Out With the Old and In With the New!

“The greatest discovery of all time is that a person can change his future by merely changing his attitude.” – Oprah Winfrey

 As the earth spins, days pass, and as we evolve and progress, one of the most difficult parts of life is accepting and adapting to change. Change is inevitable and healthy, albeit quite intimidating. We tend to fall into comfortable patterns and we cling to what we know, sometimes rejecting beneficial changes. We all have those friends- the ones that call with desperation in their voices,sharing tales of woe about how they fight consistently with their boyfriend or girlfriend and worry that the relationship is weakening. We supportively tell our friend that maybe they’re hanging on to what their relationship used to be and that maybe it’s time to consider moving on. They seem to listen intently, ingesting every pearl of wisdom you have to share until the next day when the happy couple returns to the status quo. We can plan to repeat this same routine next week.

We place a lot of importance on history and shared experiences, but just because we have fond memories with someone or we’ve shared special times with them, does not mean that the relationship we have with that person will never change. In fact, it’s likely that it will. As individuals, we constantly evolve, and our evolutions as individuals inevitably impact our relationships with others.

Fearing change is natural and organic and sharing memories and experiences can absolutely be a means of bonding to other people. We also need to be willing to accept that having shared memories and experiences does not mean that we should hang onto a bond that is not what it once was. We cannot pretend that nothing has changed. When a relationship begins to do more harm than good, we must be willing to let go.

Admittedly, there are so many times that I wonder, “How did I get here so fast?” I am so often amazed at how quickly my life seems to progress. I vividly remember my eighth grade commencement, my various involvements in high school, my high school graduation, and crying as I watched my parents drive away after helping me move into my college dorm. There is never a time that I take for granted how gracefully my life has evolved. None of these changes have been easy and each has incited great fear and apprehension. In review, there are some people that have been in my life since the very beginning, from kindergarten until this day, but there are some that were once so important, yet we’ve drifted. This change is okay and I’ve accepted it. By no means have the memories and experiences I shared with these people faded in importance. They are still very much a part of me, but as I’ve grown as an individual, change and evolution have allowed me to mature from them.

I’ve focused on change a lot in this blog, and it’s a topic that never lessens in importance. Shared histories and experiences are so very significant- they help us to grow into our full selves, but clinging to the past because of fear and apprehension of the unknown is unproductive and harmful. A willingness to evolve and learning to let go allows us to look ahead to our bright and beautiful futures.

I think at the start of a new year, this idea of accepting change is so valuable. Of course I’ve made resolutions to get in shape and work hard, but I’ve also resolved to do my best to “go with the flow.” I need to be flexible and adaptable and I know that 2012 is the year to learn to do just that!

What are your resolutions for the New Year? Have you had any significant changes in your life that have shaped you? 

I’m Back, Baby!

I am disappointed in myself that I have neglected this blog so greatly in recent months. A mix of overwhelming school demands, illnesses in my family, and life have made attending to this blog so hard, BUT I fully intend to blog more in the coming year. It is among my 2012 resolutions! I’ve learned a lot in 2011 and I intend to take the lessons I’ve learned this year into the future to help me continue to grow!

 

More blog posts to come!

M.I.A.

Hey, all! Sorry I’ve been missing in action- school, illness, and other personal stuff has consumed me lately. I am very much looking forward to getting back to blogging, though! Because I’ve been so overwhelmed, I haven’t had the time to write a formal entry to I’m just going to share some cool things!

First… I went “pumpkin patching” with my roommates and I have to show you what I picked out!

Yeah, that’s me on the right, falling over (and laughing hysterically)! That’s not the pumpkin I took home, but I DID carve this baby…

Second… I read these and loved them, so I’m passing them along!

Have you done anything fun in the fall spirit? What inspires you?

What’s Hot/ What’s Not Fall 2011

The highly anticipated Fall is finally here and as I begin to dig out my Fall favorites, I am more, and more excited to see what’s ahead! Surely, there’s a lot going on this Fall and check-in right here to what’s hot and what’s not for this season!

WHAT’S HOT

The new show, The New Girl. 

WHAT’S NOT

Tuning-out the slew of superb Fall TV shows (You know they’re your guilty pleasure, too!).

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WHAT’S HOT

Carving pumpkins.

WHAT’S NOT

The scary knives that pumpkin carving requires.

