Gotta Celebrate

Spring Legs by Christopher DeWolf on Flickr

Spring Legs by Christopher DeWolf on Flickr

Yesterday was one of those amazing, magical Montreal springtime days that remind us all why we suffer the cold and snow for 4-6 months of the year. The sun was shining and warm, people were on the streets in short sleeves, some even in shorts. The light stayed with us until almost 8 in the evening. Open, relaxed faces quick to smile were all over the place.

If you don’t think that’s enough cause for celebration I’m going to give you a few more reasons right here and if you don’t think that I had the most celebrationist kinda day then I give up. For real.

In no particular order:

Escape to the Country…

Escaping to the Country :)

Escaping to the Country :)

I moved one step closer to buying a house in the country as I received news that my financing has been approved! It’s a cute little place on about 27 000 sq ft of land, partially forested. There is even an insulated cabin that I’ll be able to use as a studio for art.

Jacques Demers and the Stanley Cup from USA Today

Jacques Demers and the Stanley Cup from USA Today

He shoots, He scores…
Jacques Demers came to speak to some of the students at our school yesterday. His style was loud, brash, and abrupt reminding us all that he was once an NHL hockey coach. He told us of his difficult childhood with father who was either abusive or absent, of his illiteracy, and of making choices. At one point he stopped his speech to dress down some kids who were being disruptive and making immature comments. Some of my students actually applauded when he was done with them.

But that wasn’t the big score. The big score came later, when we returned to class. I feel the emotion rising even now as I remember it. We started to talk about his speech in general when one of my students said she had to get something off of her chest. She started to talk about her own difficult relationship with her father. She continued to talk as tears rolled down her face and mine as well as a few of the other students in our class. She talked about the complex range of emotions that she has been carrying inside herself for so many years and she decided then and there that she needs to speak with him and let him know about what she has been holding on to for so long. Then she took a big breath and said she was done talking. One of the other students gave her a hug and told her she loved her. I was totally bowled over with the sense of community and hope in the room.

Forgiveness and Validation…
Yesterday evening I met with someone I hadn’t seen in, we determined, 6 or 7 years, maybe even longer. We worked together over 15 years ago and the last time we saw each other we went on a few dates. At one point I just didn’t hear from him. These things happen. I’ve met a few people in my life who, from one day to the next, I just don’t hear from again. They disappear. But last night I received an apology for that and it made me feel good about people in general. That we do care about each other and sometimes we even show it when it is least expected. Major props to him for that!

To PhD or not to PhD…

Jose being all direct on me

Jose being all direct on me

I totally ignored this tweet when I first saw it, up until now even when I am finally responding to it :) When Jose asked it, I was still in limbo but I’ve since decided not to continue with it and with that decision came so much relief. My life was school (teaching) and school (studying). I love both of them, but I wasn’t doing anything well. It was like a diet of pure protein, with no other nutrients. Eventually my system shut down. To be good I need to have time to paint, knit, make jewelry, hang out with students after school, run with the dog, be with friends, read, watch movies, go for dinner on a moment’s notice. Last year one of my students figured out that I was in Grade 22, based on all of my years of schooling. It’s time for me graduate :)

And if all THAT isn’t enough to cause some celebration…how’s about these fabulous (published) poems/songs by one of my students. Enjoy.

I am Human by Cody Oserakete Thomas

I am Human by Cody Oserakete Thomas

If You Could See Me Now by Cody Oserakete Thomas

If You Could See Me Now by Cody Oserakete Thomas

Some People by Cody Oserakete Thomas

Some People by Cody Oserakete Thomas

When You Said You Loved Me by Cody Oserakete Thomas

When You Said You Loved Me by Cody Oserakete Thomas

Mine Forever by Cody Oserakete Thomas

Mine Forever by Cody Oserakete Thomas

What are you celebrating?

