What’s one thing I’m proud of?

I’m proud of being published in the Iowa Science Teachers Journal.  I helped write it, even if my group members modified what I wrote.  The feeling of being published for a school activity means I may help others in their teaching science to students.  That feels good!

I mostly met with a fellow cohort member Jacob P.  He is a great guy.  Or, he was when I was in contact with him.  I should reach out to him again.  He enjoyed board games, videogames, and science.  What a great combination!  Plus, he wrote very well.

This is highlighting the importance of asking others for help.  Doing things with others helps us get things done.

Another moment in my life I am proud of is when I chased down Abbie after a date.  I finally got the first kiss!  I even went to the wrong address, but I persevered!  That was a fun day!

This was a continuation of the Live Your Legend Blog Challenge!  I’d write more but it is 11 pm and I have to teach in the morning.

Make Time to Explore

“Exploration is really the essence of human spirit.”

Frank Borman

Frank Borman was one of the first humans to go around the moon.  He was able to live the common fantasy of many children.  And many adults too!

There is something about new experiences which is thrilling.  We have people like Felix Baumgartner who chase after the thrills.

We also have people with neophobia, which is a fear of trying new things.  For them, the thrill is just too much!

The majority of us enjoy new things, yet we get stuck in our routines.  We come home, have dinner, and then sit on the computer or watch TV.  Finding new thrills is not part of the routine.

Plan to Be Curious

We love surprises.  Let’s modify our environment to help get them.  One thing we can do is set aside time to pursue questions we have.  For example, I set aside two hours this week to explore any questions that came to mind.  Did you know Einstein and Bohr had debates over the validity of quantum theory?  Anyway, in order to get your mind in the frame of asking questions, act like Wondercat did by starting with, “I wonder…?”

I wonder...?

There are other types of surprises we can plan.  Buy a new food that looks interesting.  Abbie and I once bought a spikey-fruit for the sole reason it looked funny.  I forget its name, but I remember the fun experience.  And as you browse the aisles in the grocery story, say hello to a stranger.  Being talked to randomly is surprising.  If talking to someone is too terrifying, then begin by keeping eye contact with someone longer than they do with you.  Warning: this mini-game can become addicting.

Want a day of surprises?  Then break your routines and have a “No-electronics Day.”  See what happens when digital technology is off the table.

Enjoy the surprises!

Value Mind Map – Compassion – May 4th – 10th

“For me, I am driven by two main philosophies: know more today about the world than I knew yesterday and lessen the suffering of others. You’d be surprised how far that gets you.”
― Neil deGrasse Tyson

Compassion.  The art of reducing suffering.  I think the hardest part about compassion is realizing the long-term effects.  Lying can relieve you immediately, yet cause you greater suffering later on.  It is difficult to swallow the fact that sometimes compassion is causing pain now in order to reduce future pain.  To be compassionate, we must be brave.  Brave enough to have the difficult conversations.  Brave enough to risk looking like a fool.  Brave enough to say no to oneself.  Compassion is one of the most difficult arts to master…

Below is my mind map of compassion this week.

Compassion Mind Map


When I first think of compassion, I think of curing the sick or feeding the hungry.  Luckily, I do not encounter those pains frequently in my life.  This forced me to think of other types of suffering.  I helped Abbie leave her comfort zone by being her accountability partner.  I helped myself stop thinking about the negatives of my 8th grade project by setting up positive questions to guide my reflection of the experience.  Roz was taken to the vet and checked over.  Sadly, she has lost some teeth and I am attempting to set up a brushing regimen to, hopefully, save the rest of her teeth.  I also apologized to a student after pushing him back into my classroom, which helped reduce my suffering at least.  Hopefully his suffering too.

Once we slow down and think about life, almost everything we do is to avoid some type of suffering.  We should be grateful whenever our suffering is solely boredom.  Being sick or starving are much worse alternatives!

Something that just popped into my head is an easy way to live a compassionate life.  Continuously ask the following question: How can I help my community?  You can change community to myself, my friends, my family, or my coworkers.  But, if you are helping, then you are acting compassionately.

Next week, we will be focusing on community.  What will you do to help our community?

Sudlow Beautification!

Last Saturday, we spent time making our school more beautiful.  A big thanks to Kelly for setting this up, her husband for being a mulch-master, Abbie for helping me plant daylilies, Claire the super student, and Claire’s mom for bringing her daughter and spreading some mulch.

Below is a picture of the sign with the daylilies planted around it.

Sudlow Beautification

Imagine if everyone spent some time helping to make their community beautiful.  Even if it is picking up an extra piece of trash on the walk to and from a car…  That thought makes me smile 🙂

Value Mind Map – Well-being – April 27th – May 3rd

well being

Take care of your body!  It’s your personal vehicle, but when it hurts so do you.  This past week, Abbie and I decided to focus on Well-being, specifically physical Well-being.  We sometimes forget to spend some time taking care of ourselves in our very busy world.

What did I learn by focusing on Well-being this past week?  We should all try to make our workouts fun.  On Friday, Abbie and I passed the ball around and tried to juggle it between us.  We also played keep away for a bit.  What a fun, simple game!  Saturday was spent beautifying Sudlow.  Carrying mulch, digging holes, and picking up trash is quite a workout.  I know that doesn’t sound like fun, but doing it with people is!  I should have taken a picture of that.  My next workout was an example of a less fun workout, which was running 3 miles.  But, that was followed with playing tennis with Abbie.  Running by myself hasn’t been fun, but I think I would benefit from changing my views on it.  Maybe viewing it as a personal challenge would help.  I am able to get through tough times without relying on others all the time.  Anything can be fun if the mindset is angled that way…

Speaking of that run, I learned to be encouraging to others.  For example, there was a man edging his sidewalk.  I told him it looked good and he responded cheerily.  Simple acts of kindness go a long way.  I don’t know what it did for him, but I had a short burst of energy during my run after I shared my thoughts with him.

I had a loss in terms of Well-being.  I ate Hardees.  And I had a Pepsi.  When I struggle, I comfort myself with food.  The school week wasn’t going as planned, so I was mentally beat up and wanting comfort.  I must replace that habit with something more beneficial, such as dancing to music while preparing a healthier meal!  Oh the joys of dancing!

If you look at the picture, you’ll notice I used x‘s  to indicate something not supporting my value.  I think admitting the faults is a good thing, as long as you grow from them.  I may start including some of the ways I didn’t act toward the value in an attempt to better understand who I am as a person.

Create to know!  What have you created lately?  Next week I’ll be creating a Mind Map around our value of Compassion, which is the art of reducing suffering.