Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Just One More Thing

Now I'm standing in the in midst of a war zone (i.e. 'kitchen'), dishes bubbling on the cook top, the oven hissing joyfully, serving spoons ready to go, piles of dirty little dishes in the sink.

I have a hard time convincing myself I'm really done. Maybe one more dish? we don't want the guests to go hungry... what will they say?

I have a list for the month, for each week, for the day, for the different parts of the day: first shift in the morning (some call it 'work'), second shift in the afternoon (kids), third shift in the evening (whatever didn't get done in the last two shifts, plus Hubby). So while Princess dances and Handsome plays, I do the shopping, put a little something in the oven, a small load in the washer and off to do my schlepping rounds. 5 minutes are a whole lot when you are having fun... Maybe I'll make it to Marshals, it's right by the supermarket.... Get One More Thing done.

I teach my ways to my kids, too. We review Math on the way to school, read in one language on the way back, read to Hubby when he gets home, review spelling words over breakfast. If there's any more time we plan ahead - but of course!

I wake up at around 2am. A mysterious purplish light shines through the room. For a moment there I think the mother ship has finally come for me! But as I approach the source, Princess' iPod, I see the Smurfs message about the ripened tomatoes.

Halleluiah blue friends, I'll add gazpacho to the list!

Thursday, October 20, 2011

Education - Revolution Needed

There are a few points to be made for better education.
I know, I know, you are thinking: what a beat up subject to right about, stop complaining and go with the flow.

Only going with the flow isn't my strongest suit. So here are my points:

1.      Technologize - no point lugging heavy books back and forth. No point spending money on printing those books, buying current additions, etc. Students should be assigned a laptop, schools have Wi-Fi connection, the rest is there. Homework and tests can be submitted through email, post on blog, forums, HW rooms, memory stick. Schools with smart boards can check homework at the board.

2.      The case for Skills vs. Content - we should teach more skills, less content. The skill or ability of finding information is far more important than the skill of memorizing data. With smart phones at almost every hand, I doubt people should memorize poems, bible chapters or dates anymore.

3.      Information is king, now check who's the queen writing it - Students must learn how to scrutinize the information at their fingertips. They should know the agenda of the publisher, or at list make an attempt to check it, before taking that view into account.

4.      Great idea, now sell it! - Presenting a concise idea in a marketable way is another important skill. It is never too early to start, too - just think of "I want that toy, it is at my friend's hand, how do I get it?" tactics children learn early on. Later they can make the case for pocket money, a gadget, a grade upgrade or a course they want to take with this spirally learned curriculum.

5.      Survival of the 'hood' or Sesame St. smart- Community building is a skill we acquire (or not) through life. Same comment goes for money managing and social and individual responsibility. It used to be taught at home, by your parents or Mr. Rogers. It used to be taught by a close knit community, THE NEIGHBOURHOOD. Some have it now, some don't, but as a society/nation/human beings grouped in space and time, we need it.

6.      Thinking skills - how do I approach a problem? Once I observed a lesson at my daughter's school. The teacher taught a thinking process by folding a paper into four squares, each square showing development. She asked the students to draw an ant. Then she showed them how to approach that task in 4 stages (if they grow up troubled they should get the additional eight): what we know, what we need, how we get there, completion.

7.      Know thou strengths - and focus on developing those strengths. No need to spend all this time making you better at something you'll never excel in.

I know there's much more to be said, and hope you have something to add.
I'm off to take a walk as part of my solve-the-fat-problem skills I acquired, looking to sharpen my 'presenting a concise idea in a marketable way' skills.

Sara Brown.

Monday, October 17, 2011

Life Coach Advice

If I had a life coach, s/he would have advised me to:

1. Take it one day at a time

2. Take a deep breath, count 'till ten and release the air slowly between days (see #1)

3. Count my blessings. Count again. Write it down. Read it to myself. Hang it on the bathroom mirror 

4. Appreciate what I have and remember to thank for it 

5. Dream bigger and more everyday 

6. Do something about it 

7. Be assertive and require people to acknowledge my contribution/strengths/good traits 

8. Capitalize on my strengths instead of trying to overcome my weaknesses 

9. Carve time during the day to relax, do nothing, be me with no obligation/certificate attached

10. Brush, floss, eat my vegetables, walk/swim, laugh every! single! day!

What would you advise yourself?

Yours truly,
Sara Brown.

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Home Together

It has been a while, I know. Sorry to keep you waiting.
I've been at my job for a year now, we've been at our house for almost 6 months now, hosted many guests and as I peek from the upstairs office I can see the roof of our Sukkah with some golden red leaves decorating its top.

Some new neighbors got in the houses around us and now, when we walk the dog or do yard work (I do management and crowd control), it feels a bit like Mr. Rogers' neighborhood. It's fun to know thy neighbor, have them stop by with their dog/baby/baked goods. Especially baked goods.

Princess like dancing in front of the glass doors made into mirrors at dark, Handsome decided to invest more in his studies this year (halleluiah) but still complains about playing the piano. I like it when he masters a new piece. After all the shouting and complaining it feels good to accomplish a harmonious musical piece.

I hope all is well with you and yours. I will try to take some pictures and add them in soon:)