Saturday, January 05, 2013
It has been hard getting back into the swing of things. I rarely think of my age, and feel vibrant and healthy, but I do have less energy reserve than I did a decade ago. Vacation was delightful and restorative, I love my job, but going back to work takes some readjustment. While I have enough energy to stay perky during the school day, I am exhausted when the children go home. I am very glad we are ramping back slowly with 2 days this past week before starting in with 5 days on a Monday. I am breathing a sigh of relief as I sit with coffee in my hand and a poodle warming my feet, enjoying a vision of the early morning sun on the snow this morning instead of hustling around getting ready for work.
One of my graduates, now in college in Denmark, and his college friend from Sweden, visited my class yesterday to teach the children how to 'create an experience' for someone. Andy was always a very sweet child and is a sweet and wonderful young man. His outlook on life, which I share, is that we have too much 'stuff' and that a meaningful gift is one of shared experience. He taught the class a way to give someone an wonderful and memorable experience, staring with researching that person's loves and interests, then building a special experience based on those loves and interests. They started the class by having us leave and setting up the classroom with candles, and bringing us in to guitar music and song performed by the student from Sweden. Then they had a guided meditation for the class, each participant envisioning a time when they were very happy sharing with people who they are close with.
I'm not certain what else they did for the next half an hour because I was then kicked out of the class for a half an hour. I enjoyed time in the hall chatting with some of the third graders who are excited about joining my class next year. Children from my class would occasionally come hurrying out of the class on a mission, saying "Cover your eyes!!!!"
How wonderful for me to have the opportunity to be the recipient of the planned experience! The children planned such cool experiences for me, a unicycle lesson while being serenaded by guitar music, tea and coffee accompanied be song and dance, and a special performance of 'Party Chris is in the House Tonight.' How fun is that!
I have to admit, my thighs are a little sore this morning as the unicycle was a bit short for me, but honestly, this is why I still love teaching.
Thursday, January 03, 2013
I forgot to post on my Sparkversary! I joined SP on 12/27/2009, deeply sad and needing to finish losing the 30 pounds I had gained after a few years of dealing with really hard losses.
By the end of the year, I had accomplished the weight goal I set for myself and have been on maintenance ever since. During that time, my weight has fluctuated some, but I have been much faster to react by shifting my diet and exercise habits to get back to my desired weight.
Last January I got my Fitbit, so this is my one year Fitbitversary. Since I got it I have walked 2000 (Yes, 2000!!!) miles and climbed as many floors as an airplane's altitude. I find my Fitbit very motivating, and was delighted when SP arranged that our Fitbits can be synched to our Spark fitness trackers.
You may remember that I injured my foot last March. I was in incredible searing foot pain for most of the year. Custom orthotics have helped some, but I think that foot exercises and switching the Earth shoes with their negative heels to take the pressure off of my metatarsal area have been the most effective. Finally, by the end of November, my foot has begun to feel normal. That was a long haul!
This year was also when I got to take the trip I have been wanting to take for 10 years. My sister, niece, and I went back to China, this time getting the opportunity to visit many of the places I have wanted to go to, but didn't have time or desire to last time. It was wonderful to spend time with my sister and niece, and to get to know some really wonderful people. We did quite a lot of hiking and in incredible heat. I was glad to be in good physical shape.
It has been wonderful to find such good friends here on Spark; many of you I have been friends with since the beginning, some of you are newer, all of you mean a lot to me. Thank you for being here, for reading my blogs, and for cheering me on and for fluffing me up when I need a bit of fluffing.
Saturday, December 15, 2012
My heart is so heavy after yesterday's school shooting, it is a tragedy that is beyond comprehension. My love, compassion, and prayers go out to all of the families of the victims. Not only the families of the children and adults who died, but to everyone in the school and the community.
As a parent, a teacher, and a human being, I grieve for the victims of this senseless crime.
Helping our children deal with this is not easy. Children want reassurance that they will be safe; reassurance that we cannot honestly give them. I feel the best ways to help them are to listen to their concerns and fears, to let them know we do everything humanly possible to keep them safe, and to help them find ways to be proactive.
I wish there were clear answers. We are seeing an increase of mass shootings, and shootings in schools. There is no one answer; we live in a complex culture and a world filled with increasing violence. People want to argue the issue of gun control; a discussion worth having, but the solution has to be on many more levels than this with the commitment of the majority of our population to solve the issues of rage driven violence, hate crimes, domestic violence ~ violence against others in all forms.
It is easy to feel helpless, but we are only helpless if we expect someone else or legislation to solve this problem. We need to be proactive. I think if we ALL started with these two questions and acted on them, we would be heading in the right direction.
1. What can I, personally, do to promote a compassionate society and creative, positive, and healthy means for handling conflict?
2. How can I help the children in my life find creative, positive, and healthy means for handling conflict, and reach out to others?
Big things start small, and within each of us is part of the solution to the increasing violence in our country.
This is a time to come together, find solutions, and share with one another. What are you doing to promote a safe community, a safe world for our children? I would love your ideas.
Please, this is not a time or place to politicize about gun control, health care, etc. Out of respect for the victims of this tragedy please do not use this as a platform to express your opinions about gun control, etc.
What can we do as individuals? Because the real solution will come from us.
Sunday, December 02, 2012
My laptop has been in the shop since Thursday. This is my first attempt at a blog from my new iPhone that my DS got for me as an early Christmas present. It is nice to see how easy it is to post pictures from.
Well, after last year's fiasco with the dollhouse I built and how little it brought in at the Scholarship fundraiser, I swore I would never do that again. Then the auction committee asked me if I would consider making another dollhouse. I initially said no, but then this one was advertised at an excellent price. As it turns out, it is super easy to build. I did the original dry fit in 40 minutes.
So here we go - another dollhouse for the scholarship fundraiser. I know I'll have fun with it.
So what colors for the exterior?
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