Wednesday, May 02, 2012
Mom has had a series of strokes during the past year. It hasn't stopped her mind, just her ability to communicate clearly. It's a shame too, because Mom is a storyteller. Stories about when she was a child, when she and Dad were first married, about each and every one of her thirteen children.
I think, if you look at my past blogs, you see that I may have gotten some of her gift of gab. She(WMBO) will tell me to "cool it, Jane" when I start to get into a storytelling mode.
Stories don't have ot be true to be told. (Mine are ALLLLL true.) Aesop told tales to teach lessons. Jesus used the parable form, but a story nonetheless. PLato used the allegory form to tell the story of Atlantis.
"When a storyteller interweaves description with emotion, a study suggests his or her brain activity becomes synchronized with the audience. This synchronization suggests storytellers are imparting both ideas and emotions onto their listeners. "
Mark Twain was apparently a master of this technique. In more modern times, Garrison Keilor follows that tradition. John McCutcheon is a folk/family singer in the tradition of Pete Seeger, and like seeger is an accomplished storyteller.
It's why we laugh and cry and become emotionally invested with the characters in a movie or tv show. I always wondered about that. But the storyteller is working his magic on me if it's done right.
Here are a couple of interesting articles, stories really, about the power of stroytelling:
New York Times 2/10/11: When Patients Share Their Stories, Health May Improve
Barry McWilliams: Effective Storytelling: A manual for beginners
Huffinton Post 4/4/11: Connecting Meaning and Learning Through Storytelling by Laura Fleming
Tuesday, May 01, 2012
Some of my fondest memories of school was recess. We would get outside and play softball in the fall and the spring. If the fields weren;t too muddy, we would play some form of football. Or dodgeball! I loved dodgeball.
I went to Catholic school. Between the school and the church was the parish cemetery. Once I was going for the football and it was out of bounds. I almost caught it, but I tripped and went headlong into one of the tombstones. Got me 4 stitches in my head and a scar that has steadily crept from the top of my head to my forehead. Ok, ok, ok. My forehead has been creeping up to the top of my head.
Back to recess. I have been seeing about recess going away in schools. The first thing I heard was when the started to banish dodgeball.
"Under pressure from parents and the state to raise test scores, some schools are casting aside recess as a waste of precious time. Benjamin O. Canada, superintendent of schools in Atlanta, told The New York Times, "We are intent on improving academic performance. You don't do that by having kids hanging on the monkey bars."
"Other schools have banished recess because they're concerned about the injuries and lawsuits that can arise from outdoor play. Administrators also cite the threat of strangers to children outside of school walls, and a shortage of teachers and volunteers to supervise recess as reasons to eliminate it." school.familyeducation.com/education
SO at a time when kids are planting themselves in front of the TV with a video game, our schools are robbing Peter to pay Paul for good test grades and covering their butts. It has gotten so bad that we now ave to advertise to our children to "Play 60" as in play 60 minutes outside everyday.
You got kids. Throw them out! Make them play.
Monday, April 30, 2012
I must admit, I was once a not too adventurous eater. Meat and potatoes. And lots of both. Then I embarked on my Weight Watchers adventure and I need to keep my meals interesting. I started to explore.
Probably the most pleasant discovery I made was quinoa. It is a South American "grain" that is high in protein. Better, it is high in complete protein. Notice how I put grain in scare quotes above? That's because quinoa is actually a relative of leafy green vegetables like spinach and Swiss chard.
It is so versatile. It is a starch like rice, high in protein like meat and has a nutty flavor like nuts. It has all nine essential amino acids.
It cooks up just like rice. But it has so much more flavor.
Breakfast is my favorite meal. So why not a little quinoa for breakfast?
Sunday, April 29, 2012
My neighbor, Brian Morrison is a great guy. He is the CEO (I think that's it) of Believe in Tomorrow. Whatever the title, he is the founder and head honcho. Here is what they do:
"Believe In Tomorrow provides exceptional hospital and respite housing services to critically ill children and their families. We believe in keeping families together during a child’s medical crisis, and that the gentle cadence of normal family life has a powerful influence on the healing process." from www.believeintomorrow.org/
For the last 17 years they and Home Depot have run the Port to Fort 6k running from the Port of Baltimore to Fort McHenry ... or so ... for 6 kilometers. The last several year it has started at the Baltimore Museaum of Industry. This year we didn;t actually go to the Fort, but why mess up a good name, right?
Since Brian is my neighbor, I really can't not run it. I did run in 2010. Last year since I was in training for the Maryland Half, I bought a sleep-in spot. I planned to run this year. But after yesterday's trail half, I woke sore. And the pemperature was about 35ºF cold.
I didn't want to run today.
But what's the rule if you just don't wanna run?
Run anyway. 90% of the time, you'l will feel great after the first 10 minutes. The other 10% you'll get a 10 minute run.
So, I pulled myself together and made my way downtown.
The horn went off at 9:10 (10 minutes late and what is new?). I was a liuttle back in the starting pack and I had to weave my way through the slow runners, the walkers who were too far up and the strollers (grrr, but is was billed as a family run). Once I got going, I set a wonderful pace. At one point I was as low as an 8:40 pace. I didn't maintain that, but It was a really good run. The aches from the trail half seemed to just melt away.
As we headed back for the final leg, I looked at my watch and I was surprised that I was tearing through at a 8:52 pace pace even at the end. That, of course is based on my Garmin watch which recorded a distance of 3.79 miles. Th eofficial distance of a 6k is 6.72. So my chip time (which agreed with my watch) was 33:34. Officially that make a 9:02 pace.
Let's not quibble over ten seconds in pace.
I am so glad I decided to go out for the run.
Saturday, April 28, 2012
I am pretty good at procrastination. Maybe I'll do some real work on the subject tomorrow.
"Never do today what you can put off till tomorrow. Delay may give clearer light as to what is best to be done." Aaron Burr.
Wow, I bet Alexander Hamilton wishes Burr had, oh I don't know, slept in?
"He who hesitates is probably right." - Bogovich
"There are two kinds of people, those who finish what they start and so on." -- Robert Byrne
"Do you know what happens when you give a procrastinator a good idea? Nothing!" -- Donald Gardner.
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