Tag Archives: United States

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

#6 My Amazing Friends also known as MAFSS guest M. Risser

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Running side by side friend.

Run the Hill by guest blogger Michele Risser

Run the hill is a phrase I use when things get hard. Run the hill is focus. Run the hill is determination. Run the hill is tenacity, strength and endurance. Running the hill is the thing you have to do to become a better runner.

On a long stretch of highway you can see the hill, ahead in the distance waiting for your arrival. There are certain things you must do as you approach it. You must unclench your fists and relax your shoulders. You must straighten your back and expand your chest. You must raise your head. Most importantly, you must turn up your music.

Stay focused.

As you begin the ascent, you must find a point just ahead of you to become your mini goal. It may be a crack in the road, a sign or a post, a tree or a flower. All you aim for is that next little goal. It is very important not to look, glance at, or focus on the top of the hill, it is overwhelming.

You must stay focused on your mini goal until you pass it and then hone in on the next crack, tree, post or flower until again you must select a new one.

As your music keeps your pace, as your eyes look forward, as your chest expands to receive oxygen and your head is held up to supply that oxygen, you begin to realize you are running the hill. Little by little, breath by breath, one leg and then the other stepping up, up, up. You are running the hill.

Jumping over obstacles.

Those things in life which are the hardest to do are the things we must do. They make us stronger, more patient, compassionate, they improve us.

They give us the experiences in life which require focus, determination, tenacity and perseverance.

Doing hard things helps us to grow. At times those hard things may seem overwhelming and so you set a mini-goal.

Perhaps solving one problem at a time, improving a fault little by little, mending a relationship, gaining knowledge, overcoming pain, hurt, anger, depression or addiction. One hour at a time, one day at a time, one lesson at a time, one achievement at a time.

Triumph

When you reach the crest of a hill and you know within a minute you are will be at the top, you must push with that one last burst of energy that is hidden deep inside of you, but is always there.

For a brief second, just an instant, you are able to see the view from the top of the hill. The view is glorious, spectacular, breath taking and not because of what you may see, but because of what you feel ~ your moment of triumph.

You will feel your strength, your determination, tenacity and endurance, all of the those characteristics that helped get you to the top of the hill.

You can do it. I believe in you.

Then, you begin to run, down, down. No longer is a mini goal needed. Your breath begins to relax, no need to concentrate on the song to keep pace.

For a moment you have a repose, a rest from the intensity of pushing yourself, from doing something physically and mentally challenging.

Even though you know that there will always be another hill, you immerse yourself in the glory of running without effort. You feel light, you are floating, you are free from the burden of climbing the hill and all you can do is look in wonder and gratitude at what is around you.

You feel like you can fly.

Becoming a stronger you.

We cannot avoid running the hill, we must run it when it is there before us. We must not be discouraged if it not our best run, or our strongest, or fastest or our most successful. Running the hill will be different every time, because all hills are different. The constant lies in us and the tools we use from experience, to make the run bearable, to finish. Remember that each time you run the hill, you become a stronger you.

Run the hill, run the hill, run the hill. It is what I repeat over and over in my mind as I make the climb, both in running and in life.

If you’d like more information about Michele and running you can leave a message here below, contact her on twitter, or contact her on facebook.

 

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