Flowers from a Student

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gerbera daisy

“When they go low, we go to the polls.”

and…

“Stop comparing yourself to other people.”

Oprah Winfrey

 

These are just a few notable quotes from her commemoration speech to graduates at USC’s Annenberg School of Communication and Journalism graduation ceremony.

“Your” Children

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Dandelion Watercolor

One of the biggest lessons in life I’ve had to unlearn is that my children are “mine.”

Gibran’s words are plain and true:

Your children are not your children.
They are the sons and daughters of Life’s longing for itself.
They come through you but not from you,
And though they are with you yet they belong not to you.

Kahlil Gibran

Too many parents believe their children are a reflection of themselves. Our job as parents is to provide nourishment and safety for these souls. But they are whole people already – we do not – SHOULD not – impose our dreams on them.

 

Writing prompt: What do you want to be when you grow up?

Student: This prompt makes me sad. Because I don’t know. My parents tell me I must be either be an engineer or a doctor. I cannot have a job that pays less than that.

Teacher: Well, let’s say your parents tell you that you can pursue ANY profession that you want. What would it be?

Student: I don’t know…I don’t know, because I’ve never even thought of it.

Why do parents tell their kids how to live your lives when they have their own?

 

By the way, Gibran never had children. Maybe he could be this wise because he had the distance necessary to see the whole picture.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I’m a Teacher, Not a Martyr

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Mr. Wright is leaving. He’s my daughters’ high school orchestra teacher. Everyone is deeply saddened because he’s an exceptional teacher and person. In fact, he just won the district’s exemplary teacher’s award. His students were crestfallen – he’s such an amazing teacher! This is his dream job. So why is he leaving?

Because he can’t afford to stay: His wife stays at home and he has children he must support and can’t with a teacher’s salary.

This is wrong.

One of my co-workers is a single mom and her two sons are not covered under health insurance because she can’t afford it. Every sniffle, ache and potential accident gives her great cause to worry.

This is wrong.

Arizona has been identified as the worst for teacher pay and teacher friendliness by at least two separate studies. More teachers are leaving than entering with each year. Even substitute teachers are in great shortage.

This is wrong.

It’s time to make things right in Arizona’s education system. You can ignore the symptoms of any illness, but that doesn’t mean it will go away.

Rx for Joy

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31 Day Painting Challenge: Day 21 Colorful Geometric Shapes

Current symptoms: listlessness, insomnia, constant hood of worry, anxiety, pessimism, road rage

Prescription: (To do at least once a day until symptoms disappear)

Go to a mall or your sister’s house or other place where toddlers are eating or playing (a children’s playground at the park or school is not advised for you might be reported for peculiar behavior – not your fault)

Observe toddler’s feet dangling from the chair; his cherubic cheeks and glistening eyes focused on what’s in front of him;

Note the fat hands hungrily – joyfully – grabbing the sandwich/spoon/bowl;

Listen, really listen, to his easy laughter and his babble.

If you could ask him, he’d tell you:

He’s not worried about tomorrow or fretting about the past;

He’s here, with you, and nothing else matters.

 

When toddler begins to cry or have a temper tantrum, cease the observation and seek a quiet place immediately.

 

 

 

 

Maternal Meditation

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Day 20 of 31 Day Painting Challenge (Creativebug.com)

Motherhood To Dos:

change their diapers

anticipate their needs

hug and kiss through tears

teach them to be strong

 

allow them to feel pain

buy them clothes

(and school supplies and prom tickets and flowers for their first crush)

listen as they complain about school, frenemies and hormones

 

bite your tongue when they complain about you

And that’s why there’s an “Om” in “Mom”