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WHAT’S HOT

The Halloween spirit.

WHAT’S NOT

Using Halloween as an excuse to dress… well, not very modestly (I’ll leave it at that!).

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WHAT’S HOT

Cool air and lovely sweater weather.

WHAT’S NOT

Runny, red noses from the chilly air.

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WHAT’S HOT

Fall football (DolFANs get your fins up! AND Go Knights!).

WHAT’S NOT

Lacking spirit.

HAPPY FALL EVERYONE!

Why Children’s Books are my New Inspiration

As I’ve mentioned in past posts, I am in college pursuing a degree in elementary education. In pursuit of my major, I am required to take many different courses, one of which is a children’s literature course. I’ve been devouring children’s books that bring me back to my childhood and which have reminded me of the many quality lessons these books hold. I made a short list of some of the lessons I’ve deciphered and I hope it encourages you to pick up an old favorite and to cherish its quality and excellence. Enjoy!

1. Sometimes, it’s okay to be curious. (Curious George, H.A. Rey)

2. With time and perseverance, you’ll always end up where you belong. (Corduroy, Don Freeman)

3. Never take advantage of a good thing. (Miss Nelson is Missing, Harry Allard and James Marshall)

4. Love is eternal. (The Giving Tree, Shel Silverstein)

5. Beauty lives within. (The Rainbow Fish, Marcus Pfister)

6. Lend a helping hand when you can. (Make Way for Ducklings, Robert McCloskey)

20 Reasons I Love My Elementary Education Major

It took me a really long time to figure out what major I wanted to declare in college. I felt, and I still feel, that eighteen is too young to decide what career path to choose. While many students change their major many times, I’ve never been casual about choosing and switching my major. I’ve always felt that choosing a major is a declaration of how your life will be lived. Choosing one major over another impacts the trajectory of your life in every way. Your career dictates where you live, your income, your ability to have a family, and many other elements of a person’s life.

After lots and lots of rumination and investigation, I chose a major: elementary education. I took a few prerequisite classes and realized I LIKE my major. This year, I’ve started taking my “upper division” courses, meaning that all of the classes I’m taking are major specific. Never again do I have to take a college algebra, American history, or statistics class… THANK GOODNESS!!! Because I’m now in major specific classes, I’ve come to realize that I LOVE majoring in elementary education! I’m sure you’re wondering why I love my major and being a pre-professional teacher so much, so I’m going to tell you! If you feel a list coming on, you’re right! Here goes:

20. Getting to look silly with your students while you dance around with them to the “Days of the Week Song.”

19. Being able to come home with funny stories everyday because kids really do do the funniest things.

18. Being able to learn from experienced teachers that have made inconceivable impacts in the lives of so many students.

17. The plethora of children’s books.

16. Being in a career that keeps you on your toes with ever evolving innovations and ingenuity.

15. Having the ability to be creative.

14. Connecting with families.

13. Watching the look on the face of a child when the “light bulb goes on.”

12. Being part of a career where there is a close network of supportive professionals to gain ideas from and give ideas to.

11. Increasing confidence in your ability to speak publicly and off-the-cuff.

10. The satisfaction of feeling like you executed a successful lesson that had the students really enthused.

9. The love and appreciation your students show you with hugs and thanks.

8. Learning to be an excellent problem solver.

7. Setting up an appealing, fun, warm, welcoming, and education-rich classroom.

6. Being able to share cute stories and tidbits with your students.

5. Watching your students become totally captivated by a good book.

4. The opportunity to learn from your students.

3. Watching students develop intellectually and become excited about learning.

2. Inspiring students to be the very best version of themselves and helping them to realize their full potential.

1. Knowing that you have the ability to mold the minds of students who have the potential to go so far. Every future neurosurgeon, president, Supreme Court justice, and every other professional walk through the doors of a teacher.

We’re living in a time when every motivation to become a teacher is being removed. Teachers are having their rights stripped of them, their benefits slashed, and their pay depleted. Nevertheless, the idea of being a teacher excites me in every way and I am not discouraged by the removal of so many of our impetuses to become a teacher. I love being an elementary education major and I love being a pre-professional teacher. The idea of preparing my classroom for the first day of school and the first day of “mind-molding” is so exciting to me! I’m glad I waited to pick my major because I know I’m headed in the right direction.