. Sharing them with others will change you for good.
The Land of Oz is full of much innuendo and , as you will quickly discover. The music is and the dichotomy of Glinda and Elphaba was so cleverly written. Seriously, the genius behind this Wonderful Wizard of Oz prequel my own creativity and reminds me that things aren’t always what they seem. We’re so conditioned to accept the good vs. evil storyline. We make assumptions early on that Glinda must be good–how could someone who wears so much glitter be wicked? And, how could someone as as Elphaba be wonderful? Yes, as the yellow brick road unwinds, the writers of remind us that we should really be concentrating on something much more important— how, together, we can be greater than any one of us is alone. Unlimited. Together we’re unlimited. We learn this throughout , but especially in the lyrics between Glinda and Elphaba in the song For Good:
I think you all know that Grant County is filled with Glinda’s and Elphaba’s. But, what makes us strong is not who we are individually, but how we help each other. There’s great power in realizing “That people come into our lives for a reason, bringing something we must learn. And we are led to those who help us most to grow if we let them. And we help them in return.” You’ll be to learn that Mark Fauser and the folks running the Giant Discovery Zone in Grant County totally get this! This program, funded in part by a Community Foundation grant, kicked off this week at the Grant County YMCA. This after-school program begins with students getting homework help from some amazing IWU student volunteers and launches into a new experience every week of the year. Every. Single. Week. This week the students are learning about the of police and fire personnel and how they serve and protect our community. They’re experiencing these careers though various simulations including students donning 40-pound Kevlar vests and giving a go at jumping jacks while wearing the heavy protective gear. Police make this look so easy! The experiential learning opportunities in upcoming weeks will feature Taekwondo, basketball, cheerleading, JROTC, dancing, and acting, just to name a few.
These lucky students are shaking hands with community leaders and role models. These lucky students are exploring newfound opportunities. These lucky students are broadening their horizons in ways they never would have without visionary leaders like Fauser. Lucky students. Lucky volunteers. Lucky Grant County.
I feel quite confident that investing in the lives of our youth and introducing them to programming they may never have been exposed to will change them for the better. But, because of the selfless commitment of our local volunteers, I know they will be changed for good.
Note: I added a few to my blog today…hope you enjoyed them.