Monday, October 29, 2012

Why are names important?

Can you spell it?
Can you remember it?
Even tomorrow?
What about next week?
What about the children's names? 
And the spouses' names?
Can you really remember them all?

My pastor's wife Nancy, who passed away two weeks ago, really did remember every one's name! She also remembered your children's names; and most of the time even details about your children! How did she do it?

For those of us involved in a ministry with her, have become aware of that we had always counted on Nancy remembering the names of people; at our single mom's dinners, we counted on Nancy to remember the moms' names  and the volunteers' names. Now we, who are left behind, have realized that we have to find ways to learn the moms' names! Easier said than done.......But think, what a difference it makes when someone calls you by name; you feel special, important, valued, appreciated, welcomed; just because someone took the time to learn and remember your name! I want to make people feel special because I know their names!

I don't ever forget my students' names, but why do I have such a difficulty remembering other peoples' names? I don't forget faces, but names.....

Has anyone found any good strategies of learning AND remembering peoples' names?

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Much Ado About Nothing

If you can't make it to London, England to experience a Shakespeare production, the next best thing is to see a film version of one of their productions!
With many sad events in the recent past, it was wonderful to sit down and laugh!
Shakespeare's Much Ado About Nothing is my absolute favorite play. I love the cleaver dialogue between Benedick and Beatrice. Many times when "have to" teach Romeo and Juliet, I dream of teaching Much Ado About Nothing. Benedick and Beatrice's has a lot more sense and spark than Romeo and Juliet's childlike dream about marriage and death.
I also loved seeing the Globe Theater audience, and how they were included in the  play I could hear them laugh, see them put on the rain ponchos (as it was raining during the production), and observe how the actors made direct eye contract with the audience members.
I think I will have to start planning a trip to the Globe Theater! So, if they are showing a film version close to you, go see it! You will  enjoy it!

Tuesday, October 16, 2012

Another Goodbye

I am sitting at home and wondering what shall I write this time. We have another funeral to go to this week: our pastor's wife suddenly passed away on Sunday. Nancy's passing is leaving a huge whole in all of our hearts; but we are also left with wonderful memories of her. Nancy was always ready with hugs and smiles. She had so much love to give! Maybe that was because she felt that God loved her so much that she could not help loving others in return.
Below are the words my daughter used to describe Nancy. I think she said it so well that I asked her if I could include her words in my blog. Here is Nancy as remembered by Dorothy:

Let me tell y'all about what Pastor Nancy has done for me. Nancy started the Single Mom's ministry when I was about six years old, a place and a community where single mothers and their children could meet, have fellowship, and be blessed. My mother and I were a part of the ministry from its very beginning, and I know that we have been so blessed by it over the years. Society looks at the child of a single mom with low expectations, with the probability that the child will grow up to become another statistic, another failure. But through growing up with the wisdom of my my mother and my family, the Vineyard Church family, Pastor Nancy Wilson (and the single mom's ministry) and the love of Christ, I have been brought to a stage in my life where I am ready to serve God and people through ministry in any way I can. Now let me tell you folks, that ain't no ordinary story; that's a miracle. Nancy, we will miss you more than words can describe. We love you.
Thank you for reading!

Tuesday, October 9, 2012

Potential energy turns into Kinetic energy

It is Friday. Last hour of the day. 6th graders have a quiz. I have a small group of students in my room who need help with the content material and/or reading.
I had been looking some visual materials for the students in order to help them understand the difference between kinetic and potential energy. I found this You Tube video. I thought the students would like the visuals along with the music.
Boy,  did they ever like it!! There was new energy in the room! Students were singing along with the song!!  (And I did not even think the song was that cool!!) Even my ELL students understood the difference!
We also looked at Paint can up and down demonstration about potential and kinetic energy along with How roller coasters work? All the students were engaged--on the last hour on Friday!!!!!!
 Could I say that the potential energy in my class turned into kinetic energy???

Tuesday, October 2, 2012

Bullying and Romance Novels

        This past weekend I took some time to relax by reading a novel by Sherryl Woods. I had read some of her novels previously, and thus I knew I would encounter some old characters that I had met at previous novels by her. I had requested an e-book a few weeks ago without even really reading what the novel is about (just because I had enjoyed her other books), therefore I did not realize the timeliness of her message in Catching Fireflies .
         The novel's message deals with bullying--and especially bullying on the Internet. Needless to say, I was surprised! I would have expected this in a young adult novel, but not really in a (romance) novel for adults. But I was hooked!
         Sherryl Woods describes so well the feelings and actions of high school student who is a victim of the bullying. When she feels alone and helpless, I am right there with her. When one of the adults reveals a tragic encounter with bullying from his past, I am reaching for the tissue. And when the community works together to stand up against the bullying, I was cheering them on! Yes, I have to admit, it would be nice to live in a community where people care so much about each other, and where friends are always ready with a party--or just a margarita (even if I don't like them).
        So, if you feel guilty of reading something "relaxing" instead of another book on writing or reading, I would recommend Sherryl Wood's Catching Fireflies. It deals with a current topic that many of us have encountered at our school. Perhaps it will encourage us teachers to look a little deeper if we suspect bullying is taking place near us. Or perhaps one of us will save a life by getting involved! Or perhaps you are lucky and will never have to deal with this topic during your career!
       Relax with a novel, it just might surprise you!