Globally mine

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Not being able to sleep is usually not my problem. Honestly, I have fallen asleep while driving, reading, walking through WalMart….it’s not a problem for me. The problem is usually not having enough time to sleep. Lay me down, I’m asleep.

Today (yesterday)I had a fun adventure that involved a virtual knife being stuck into my back by an invisible foe. Otherwise known as “back spasms” the doctor said (after two hours of waiting in Urgent Care). Happy it wasn’t something like a hairy cyst growing in my back or some alien fetus sprouting there, I was sent home with a prescription for muscle relaxers. Apparently, these “muscle relaxers” only kind of work and instead of sending you into a blissful, restful, out-til-morning-light kind of slumber, they wake you as they wear off at 2 in the morning. Not my idea of a fun time. That being said, I was able to get up and do some homework. yay.

The class I am in now is on the foundations of the Inclusion Classroom. This is a topic I have issues with. I don’t believe the funding is there for an inclusion classroom to be supported as it should be. Point one. Point two involves the struggles educators have to meet the needs of such a wide variety of students in an overpopulated classroom. High expectations, growth requirements, curriculum chains (I mean…yeah, chains…), and lack of support make running a truly inclusive classroom hard, to say the least.

The more I learn about this mythical, magical, marvelous classroom model the more I want it. I want to have a culturally diverse classroom where everyone supports and encourages others despite their differences and challenges. I want students that have physical, mental and emotional struggles in my classroom. I want students from all over the world that speak different languages, look different, think different, dress different. I want a global classroom.

I went back to bed after writing my paper at 2 this morning. But as I lay there, muscles twitching, mind racing….I felt the proverbial hand slap the back of my head. Why am I learning all this? Why does it seem that everywhere I turn, I am educated more and more about the benefits of being with those that are ‘not the same as me’. My ‘box’ has been rained on, trampled, and thrown under a bridge. I can’t stay in it because it has fallen apart.

I look at my family. Bring it home. I’ve tried so hard to make it fit a certain mold, way of life, way of thinking, acting, believing… Why shouldn’t it be just as global, inclusive, open-minded as my classroom? In trying to keep it all the ‘same’ and I hurting or helping my family? Am I setting my children up for success or failure if I encourage them to only accept those that are just like them?

Darn it all..sometimes I’m a really slow learner. Sometimes, it takes a person five or six,or even 45 years to discover they have been asking the wrong questions, looking in the wrong places, and accepting answers from closed boxes.  I changed my question this weekend. Instead of “what am I supposed to learn from this trial?” I moved to “What do I need to DO to be able to learn from this trial?” It’s in the action, the movement, the effort. True lessons don’t get delivered on a silver tray while we sit pretty, waiting for them. Real answers are out in the trenches, dirty, wet, slippery, and sometimes even bloody.

Bring it home. What do you need to DO? Are you thinking outside your box or are your fighting like mad to tape it as the world tries to get in? What do you want to learn? Who do you want to be? How do you want to fit in the world?

I don’t want to be in a pretty box, high on a shelf….all alone. I’d rather be out in the world, spinning, dancing, getting dirty, and participating in this global family we’ve been given.

Stretch. Look. See. Grow.

Cause I said so.

Photo credit: www.newscenter.sdsu.edu

Verse Two

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I don’t particularly enjoy having church at 2pm. It feels like the day is over before we even get there. We manage to be late almost every week. I’m ready for a nap before the opening hymn is sung. I also have to admit that it is hard to keep our activities ‘sabbath -worthy’ when we sleep in half the day, laze around, and end up watching movies til it’s time to go. The only real benefits, beside the sleeping in , are the opportunities for me to actually iron a few male shirts before we go. No more looking like homeless men rolling off their benches to come to church. We are wrinkle free! Most days….

My morning was extra special today because of a certain uninvited guest. Apparently, I have been the unknowing host of a ‘missing person’ for the last four days. Now, I can understand partly because I hid a friend in my parent’s house when I was in third grade. True, the ‘friend’ was a kitten about the size of a man’s shoe, but it was a friend and it was hidden.

