A few days ago a friend reposted something designed to make you think about the things you LOVE doing vs. how you actually spend your time. An evaluation that should lead to action designed to make you happier. This had me thinking….
Do you let life happen to you
Do you decide your life?
I am hurting.
I am sorry
this may not make much sense.
I was little when my parents
bought a piece of land
built a house
made a home step
by step added layer after
layer until theirs was a family of six.
I was 6 when my Father passed away.
I remember only the things a six year old remembers.
I remember bear hugs and all encompassing warmth
from love and fury the ways Dads did.
I remember watching them through the rain lower
him in his box into the ground.
but there was the land.
It was a five star kitchen
and we served the best mud-pies with sides of cattails.
Then there was my step dad.
It was Hell in many ways
as his children were the demons
who would forever torment him
he could not love them enough
he would never love us too little
and there we were trapped in that.
But there was the land.
We explored it and it fed our tummies,
our hearts and our minds
some twenty years plus
there was divorce
but there was the land
it would stay with us and so we lived
our lives and took for granted that land would always be there.
We walked it. We looked out over it. We loved it.
But we did not tend it.
Thirty years to the day
we lost Father number two. Disbelief.
Pain. So raw.
But there was the land.
It was stable. It was constant. It was there.
As it was before.
Then it wasn’t.
I say goodbye not just to the land, but
to him and him. To a Childhood of sketches and poetry and bumps,
bruises, and broken hearts. To tears of sadness and of happy.
To smiles and laughter. To cookie flour strewn about the laminate
floor and metal stairs that beckoned for injuries. To the smell
of peat moss and the sound of pure country as the stars blink
at the cricket’s call.
I mourn the loss of the stage
that always played
my most favorite parts
of the life that was mine.
There are those that hurt
a same hurt
and I shall hold
on to them.
I get this often, “Why do you want to teach English to Highschoolers?”
in the tone of “Why did you inject yourself with a deadly virus?”
I will answer this question here and now
and through the act of reading – you will discover the answer…..
We like to believe we are the first and only ones to ask any questions.
Like children we are, grown adults, not taking the time to hear from those who come before us what they discovered when asking questions. Yes. The same questions. We are not the first.
That. Is why English.
We can live in the woods for years in just minutes by reading Thoreau.
We understand more of society and ourselves reading Poe, Hawthorne, Chaucer, Homer, Douglas, Twain the list goes on and on!
From where ever we stand if we pick up a book and know how to read and ask questions – we are miles from where we started!! While Scientists race endlessly attempting to debunk or invent teleportation – those studying English already know the secret. Even novice readers get to experience the thrill, though they may not make the connection.
So get out and find the dust-ridden classics! Google the lyrics of a song from long ago.
——-> For those of you who like to save $$ – for most of the classics you can rent them from this place called a library…. Your city certainly has one at least for the time being….
or for most you can download them for free!!
So why High Schoolers? Aha, keep reading….
We strive to teach our children individuality. We honor and celebrate them for being different. “Oh, aren’t they adorable??” “What a great sense of individuality!”
Then they hit about 12.
A tumultuous time for any human being. And we respond to their decisions and individuality with incredulous disbelief. “You cannot combine that shirt with those pants – you aren’t five anymore!” “Why are you behaving like you are two?!”
Oh! The questions only get more incredulous as time passes.
We struggle to understand why they fall apart at 17/18. Why they have no sense of urgency. We blame society for the era of entitlement. We blame technology. (There are many of us that refuse to admit that we have control over this aspect. Newsflash: the computers haven’t taken over yet….) We will blame, point fingers and scratch our heads; anything to not question ourselves and what we might have missed along the way.
We can not fathom what they do not understand about growing up and taking responsibility for one’s own path at a time when they should be full of excitement and wonder, curiosity and motivation.
They wonder why we have stopped celebrating their uniqueness, their decision to not be like everyone else.
In our rush to let them be themselves, we have forgotten to teach them the foundation of being human. I am not referring to any religion here (though that is one method to deliver said material). I am talking about the “Why are we here?” ” What are we supposed to do?”
Doubt me? Read facebook for a day. Tell me how many posts like that you find. Not just from our teens, but from our twenty and thirty somethings….
Woodstock was great for certain things, but kissing good-bye “old ways” was anything but wise. Shedding family values and responsibilities – may have opened creative juices for you (you who had a base for stability), but the repercussions are still vibrating through a society of grown children struggling because they had no foundation.
You see – with the right foundation you can build ANYTHING. You can gut the house and change every room to your heart’s desire. You can decide you want a triangle house so as to not be anything like the square house your parents had.
You have the knowledge. You have the ability. You have the confidence.
It was already more than 20 years ago that a teacher remarked that my interest in English was not nearly as good as developing an interest for Math or Science, so the whole STEM emphasis – please people – that isn’t new either.
But even as far back as Homer and Aristotle, they already knew that human advancement was accomplished in feeling and in thinking. Push all the science you want down a child’s throat – – even if they hug it all to their chest and run off with it – they will not get very far if you haven’t taught them to THINK FOR THEMSELVES!!!
