Archive for January, 2011

Unpacking Romantic Love

Monday, January 31st, 2011

I was intrigued by Margarita’s post about choosing a single word as the theme for a year. What a cool technique for reflecting on life’s moments and composing them into a coherent shape! I love this simple tool for lending structure and making meaning.

The word I selected for 2011 is Unpacking, and my project for the month of February is to unpack and share what I’ve learned on the subject of romantic love. I hope you’ll keep tuning in to see what I pull out of my suitcase over these days and weeks.

Learning About Myself from the People Who Love Me

Friday, January 28th, 2011

I think of myself as a calm, stable, cheery, even-tempered person.

Which doesn’t mean I don’t get into bad moods. I do. I know this because the people who love tell me so.

Their personal styles differ and so their queries range from the gentle Are you feeling tired? to the in-my-face Why are you so weird today?

Relationships are Shelter from the Storm

Thursday, January 27th, 2011

Joel I. Klein, NYC school chancellor since 2002, resigned at the end of last year.  The New York Times article (Dec 26, 2010) mentioned that one of Klein’s favorite topics is love.

How did he tough it through this notoriously grueling job for so long? Klein credits the unflagging love and support of his wife:

Should Struggling Students Reduce Their Schedules?

Wednesday, January 26th, 2011

Many students and parents face this decision now, at the beginning of the second semester:

  • The student signed up for too many classes first semester
  • or the classes were harder than expected
  • or extra-curricular activities or jobs or personal issues entered in.

And so:

  • Grades were lower than desired
  • and/or the workload was stressful and felt overwhelming.

I recognize that every situation is different, but here’s my general advice:

Bad Moods, Good Moods

Tuesday, January 25th, 2011

I arrived in the city Friday afternoon, in an especially good mood, and as I stood on the street corner waiting for the light to change, I detected a delightful, festive fragrance.

Heaps of discarded Christmas trees lay on the curb.

In New York City the sanitation workers have been so busy plowing snow they’re behind on picking up the garbage.  The trees had been out there a while, and had been snowed on and rained on several times, dampened enough to release what was left of their Christmassy scent.

Recovering From the Loss of a Dream

Thursday, January 20th, 2011

We made this point in my workshop yesterday:

One’s internal reality is the “realest” thing we have. We do, truly, live inside our own heads, and we experience the external world through the lens of the Self we construct.

So, when a dream dies, it’s just as painful and “real” to us as when a flesh-and-blood loved one dies.

Bad Days, Good Days

Wednesday, January 19th, 2011

I’m having a “good” day today.

What, exactly, does that mean?

  • I feel rested and relaxed
  • I feel safe and secure
  • I feel “on top of things”

I had a relatively “bad” day yesterday.

The Rewards of Learning Boring, Hard Stuff

Monday, January 17th, 2011

I wrote about how most important subject matter is tedious and difficult, especially at the beginning. Kids complain that they don’t see the relevance, don’t see why they need to learn this stuff!

Colleen responded with some nice perspective:

At age 28 I finally think I understand why it is important to absorb and incorporate all of the information that is available… I would hear my professor talk about cells, intersitual fluid, membranes, transport systems, etc… In my job, at a hospital, I see it applied….Trig for example and sin and cosine. I look at the heart monitor… It has taken me a while to realize this but I can’t get enough.

There’s also a lot of satisfaction in learning difficult things for their own sake. It’s fun to feel my mind grasp hold of some piece of learning, like a tire slipping on ice and then finding traction.

The Need for Defiance

Saturday, January 15th, 2011

We went to The Whitney Museum of American Art this afternoon; we dutifully stood in line and bought our tickets, which had little yellow peel-off proof-of-paid-admission squares on the bottom. A guard at the exhibit entrance had the job of reminding everybody, over and over and over, to wear your stickers.

Along with taking in the Edward Hopper exhibit (future blog fodder), I appreciated the creative ways in which several people had complied with the order to wear your sticker!

Instead of sticking the little yellow tag on his lapel, one guy had his on his upper arm, like a military decoration. Another guy had reached back and slapped his onto his left shoulder blade.

And then there was the woman wearing hers in the middle of her forehead.

Look, they were all saying I’m wearing my sticker!…my way!

Why (Really) Do We Have to Learn This Stuff?

Thursday, January 13th, 2011

I wrote about what kids really mean when they complain Why do I have to learn this stuff?

J Morgan replied:

For me at school, it meant, “I really can’t stand this topic and I can’t see a bit enough benefit to justify suffering through it,” as well as finding it difficult.

I mostly agree with J Morgan, but I hasten to add that, unfortunately, lots of extremely important subject matter is very, very hard and not much fun.



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Recent Comments
  • Dad of 5: Where you say “Nor should we expect to go to math class, listen one time, and immediately “get it.”...
  • MsJustice: what about kids/young adults that have a mental illness? Does this apply to them too? I have a son who is...
  • Joe: Is there perfect empathy? No, but this is not a binary, all-or-nothing thing. I agree it’s a definition...
  • One KP: I do agree with you Colleen, it is a definition problem we have here. Also the other challenge we are faced...
  • Bette: There are some things in life we must memorize. My concern with the Common Core principles is that the most...
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