Then, (oh, my relentless mind) I wanted pictures to go with the story but couldn’t find an illustrator (I can’t draw), so one night I was puttering around on Publisher and created a “mock up” of the story using geometric shapes and curves. It was kind of cute so I printed a bunch and put them with The Bead People. I ran out right away and so I then took the little book to the print shop and printed 1500 of them.
Now, one year later, the Bead People are on a walk-about around the world. They’ve traveled to Finland, France, Germany and who knows where else. Schools and organizations are calling me—we started taking trays of beads to festivals and school classrooms and letting children build their own Bead Person---just for fun. The books are almost gone and I need to go back to the print shop because we have too many events scheduled for the next two months and not enough books. So then we decided to build a website (www.thebeadpeople.org) and start an international peace movement (getting a Bead Person automatically makes you a member J). Milt even created a film of one of the festivals with a remake of the Beatles song, “All You Need are Beads” as the sound track.
I think of all the many paths I’ve worked so hard at trying to make my way in the world and, suddenly, The Bead People come along to teach me that all I really need to do is something that expresses who I am and what I believe, and the path will unfold naturally. They are such clever little beings, those Bead People. Milt and I have been making up fun sayings like “Don’t Worry—Bead Happy” or “To Thine Ownself Bead True”. We may put them on T-Shirts—just for fun.
I will never get wealthy from my little “just for fun” project, but acquiring wealth or stuff has never rung the bell for me. I am, however, discovering a small side benefit. Having schools call me is opening doors and allowing me to talk about the Natural Human Learning Process with teachers and administrators. This process has transformed my own classroom and, I hope, will soon be transforming other classrooms. (To see free videos of the process, visit the front page of www.manykites.org or to download free guidelines on how to use NHLP in your classroom visit Dr. Rita Smilkstein’s website at www.borntolearn.net ).
My bottom line. Today I had the fine opportunity to watch two classrooms full of developmental English students wrap their minds around the structure of a sentence and really GET it for the first time. I get to watch them as they realize their own potential to learn anything—given the right chance. This is wealth beyond measure . . .
Good night and sleep well.