Little Bubbles


We all live in little bubbles. Like the aquatic spiders who sit and build bubble nests to serve as floating nurseries for their young, we each create our own little comfortable incubators for our self-fashioned realities. It is part of survival, and it is what allows us to feel sane—we take in what passes for reasonable and just in our self-fashioned reality, and we reject everything that doesn’t fit, or seem “desirable.”

We don’t mean to be insular, bigoted, opinionated, close-minded, or unkind— it’s simply an inescapable fact that humans have only so much capacity for the clamor of ideas and influences that writhe in a seemingly chaotic universe; every individual sets his or her own limit as to how to organize the cells of the inner self: what will be retained within the cell walls and what must be expelled or rejected. This is true of everyone, whether we choose to recognize it or not.

Little Bubble #1

Blooming Boxes: I am a teacher at a high school in Daly City, California. In 1962, folk singer Malvina Reynolds wrote, sang, and made popular a song called “Little Boxes”, which was about hundreds of identical-looking tract homes built in Daly City in the post-war 50s for a burgeoning middle class. Radio and television successfully propagated the mass ideal of a car in every garage, a chicken in every pot, and a manicured lawn in front of every house. They all looked the same, as the lyrics went:

Little boxes on the hillside,
Little boxes made of ticky tacky,
Little boxes on the hillside,
Little boxes all the same.
There’s a green one and a pink one
And a blue one and a yellow one,
And they’re all made out of ticky tacky
And they all look just the same.

(Hear it on You Tube:

Little Boxes

One of my English Department colleagues has devoted years to innovating ways to make learning meaningful for his students. He teaches Film as Literature classes in “The Cave,” a hybrid classroom/student lounge/library whose walls are plastered with fine art and film posters. He has decided to start a “Blooming Boxes” Festival at Westmoor that will be an annual celebration of the diversity of individuals and the importance of communities within and beyond the school. The festival planners (among which I count myself) are inviting students, their families, and the wider community to express themselves through the vehicle of a box, which they will decorate and customize. Families, classes, businesses, and whoever wants to can individualize a box as an artistic expression of who they are. The aim of the project is to let people come out of their “little boxes” and share their cultural and human uniqueness, while also forming community with their diverse neighbors. The boxes they create will be on display at the school during a day-long celebration of culture, food, and music, to be held on campus in the spring of 2014.



Author: Writewireless

I am a thinker, educator, and writer, who teaches English, French, design, and career skills. My articles and posts about being human, teaching, careers, parenting, travel, and world affairs have been published in various newsletters, websites, and blogs. I currently teach and inspire young people to write and to explore the world.

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