Thursday, November 10, 2011

Compassion, Insight & Purpose

I've been thinking a lot about the importance of these three elements within this 'digital age' we live in. Different aspects of recent news stories have probably brought this stuff to mind. Watching just how quickly the stories at Penn State have unfolded, aided by the power of social media, is a bit mind-boggling. Looking in from the outside, it seems like compassion for other people and a situation overall can get lost in the shuffle.

It's complicated, this social media-digital age-omnipresent news environment. No wonder things can get crazy in a matter of minutes. I don't think elements like compassion and insight can possibly keep up with the pace of the news-reaction-more reaction-commentary-news cycle.

But I think they should.

My role is obviously multi-faceted; there is no shortage of hats I need to wear. Well, here's another one: I need to foster in my students a spirit a mind-set of reflection. Of taking a breath, sitting back, and really thinking about what they are consuming digitally, especially before they react digitally. I have to coach my students up on the importance of compassion - or empathy - to really put themselves in another's shoes and see the situation from a different angle; to have insight and understand the subject matter so they can competently respond; to have a purpose for what they are saying/writing/etc.

Thursday, November 3, 2011

Birthday Wishes

Birthdays, for the most part, are very fun occasions. My students in school still love to advertise their special days, announce what they hope to get, and what fun plans they may have coming up to celebrate. For my own children, a birthday is huge - after all, there's two of them!

They turned 5 this past summer, and so far, every single birthday (and rightfully so) has turned into a multiple-day affair: fun party with some little friends, a day with relatives over, and a day with just mommy and daddy to have fun and be together.

Someone very dear to me is having a birthday today. It would of course be very cliche to say how she gets better with age like a fine wine, etc., etc. Furthermore, I probably couldn't blame you for cringing.

However, I've known this person for almost half of our lives. Considering that, I would argue I am very much an authority figure on saying that she indeed gets more and more amazing by the day. That said, without further ado -

A very happy birthday wish to...

-my very best friend

-an incredibly talented teacher

-a wonderful, loving mother

-someone who inspires me, challenges me, puts up with me, makes life that much better...

Happy Birthday KJ! Love you