A GREAT find in Riverside, California!

Miriam Kurtzig Freedman, JD, MA
3 min readApr 1, 2023

Surprise! Finding Booker T. Washington’s wisdom right there, on the path leading to the hotel….

My recent experience at the ADR (alternative dispute resolution) conference in Riverside was terrific — and full of wonderful surprises. Here’s a short, very short story — vignette of life — that I’d like to share with you. Why? Because I believe vignettes may bring some wisdom, a smile, common sense reality, a path forward — in our challenging education world. I’ve gathered these gems over the years; they come from my clients, colleagues, famous people whom I don’t know personally, passers-by, and interesting places. You get the picture. I do believe that COMMON SENSE, WISDOM, and TRUST can help us create a path forward to improve schools for all students. And that — dear friends and colleagues — is always the goal!

Now, back to Riverside, that beautiful hotel, and the WISDOM I learned there.

The first surprise was to see how beautiful the hotel that I stayed in is. It dates back to the early early 1900’s. It’s a California MISSION-style extravaganza hotel and spa — full of comfortable rooms, elegant halls and stairways, chapels, restaurants — indoors and outdoors, meeting rooms, paintings, decorations, flowers, more flowers. Beautiful.

It’s historic, and has hosted world leaders, Hollywood greats, and many others — notables and regular folks — over the years. One of these notables was Booker T. Washington, who was a guest in 1914. He was an American educator, author, orator, and adviser to several US presidents. The hotel is appropriately named the MISSION INN AND SPA, and I’m grateful that I could stay there. I loved it all.

Some wisdom to share …

Another surprise was finding this statue of Booker T. Washington (1856–1915) on the path to the entrance, with this bit of WISDOM:

“I have learned that success is to be measured not so much by the position that one has reached in life, as by the obstacles which he has overcome while trying to succeed.”

These days, people are often asked to define what success means to them. So, I was happy to see this quote, as it offers a unique perspective for us educators and citizens interested in our schools. It reminds me of a prayer — life is a journey; not a destination. It’s the trip — with all…

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Miriam Kurtzig Freedman, JD, MA

Miriam Kurtzig Freedman, JD, MA, is a reformer, thought leader, lawyer, and author. Check out her book, Special Education 2.0 and her medicine bottle art!