Tag Archives: lesson

A to Z – thoughts and thanks my reflection

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So it is done, the A to Z has been packed up in April’s hand luggage and placed on the carousel of memories it is time to move to the next challenge to set course on my next path in the blog-o-sphere but before we wave good-bye to April and the fun that has been had. I would like to share reflections on what has been learnt and enjoyed over the course of the 26 posts from A to Z.

Blogging takes time, commitment and brain cells. Tales from Tedium was but a few posts old when I signed up. Posting to schedule was nigh on impossible at times but between long shifts and needed sleep breaks I did get the whole alphabet covered. Time is precious and to create a post worth reading takes contemplation planning and preparation followed by editing, tweaking and revising. I shall not be winging it next year, next year I shall properly prepare and perhaps even pre write some letters to make sure I keep up.

I am very lucky. Posting on gratitude thinking of  things I appreciate and am blessed to have experience has been a fabulous exercise for me personally. During the month of April there have been a number of issues that needed to be dealt with M – moan day is perhaps the only evidence of this frustration that dripped into the blog posts https://talesfromtedium.wordpress.com/2013/04/15/m-moan-day , so sorry about that blip. I maintained a positive outlook during challenging times and I am sure that it was my alphabetical obsession with being grateful that facilitated this. (Lets not get to a chicken and egg situation here but you know where I am heading.)

On to the lessons, I can improve! Thanks to the stats I can peer into the blog records and see what was enjoyed most, what you as my readers have liked and also what might have fallen a bit flat.
1st lesson , comments posted on my mobile phone do not upload, I am sorry to those who thought I was being ignorant and not answering I tried and failed but will repost shortly.
2nd lesson (needed) my wordpress basics are just that BASIC I need to improve layouts and menus to make things easier to navigate.
3rd lesson, is to stay a blog ahead, I am going to aim to always keep something up sleeve and to be able to prepare properly to post.
4th lesson, a big part of the A to Z is to visit other blogs I tried and while I have read over 500 posts on other A to Zs  this is just a drop in the ocean. Next year I shall have to set aside dedicated reading time.

Time to say thanks!
Today I am tired but I am thankful. I am grateful that I did not have to get out bed till lunch time (ok 10 am) I am please I sat there with my laptop and read. My daily reads have tripled many others I have liked some I have laughed with. To each  blogger a huge thank you for sharing!

A special thanks goes out to you the reader. There are some of you I know in person, (Swedish one don’t kick my butt this is not an Oscar speech gone wrong! Friends from long ago, to followers from recent weeks I thank you. Your clicking of the like buttons and comments have cheered me on and I shall not forget this. A special thanks to  http://galeriaredelius.wordpress.com , K.Jacqleene from http://graceandcandor.wordpress.com ,Joe from http://joeowensblog.wordpress.com and http://mauldinfamily1.wordpress.com who have shown constant support in their words over the last month.

One last substantial thank you, a gift of appreciation in words to the organisers of the challenge to Arlee Bird, at Tossing it Out, http://tossingitout.blogspot.co.uk and all who helped him behind the scenes. Sir I salute you.

So now April is over,
the challenge has been done,
It time to keep on blogging more,
it is time to have some fun.
To all who posted A to Z
Who typed the A,B C
Unleash your keybords once again
It’s time for typing free.
As May sun shines upon us
Just have a little rest
The April challenge was brilliant
As a participant I was blessed.
I thank the Genius Arlee Bird
His challenge took on wings,
A brilliant months of posting
On so many different things.
In just eleven months
The A will call to me.
For one things guaranteed
I will participate in next April’s A to Z.

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Woops we are running late again … Well Wubble-u if for wishful thinking.

When all this started I may have been suffering from March Madness, the April challenge seemed a doddle, throw a few words together and hey there is a blog post. Not too difficult is it…. but then the W word became involved work, which I am grateful for, work which is paying the bills, work which has taken up 31 of the last 50 hours. So work is being blamed for my recent tardy posting in the April challenge, with only W, X, Y and Z to go I shall hope to be caught up by this time tomorrow and have only Z to post.  So with apologies for the delay here is my W for today.

