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Mr. Zander, you have broken the "too cool" barrier

This morning, Benjamin Zander spoke at my school to students between the sixth and eleventh grades. My school is very proud of its reputation and each student often overlooks the possibility to make a connection with someone new or learn something fascinating and opts to be too cool to play along. When we were asked this morning to sing "Happy Birthday" to one seventh grade boy, I was amazed that out of roughly 1,000 students, maybe 150 were singing. The rest looked around at each other and rolled their eyes as if to say, "is he for real?". The program we heard lasted for an hour and within that time, Mr. Zander's talk had not only persuaded a gym full of insecure high school and middle schoolers to sing "Happy Birthday" with all their breath while waving their arms around but he set the mood for the day. People who usually don't even glance around them were greeting one another and smiling. These may not sound monumental but I just want to tell everyone I see how a group of northface-wearing, SUV-driving rich kids forgot to be cool and indifferent for once and that today, I feel as though we all breathed a little more and laughed at ourselves. If I can get myself to wake up tomorrow morning and remember not to take myself "so goddamned seriously", my goal is to maintain this feeling as long as possible. Even if nobody else beams like we did this afternoon, I will keep shining and maybe others will remember what I know I can. Thank you so much Mr. Zander!!!!!!!!!

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