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During the past weeks the PJs gave several workshops at elementary schools in Amsterdam West. At one of these schools the classroom felt like a jungle. Teacher, Teun,  was a late 50's male (one of the very few left in Amsterdam). who had his class filled with stuffed animals, from a fox to birds. There were life fish, animal skulls bones and many plants.
On the blackbord (non-digital) we noticed an eagle, beautifully drawn in chalk. With all the digitization in classrooms nowadays it felt like being thrown back to our own childhood.

After this very refreshingly green entrance we started asking the 8yr old kids what would make them happy, what they would wish for and why. 
The first one to answer was a boy "I want a BB!" a what? we asked.  "'A Blackberry"" about 10 other boys shouted. A blond spiky hair kids, the only Caucasian,  got one out of his pocket to show us. Having the BB made him clearly the cool one.

Somewhat amazed we asked him why and what he needed it for. Maybe for an emergency to call his parents? we thought. "to ping with my chics" he replied. Girls giggling and the others boys acknowledged his answer. 
Trying to seek beyond materialistic needs PJs continued asking about happiness and invited the kids to write and illustrate on their happiness.

When time came to present in front of the class, the spiky haired boy was most eager to go first. Still a little weary of the result we invited him to come forward to tell his story on happiness.
He started off telling about his present boyish needs but then took a very surprising, yet smooth, turn when he wished for a normal and quiet life, with a wife, a house and good job. 
Not only did he present this in such a natural way, he once again impressed the other class mates and surprised us all.  
A true Storyteller we will remember.

Much gratitude goes out to Podium Mozaïek and the schools who have the PJs to return with workshops for some years now. We feel fortunate being able to get so much inspiration working with kids as well.

Poetry Jockeys, Worlds Reveal Worlds

 


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