I do not understand how a person can climb up the outside of a house and climb in a window and feel all warm and fuzzy about that. I also can’t understand why I stopped setting the house alarm. Darn cool nights!

After dealing with the police (always a joy), making muffins (that tasted BAD), cleaning the kitchen (there was an ox in my sink…), and trying unsuccessfully to talk a surly teen into going to church, I was ready for a spiritual feast.

We were actually a few minutes early so I was able to quiet my mind and lose my boys to the foyer before we began the meeting. My ward has really been nice lately. It might be due to my relief society lessons and the fact that I tend to use bad language or be overly sarcastic, but people are starting to talk to me. I quite like it. I miss having my grandson to play with so I sat behind another little boy so I could flirt with him during the meeting. He did not disappoint .His shrill laughter was quite the distraction.

Sitting in the chapel, all alone, thinking about the events of the weekend and morning, I started to feel just a bit ‘heavy’ with the weight of it all. Our opening song was We Thank The Oh God for a Prophet. I know that one, I don’t even need the book, but I took it out anyway.As I followed along, I heard the words to the second verse as though they were being spoken directly to me.

“When dark clouds of trouble hang over

and threaten our peace to destroy,

There is hope smiling brightly before us

and we know that deliverance is night.

We doubt not the Lord nor his goodness

We’ve proved him in days that are past…”

I’ve always loved this song, but I never really heard this verse like I did today. I do have dark clouds of trouble hanging over me. I am sad at times due to the choices of my children, as well as some of my own choices. I’ve made mistakes. I wonder and question if I’ve made too many. Hearing this song, I realized that I don’t doubt the Lord. He has been proven in days of past in my own life. He has never let me down.

I choose to keep my chin up and look forward to that perfect brightness of hope that smiles before me. This too shall  pass. This shall be for my good. My Savior has suffered this and more for me. Be still.

Cause I said so.

Photo credit: http://www.brightnessofyourdawn.blogspot.com

Sir Rendi Pidhy

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Some days, you feel like it was a mistake to get out from under your blanket. Nothing seems to go right. But some days, it feels like you not only have a guardian angel, but her/his posse of minions looking out for you at every juncture. Today was one of those days.

I had the day off to take a certain daughter to a certain mandatory event in a close-by city. I don’t get weekdays off often, so of course I tried to cram as much into it as possible. I started my day in the usual way, a fervent prayer that I wouldn’t screw up my life or anyone else’s, but I added an extra plea for the ability to get the things done that I needed to today and that I would keep the awesome spirit of conference with me.

I only had a few hours of sleep before I rushed off to school to put my classroom in some sort of organized chaos for my sub. I was in and out before anyone else was on campus.Plus! On my way home, I deliberated as to whether I should go get my daughter then or wait til later. You see,I needed to try and get my son’s car out of impoundment. Long story there….but that’s what I needed to do. I felt inspired to get my girl and head downtown, even though I wasn’t sure I would be able to get the car.

Halfway to my house, the impoundment officer returned my call from last week. She informed me that I could get my car approved for release just by talking to her! I almost whooped in joy! I got my daughter and headed downtown.

What happened next was best described by my daughter as a scavenger hunt.We went to the police department first, where we paid a fee and got a map. We followed the map to the next location. We found the right place, but we didn’t have the right kind of money so we had to go to circle K. Of course, we had to buy a juice to get the perfect amount. We went back to the map location and paid another fine. After we paid, we got….another map! This one led to the location of the car. It was tricky to read and explained completely wrong by the person that gave it to us, but we managed to find it anyway.

Once we got the car, we had to change the plates. That required saying certain magic words to the guardian of cars. It worked! We got the car, and I ended up getting everything done today that I set out to do. It might not seem like a very magical day to most, but to me it was perfect. I got stuff done, I got to spend time with my daughter, and got to see my older daughter crack a young coconut open with a metal chisel. It was a very well rounded day.

