Skee-lo dreams of being taller. A popular rap-artist in the 1990's, Skee-lo produced an inner-city anthem titled I Wish. His dream was to be a little bit taller and to play basketball so he would be recognized by all of the girls gathering at the local concrete basketball court. The song, when looked at without the music, reads like a depressing school note of a young boy wishing to remake himself.
Enter Sherry Turkle and her book Life on the Screen. Turkle comments how life in a digital age involves challenging answers to questions of "who am i?". Turkle engages in numerous chat groups and eventually facebook, chronicled in her newest technology critique Alone Together. She speaks of the opportunity for students to not only change their hair-color as an act of self-expression, but to become a completely different person by changing age, ethnicity and even sexual orientation in chat rooms and facebook. The digital age is confusing, allowing students to doctor photos via iPhone applications and change their personality via text and web messenging to become more appealing to the general public, sometimes causing students to question which reality is true.
This is a topic Mr. Isaac presented to the faculty and staff in his recent in-service on Cultivate. A mentoring tool being used to enhance faculty and staff mentor relationships, Cultivate was developed by Summit Ministries President Jeff Myers as a support to Christian schools.
Principal Isaac reminded his faculty and staff in the in-service that many students need added support because of the digital age. Commenting on the ability for a student to express feelings to millions at the click of a button, Principal Isaac showed how the new self-made person creates fractured relationships. His example in the video shows how challenging it is for real people to forgive comments from a facebook profile that represents a person.
The video closes with a strong encouragement for Hillcrest faculty and staff to continue the good work of mentorship. Referencing the Hillcrest adults as a consistent voice in the lives of students, Mr. Isaac calls his staff to continue relationship building to better support the uniqueness of the individuals God has made.
This approach is what continues to give students an understanding of how they are designed to live a life of significance founded in Jesus Christ and supported by the church-like community at Hillcrest Academy.