Thursday, November 18, 2010

Spinning A Rope

"You must be Gabby's grandma," the PE teacher said to me as I stood in the office door with camera in hand.

Yes, I was the grandma there to take a picture of my granddaughter spinning a rope. Imagine my surprise when Gabby came home from school to inform me that they were spinning ropes in class. We may be from cowboy country here in Oregon, but I know of no one here who spins a rope.

Just a few days ago I went with my son and his wife to see an old friend who was in a play. The first time we met Shane was when he came to Oregon to do the musical "Will Roger's Follies". The show calls for a rope spinner. Shane has traveled the US doing his rope tricks whenever the show finds its way to the stage. My son was in the same show thus Shane came to be a family friend. Now I find that my granddaughter is spinning a rope.

At the appointed time I was standing in the gym with my camera in hand determined to get a picture to send to Shane of Gabby spinning the lariat. I was early and not being shy entered into an enlightening conversation with her teacher.

I asked how she decided to bring rope spinning to the children. She informed me that they are doing circus tricks to give the kids fun ways to exercise.

"Not all children can do team sports. Some children are not coordinated to do all types of sports. Every child has different skills. I try to introduce a variety of fun activities interspersed with the team sports. Each child has a chance to find something they can do," she informed me.

She told me that schools are trying to change understanding that all children have different talents.

This is good news. I love that children are being given opportunities to excel and succeed by finding their own voice, their own talents. I came from a generation where all children were expected to be the same. Even my children were raised with some doors opening but very slowly. I think that some bullying stems from children who do not accept differences, who have parents who criticize those who have different interests, those who excel at different things, those who express their inner voice in a different way.

In Gabby's class, the children support one another. They help each other succeed as best they can. Different is not wrong. Different is just fine.

Gabby spun her lariat.


  1. "Different is not wrong. Different is just fine." What if that was everyone's philosophy? I want that teacher for my granddaughter!

  2. Oh, how I wish I would have had such a teacher!

  3. A couple of years ago we visited the Will Rogers Museum in Oklahoma. What fun! A guy was demonstrating rope tricks out in the lobby. We purchased a DVD of Rogers doing some of his rope tricks and riding stunts, and we laugh every time we watch it. Rope spinning rocks!