Monthly Archives: May 2017

The Fragility of a Day

Rain was in the forecast,

yet I drew in sidewalk chalk

because not all that is

must always be

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The Light and Dark Side of Imagination

I’m afraid of the dark

I sleep with a nightlight

and I always have to have a light at the end of a dark hallway.

I’m not afraid of the dark because of the unknown

or because I can’t control what is there,

I’m afraid because of what I imagine there.

I know there are not boogey-men or vampires or robbers

but there is a difference between imagination and reality

Imagination can dream stories and cities and people

as an escape from reality

Imagination can create innovations

to better reality

Imagination can believe in possibilities

to change future reality

Imagination can transform monsters in my mind

into monsters hiding in the dark of reality

But I’ll take these monsters

so that I can have my imagination

of people

of places

of inventions

of hope

of faith

Light may show us what is there

what is reality

but darkness shows us

what could be there

and maybe,

what should be there

imagination

Social Implications of Kindergarten Worksheets

I find the dichotomy between what we teach our children and what we tell our children to do interesting. I could talk about multiple subjects but today I’m going to talk about what I saw on the back of a box of Dory Crackers (yes, when I say children, I may be one of them based alone on that I eat children’s food).

There were a couple of games on the back of the box and one of them was a ‘spot the difference’. I use to love those games and I must admit I still love them.

Spot_the_difference

I think I’ve found 11 🙂

The purpose of these games are beneficial to develop observation and attention to detail skills. Of course, I’m a writer and I look for deeper meanings, so let’s look at the social implications of this game. 🙂

Spot the Difference games teach us to find the differences in situations and so it is a reasonable assumption to carry those skills over into real life and spot the differences in people. That girl has two different colored eyes; that boy is shorter than all the rest; that boy is the dumbest in the class; that girl has squinty eyes.  We tell our children to spot the difference in pictures then tell them that it is not nice to stare or point fingers.

However,  the existence of differences is not bad, how we treat differences is what matters. Spot the Difference games are neutral: neither side of the image is considered ‘right’, they are just not the same.

This neutrality on difference, on diversity, enables independent thinking and allow students the ability to decide what difference is good and what difference is just a sign of individuality. God created our world to be full of differences, but it is our choice if we celebrate or condemn those differences.

The puzzles that I do not think are as beneficial for social implementations are the ones ‘Which one doesn’t belong’

What Doesn't Belong Picture

Source: Color Me Happy in Kindergarten

These puzzles compare the group to the individual and outcast that individual. This may be a little deep for kindergarten worksheets, but let’s continue with the thought. The title of ‘Which one doesn’t belong’ celebrates the group while condemning the individual. The ability to decide what is good or bad is absent from these puzzles.

From the above picture, what if I said the cake, pool, and pizza belonged because they are circular but the carrot doesn’t. Or what if I said the cake, pizza, and carrot belong because they are food but the pool isn’t.

Conformity should not be synonymous with superiority, yet rebellion should not either. Comparison can do a lot of damage and yet at some time you have to compare apples to oranges. The key is the ability to see a situation from multiple perspectives; only then can we not only celebrate or condemn diversity, we can coexist with it.

Yep, I just debated the social implications of kindergarten worksheets and made a philosophical conclusion. Can you tell that I am going to be a social studies teacher?

Teddy Bear

Sometimes I wish I could be a little kid’s teddy bear.

I could be held tight and loved,

they’d whisper secrets and good night wishes in my ear,

I’d go to tea parties or fight evil masterminds,

I could be a princess or fly to the moon.

I’d be able to comfort them when they had to go to the doctors,

I’d go on family vacations and look out the window on a plane!

I’d be their closest friend and be with them everywhere.

But then the kid would get older

and have to go to school.

How I would long for them to come home for a nice snuggie embrace,

the hours would get longer and longer because they’d go to friend’s houses after school.

One day they’d be late to school and I would end up on the floor,

sadly, I wouldn’t be missed for a few days,

I begin to wonder if I am still loved at all . . .

Until I am picked up, held close and kissed on the head,

My boy or girl would exclaim, “I have been looking all over for you!”

I would be hugged extra close that night!

School days wore on and

I’d watch them practicing their spelling, then their multiplication tables, then geography.

Eventually there was pages of homework!

And I thought all you had to do to be smart was know how to give a really good hug.

Sometimes late at night, my boy or girl would whisper to me about their crush at school,

I loved knowing their secrets and still being held close again.

One afternoon the crush was going to come over

My boy or girl would run around in a frenzy making sure their room was up to par,

They’d pick me up

(I would think they’d want to show me off!)

but instead they would say, “I can’t have you lying around! I don’t need my crush still thinking I sleep with a teddy bear!”

I’d be tossed in the closet along with some dirty old socks!

How dare they cast me away when I kept their secret for so long!

Maybe I didn’t like this crush so much after all?

But they seemed to make my boy or girl happy and that’s all that matters,

right?

I would begin to find my new home in the closet,

it was dark and small,

but I would just pretend it was peaceful and cozy.

I was picked up years later and what I saw was a room full of boxes,

the room had changed more than that,

there was college flags, sports jerseys, band posters.

My boy or girl would wipe the dust away from my matted down fluffy and say,

“Oh, teddy bear, I almost forgot about you!

Little good you’d do me now, I am going off to college. I couldn’t let you be seen there.”

So with little care,

I’d be tossed in this big black trash bag.

Maybe after all,

I wouldn’t want to be a teddy bear.

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Pixabay/user:PublicDomainPictures

Sixty Years Older

I think that if my Grandma and I were the same age that we would be friends, maybe even best friends. She is sixty years older than me but I can just imagine either me going back to the 1950’s or her growing up now. I think when I would first meet her it would be that type of experience where you say to yourself, “I want her to be my friend”. She is playful and Christian and funny and clever and quirky and smart and noble and a tom boy and resilient and confident and joyful and faithful and trustworthy and optimistic and kind and a hard worker and brave and respectful and marches to her own drummer and easy to talk to and fun and thoughtful and always has a song in her heart and independent and positive.

She has all the qualities of a perfect friend and all the qualities of who I want to be.

Maybe I’ve been looking for a best friend who is just like my Grandma — and hopefully I know I’ve found her. But it would be nice to have more people like my Grandma at my school, or rather more in the world.

Maybe it’s unfortunate that my Grandma and I weren’t born in the same era or maybe it is perfect that way. I may not have her as my high school best friend but I have her as my role model who is only a phone call or a short car ride away. I would love to have her as my best friend but I love it even more to have her as my Grandma.

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