Moving for Meaning (part 1)

 by karen Krolak

Within Somerville's Sister City delegation to Tiznit, Morocco, there were several people who possessed the same first name. We had oodles of Ellens, a couple Cynthias and and a pair of Karens. These overlaps frequently confused people from both cities and they prompted a few farcical miscommunications.

The other Karen, Karen Comeau, teaches third and fourth grade at the Healey School. Her passion for her class was palpable every time groups gathered around a tagine and discussed future collaborations. She's the type of teacher who would forgo the one short time slot of souvenir shopping on our trip to assist one one of her pupils who was originally from Morocco. While almost everyone else was wandering the bazaar, she reached out to this kid's relatives. She even overcame the language barrier by bringing drawings from their nephew and his Somerville classmates.

One day last spring Karen bumped into me in line for a latte at Bloc 11. As we chatted, she mentioned how eager she was harness the momentum from our trip to Morocco and transform it into a dynamic learning experience for her students. I was itching to immerse Monkeyhouse in an international, educational project. Before our coffee appeared, we began hatching a plan.

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