Several times in the past weeks, I have been moved to tears thinking about the enormous impact of Jack Layton’s life on so many of us. He exemplified for me what it means to be a true visionary leader. Last week a colleague commented that he hopes other politicians will take note of how thirsty people are for genuine, deep connections. I wholeheartedly agree. With school starting again, I feel privileged to carry the practice of Jack’s optimism into my work and hope I can muster one fraction of the enthusiasm he had for life, the commitment he made to change, and the interest he showed in other people.

Last term, my students challenged me to learn the ukulele, and I have been practicing a little on-and-off throughout the summer. I am still quite clunky as I have no teacher but the internet (and earnestness). After standing in attendance at Jack’s funeral, and hearing Stephen Page’s rendition of Hallelujah, I was inspired to try playing it too.

This is for you, Jack. I love you. And for you, O-kids. I love you even more.

Click the bar up above to hear my broken little version.


  1. shannongerard posted this