Part One: Learning Conference

 

brainpencilThe Learning and the Brain conference is one I highly recommend to all educators. Thanks to Book Smart Kid, I was able to attend. It did not disappoint. The speakers passion and shared visions inspired and affirmed some of what I’ve long believed as an educator. I admit, though, that some of what they proposed was challenging.

What inspired me most during the conference is how much the cognitive scientists agreed with the philosopher’s of educators who taught me many years ago that the work of children is play, and that it should be preserved. That the brain is the most malleable during childhood and how much development is still happening for teens. That educators should strive to maintain positive, nurturing relationships with children because it enhances the educational environment of a child and that the educator and the learning environment must tease the curiosity of a learner rather than squash it.

The challenges I took away had more to do with letting go of what the system convinces us we must do. To throw out old time-wasters such as the ever popular Calendar time with younger students and homework. And to think more about filling the students work day with activity and work rather than the educator being the one talking, working and decorating.

Another challenge is for educators to stop filling the day with boxed up one-dimensional curriculum. Today’s children need to step our in courage to learn to make mistakes. It’s in the mistake where many learning opportunities lay. Teachers also need to become open and model their own mistakes and share what they’ve learned from their own mistakes. Scaffolding is a word that was used often at the conference and it makes sense because of the conference speakers emphasis about learning orientations. There was no science to back up the difference in learning styles. Instead, the differences are now called orientations. One student may be creatively inclined while another analytical while another might be motivated to learn by how practical the content studied.

There is much more to report, but I’m still processing much of what was presented. More soon.

~Peace.

 

 

 

 

Snow Daze

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The last time I experienced so much snow around me was in Boise, ID with my daughter and today, I woke up to this in Seattle! It will probably melt soon it, but it’s a perfect “excuse” to sit in bed and write. It’s either that or go out and create a snow man of sorts. I did put on my very warm socks with the intention of taking some snow pictures later and taking a cold walk.  We’ll see.

It’s also a great time for me to process some things. I think I seriously need to divulge because lately, my dreams are weirder than ever.  I dreamed about mosquitos taking over a dish I was about to eat. I dreamed about a dog and how it killed an alligator that was in my bedroom and about trying to change a diaper and not being able to do it and last night about plants camouflaging to look like spiders!

So, I decided I needed to socially put this out there in hopes that it’ll alleviate some inner stress, face my struggles and hopefully help others who may be facing hard realities.

One thing. I am a true introvert and I don’t like to have attention drawn to me. So there’s that. And then my kids. First of all, they blow me away with their emotional intelligence.  They have been open about their struggles and as a result, they face them head on while also (no doubt) helping those that struggle as they do and I’m encouraged to do the same thing.

So, I’ve been married for 24 years, but my marriage is ending and I’m separated. Even writing it down brings home it’s stark reality. But, strangely, writing about it also brings some peace. This is my very difficult reality and I’m not always together. People around me need to know why.

But, at the same time, I have healthy outlets and meaningful relationships. I also have a great therapist who I can see, if needed. I’m also a believer and so there’s the power of prayer. I have peace. But I still needed to be open with you.

My family, friends, readers. I need you and I value you. You are important in my life.

Thank you for allowing me this platform, this snowy day to truly update you.

~Peace and more peace….

 

 

 

The opportunity

“Ho, ho, ho!” I don’t think that’s what a merry laugh really sounds like. I usually hear “Hah, hah, hah, snort, clap!” Maybe Santa was actually “Ho-ing”in an attempt at lifting all he had to carry this year? Maybe he wasn’t laughing at all??

But, seriously, Merry Christmas to you and Merry “other-holidays” to others.

I wish you well in these days that most agree come with a mixture of Merry-ness and all sorts of other “nesses”.

As the year comes to a close, I wish it farewell. Thankfully, it went fast! I’m trying not to dislike it and instead see it for what it is, an opportunity.

The opportunity to break. To finally reach a breaking point, to reach a sort of end and completeness. An”end” to things feels sucky and dark. But, the dark side’s power is a sham. As a matter of fact, belief, faith, I think it has deep purpose.

I’m no expert. I’m no preacher, but I did watch some Star Wars movies. Old and new. The force is with us. (Look it up: mental and moral strength)

At some point, we can drag ourselves from this pit with the force, there waiting for us (if we want it) is the ever always heroes of: faith, hope and love.

And yes, the greatest of these is LOVE, but don’t discount FAITH and HOPE. These are BIG too. If needed, look at these as the branches of government. You get the idea.

Right now, if there is a sort of a dark power rising up in your life, step on the fucker with a foot of faith and hope. Even just a flicker will snuff out the power of the deadly red saber.

~May the FORCE be with you.

 

A small gift of time

 

It’s given to us generously and we often take it for granted until we find ourselves with a lack of it. We fill our time with this and that. We dream of desires to do this and that when we steal a bit of time for ourselves. But, often, we don’t even do those things. *Guilty*

We sweep the floor, we shop for gifts, hang the stockings, wash the clothes, etc., but am I remembering that even those busy times are still times that others wish they had. While we stay busy, others suffer a time they hadn’t asked for and resent what has been given. Holiday time shouldn’t be for mourning, crying, or sitting alone. It shouldn’t involve being cold, hungry or desperately addicted.

Be still and know that He is God and we are not. But we can be guides, messengers, and vehicles for his love and healing. Am I listening to the voice that says “Allow yourselves to be used. Speak words of kindness, encouragement and peace to others who need it.”

