Tragedy at the University of Virginia… Triumph at Colvin Run Mill
Yesterday I was reflecting on the tragic murder of Yeardley Love, the dreadful crime scene and the fact that a UVA lacrosse star has been charged with the slaying of his fellow student. While the authorities sort out the facts of the case and the university community mourns Ms. Love’s tragic death, I was reminded of a recent post discussing the standard of self-control versus self-expression.
Intemperance, the opposite of self-control is an obsession with pleasure, power and possessions. The intemperate person conceives of life as a series of sensations while the temperate person subordinates his passions to reason by means of self-control. The virtue of temperance shields our interior lives and society itself from the forces of chaos.
Contrast this sad state of affairs in Charlottesville with the extraordinary evening I had last night watching my ten year-old grand son star in a historical pageant at the Colvin Run Elementary School in Northern Virginia. The entire fourth grade class participated in the pageant, playing roles of Washington, Jefferson, Adams, Betsy Ross and other founders of this Republic. This spectacle was a splendid one, seeing fourth graders flawlessly recite their long lines, supported by the entire cast unabashedly singing patriotic songs and reciting excerpts from Poor Richard’s Almanac!
The entire event was inspiring to this former American history teacher. While walking with the audience to the “cast party” I noticed along the school walls, creative art work of the young student and, at each drinking water station, a poster depicting virtues such as integrity, persistence, perseverance and the like.
I was so motivated by these fourth graders I returned last night committed to try to master Twitter, Facebook and other social media.
This post is an open thank you to the faculty and staff at the Colvin Run School. If you see a teacher today, thank her or him for carrying on the tradition and values that made these United States the exceptional country it is.