I may not have gotten to all those last minute crafts I decided to make for the baby shower tomorrow night….didn’t even start those. But we did make home made (virgin) pina colada for FHE. Magical!!!

Cause I said so.

Photo credit: http://www.blogs.haverford.edu

Sign height

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Six years.

Why do things look so different when you turn around? You can’t remember the feelings you had, the taste in your mouth, the smell of the breeze.

Six years.

The song from Rent counted the number of hours in a year. Six years would not sound as good, the notes would clash and churn against each other.

Six years.

Will I wake up tomorrow and find it has been seven? Eight? Ten? How soon will the time rush upon me when I will have been without you longer than with you? Our time together, that seemed so long, just a blink in time?

Six years.

Like dark, sticky molasses on a spoon. Hard to stir, staining, strong, yet gone when held to the light. Time is an unfair playmate, taking home the toys we like best.

Six years.

I’ve learned, I’ve grown, I’ve changed so much. Would you even know me if you saw me now? Would you be surprised at who I’ve become or turn away in disappointment?

Six years.

Life is easy. It goes on or it ends. We can’t control the sun or the moons or even the wind. Living is hard. Moving, dreaming, hoping…they take work.

Six years.

The young feel it the most.

 

 

 

 

Cause I said so.

Photo credit: http://www.serenadevi.wordpress.com

Dream on sista

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I took my boys to see the new Cinderella movie this afternoon. It was their idea. There aren’t a lot of choices in the theaters these days and they really wanted to experience the new theater in the area. My boys are good sports and like movies in general.

I liked the movie. The scenery was beautiful, it wasn’t a musical, and I’m pretty sure “Bellatrix” was the fairy godmother. I admit to tearing up in parts and laughing out loud in others. It is amazing to me that people still buy into the whole “Hey I just met you but let’s get married and rule the land together” kind of love. I have a hard time committing to a telephone call let alone a royal marriage. Although, truth be told, I haven’t actually been proposed to by anyone from a royal family. Maybe I should withhold judgement there…

I am reading a book for a class I’m in right now on technology in education. One of the things it talks about is the different communities we, as humans, experience. In the olden days or, “Cinderella-times”, the community a person lived in would be approximately 10 miles at most. That was about how far someone would travel in their lifetime.It might take you to another village or two, but not much farther. The people in your community were chosen by location. You saw them, interacted with them, waved to them as you herded your goats, etc. Everyone knew everyone else.

Now a days, in the “Post -Cinderalla times”, communities are chosen by interest. You may have 1000 friends online that all like W.O.W or Pinterest, but you don’t know your next door neighbor’s first name. You may send inspirational thoughts to hundreds of people on your Instagram, but …. do you even have neighbors? The face to face interactions of the old communities have been all but lost. We don’t know how to communicate in person.

This book and the movie I saw today, got together in my head and percolated a bit. I was kind of laughing at the ridiculousness of two people instantly falling in love, and then I thought of the internet. We  have so much input, output, cyber exposure….maybe our ideal ‘mate’ has been distorted into someone/thing not reachable. We have created this ‘prince charming’ that can really only exist in our imagination.  Maybe the reason these simple minded peasants could fall so easily is because they really didn’t have a clue about ‘options’.

Times were simpler back then. Heck, people had their fairy godmother pushing them together. Today, I’d just like to run into an interesting person I hadn’t already Googled, stalked, or observed online, and talk about similar interests we discovered in person. It sounds pretty far fetched, I know, but….I’m still taking my goats out for a late night walk. Just in case.

Cause I said so.

Photo credit: http://www.inquisitr.com

Bridge to terror bit ya

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My son is learning about castles in history this week. I try to ask him about what he is learning on our drive home. Some days, there is no discussion as we are all in a state of exhaustion. Some days there is sleep, yes, even behind the wheel. Some days there is rocking out to DubStep. Today we talked of castles.

