Friday, September 08, 2006

Akeelah and the Bee

We just borrowed Akeelah and the Bee (finally!) from Netflix and enjoyed it very much. It's a fictional story of an 11 year old girl from South Los Angeles who competes in the National Spelling Bee. Quite a good family film (except for a handful of words - it is rated PG - pretty understated for the difficult world Akeelah is growing up in).

I was interested in the quote hanging in Dr. Larabee's office and found it online:
Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate.
Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure.
It is our light, not our darkness, that most frightens us.
We ask ourselves, who am I to be brilliant, gorgeous,
talented and fabulous.
Actually, who are you not to be?

You are a child of God.
Your playing small doesn't serve the world.
There's nothing enlightened about shrinking so that other
people won't feel insecure around you.

We were born to make manifest the glory of
God that is within us.
It's not just in some of us -- it's in everyone.

And as we let our own light shine,
we unconsciously give other people
permission to do the same.
As we are liberated from our own fear,
our presence automatically liberates others

-Marianne Williamson
There's some real truth in there - especially in the context of Akeelah being ashamed of her gifts because she's teased at school for being a "brainiac" and she has a hard time "fitting in".

On a side note, I enjoyed the little plug in the movie for studying Latin to help you appreciate and understand words better. It really struck me that today, aside from homeschooling and a few charter schools, you pretty much have to be enrolled in a private academy to have the opportunity to study Latin in school. Our local public high school, which is about as good as public schools get, doesn't even offer Latin (you can take Spanish, German, French or Japenese). What a shame. Perhaps it is up to homeschoolers to grow up to be teachers and bring Latin back to the public schools.


Becky said...

Thanks for the reminder about this movie. It never came to our little theater in town. And with the word roots subtext you mention, the movie might a good way to kick off our "English from the Roots Up" studies (replacing Minimus this year) in the next few weeks!

Love2Learn Mom said...

Great idea! I love using movies as previews (and ways to get the kids interesetd) to some more formal learning. There's an old technical term for this from classical education that I think applies here - "prelection" - a way of introducing a topic and drawing the students into it. It's so natural to do this in a family, isn't it?