I forget how many times I have heard the sigh of despair that is followed by the words “it’s wishful thinking” denoting the failure of hopes or the disappointment at the outcome of a situation. So things didn’t work out, plans flopped outcomes were not as hoped. When I hear that sigh I want to stand up and shout a bit… “So keep wishing”, keep looking for the best and become the change that you want. For it is up to the individual to put wishful thinking into place. Working with challenging behaviours, be it with children, adults or perhaps even the odd work college (in the past) operating on optimum positivity can be hard, but when my grin factor fades and the challenge becomes a chore I know I am on  a hiding to nothing. It is then more than ever that I need to sit and think – it is time for wishful thinking.

Some time ago, I worked with a person who had a personality that tended to clash with mine; lets call him Mr Difficult. I was consumed by the negative aura that he omitted as soon as  he entered the building, it affected everyone. The service users behaviours would change and it was a chain reaction that led to many difficulties that I cannot disclose. There was not option, I was either going to have to change jobs or change my daytime routine, the latter was easier.

Mornings were the worst, so instead of turning up with the minimum amount of time to spare getting in and out as quickly as possible I got in early. I made Mr Difficult a cup of tea, checked the task list for the day and prepared as much as I could. Mr Difficult also came in early (but I beat him in), I greeted him with a smile and a cheerful hello, confused he responded in a curt but polite manner we did not converse but worked in silence. That day was better.

When I got home that night, I wondered if the change was “wishful thinking” I sat and listed all the things that had perturbed me in the previous weeks and wondered how I could change them, IF I could change them. I chose three things that could be altered to benefit us all and sent a polite email. Mr Difficult did not reply before I left for work the next day, but while I waited for his response I continued to smile and be cheerful. Over the next week if I was on days I would make us both a cup of tea, write lists to do and work quietly waiting for something to be said slowly changing displays and work areas.

Two weeks after I had emailed Mr Difficult, I walked into to work on a Monday morning to find a cup of tea waiting for me, “Morning” was called out from the store cupboard Mr Difficult had it seemed succumbed to the wishful thinking. Things were never easy between us, as colleges we both knew that we were perhaps too similar, to stubborn  but while we never became friends once we had both embraced wishful thinking we were able to make a difference to the team.

Todays wishful thinking is that I will complete this A to Z … so from a little Miss (not quite so) Difficult, Today I am grateful for wishful thinking, for hopes and dreams for time to ponder on how we can improve things and for becoming the difference we want to see.

J Just a minute … I am listening to Janis!

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Just a minute this J is a tricky one…
Oh just a minute, that phrase so over used by my son that signifies he has heard my request and will perhaps get round to doing what is asked before the next decade. “Just a minute” never signifies sixty seconds, more likely it will be three to four hours with repeated requests that might result in tearing my hair out throwing a tantrum or completing the task myself.

J has me in a quandary, I will need a jolly good think before I get this posted, just a minute while perhaps I’ll ponder.  Two cups of tea later and a chat with the Swedish one on facebook I thought I was no further forwards. Thank you my friend but as a vegi’ I cannot appreciate Jerk Chicken, and to jerkorf well we shall say no more on that suggestion.

If I had been posting this at the age of 13 I would have delighted in the joy of Jon Bon Jovi, he was my idol a demi god of Rock who just did it for me. I drooled over his posters and jumped around to the tune from the tape-deck. I would have done almost anything for that man to have laid me down in a bed of roses, until that fateful day he appeared in a shiny gold suit… the rock god fell from grace in my eyes he pranced around looking like he was wrapped in over tight tinfoil waiting to be baked. In the years that followed he cut his hair and I listened to other music.

Recent years have brought me to The Jam, James Blunt and Jefferson Airplane, each musical introduction is part of a story a moment shared with a friend or acquaintance, musical education seems to take place in kitchens (for more in kitchen moments please see tomorrows post). I am pleased to know so many people who are passionate about music who enjoy the process of sharing what they love to listen too.

As I jumped through the list of J’s that now form a small part of my CD collection, I skipped perhaps the most poignant. I met Janis Joplin in the classroom. Well this is where I met her music. During my studies I was privileged to have taken creative writing and my tutor was at best unconventional, he taught us a great deal. It was only our second tutorial; we knew that we would be given a task and an hour to write before we had to feed back to the group for constructive criticism, so we filed in with a sense of foreboding wondering what we would have to write about.

