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Monthly Archives: August 2012

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“No one else makes us angry. We make ourselves angry when we surrender control of our attitude. What someone else may have done is irrelevant. We choose, not they. They merely put our attitude to a test.” – Jim Rohn

I read this quote today on a friend’s website and it really resonated with me. Just last night I was trying to tell a loved one the very same thing.

We have a tendency to want to place blame when someone does something to make us feel a certain way. The stark reality is we feel that way because we have allowed ourselves to –

… to stoop to that level

… to wallow in our self-pity

… to be hurt again

… to lose control and lash back

We are the only one’s responsible for how we feel. It is up to us to consciously choose our reactions to situations and keep our emotions in check, right along side our attitude.

Hurting someone back,

failing to forgive,

demeaning another person,

diminishing our own self worth

… means we have failed the test.

It’s your attitude problem. It’s the one thing you can immediately and directly affect.

If you mess up, say you’re sorry. They never have to accept it. No one else has to change … but you can.

It’s your life.

Be in control.  

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Posted by on August 29, 2012 in Uncategorized

 

Sweet Autumn

It’s not here yet, but I can feel it.

It has not yet shown its colors, but I can see it.

It is on the horizon and it has given me a taste in every crisp morning as I sip my coffee on my front porch, swaddled in a blanket.

It is Autumn and it is coming closer, day by day.

I love this time of year, when summer heat begins to wane but sunshine remains to fill our days beaming through the brisk air. The calm cool mornings invite cuddling and chilly evenings necessitate family time around the fire pit.

I love this time of year, when children try to hide their back-to-school anticipation and parents sing praises, in the midst of school preparations and shopping frenzy.

I love this time of year, that allows me to linger a little longer under my warm covers, walk with my dog a little farther, spend countless weekends by the lake, and reflect on the changes this past year as I turn a new leaf in my ever-evolving seasonal patterns.

 
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Posted by on August 22, 2012 in Uncategorized

 

Back to School

When you whittle down my job to its bare bones, I essentially teach teachers to use various technologies in their teaching practice. I am always amazed by the rash of rationale, theory, and pedagogy thrown at me for the use of instructional methods that simply make the instructor’s life easier, rather than the students’ experience richer.

It is almost time for my own children to head back to school. I am hoping for an enriching year, full of opportunities for them to apply their learning in real, contextual frameworks. The unfortunate reality is that I know we will be faced with nights of daunting worksheets and repetitive tasks all in practice to meet some state mandate or achievement level on a standardized test.

My children are not standardized, so why should their instruction be? They are both girls, from the same genetic background, yet they are very different learners with quite diverse interests and ability levels. If this is true for my two children, how much more so is it reflective of our classroom cultures?

One of my favorite stories is the Animal School. If you’ve never read it, this video captures it beautifully. Mark Twain once said, “I have never let my schooling interfere with my education.” Schooling has become the teaching or review of a lesson, evaluated by a test. An education is when you encounter one of life’s many tests, and it teaches you a lesson.

Many of our schools have adopted a “serving students best” attitude, when in reality, they are doing them a great disservice.

Disservice

You told me I could not get a decent job
without an education
without any aspiration
but you squelched my motivation.

I passed all your tests.
I raised myself up
when you raised the bar,
but your standards have not gotten me
very far.

I cannot succeed
as you think I should
because I was not taught
to create
to cultivate
to innovate;
but rather I was trained
to simulate
to solve a formula
and fit in your boxed-in,
closed-minded,
impractical ideals
of what would make me
well-rounded.

Well, excuse me Mr. Governor,
excuse me Mr. Congressman,
excuse me Mr. President,
but where are you going to plot me
on your mighty graphs?

It’s my knowledge
and my dreams
and my accomplishments
and my life
that you try to standardize
into some padlocked box.

What other aspect of my self will you try to qualify
and quantify
and magnify
and publicize
to reap the pat on the back
you do not deserve?

And what is an education
without a declaration
of my imagination
anyway?
 

 
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Posted by on August 15, 2012 in Uncategorized

 

Sweet Mary

My friend and co-worker, Mary, has been taking charge of her battle with breast cancer from Day 1. I am continuously inspired by her and would like you all to meet her, even if only through my humble words.

This Mary girl I know
is stubborn and strong
she charts her own course
and sails against adversity with courage

This Mary girl I know
fights with elegance and dignity
though weak moments get her down
each day is welcomed with a smile

This Mary girl I know
shines beautifully
through her compassion, her grace
enriching the lives of those who call her friend

This Mary girl I know
never falters, never wanes
her determination is admirable
and her enthusiasm for life and family contagious

This Mary girl I know
such a fortress and backbone
for those who love and rely on her
her strength is impressed upon those closest to her heart

This Mary girl I know
is a blessing
though she would shy away at the compliment
many would concur

This Mary girl I know
is really quite remarkable
I’m sure you would agree
if ever you are privileged to meet
this Mary girl I know

 
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Posted by on August 8, 2012 in Uncategorized

 

Dear God

Thank you for grace that covers my imperfections.

Thank you for mercy that soothes my suffering.

Thank you for peace that calms my anxious heart.

Thank you for second chances that redeem my crooked paths.

Thank you for unending, unconditional love that mends my broken heart.

Thank you for your presence when my faith has faltered.

Thank you for lifting me out of my self-inflicted failures.

Thank you for strength to face challenges with courage.

 

 
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Posted by on August 1, 2012 in Uncategorized

 
 
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