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.

 

 

 

 

Darkness, light, and the joy of Pj’s

So, was it yesterday that I wrote about Faith, Hope and Love and did I mention the dark side and stomping on it and all that? Well, I DO believe that’s possible, but today, I just feel the need to clarify a bit.

Darkness is dark and no one is excluded from being seduced by it. Just as misery loves company, the dark side “parties” with the induction of new recruits. So, that’s all, I just felt like yesterday’s post was incomplete. I’m done. End of sermon.

Now, this is random, but I’m excited…I found a new idea for fashion for 2017 and I’m totally serious about this: pajamas!

I’ve longed struggled with trying to find clothes that look good on me and as I get older, this problem only seems to get worse! Clothes look great on hangers, but try them on and no, just no to some of them.

Anyway, I recently read an email about sleep-wear being on sale and I browsed around and lo and behold the idea came to me…pajamas!

You’ve no idea how much peace and glee I found in the possibilities of what I could buy in this underrepresented fashion realm. Yay!

I may be an older woman, but I don’t care to wear some baby colored, frilly, felt, flowery nightgown or in Pepto- Bismol pink PJ’s that look (to me) like children’s onesies seriously.

No.

Instead, I looked on the Gap and Soma and check this out, on Bare Necessities, now that’s what I’m talking about. I’d even wear some of that to work!

All right, now, after all this writing of dark, light and pajamas and such, it’s getting late. It’s been a long day. Hope yours was good.

~Peace, light and PJ’s.

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.

 

 

 

No Longer

To “no longer” is to linger no more.

To “no longer” is to reboot.

To “no longer” is to act boldly on a new idea.

To “no longer” is to seek and pursue a more peaceful way.

To “no longer” manages chronic pain.

To “no longer” is to change directions.

To “no longer” is to excitedly wander in new lands.

To “no longer” is to discover renewed strength.

To “no longer” is to rest a matter.

To “no longer” is to stop the course.

To “no longer” is to choose a new way.

 

October’s Thoughts

I’m sorry, but if time doesn’t fly, then whatever it is that it’s doing is undoubtedly equivalent to some sort of tangible (or intangible!) movement. The last time I posted on here is September, and a whole month has gone by. I have not even bought a freakin’ pumpkin’ and all the ornaments are hung up in the stores!

Is this the phenomenon of aging? Or are young people experiencing this as well?

It doesn’t matter, the update is as follows:

  1. I appreciate the time I’m given on earth. My life is much easier than many millions of people. I may not be rich (depending of some people’s definition), but I’m sure as hell privileged and I’m quite aware of it and grateful.
  2. I love learning. I love learning about people. I love learning about people and their various experiences. I love learning about people, their culture and their various food experiences.
  3. This week I’ve learned what “soldiers” are in terms of an English dish. It’s when you put half a soft boiled egg into an elegant egg cup, (making sure there’s runny yolk) and then putting at least 6 skinny slices of toast in it for dipping. (Please feel free to correct me!)
  4. Motivation is a curious thing. In my opinion, it appeals to us (humans) to have desirable choices offered especially when faced with the inevitable choices we encounter daily in having to work. (Not sure that makes sense even to me)
  5. I enjoy discovering human’s fallibility. (Just me?)
  6. I have a rebellious streak and I push limits of authority.
  7. I like fairness.

~That’s all, it’s late. Goodnight.

Tutoring

If I’ve not mentioned it recently, I’ve been tutoring elementary students in reading since January of this year. I’ve been slowly trying to increase the number of student’s that I tutor without getting overwhelmed myself.

It’s September and school is in session and so, it begins.

Though the first few weeks, (even longer for younger students) are mostly about learning routines, the reading and homework soon begins and if you’re a parent of a student who struggles, then all the everyday stresses are compounded by the stress of your struggling student trying to keep up with his peers on top of all the “regular” stress of a new school year.

Don’t hesitate to ask for help. A student who struggles with reading needs intervention from family, but also from professionals. Reading is the key to mastering all subjects. The more help and attention a student receives, the better.

Progress is attainable. I’ve seen it.

https://brendamiscblog.wordpress.com/2016/09/28/progressing-with-reading/

Blogging

So, I saw a little symbol on my blog that indicated that I’ve been active on WordPress for 6 years! Really?!  It was hard to believe! I want to be proud of that, but with my lack of writing activity lately, I feel a bit undeserving of the trophy icon. Regardless, I want to thank any supporters (likes and followers) that I’ve had on this and my other site Enjoy in those 6 years.

Although it’s very hard to connect with each and every follower and liker, I wanted to mention that before I like and follow sites, I do go out and take a peek at what the site is about and if I jibe with it, then I reciprocate the like.

On another note, recently, I’ve followed quite a few fashion/beauty websites that I admire and I don’t necessarily have anything in common with, but I believe in what they’re doing and how they’re sharing their fashion/ beauty knowledge (of which I have none) and how they positively present their face and body.

Now, as for me and my writing goals, well, let’s just say I’ve not given up, and that I’ve been mostly busy, but keeping the “head-journal” going as I go about with the other things I do. I read somewhere that some people actually “write” a novel in their head long before typing out the words on the keyboard. I think I’m experiencing that kind of data collecting lately. It’s fun and freeing.

It’s late, so thanks again for stopping in. Have a good rest of your week.

~Peace.

End of summer

Today, I’m trying to embrace the fact that I woke up and got up at a painful 6 a.m and took some time to just be. I needed it and I needed to write or at least feel like I’m writing. 😉

I don’t often wish this happened more often because I enjoy sleep, but the quiet I seem to need lately happens at these awful times. The early morning sounds, the smell of the plants wafting into the windows, the faraway sound of the highway (really?), and the birds chirping (minus loud crows).

It’s what my soul craves.

This morning, I’m also thinking about how much I enjoy having grown kids. It’s exciting to watch them become young adults and make their way in the world. There’s no school supply shopping, no thoughts of making lunches nor jumping quickly into vehicles and joining the procession of hurrying vehicles.

Thinking about those days makes me tired, but I admit, there are parts of that season I miss also.

So, if you run into me and wonder what I’ve been doing lately, I’m just focusing time and energy into my marriage, my grown kids and working. Though I have creativity in my being,  participating in it fluctuates, but it’s okay, I’ve learned by now, creativity comes in waves and I don’t need to stress that I’ve lost who I am or that I’ve betrayed my soul.

~peace.

 

 

Friday’s “reviews”

I’ve read quite a few books now and learning so much. The main thing I’ve learned from good pieces of literature is not just having a story to tell, but how the story was told. For example, in All The Light We Cannot See, multiple character’s stories are told in the forward and backward traveling through time kind of fashion. It was a challenge to follow, as a reader, but in my opinion, gave the story some mystery as well as anticipation.

I can’t imagine the challenge for the writer, but then again, this is Pulitzer Award winning level. Yeah. I also have enjoyed the learning in reading good books. I enjoy smelling and looking at flowers, but I’ve never studied them.  In The Language of Flowers, I was able to enjoy an inspiring story while also learning about flowers. Even if the story was about the character overcoming a difficult past, the reader is encouraged to open their eyes to the gifts people possess no matter their background.

In the The Martian, even though I’m not a technical geek ( I wish I was!) I could still enjoy how the author used humor to lighten the undeniably terrifying aspect of being left alone on the Planet of Mars. Had it not been for the comedic relief, I might not have been able to read this book. So, humor, sarcasm and well placed cuss words granted realness to a gifted main character.

Now, after reading quite a few books, I might be falling forever into the rabbit hole of literature, never to be found again. Thank you writers for keeping your dreams of telling us great stories. You’re appreciated!