Me- The New Mayor of New York CityPosted: July 19, 2009
My sleep last night was very deep and fitful. Probably due to the cooler evening and my taking a 400mg dose of Magnesium which helps me sleep better (not a sleeping pill, it just provides a supplement which helps one not to awaken unneccessarily during the night). All of this may have conspired to produce on deeply disturbing affect, simply I awoke this morning from the strangest dream.
The dream felt overwhelmingly real. It is one of those that when I awoke, my first feeling was PHEWWW!!! I dreamed I had been elected mayor of New York City. My friends, in a dare had cast my name onto the ballot for NYC mayoral election. I won. (don’t ask for details, I won’t give them, there is another layer of psychological introspection needed here). After I won, there was shock (in the dream) as it began to dawn on me. Already my mind began to ponder who my Lieutenant would be. My son and I went to city hall with Mayor Bloomberg to survey the perks of being mayor. Clint Eastwood was there (don’t ask me why, who the hell knows) I tied my long hair up so as not to give a too bohemian impression. There was a deep feeling of shock, because my life and life style were about to experience a dramatic change. When I returned home (in the dream) my wife and parents, and in-laws were all there (we have only my mother in-law still in this world). They were in shock and awe, but treated it as nothing too special. It was on the news. We would all have to adjust. The last bit I remember is telling my wife that it was a good thing we had the apartment cleaned (true) because now there would be journalists coming here for one-on-one interviews. After all, they would want to know what this upstart hippie would be doing for NYC. Bruce Zeines, the new mayor of NY.
Now why in the world would I want to share something so intimate on my blog. A blog whose main focus is education. Huffington says to put forth, all your personal experience. Tell your story. So I will tell you. The after-effect of this dream began to make me think…a lot. The feeling of it stayed with me for quite a bit after I awoke. The sense of relief, and then, the sense of what that responsibility would mean. So now I will go from dream to hypothetical.
I began to ponder what my platforms would be. The first, as you may guess from this blog’s focu, would be education reform. But I began to think about all the other systems that run NY. The metro, garbage, community gardens, the many, many neighborhoods in all five boroughs. The challenge seems staggering to someone who has always watched politics from the sideline. What would an ordinary person do in a situation that has always been ruled over by career politicians or wealthy men, carpetbaggers. I began to think in a very practical way as to who and what would have to happen in order to help solve many of the city’s multiple problems.
Where it concerns education reform… Joel Klein, YOU”RE FIRED!! Get your tired ass out of here. All of your over testing and making public schools compete on the merits of test scores would immediately stop. The toll it has taken on children is not justification for draconian policy. We are not trying to improve appearances. We want REAL change. So in the event of Mr. Kleins firing, now we have to take a REAL look at public education. We would have to talk to teachers, especially the one’s who actually care. I am not deluded. We could not turn the NYC School system into a Free School, but we could look at what is working and what is not. In areas where there has been loss of hope, in poorer neighborhoods, there would have to be some insight on how to help children become more a part of the process. Feeling empowered to have a say in their own education. Allow them to play more. More physical time in the yard. Less compulsion to prepare for tests, or to make good grades a goal. Empowerment. This is the only way to help failing schools. And why are they failing? We would have to take deeper look at the communities those schools are in and how to lend support to the families that make up those communities. In other words, care needs to be taken.
My thoughts began to roll through who I would tap to assist me in this mission. There are many people who I am already associated with, that have made brilliant strides and have made bona fide impact on various areas of life in our city. The Brooklyn Free School is at the top of my list, Sustainable Flatbush, Educating Tomorrow (whom I hope to learn more about tonight at a special local event) and many friends, business people and those in public service who have proven their desire to help NY embrace a new and much needed paradigm shift.
The effects of the dream are now beginning to wear off. I have to go shopping now at my favorite food hole, The Park Slope Food Coop. But the thoughts and feelings generated by a dream have forced me to ponder a “what if” scenario in a real way. How would an ordinary person, who works, struggles to pay his bills, hates taxes, rides public transportaion daily, co-migles with neighbors and cares deeply for how children are treated and educated, take the reigns of one of the most prestigious and difficult political positions in the world. And when I really ponder it deeply, there is a deep feeling of hope that great things are truly possible. But first we must awaken people enough so that they can care. Care for themselves, and then care about the world they occupy.
I usually do not give much creedance to dreams, and I believe that we all live in a dream. A mass delusion. A global fantasy. Which why everything is f**d up, but this dream gave my heart a drop of golden sunlight. Today, I won the lottery.