I’ll try. If nothing else is produced in me, then please God, let it be that I can bring peace to another, kindness, and above all, love.

~Peace.

 

 

 

Sunday’s Sentiments

Update:

What I have been doing is approximately about 96% of what I should be doing. But, as I write this, I think, wait, who’s to say my choices are wrong? Who is it that dictates what activities I need to be involved in? What shows I watch, how I spend my money, or how I spend my time?

So, what am I doing?

I’ve been working, mostly and trying to manage time, energy and giving of myself between jobs, students and family.

What am I not doing? Well, apparently, the Christmas season is upon us(me) and so I should probably be playing Mrs. Santa and baking sugar cookies or whatever. There’s always something the world has us think we should be involved in depending on the  season. Some of those things, yes, would be cool to do, but  I’ve decided this year that according to those rules, if I get a Christmas tree up and decorated, that it would be good.

And enough of the philosophical talk, I would like to say that I’m happily busy with work and with relationships that are meaningful. I don’t think I can ask for more. I’m trying to be grateful for the people I’ve been chosen to love and for those who come in and out of my life by way of work, where I live and what I do on a daily, weekly basis.

What are you doing and how will you spend this busy season of life? I hope it’s good.

~Peace.

 

 

Monday Morning

I had a case of “morn-somnia”, that is when you wake in the wee hours* of the morning and fail to go back to sleep, and so I thought I’d do a quick update and feel somewhat productive.

Okay, so the update:

Though I’m a writer at heart, and enjoy work in pj’s, I’ve pretty much launched myself headlong into the work-out-of-home arena. The good news? Well, there is the income thing, sure, but I think the w.o.o.h jobs have put some balance into my personality. I tend to withdraw from the world happily, and even though that’s nice for me, it does nothing to help the world at large. And in my opinion, the world at large needs every one of us to give of ourselves. So, like a good cup of coffee, each day, I attempt to pour myself out onto humanity to see what good I can help do. And if I can’t help, then at least, I have tried.

When I’m home, I try to recuperate so that I can then pour myself onto the people in my life that truly matter. All 5 of us were together for Thanksgiving and it was great to just be together and talk, eat and enjoy each other.

So, here it is Monday and it’s a new week. There is much to do, more to work on and love to pass along to others. I’m thankful.

~Peace.

 

 

 

Writing, sharing…etc.

I want to share a post I just wrote on my other blog. Why? Well, it’s kind of proof to myself that I have, in fact, been writing. No, I have not written much fiction, or my next novel or whatever, but I have written. And today, I realized that if put together just so, I might have the pieces s of a potential future book about tutoring young children…so there. 😉

Anyway, to update, I have been pretty busy lately, not with just writing necessarily, but with 3 part-time jobs. And one of these jobs isn’t quite like the others, but I do know why I like it, more on that later.

But, for now, I want to share about a conundrum. The holidays are coming at a fierce pace and I’m not ready. I told myself that this year I wanted to enjoy the holidays, but what does that look like for a busy woman? What can be accomplished without spending too much money and with little planning time? And sadly, I don’t have a dining table!!

Anyway, that is my conundrum that I feel it has been self-imposed. Though I may have an imaginative mind and devotion to traditions,  I had completely forgotten about how one of my jobs is linked to the one tradition, that happens every year, that I hadn’t really cared to participate in: Black Friday! But, here I am, a cashier on the busiest shopping days of the season. How’s that supposed to make my holidays merrier?

But, that said, as cashier in the heart of Seattle, I have enjoyed chatting with tourist/customers and learning about various cultures and their favorite traditions and foods. I have enjoyed getting to know new co-workers and experiencing challenges in a field I know nothing about.

But, I have also struggled with time management, time for personal relationships, marriage, homework, cooking meals, etc… and finding balance with life in general. My dreams, melt-downs and messy house tell me so. Of course, perfection will never happen and I don’t expect to have all the answers, but I trust that if I follow the way of peace and kindness, I will be okay. But, along the way, if you experience my dark side, I’m sorry. Really, I am.

I want to be a Jedi. I need to be a Jedi.

~Peace

 

I’m an ostrich

Yeah, I’m not a musician, but some mornings I wake up hearing the best guitar solo, seriously, but with no instrumental talent to let it out. I guess I’m “inner-expressing”. It seems a much safer avenue then letting it out which at times I choose to do and it ain’t pretty, raw emotion rarely is. It‘s like having a lion inside my inner lamb that needs to roar and my inner controls just are tired of holding onto it, so I let it go. Roar! and all too quickly following the roar is a paw going right to my mouth which then transforms into like a chicken claw (can’t think of the animal lingo) and I become an Ostrich ready to stick my head in the sand. Do ostriches really do that? Ostriches are weird. I don’t even know if I’m spelling it right, but too early to check. Maybe I’m an ostrich because only recently I saw a video comparing a sound they make to a lion.

Ok, enough about animals I don’t know much about. I’m writing because I woke up early and I have a busy day ahead of me and I just want time to click the keyboard in peace. I may not be able to fly my fingers on guitar strings, but I can type, and fast! Okay, not like Elaine-fast 😉

What woke me up? A dream I was having. In it I was pulling up a chair and talking to my mother and I was enjoying it. The older I get, the more I get her, the more I understand her and it, the roar. She needed to roar at times, she needed us to know it was there and now I understand why.

~Roar! (then go stick your head in the sand)