Self-esteem in school: a blog post found via wordpress tag

I’m having fun on wordpress – in particular I am enjoying finding bloggers through my wordpress tags. Today I discovered a blog post by Principal Kendrick called The Importance of Self Esteem where principal Kendrick cited this gem from Michelle Borba:

    Special Care for Special Students

    Michelle Borba, nationally known author and consultant on
self-esteem and achievement in children,         says there are five things
middle school educators can do easily to improve the self-esteem of
their             students:

The effect that we have on students is enormous, unmeasurable. Barack Obama believes that teachers are the #1 influence on children outside of their same sex parent. I agree.

It is our responsibility as educators to do good with our students –  look how easy it is!

Remember the fox:

“One only understands the things that one tames,” said the fox.
“Men have no more time to understand anything.
They buy things all ready made at the shops.
But there is no shop anywhere where one can buy friendship,
and so men have no friends any more. If you want a friend, tame me . . . “

“What must I do, to tame you? asked the little prince.

“You must be very patient,” replied the fox. First you will sit down
at a little distance from me–like that–in the grass.
I shall look at you out of the corner of my eye,
and you will say nothing. Words are the source of misunderstandings.
But you will sit a little closer to me, every day . . . “

The next day the little prince came back.

“It would have been better to come back at the same hour,” said the fox.
“If for example, you came at four o’clock in the afternoon,
then at three o’clock I shall begin to be happy. I shall feel happier and happier
as the hour advances. At four o’clock, I shall be worrying and jumping about.
I shall show you how happy I am! But if you come at just any time,
I shall never know at what hour my heart is ready to greet you . . .
One must observe the proper rites . . . “

“What is a rite?” asked the little prince.

“Those also are actions too often neglected,” said the fox. “They
are what make one day different from other days, one hour different
from other hours. There is a rite, for example, among my hunters. Every
Thursday they dance with the village girls. So Thursday is a wonderful
day for me! I can take a walk as far as the vineyards. But if the
hunters danced at just any time, every day would be like every other
day, and I should never have any vacation at all.”

So the little prince tamed the fox. And when the hour of his departure drew near–

“Ah,” said the fox, “I shall cry.”

“It is your own fault,” said the little prince. “I never wished you any sort of harm;
but you wanted me to tame you . . . “

“Yes, that is so,” said the fox.

“But now you are going to cry!” said the little prince.

“Yes, that is so,” said the fox.

“Then it has done you no good at all!”

“It has done me good,” said the fox, “because of the color of the wheat fields.”
And then he added: “Go and look again at the roses.
You will understand now that yours is unique in all the world.
Then come back to say goodbye to me, and I will make you a present of a secret.”

The little prince went away, to look again at the roses.

“You are not at all like my rose,” he said. “As yet you are nothing.
No one has tamed you, and you have tamed no one.
You are like my fox when I first knew him. He was only a fox
like a hundred thousand other foxes. But I have made a friend,
and now he is unique in all the world.”

And the roses were very much embarrassed.

“You are beautiful, but you are empty,” he went on.
“One could not die for you. To be sure, an ordinary passerby would think
that my rose looked just like you–the rose that belongs to me.
But in herself alone she is more important than all the hundreds of you
other roses: because it is she that I have watered; because it is she
that I have put under the glass globe; because it is for her
that I have killed the caterpillars (except the two or three we saved
to become butterflies); because it is she that I have listened to,
when she grumbled, or boasted, or even sometimes when she said nothing.
Because she is my rose.”

And he went back to meet the fox. “Goodbye,” he said.

“Goodbye,” said the fox. “And now here is my secret, a very simple secret:
It is only with the heart that one can see rightly; what is essential is invisible to the eye.”

“What is essential is invisible to the eye,” the little prince repeated, so that he would be sure to remember.

“It is the time you have wasted for your rose that makes your rose so important.

“It is the time I have wasted for my rose—” said the little prince so he would be sure to remember.

“Men have forgotten this truth,” said the fox. “But you must not forget it.
You become responsible, forever, for what you have tamed.
You are responsible for your rose . . . “

“I am responsible for my rose,” the little prince repeated,
so that he would be sure to remember.

from The Little Prince, by Antoine de Saint-Exupery

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