Today was the fourth day of summer school (I’m teaching a 2nd and 3rd grade combo class). We hadn’t even gotten to the fun stuff yet (math Bingo with M&Ms and vocabulary skits) when one second grader beamed and said, “I love summer school!”
“What part?” I asked.
“All of it!”
Her gratitude was intense and contagious. Other students murmured in agreement. Summer school is the bomb.
She could have complained about waking up, getting dressed and going to school.
She could have dreaded doing math (again).
She could have complained and compared herself to other kids who are going on vacations to California and beyond.
But she was completely present. She was 100% here with 16 other kids and me and we had a great time.
[*] Say Thanks—To The Good and Bad — The Stoics saw gratitude as a kind of medicine, that saying “Thank you” for every experience was the key to mental health. “Convince yourself that everything is the gift of the gods,” was how Marcus Aurelius put it, “that things are good and always will be.” Say thanks to a rude person. Say thanks to a bungled project. Say thanks to a delayed package. Why? Because for starters it may have just saved you from something far worse, but mostly because you have no choice in the matter.
Epictetus has said that every situation has two handles: Which are you going to decide to hold onto? The anger or the appreciation? The one of resentment or of thanks?