Most specifically, we spoke of moats. I’ve always loved castles, but the moat is extra intriguing to me. I proceeded to ask my poor son all the questions that have plagued me over the years but that I have never actually taken the time to find answers for. Where does the water come from? How deep were moats? Did they fill it with fish and fish in it? Were there alligators or other ‘barrier’ animals to keep swimmers out? Did they pave the bottom with bricks or rocks? How did the castles not sink into the moat after time?

I had a lot of questions about moats. My son had less answers. I’m pretty sure he was in the exhaustion mode while I was flying high on the “It’s Friday and I can do what I want for five minutes!” mode.  He only answered one questions. I asked why people didn’t just swim through the moat and get into the castle. He told me simply, “The bridge and castle walls were too high.”

Well, of course. I can admit when I get caught up in the romance thinking of something and don’t bother to actually think about it logically. One point for the boy this time.

It made me think of myself. Now, I’m not trying to say I’m a brick house or that I live in a castle or anything. It made me think about some issues I have with letting people into my life. I admit to being very guarded with my heart, mind, and waist size. I put on a good front and spew a lot of bull to keep my privates private. This could be like putting a moat around my ‘castle.’

In spite of this guard, or moat, I really do want people to take the time to swim across my moat and get to know me. Knock on my door, bring your battering ram, make an effort. Make me feel like you want it so bad I can trust you won’t throw it in the trash when I finally let down the draw bridge.

But maybe, even after people swim across my moat, battle my alligators, escape the shrieking eels, and make it to my walls….they are too high. Maybe the window is closed and I can’t hear them screaming up to me to let down my hair.

Maybe, or maybe I’m just a really good castle builder.

Cause I said so.

Ob Structure

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One of my favorite parts of working where I do is the commute. You would expect me to say it is short or pretty or filled with awesome drive-thru restaurants, but that is not why. I do have to admit that it does have some beauty, the sunrise out here on the edge of civilization is pretty amazing. These days I have to work hard to position the visor so my retinas don’t get charred, but it is pretty. I drive amongst a bunch of drones that don’t annoy or fill me with joy. The drive isn’t long. But, the best part is who I drive with.

A big reason I stay at my school is I can drive my boys to school every day. They attend the school on the same big campus. I can go visit them at lunch if I really want to embarrass them. I can also keep an eye on alien attacks or herds of wild dogs from my classroom window. It’s pretty convenient.

There are two ways to get to school. One way is new, clean, and long. The other is dirty, dusty, and quick (cuz you can ….go faster….). The boys and I decided we would forgo the nice new roads in favor of saving an average seven minutes of driving each day. Yes, we actually timed it and figured that out.

Going the back way, we have experienced a sort of prophetic phenomena. After going down a fairly long straight road from our house, we make a 90 degree turn to the right. As soon as we turn, we can see the Gilbert temple off in the distance. It is quite a distance away, so the first time we saw it we were kind of shocked. It stands, as a beacon to us across the wild desert. After driving for a few minutes, the temple seems to disappear, as though it was never really in sight. We search and squint and strain our eyes and necks to see it, but it is not to be seen. Just before we have to make our next turn, there’s the temple, peeking out from behind some trees.

The rational explanation for the temple coming and going from sight is obviously a change in the height of the road we are on, but the spiritual application is better. I told my boys that seeing the temple is like the Spirit or inspiration. At times, we are right on track and we can see everything clearly. Other times, we may still be moving forward, but the goal is not quite as clearly in sight. This is where our faith steps in and we have to just keep on driving. The temple doesn’t move, our Heavenly Father doesn’t move, but sometimes….we go up and down on our path to them. Good times, bad times, trials, choices….all of these things are going to be on our road. Our job is to keep on driving. Keep on looking for our end goal. Keep on having faith that it will all work out for our good.

And of course, every now and then, play Bohemian Rhapsody at full volume.

Cause I said so.

Photo credit: http://www.socialgadgetnews.com