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Inside Teaching : October 2010
www.atra.edu.au | email@example.com SEE ME AFTERWARDS 53 grain, but the glorious effect of a handful of hope thrown into the breeze. It was a memorable gesture of pure, human joy. I say ‘memorable,’ and of course we wanted to record the moment for posterity, but the bores at the Opera House said we couldn’t use our cameras. Like most parents, we did anyway, but the more we tried to zoom in on our daughter, the more she disappeared into the mass of humanity on stage. Right there was another lesson. There are just some times when you can’t record with any clarity what your child’s presence offers to the greater good. You just have to take pleasure in the fact that she or he is there, anonymous. Anonymity is an ignominy for this generation of children. With the rise and rise of social media comes the idea that every child, every human, can have some say and make their presence felt through blogging, posting and tweeting. We blame this desire for stardom on our children, but c’mon, let’s face it... it’s us. We’re the ones who are making the transition from the small suburbs and country towns where everyone knew each other by name to the internet revolution where there are a trillion videos on YouTube. Kids know – probably now more than ever – how insignificant they are. Modern technology has taught them that. When I was a kid growing up in a one- service-station town, I believed I could conquer the world. My children now have some 2.9 billion other kids in their faces and know how daunting that dream is. There are any number of talent shows to tell them over and over that stardom is a one- in-a-billion chance. So that’s why I loved to see that massed choir. There was an affirmation there that being one of the crowd can still bring satisfaction and a sense of achievement. I thank the teachers from ArtsNorth for giving all the children from our public schools the opportunity to come together and experience the thrill of cooperation and harmony for a greater purpose – although, I have to say, in all modesty, that my daughter was the best on the night! ■ Wendy Harmer is one of Australia’s best known humourists and authors, and a regular columnist for Inside Teaching. Pictured, the ArtsNorth Primary Choral Concert at the Sydney Opera House in September. Photo by NSW Department of Education and Training courtesy of ArtsNorth. THERE ARE JUST SOME TIMES WHEN YOU CAN’T RECORD WITH ANY CLARITY WHAT YOUR CHILD’S PRESENCE OFFERS TO THE GREATER GOOD. YOU JUST HAVE TO TAKE PLEASURE IN THE FACT THAT SHE OR HE IS THERE, ANONYMOUS.