Tuesday’s Tune: Wonderful World

It’s is a wonderful world, indeed. When I first heard Sam Cooke croon,

Don’t know much about history
Don’t know much biology
Don’t know much about a science book
Don’t know much about the French I took

I was watching Animal House with John Belushi and laughing as only a teenager can. I’ve grown up, it’s been almost 40 years since I watched Animal House. I was in high school and dreaming of college, and I didn’t know much about history, or the French I took. I knew everything, or thought I did.

It was the start of my junior year in high school and it was the year which changed my life. Seriously, no kidding.

the photo says it all….really, no Raleigh.

Fast forward and I am much older, more experienced, and I still don’t know much about history and every day I am reminded of how much I still don’t know, and yet I still yearn to learn more and grow each day – to make every day count.

It’s why I am in Raleigh, North Carolina for a social studies conference. I realize I don’t know everything and I want to learn and be a better teacher.

I was born in this city many years before. My mom and dad moved here right after they were married in 1960. My dad worked for a chemical company and he and my mom were beginning their lives together. I arrived a bit more than a year later. A year or so later, they moved to Decatur, Alabama where my middle brother, Warren was born. I never came back to Raleigh, until Sunday morning.

I was born in Raleigh on the 10th of November. Sunday morning after my flight arrived, I went directly to my hotel in downtown. I was early, but I was able to check in and I was given the room key and I went to up to my room.

Now here is what is odd, my room was room 1010 – on the tenth floor – three 10s. I am taking this as a sign – I am here for a reason. I don’t know (as) much about history as I should, I am always learning.

After unpacking and getting my bearings, I ventured out and walked to the capital building and the North Carolina Museum of History. I took several selfies, and decided to post the photo above to Instagram – and thus to Twitter and Facebook. I had posted a photo from the plane before takeoff but my photo from museum got this message:

‘Welcome to NC!!!’

I replied, ‘Here for a three day social studies conference’ I added, ‘thank you!’

The message was from a former student’s mom. The family had moved away from Illinois several years ago finally settling in North Carolina and we had kept in touch via social media. I had watched my student, from afar, graduate high school, leave for college, and grow up. I hadn’t seen him since he left my middle school for high school almost ten years before.

Some things in life happen, actually most things in life happen, and we are mere passengers. The next message included an invitation for dinner. I was honored.

I had dinner at their home last night, it was a great time.

I remember him well. That young man and his family made an impression on me, and clearly, I made a difference in his life. That’s why I became a teacher, not to teach a subject, but to teach kids, and make a difference in the life of a kid.

We are here to make the world a better place, leave our footprints where we can, and make each day count. Sometimes, other folks leave their footprints on me. I am thankful.

The conference is going well and I am learning I don’t know much about history, but I do know this,

‘what a wonderful world this could be.’

Today is gonna be a great day, I know it and I can feel it, it’s gonna be a ‘ten’ or maybe more. So, I’d better jump up, jump in, and seize the day. Making the Days Count, one day at a time, one student, one memory, one lesson, weaving it all together to make a life and leave a footprint, or two.

How wonderful is your world today?

“Wonderful World”

Don’t know much about history
Don’t know much biology
Don’t know much about a science book
Don’t know much about the French I took

But I do know that I love you
And I know that if you love me, too
What a wonderful world this would be

Don’t know much about geography
Don’t know much trigonometry
Don’t know much about algebra
Don’t know what a slide rule is for

But I do know one and one is two
And if this one could be with you
What a wonderful world this would be

Now, I don’t claim to be an A student
But I’m trying to be
For maybe by being an A student, baby
I can win your love for me

Don’t know much about history
Don’t know much biology
Don’t know much about a science book
Don’t know much about the French I took

But I do know that I love you
And I know that if you love me, too
What a wonderful world this would be

La ta ta ta ta ta ta (History)
Hmm-mm-mm (Biology)
La ta ta ta ta ta ta (Science book)
Hmm-mm-mm (French I took)

Yeah, but I do know that I love you
And I know that if you love me, too
What a wonderful world this would be

Performed by Sam Cooke and written by Lou Adler, Sam Cooke, and Herb Alpert
Released on April 14, 1960 – it was the first track on the side A of the album The Wonderful World of Sam Cooke.

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