Thursday, March 19, 2009

The Language of "I Can't"

I had a surprise today when I went to the elementary school near where I work for my normal Thursday morning tutoring session. We wouldn't be doing our one on one tutoring, but rather they had a special activity planned for all the 4th and 5th graders called "Soaring Words". In this activity, the students were to invent superheroes, write a story, and illustrate it for children in the local children's hospital.

I worked with 4 students today, 3 boys and 1 girl. Two of the students (the girl and one of the boys) were my regular students who I tutor in reading. The boys were more into the activity that the girl. I've been trying to blame it on the "superheroes" theme, but I'm not sure I can really do that. The girl, a 4th grader, my star student, would not do the assignment. She kept saying "I can't draw", "I don't know how to do this", "I'm not good at writing stories", etc. Where did that come from?

I remember when I was in the third grade, I was so nervous about an assignment that I wrote in the tiniest printing possible. I think the teacher needed a magnifying glass to see it. I was embarrassed. I didn't want to be wrong and somehow I thought if I wrote so small that no one could read it then it it would be all right. It wasn't. But along the way, I got encouragement. I started taking chances (even though it made me nervous).

How do we replace "I can't" in the language of young people with "I want to learn to" or "I'm going to try my best to"?

Sunday, March 15, 2009

Several Weeks Later...

I haven't blogged in a while. It isn't that I haven't thought of this blog and what I have left behind, but some things have been going on, and that is just the way it goes sometimes. So, what have I been up to lately? Here is the update...

1. Remember the Meat Overload entry? Well, I had a repeat trip to Fogo with my friend Scott. I think that I may have been sick for 2 days after that. I had thought about that meal for a while and what it would be like to go back, but it just didn't go as planned. I have received some coaching if I ever go again, which is that you must get the papaya yogurt for desert. Something about the yogurt breaks down the meat and makes the digestion process go easier. I just don't know if I'll get a chance to try that out.

2. I went to the doctor for my yearly check-up. There were some wacky results on my blood tests. Since then, I've not been eating desserts or drinking soda. I also am cutting out the "real" eggs in favor of the egg-beater type egg for a while to see if it has impact. I don't really eat eggs all that often anyway. I have to check some things in a few weeks and hopefully they will all be back to normal. My cholesterol, while not technically high is out of whack between the goods and bads. I'd have to get the results out again to really look at it and figure out which is the bad number. Anyway, I'm sure the Meat Overload just a few days before the blood test didn't help either. I'm paying attention to everything and writing it all down. Hopefully, I'll have some good data for the doc when I go back in (I even have a spreadsheet!).

3. Sadie has been struggling with Cushing's Disease and other things. She isn't done with her testing yet, but has had some issues that prevent us from continuing the tests. She spent 2 nights at the vet last week. She's home now and okay and on a stronger antibiotic.

4. Okay, so all of you out there on Facebook and MySpace...yes, you. All you proud Facebook users who keep inviting me. No, I'm not going to be on Facebook, BUT...Trevor did convice me to get a Webkinz. That is right, I have a Webkinz. Trevor and I can now play games like "Go Fish" and "Connect Four" online. It is actually kind of cool. But, I still don't think I want to participate in the grown-up versions of Webkinz (Facebook and MySpace).

5. And last but not least, I won a jackpot at a casino! My Mom and I went to a casino the other day to join a friend and her mother. We had about 30 minutes to kill before we were to meet for lunch and on the third pull on a 1 cent slot machine, I hit the big jackpot for $1000. I had never hit the big jackpot in my life before. It was pretty cool.

So, that is my story. I'm home today doing laundry. Hanging out with the doggies. Having a pretty good weekend. My plan is to get back to blogging, but I may lay low for a few more weeks. Spring break is coming up and I'll be in Florida with my family. I'm sure I'll have some tales to tell when we get back.