Message from the Superintendent
Dear ASFM community,
We’re chasing down the last week of classes next week, and then we’re off to Christmas vacation; I think we all need a break. It’s nice to know that as a community we enter the holidays healthy as, again, we recorded a near zero COVID viral load on Monday. I tell my friends in the U.S. that San Pedro is probably among the safest places right now. Still, let’s not get too confident!
This past weekend I attended the student production of Cut. I was so impressed with our student performers. The show took place in the amphitheater which demands that the performers make an extra effort to project their voices as they compete with the ambient noises of being outdoors. They did a great job. Cut, like any good piece of art, forces you to ask questions and to consider multiple meanings. The actors and the audience are never sure who is actually acting and who is part of the audience. The actors themselves are confused about whether they are speaking their lines or the lines of another actor--they are within a play within a play. They’re even not sure who the real director is. In short, the actors are in search of what’s real, what’s authentic and meaningful. They are in search of themselves. I think this is where we draw insight. Art does mimic life, but sometimes we don’t recognize it when we see it.
The play challenges us to stay focused, look for meaning and not get frustrated by our lack of ability to control all the variables in the chaos that is inherent in life. As the world spins ever faster, accelerating change we can forget our lines, become disoriented, forget who we really are; the challenge then is to hold on to our internal compass and see the horizon even in the chaos.
The holiday season challenges us to distinguish between what’s illusory and what’s real. Why are we doing what we’re doing? Is it meaningful? Are we being true to ourselves, to our families, to our neighbors, to our larger community? I went to the “desfile” on Sunday night this week and, of course, there were lots of santas cruising along. There was one Grinch. The pre-kinder little girl seated beside me said: “No me gusta el Grinch.” I wanted to tell her that the Grinch is an iteration of Scrooge from Charles Dickens’ a Christmas Story. I also wanted her to know that while the Grinch is green, ugly, and a total “agua fiesta” he’s also in all of us. The Grinch is the enemy of Christmas cheer, but he’s also a reminder that he’s part of us. The enemy lives within. Scary. The challenge is do you have the courage to be your full positive authentic self all the time? Don’t let the Grinch out! I’ll think about this even when I’m stuck in traffic on Alfonso Reyes!
Art is all around us right now. On campus we have ballet presentations all Saturday--please cheer our young dancers on. In our hallways we have beautiful paintings and drawings. I just got my copy of the 107 and there are many great articles--also a demonstration of art with important interpretations of the world around us.
Art mimics life. Perhaps one of the most important lessons from the art that surrounds us and from the play, Cut, is to remind us that we don’t actually know as much as we think. Instead we need to take another look, pause a bit longer, and try to see from a totally different perspective; be open to the fact that a totally different perspective, may also be right.