Have you heard? Mrs. Whitworth is ALWAYS right…. I overhead this said by several of my students to a new classmate who was questioning how things were done in Room One. They were defending the Room One way, and their teacher, to someone who didn’t quite grasp the obvious. I try my best to be fair, consistent, and loving in my classroom. Sometimes I think this is lost on many of my children… but maybe not. When it comes to having my back, my room full of 6 and 7 year olds will willingly let an outsider know what’s what. It was the best moment of my day. That, and having one of my struggling readers raise his hand to read aloud to the class AND listening to him read successfully… Yes, there was joy in Room One today.
Oh, and did I mention, Mrs. Whitworth is always right?
What did you do with your year? Sometimes surviving the year is enough. So much loss and tragedy across our country, but if you were lucky enough to make it to this point without personally being touched by loss, illness, or financial troubles, then you are fortunate and perhaps you have spent your year making changes in the lives of the people around you.
Wishes of health, happiness, and peace in the new year are repeated in various forms across all social media. I hope that these sentiments come true and that we all have a healthy and happy 2018. I know that many things are out of our control, but years ago someone told me that we shouldn’t say ‘have a great day’, we should say ‘make it a great day’. I think about this idea often. Much of our happiness depends on our outlook on life.
So, for 2018, I hope you walk on the sunny side of the street, make things happen, be involved, find the silver lining, smile, move your body, be kind, make healthy choices, meet adversity with optimism and hope, and always ‘Look for the joy’!
As our year comes closer to an end I hope that you have felt that your year has had purpose. If nothing else, this new administration has given rise to the voices of many who once sat by silently letting their government officials do whatever it is they do. If you are reading this, perhaps you are one of those voices who has joined the chorus of outraged patriots who are watching our country slide down a slippery slope of hatred, greed, bigotry, and violence.
3.2 trillion dollars of tax cuts will have a huge impact on our country. It will be interesting to see the ramifications of this change. We won’t know for a while… money for government programs that people need will be at risk. Stay alert to small changes in the coming years… will you need to push back your retirement date, pay more for your health insurance? Who knows how this will affect our lives in the future.
Although our country is being led by a buffoon, our outrage is what will save us. It is our obligation to fight for peace, love, joy, compassion, and taking care of not only our fellow citizens, but ALL people of this country and the world.
Your purpose, to this end, can be manifested every day. Thinking critically about what you say and do, how you treat your family, friends and those who are not your friends, what you post and how you comment… what is your purpose? Are you making this world better with your actions, are you improving the lives of the people around you, are you helping rather than hurting? Are you walking through this world consciously with thought of your actions and comments? Each day you have a choice to raise your voice against stupidity, hatred, and greed. Each day you have a choice to raise your voice for kindness, mindfulness, love and peace.
You have a purpose, choose wisely…
I sat on the floor in the hallway. An upset child sat with me. He was not in trouble but had used the word ‘penis’ when talking about where the ball had hit him. His friend, who he now hated, came to tell me that this sweet little guy was using inappropriate language. Quickly I told him that the word ‘penis’ was not an inappropriate word, it was the name of part of your body. There was nothing wrong with that word or that part of the body.
How do we explain that not all families like to use that word? I tried my best. ‘That word is something that doctors might use, or that some families use, or ….., hmmmm, it is a word that makes some people worried’… The boy fired back, ‘It is a normal word!’ Yes, it is, but not all families like to use it. “Like the ‘H’ word?” Yes.
We got through the moment… I told him, “If you are worried about something it is okay to come to me, I won’t be mad and it doesn’t mean that someone will be in trouble. It’s my job, that’s why they pay me the big bucks.”
‘They pay you a lot of money for this?’….’Well, not a lot, but enough so that I can buy good food to eat. Okay?’ Okay….
Putting yourself out there isn’t easy. Challenging people who you respect or consider friends can be stressful. Keeping the discussions civil and being willing to listen and respond with respect is critical to moving forward and making the changes needed in our society.
Saying that I wish all guns were taken out of homes and off our streets is a bold statement, especially when I live in a small town filled with hunters. Saying that I challenge religious zealots of all kinds and believe that many of the world’s problems fall on the shoulders of those who believe they are doing ‘God’s will’ is met by anger. Saying that I am a liberal democrat who wishes Obama were still president and that Americans had universal healthcare is met by name calling and hateful words.
It isn’t easy, but it is necessary. I am not looking to change the minds of those people who oppose me vehemently, I am looking at changing the minds of people on the fence and move those who are already on my side but shy to speak up towards action rather than silent agreement, I am looking to send a message of hope to those who feel that they are alone in their thoughts because they are afraid to share their true thoughts…
I am not brave, I am scared, but I am hopeful that together we CAN make a difference, even in our small town.
It is not easy to say, but I will say it… open your mind, open your heart and question the way things are… just because you were raised one way does not mean that it is right, be willing to question yourself, I do every day.
All he has to do is open his mouth and our country moans. I watched his live speech to the Coast Guard on Thanksgiving Day. Why didn’t someone stop him? This morning, as I read the transcript of his speech, I again asked myself where were his handlers? He needs to only read speeches and if he begins to stray, just cut off the mic. How is the White House not taking care of this? Maybe Obama’s former speech writer could throw him a few bones. Trump’s speeches are a double edged sword. On one hand his idiocy confirms my vote against him and serves as a flag to wave representing how poorly suited he is to run our country, on the other hand I do not want our president to be an embarrassment to our country on the world stage…. oops, too late. But he does not need to prove it daily, does he?
Let’s let the White House find one decent photo a day to put out there to the world… one where he isn’t looking smug, stupid or constipated. And then they could release a statement from the White House perhaps giving his meal choices for the day and which dignitaries he is meeting. We could be informed if he is taking his meds, having regular bowel movements, and getting a good night’s sleep.
Just don’t let him speak….
This is a very special time for women… women are very special… this, according to our president, has something to do with supporting Roy Moore? The ‘specialness’ of women and absolute denial of women’s accusations by Roy Moore in just a few short sentences shows just how deeply our president considers issues and how carefully he weighs his words. What an idiot.
I am reassured of my place in society after hearing our president tell the press how special women are. With our president’s comments and the willingness of people speaking for the white house to put aside the stories of multiple women because they would rather have Moore than a democrat, we need to continue to shine a light into the dark corners of our leader’s agenda.
His support of Moore is so completely transparent that it is beyond my comprehension how anyone seeing him speak couldn’t see through to his real motivation or reluctance to do what is right for women and for our moral security.
Special my a**