So, why highschoolers? Because they are the ones that NEED attention. The Elementary kids are swarmed with encouragement, the middleschoolers still get enough to get by. But our High School students – they need discover what questions to ask and where they can look to find answers.
Reading Rainbow had it right…. It’s in a book.
Congrats on Reading this! Pass it along to someone else and let it help them in some way… big or small!
In the United States there has been an infestation of Technical Schools professing direct schooling for today’s workforce. Liberal Arts is often passed off as unimportant. Yet sadness and depression consume our race. Pharmaceutical companies barely have to work to sell the pills that falsely promise happiness. The Greatest Thinkers knew that path to happiness was in thought, art, music, feeling, family, and friends, but we allow ourselves to be shamed for taking the time to read a book or paint a picture. Liberal arts creates our critical thinkers. Keating from Dead Poet’s Society said it best:
We don’t read and write poetry because it’s cute. We read and write poetry because we are members of the human race. And the human race is filled with passion. And medicine, law, business, engineering, these are noble pursuits and necessary to sustain life. But poetry, beauty, romance, love, these are what we stay alive for. To quote from Whitman, “O me! O life!… of the questions of these recurring; of the endless trains of the faithless… of cities filled with the foolish; what good amid these, O me, O life?” Answer. That you are here – that life exists, and identity; that the powerful play goes on and you may contribute a verse. That the powerful play *goes on* and you may contribute a verse. What will your verse be?
We need to remember with age comes wisdom.
We need to celebrate the child who plays.
We need to congratulate the student who dreams.
We need to encourage, thank, and support those who inspire us with their music, their art, their passion. They echo the pulse of the human race and remind us to enjoy the ride.
I’m certain you are getting sick of it. People are spewing judgement all over facebook and in the harsher cases straight up hatred.
Am I the only one left shaking my head??
First point – and I want to be clear here – this isn’t being written from a parent standpoint. I don’t let my children stay up past 8pm. They are not allowed to watch Spongebob much less the VMA’s. Why? Because as a parent I long ago made the decision that I am in control of the almighty remote and there are certain (many) shows I do not believe are appropriate for children.
So here I am shaking my head. Not at Miley, but at everyone else.
That PERFORMANCE was nothing more than a mash up of the following:
and add in the next step of raunchy female “shock me, shock me, shock me” dancing and undressing (the list is really so long from Madonna to Pink to Brittany to Rihanna to Lady Gaga, I mean really we don’t have time to list them all.But one thing is perfectly clear – we supported them all – the more raunchy they got the more money they made – a fact that Miley Cyrus who has been in the industry for over 8 years is probably very aware of.) Anywho, add this all up and it
Don’t you see?? If you are gearing up to point a finger – better find a mirror!!! We are all to blame for approving of things all the way. This is the lifestyle mainstream public not only demanded but paid for.
Now as for Miley’s actions… I want you to take a minute. Think about yourself at 20. Now, imagine you had money coming out of your ears. Cameras follow you day and night waiting for you to make a mistake, trip, pick your nose…. and they have been at it for 8 years.
I don’t approve of Miley’s actions, but there are a few things it seems that have slipped our collective minds.
1. What happens on the stage is not real. It is a production. It is choreographed for shock value. (So all of you gasping at the audacity of a young woman dancing up on a married man – Pah lease!! As if he wasn’t part of setting THAT up!)
2. I doubt any of us would make much better decisions if plopped into that lifestyle at that age.
3. It is the culmination of everything we paid for in the past.
And as all the adults “tsk, tsk” – all the kids (that the adults are not talking to about this newsworthy feat) are taking note of all the attention paid to that behavior.
One final note,
>>This one is being said in my best Mom voice<<
as I tell my own children:
You are right – at 18 you are responsible legally for your actions, but that doesn’t mean you stop being responsible to this family for your actions – it just means you answer to both. I am your Mother forever – not just until society dictates you can answer for yourself. Parenting is the one job you can not be fired from. I have 18 years to make you strong enough and smart enough to know that every word you say and every action you take represents this family, this city, this state and this Nation.
I have done Jillian’s 30 day shred 6 times in the last 14 days.
12 days of walking leaves me at a total of 34.42 miles.
diet: I have been trying to drink 1 liter of water before I have anything else in the morning (this is suppose to aid in digestion and hydration). I have also cut sugar out of my coffee by subbing in honey. I limit myself to two cups of coffee all day. 1 glass of milk (I know this should be more). Then all water. I have also really been trying to eat breakfast. I am not always successful, but I am getting better about it. Still tracking in my fitness plan for calorie intake.
This has resulted in a loss of 4.75″ and I am down 3.8 lbs!!!
So my goals for the next two weeks are:
to walk 10 days of the 14 for a total of 31.7 miles
to complete 12/14 days of JM’s 30 day shred.
I will complete a fit stats sheet in two weeks again * See you then!