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This week, I’ve been reviewing a variety of literary devices in preparation for the PARCC, and trying to do so in a meaningful, non-test-prep kind of way. When I came to symbolism, my thoughts turned to this video of President Obama:
Let me just say that I loved this video for many reasons, not the least of which is that it reminds me of the sort of gracious, intelligent and thoughtful man that our President is – how I will miss him! But, I loved the idea of pockets that hold symbols of what we value and hope for. What would three symbols would I have in my pocket?
- My grandmother’s Mathematics gold medal. She won it at a time when girls in India were not encouraged to go to school, much less achieve academically or (in her case) spectacularly. But she did. She was not allowed to pursue her dreams of going into medicine, and her education ended with that gold medal, but it serves as a symbol of perseverance for me.
- I’ve saved a lace from the first sneakers each of my kids wore; they’re knotted fast together and gritty from many a puddle and stray juice bottle. They probably smell a bit, too – but they symbolize what love is all about:messy, knotty, but for always.
- And then there is a button I saved from a terrible jacket my husband Scott owned from his college summer job days – it was dirt brown and boxy, with a huge tag that read (in orange!): TAFT FURNITURE MOVER. It also had an orange quilted lining. It was horrid. But, Scott loved that jacket and wore it to run all sorts of errands outside our house! So, I “lost” it (what other choice was there?). But I did save a button, a symbol of my husband’s work ethic, which our children have always admired and aspired to.
My students came up with so many variations of symbolism – so many items that connected them to parents, grandparents, memories, and dreams. Symbolism, we discovered, is part of our every day lives…
What three items would you carry in your pockets, and what would they symbolize?