I had just turned 14 in March 1972. Like the other young teenagers, I relished in my new privilege of starting the family car and bouncing among the three popular radio stations while waiting for the rest of the family to arrive. A new Tom Jones song caught my teenaged attention and although it only reached the top 80, it instantly became my favorite. It told a story about a teenager in Albuquerque who grew concerned with the attitudes of people around him. He decided to enrich others' lives by carving marionettes and putting on puppet shows. As he grew older, this became his profession. The young New Mexican puppeteer He saw the people all lived in fear He thought that maybe they'd listen to A puppet telling them what to do And so he got some string and he got some wood He did some carving and he was good And folks came a-running so they could hear The young New Mexican puppeteer Several recent threads reminded me of this song. I located it on You Tube, sung by Tom Jones and also by Tommy Cash. I thought, what if students modeled this boy's ambition. Not that they need to become puppeteers, although that wouldn't be a bad idea. Creating puppets, stages, and plays would be quite a positive school activity. But the idea is, rather than just sitting around doing nothing, what if students searched for productive ways to enrich the lives of other students. (Hmmm...what if adults did this also). This would create an uplifting atmosphere within the school. Here are some initial ideas that floated through my head this morning. Perhaps students can add positive songs to the school jukebox; I don't know how these newer machines work, but perhaps this is a possibility, perhaps even going retro and reviving older songs, such as the one I've mentioned. Perhaps an afterschool homework help could be established; this would not only allow students to assist each other but also help develop new friendships. A simple activity was suggested in last Sunday's comics in The Family Circus, go up to another person and smile. Another thought, early elementary students could have a silly face signal, when, at the sound of the bell, they try to make another person laugh with a silly face. Just some initial ideas and I'm sure we could come up with even better ideas--in fact, if our students brainstormed, they could come up with ideas we'd never be able to think of. But my point is, we need more young New Mexican puppeteers in New York, Sacramento, Columbus, all over the United States, all over the world for that matter.