As the Ale is fading into the past, one of the things that stays on my mind is how great it was to see the interest in this dancing (and the community that surrounds it) on the part of high school aged kids. There were three teenage rapper sword teams -- two from Massachusetts and one from New York City. The kids had verve and energy and joy, and they seemed to delight in hanging out with each other. What a great thing to have in your life at that age, I say. They're also great contra-dancers, pretty much all of them. This world will outlast me, that's for sure.
After the Ale I got a Facebook friend request from a high school junior on one of the teams. This is not somebody I talked with at all, although of course I knew who he was by the end of the weekend. I was part of a sweep of post-Ale friending he was doing, from what I could gather, but this was a flattering thing nonetheless. I went and checked out his Facebook page, and he seems like a very earnest, good kid. But the great thing to me, the thing that just makes me smile with delight and hope, is his engagement in larger political issues, including ones of concern to me. Off his Facebook page I found a link to a local newspaper that published the testimony on bullying he gave recently before the Massachusetts Attorney General’s Commission on Anti-Bullying, as a representative of the Mass. Student Advisory Council. I found a copy of a "transgender policy" he had worked on to present to his local school committee -- a very thoughtful teasing out of rights and protections. Good work. Good stuff. Brave stuff. I sit back in awe.
This was all easy to see from just a quick scan of his Wall.
This just fills me with hope. For the future, and for Morris dance.