Dick, our tutor said nothing he simply waited for us to be seated and have pens at the ready, he pressed play. One word was written on the board, RESPOND.  As “little girl blue” played he distributed the lyrics and left.

I sat there and counted my fingers, I had no idea what to do apparently this woman who voice resounded through the room knew exactly how I felt, I wanted to run, to put down my pen and give up. But I listened again, I did not produce a resounding piece of brilliance, oh no it was shoddy to say the least but I wrote I went home that night with a copy of the best of Janis and listened some more. She sang journeys in words her lyrics may have sounded despairing but they challenged the listener to move forwards. Janis Joplin has been described as “the first really high-profile female rock singer to carve a completely independent path”. Being introduced to her music set me on a path of discovery, I listened through her back catalogue, read the beat poets and found inspiration over the years that followed, still do.

In that single lesson I learnt to appreciate and embrace the challenge, I was introduce to a singer whose voice I will always love, I was set on a journey where whatever happens you try, you don’t just “sit there and count your fingers” you get up and see what comes next.

Today it might have taken more than just a minute to write my J post. But as I sit her 10 hours after starting this morning I  have that old ” best of album”  playing, and I smile for  I am grateful that I was set on a journey of discovery years ago one that is far from over but in a musical journey you are able to rewind replay and remember. Janis Joplin I am thankful that in that moment your music was shared!

Janis

E -ee by gum, to the end!

For those of you who have not encountered the Yorkshire saying “Ee by gum”, the” Ee ” is an exclamation of surprise, amazement etc and ” By Gum ” means who would have thought that ? or so I am told please inform me if I am wrong. For I appreciate an education.

Education is a founding slab on the path to adult-hood. Parents urge children to learn, teachers take up that challenge, the task at hand is to educate. We should all be appreciative of this should we not, through school, colleges and university I have been blessed to have experienced the influence of some amazing educators.

I remember Mr Watkins making us sit under our desks as we listened to him read “The Hobbit” , I would have been no more than 7 or 8 years old but pretending I was in The Burrow while he read, it was a genius approach. Mrs Astbury, she was the crazy English teacher in purple tights… but her enthusiasm exists to this day. Notes that she encouraged are scrawled in the margins of my first copy of “Jayne Eyre” I still choose to read that copy.
Just two of the teachers whose lessons stay with me. English, the language, the subject, the literature both an aid and a focus of the education they gifted me. That education sparked my enthusiasm for words and learning. I am lucky.

A lesson plan to teach the use of the internet to 11 year olds, springs to mind (apologies for no link but this is from memory). It was a cross curricular activity a comprehension piece followed with discussion time. The students sat in front of the computers and read a Wiki-style page detailing the danger that carnivorous snails were presenting. The snail colonies were spreading fast and awareness was required. Now at the top of the web page there was a disclaimer that this was fiction, but the flashy maps and use of language distracted the readers. When they sat on the floor to discuss their findings all the children believed that man-eating Snails could cause mayhem.

Don’t worry, we did not release a class full of snail-fearing youngsters into the world. No, we discussed the whole piece why they thought it was Fact. These kids all laughed when it was pointed out that even I could outrun a snail, so I wasn’t at all worried. Then the penny dropped, they began to question, to see out the truth and facts for themselves. I hope that still they question what they read, it is too easy sometime to look at the written word without questioning the motivation or the bias.

In the words of Peter Ustinov “what is education but a process by which a person begins to learn how to learn?”

Once we have grasped this, we should not let it go, it is a lesson that should drive us through each day with gratitude that there is no end to what we can learn. In the last few years my education shifted from literature to Metal. Thanks to a good friend, I was granted the task of teaching myself all about Rock. Yes he might have laughed a little when I could not identify Iron Maiden when it played on the Jukebox in the bar, but now I can reel off Bruce Dickinson facts, I own 3 Maiden Albums and I can even tell you what my favourite Motorhead track is.

E is for education in my A-Z, I am grateful that education is a lifelong challenge. Each day presents us with undiscovered knowledge, each person a lesson in their own way. Our education is endless I appreciate this and know that I need lessons in WordPress and blogging. If you have any gems to share that we might find helpful please share.