HQ

A Note on Ukraine

By Drew Bent | Thursday, March 10, 2022

It’s now been over 10 days since the Russian invasion of Ukraine began, bringing violence and loss to the region, and upending global affairs as we know it.

Some may wonder where Schoolhouse fits into this. Indeed, I myself questioned that. This war, however brutal, is not the only one. Our community, spanning the globe, will have different interpretations of this indisputable tragedy. And yet, as I pored through our users, I spotted members of our community from the impacted regions, and what started abstract suddenly became much more real. We are a family at Schoolhouse, albeit a global one, and my heart aches when any one of us is put in danger.

As this tragedy grows, it is quickly becoming the elephant in the room that we can no longer ignore. Even if we ourselves may be thousands of miles away, we wonder to ourselves, ‘What if we are next?’ And so I write to you — yes, you, reading this right now, beloved member of the Schoolhouse family — to express my sadness at the tragedies unfolding in Ukraine, and to take this moment to remember what Schoolhouse is all about.

We are here to connect the world through learning. Truly. Learning is a big part of it, but we also cannot forget the connecting. I still remember the first time I was tutoring learners from 3 or 4 countries and realized, ‘This is not just math. This is a mini United Nations!’ While we all compared notes on the various notations we used when writing y = mx + b in our countries, we also undertook a much more difficult, but arguably more important, task: empathy building. And there is no doubt that building bridges in the world is a more difficult task than tutoring math. As the world becomes increasingly divided — something I’ve experienced in my own country and now in the world at large, I expect this will continue to test the Schoolhouse community. And yet, I see Schoolhouse as not just a microcosm of the problem, but also of the solution. A world in which our youth learn side by side, in a safe and also supportive community, one that empowers anyone to learn and contribute no matter their nationality, ethnicity, or even age — and to instill these global values of empathy and empowerment in each and every one of us — that is exactly what the world needs right now.

If you want to talk, I am here for you. My DMs are open.

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