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Of Mountains (and learning music)... a story for students, parents, and teachers

Two Girls and the Mountain

Two kids from the same village talked about climbing to the top of a local mountain - not a super high mountain but it was majestic and beautiful to see from their village. They told their parents they had a desire to try and climb this mountain. It was an exciting adventure and both of these young girls wanted to start right away.

The first girl’s parents sat her down and explained that to climb a mountain would take time and effort, but they showed their support, even offering to pay for her climbing boots or any gear she needed. They told her that even when it got steep and hurt a bit, she should keep going as long as she could, that the view she would achieve would be worth it, not to mention her sense of accomplishment that she would gain, and more self-confidence in her ability to climb. They explained that to make this goal she should commit to at least trying to make it a portion of the way, and if she could do that, she might find that she could go all the way up, but, just to keep going a step at a time. The girl said she understood and agreed to commit to at least make it a certain way up, even if it was a difficult effort.

For the second girl, the parents were also excited that she wanted to try and climb the mountain, and they encouraged her as the other parents had done with the first girl. They too believed in their child that she could do it. They did not have time to sit down with her to tell her about the struggle of the mountain, they were just too excited for her to get started. They gave their support to bring her to the base of the mountain but were so busy, they felt good letting the girl make the climb alone. She could reach them by cell phone, but they let her take the steps by herself. They after all did not see themselves as mountain climbers.

On the first day of her climb, the first girl's parents came with her to the base of the mountain, and they began to climb with her, to encourage her and see the mountain for themselves. At first, the hike at the base of the mountain was easy and the girl’s walk was fast and with energy. But, as the mountain became steeper and steeper, she began to feel the struggle, with each step, just as her parents had told her. Every day she awoke to climb, she found her parents close by, calling out encouragement, telling her the sore legs would be worth it, and asking her to share what great vistas she could see from her higher and higher points on the mountain. They wanted her to focus her mind on the best the mountain could give her, instead of the struggle that was part of climbing. Her parents too could see very far the higher they climbed with her.

As the first girl, the second girl also was eager to start her first day of the climb and her parents too came with her to start the climb. All were excited. Just as the first girl, she found that after the easy first steps, the mountain required her to take steps to move forward, although they were just one step at a time, each step got a bit steeper. She too, as the first girl, felt the need to work on her progress. She thought to herself that her parents did not warn her that this climbing would take some struggle. On the second day of climbing, this second girl had no parents behind her to check on her, they did not see themselves as climbers for this mountain and told her that they would wait for her at the base and phone her to check on her. They did not know, with each step, how she was doing with the climb.

The first girl did reach fairly high up the mountain, taking time, as encouraged by her parents, to turn around and look at the view and how high she had climbed. But, having climbed for a time, and having viewed the scenery, she had decided to climb another mountain nearby, which she could see from the high place she had climbed on this mountain. So, she stopped and went down with her parents back to her village. She had many great things to share with her friends and family about her adventures and success on this mountain. She felt good that she climbed as high as she did, it was a great experience. She especially remembered how her parents were nearby and shared this with her, before her climb and during. She went on to the other mountain she saw, and she climbed to the top, believing in her climbing abilities.

The second girl, called her parents frequently to complain about the effort, she did not seem to focus on the view she obtained, but only on the pain in her legs as she climbed. The calls came so frequently, interrupting her parents' other activities, they told her to keep trying. But, after many calls, they simply told her to come down from the mountain. They thought that keeping her on the mountain would make her never want to climb that mountain again. The girl remembered from her experience the difficulty and was glad to not have any more mountains. She did not even remember the views, as she really did not focus on those. When she saw other mountains later as she grew up, she was weary of climbing more mountains. She stuck to smaller hills that, to her, were easier to climb, and the views, well, they were less, but she was ok with that. After all, smaller hills were what she felt she was able to climb.

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