March 21, 2013

The Power of Words

I have a newish student.  He is clever, reads well, loves to talk, and enjoys attention.  In addition to that he is manipulative, has a hard time following directions, and frequently does the opposite of what he's asked.

Today, within the first 3 hours of the day he managed to make poor enough choices that he ended up in the principal's office and had to spend the remainder of the day in another room.  As the final bell rang, he walked into my classroom to return the work he had done.  He had his head down, didn't want to look at me, and looked angry and sad.  He tried to sneak out without looking at me or saying anything.  I stopped him, put my hand on his shoulder, looked him in the eyes and said "You are a good kid." He had a strange look on his face and I repeated myself.  He was looking at me so intently and then his face transformed.  He got a HUGE smile on his face as he left.

It was simple.  It was just a few words.  It didn't take long for me to say.  But to him it changed his whole mood.  As I think about his reaction, I realize that he doesn't hear those kinds of words often enough.  He is really good at stirring up trouble and seeking negative attention, so I think he is used to being chastised and receiving negative attention.  It made sad to think that those may have been the kindest words he has heard in a while.  (And maybe he has heard them recently, I just don't think he gets that enough).  Making that tiny difference in his life, that made my day.

March 8, 2013

Future me

I often think about the future.  I have been asking myself a lot lately what I want to do and be.
Here's what I have come up with: (I realize it's not proper to end with a preposition, but 1} I don't want to fix that and 2} it just doesn't sound right to me)

* Mom. The kind that raises kids who know they are loved, can make good choices, and are kind to others.

* Gardner.  I would be delighted if I could grow most of the produce we ate.  I love the idea of being more self sufficient.

* Crafty.  I want to feel comfortable with tools/saws/drills/etc.  I would love to whip up a hutch or ottoman.  I would also love to repaint/make over furniture.

* Artist. I recently started playing around with watercolors.  The biggest problem is that I want to be really good right now.  I don't want to have to put in the time.  Lazy, I know.

* Well rounded.  I'd like to know a bit about enough things that I could relate to or connect with anyone.

* Fit.  This is kind of like being an artist; I want to be amazing, but I don't want to put in the time.  I'd love to enjoy running.  I would love to be able to say that I have run a marathon. Yet I don't want to have to experience any discomfort or exert myself.  (I should probably add 'motivated' or 'dedicated' to this list...)

* Happy.  Seems easy enough, but that can be really tricky. It's really easy for me to focus on the unjust  depressing or sad things that come my way.

* Rich.  Honestly, I know I would make a superb rich person.

* Fun.  I feel like I'm not as fun or crazy as I used to be.  I don't know how much of that is due to age, and how much is because of other factors.

It is so easy to fall into the monotonous routine of life.  I go day to day.  I go to work, come home, eat dinner, watch Netflix, think about the productive things I could or should be doing, spend time on my church calling, occasionally go to the gym, go to bed, repeat.  And then when I am not content I wonder what I should change.  I guess I need to start working on the things on my list.  But first I think I am going to take a little nap.