Meeting Intelligent People


Cappuccino? Yes, please!

I had a long talk with a friend of mine, Sofia. When I mean long, I mean about two hours over lunch. She inspired me unbelievably. We talked about politics, classes, teachers, we even joked. We talked about art and music. We helped each other out.

Here’s the catch. This girl was nine. That’s why I love youth. That’s why I believe in our future.

I mean it. I was stunned. I showed her one of my paintings on my cell phone and she said it rivaled Van Gogh. She says to me, you know, I like it because it isn’t all perfect and straight.

To make this world a better place.
To make this world a better place.

I asked her what her plans for life are. She has it pretty much figured out. First plan was to marry Justin Bieber. If that fails, she’s marrying rich. If that fails she says she’s going into politics.

I ask her why? She says because she wants to make the world a better place.

___________

Makes my overwhelmed state of life seem so silly. Why do grown ups mess everything up? We talked so long about education and the importance of learning. I taught her how to do her multiples of nine on her hands. I taught her what Chinese Math is by singing and learning by singing. I taught her how to count her seasons on her knuckles.

I admire her.

And she me, I believe. It’s friendship.

I notice how people’s friends all sort of look alike. I mean, my best girlfriends and I are almost equal in height, coloring, etc. Same with my husband’s, sister’s, children’s, etc.

What I think is special is when you cross those boundries and the old man and the
young child hold hands. How black meets white. How a homeless can talk with a rich person and share their experiences hoping to make this world a better place.

I’m praying for you. I am. ♡

I know I’m a dreamer. Aren’t we all to some extent? I just wish life were more simple. Too many problems to begin listing them. I am just thankful I have an outlet through writing, through walking, through painting, through participating, through helping and through friendships.

In the meantime, as always I hope post finds you lovely, lucky and in love.

Julie

Hi ho, hi ho, it’s off to school they go.

1. That I would be so visible in all of the world wherever there is internet. For some reason I thought I was still speaking to my immediate friends.

2. That people could laugh at me if they wanted. Sometimes they do but I mostly get compliments, thank goodness.

3. That everyone uses their blogs however they want in different ways to represent their own style. Some blogs have comments, some have books, some have lists, some have videos. Each person can make their blog completely personalized.

4. That the blogger community is extremely supportive. If you need help with anything there are endless forums to help you answer your questions. Or, you can post a new one. I did and got tons of quick answers.

5. That words are important. And can save lives. Take for example:

Let’s eat Grandma! versus Let’s eat, Grandma!

Believe it or not, a lot of people find my blog by typing those words into google.

6. That some people make money with their blogs.

7. That it takes more time and dedication than I thought. But like most projects the more you put into it the more you get out of it.

8. That I ♥ blogging.

9. That 97 percent of people want to write a book.

10. What’s a widget. I thought a widget was that wooden triangle piece you slip under a door to hold it open. Boy was a surprised. I have since discovered that widgets are the spice of life. You can see all my widgets on my right column. They are things like being able to see your categories, most popular posts and facebook links.

11. What’s a theme? Believe it or not, you get FREE themes. Themes are the overall looks of your site and you can choose whichever one suits you, just like a jacket.

You can even change as often as you want. I like mine for now but you never know. People love new looks. And it’s free.

12. That blogging would bring me increased confidence just like overcoming a fear.

14. That you would be reading this.

and just for fun, I’ll add another one. What would you add? What’s your number 14?

14. I wish I knew what social media was and how incredibly far reaching it is. I had seriously only heard the term social media at a garage sale buying a book.  Things you should look into are twitter, facebook and now pinterest.

I’m seriously in awe of the amount of times I see people in real life who have read my latest posts.

What about you? What are your favorite widgets? Why do you blog? Why don’t you blog? What are your favorite blogs and why?

As always, thanks for visiting and commenting. Nice to see you.

  1. Write down my goal in very specific terms.
  2. Practise visualisations daily.
  3. Stay positive and have an attitude of gratitude.
  4. Tell people about my goal repeatedly and publicly.
  5. Act as if I had already achieved it.
  6. Take massive action to make it happen.

 

Hi ho, hi ho, it’s off to school they go.

Watching my two sons go off on their first day of school left me a mixed bag of emotions including being happy, sad, nostalgic, thoughtful, nervous, excited and a bit worried.

I spend a lot of time with kids in general and I get sort of attached.

That’s probably natural, right?

I wonder, however, where is the line between being and adult and a kid, a teacher or a parent and a friend.

My mom always said I was like a  mom to her. Ha ha ha. Yes, we are today very good friends. But crossing that line at times from being the parent or the teacher to being a friend is a very fine line, delicate too.

Perhaps what is best is to find a good balance and some days be friends when you are out having fun, say at a park or something, or other times, be the parent or teacher when it’s time to talk seriously.

It’s hard for me to fathom the school system now here in Italy as compared to what I’m used to in sunny southern California.

That’s why I love it. It’s SO different than the United States’ school system. God Bless America.

God bless the world for that matter.

The main difference is that here there aren’t lockers, sports events, dances associated with schools that I know of.

Did you read that?

Here there aren’t lockers, sports events, dances associated with schools that I know of.

I cannot WAIT until the ipod is diffused and my kids can stop hauling 20 pound backpacks full of text books back and forth. I’m exaggerating for literary purposes because the truth is that they only occasionally bring their books back and forth depending on if they have homework. I think the teacher keeps them on shelves. I cannot remember.

When I taught, the older kids in secondary school, jr. high, middle school and high school, the students had their backpacks, rucksack, on the floor near their desks and their pencil cases open on their desks. Except for the time the one girl whipped out her camera and thought it would be funny to post pictures on facebook. Still happens.

I’m off topic.

Topic.

What surprised me living here in Europe was to learn that my kindergarten through fifth grade teacher for my son was the SAME TWO TEACHERS from 8a to 4p every single day for five years.

Some parents like that. Obviously it depends on if you like your teachers or not. We liked ours. They have both changed this year after the first four years so my older son, who is 10, has two new teachers.

I don’t know about you but I’m fiercely protective over my children. I asked how school went. I heard that the teacher said the kids were grounded during break and had to do make up exercises for summer homework.

Say what?

That just about sent me to the Principal’s office. Okay, these are kids reporting but I do know from first hand experience that grounding kids during break is used as a punishment, but NOT ON THE FIRST DAY OF SCHOOL. Are they out of their minds?

Of course, it was only partially true. It was more like, a minute to review homework.

But I’m watching them like a hawk. I heard my son got reprimanded because he put his hand on the window to touch hands with his brother. WHAT? Again, my blood started to boil. I mean, reprimanding someone for brotherly love? But then I thought, okay, you or I weren’t there, we don’t know what happened, and perhaps it was disturbing the class or at an inappropriate moment.

No, it happened while waiting for lunch. Okay, I don’t like kids touching my windows either.

I need to take a serious step back however because I have to let my children go and live their 0wn lives, at the same time trust that the teachers know what they are doing.

I know that the teachers have their work cut out for them, that teaching is one of the most difficult, challenging and rewarding jobs there is.

Unfortunately our educational system and national budget cuts have been effecting the school systems’ ability to thrive for years.

I did have a sweet moment however with my son this morning when he said he is worried about his new teacher being mean. I just said, Well, then you be nice. She probably needs it.

I asked him, You know how I get mad and angry sometimes? It’s only because I’m going through a rough time.

I asked him if he could try to see a little bit beyond just someone being mean and realize that perhaps she was that way because she had problems at home, or something. We don’t really know, do we, what problems someone is going through?

As my one friend, B says, don’t think it’s different out there for someone else. Everyone has their problems and worries.

Well, there you go. Off to a new start. Hope it is a good one. Sure of it. I plan on doing a list of goals. I’ve got a rough draft.

How about you. I’m so sorry. I went off on my life and schools. How have you been? Are your kids getting back to school? What do you think about parents and teachers being friends? What do you think about having one teacher for many years as opposed to having many teachers?

Thanks for dropping by. It’s nice to see you.

Julie

How to be successful without even trying.

Mimi Weddell Blogger
Develop a love for learning. ♡

If we can all agree that we got here now today thanks to the support of friends and loved ones I think we can also agree that it is also thanks to people who have motivated us.

One of my favorite teachers whom I’m grateful to is a man named Mr. Phil McGreevy. For some reason when I was going into high school I was told there was an experimental math class where ‘bright’ students were going to be experimented on. Like little hamsters. I still consider myself to be lucky that I was chosen to be in this class because the 24 of us had the honor of having the same students with the same teachers for the four years of high school.

Consistency, Relevancy and Going the Extra Mile.

Mr. McGreevy was a great teacher for so many reasons but mostly because he took the time to slowly explain everything from the start to the end. I always felt I could ask him at any time any question with out him getting angry. I loved the way he wrote on the blackboard because he had nice writing. He was consistent because he did things like draw squares around the answers. He also seemed to choose relevant homework.

Even though I had him for four years I remember one day when he asked who was interested in getting straight As – he was offering a Saturday workshop. Like most of my students they’d LOVE to have straight As but for various reasons their grades are all over the board. Most of them do follow what Mr. McGreevy called the Bell curve where he demonstrated that most students lie somewhere in the middle. I always wanted to be one of the students with the As. Maybe if I just did that little bit extra it would pay off.

Pay attention ~ here’s the key.

I attended his class and after doing various exercises and reading he got to the point of the argument. He said,

If

If

If

If you want to get straight As then all you have to do is develop a love for learning.

I was shocked. I was little bit disappointed because I thought he was going to give me the answers to that Friday’s test. I had to love learning?

Who loves learning? We only went to school because we had to. Love learning. That was the key. He was right. I don’t care how many times my mother could tell me about the starving children in Africa who didn’t have shoes or school it still didn’t make me want to study.

I don’t actually remember doing homework although I do remember it was assigned. I’m pretty certain I did it either during another class or before the class started. I’ll have to check with my classmates on that one.

I do agree that the key to learning is to develop a love for learning. I since have gone on to become a teacher. I found something even more important and that is the love of teaching. I truly love being infront of the kids and seeing them smile. I feel like it is an enormous privilege and honor to have this responsibility. I try to do my best with it.

One day I’m going to retire from teaching and just be an American living in Italy with her family and garden. God willing. In the mean time, I’m going to love learning.