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)

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College and the Quarter-Life: Lessons You Won’t Learn in the Classroom 101

I’d like to preface this post by saying that I truly think you will learn so much more outside of the classroom than you will in it (of course, the content is different in nature). I’d like to add that I’m no life expert, so don’t think that this list of five life lessons means I know much of anything… I don’t!! Living will be the greatest teacher and these are just a few pieces of wisdom I’ve gathered along the way!

Happy living! 🙂 🙂 🙂

1)   You, and only you, are your best advocate.

Friends and family create a wonderful support system and I’m not suggesting that they do not love you, look out for you, and hope for the best for you- they do. I’ve learned, however, that you are the one who needs to make your voice heard and who needs to take charge. Even if they wanted to, no one else can do that for you.

2)   You aren’t ENTITLED to anything. “Entitlement” doesn’t exist.

Nothing is ever handed to you. Your life is a product of what you have earned.

3)   School comes first. A social life is secondary.

Of course, going out and being with friends is fun, but it’s easy to lose sight of the reason we go to college and take classes… for our education! Our educations are the keys to our futures (it sounds cliché, but you and I both know it’s true!) and while a social life is also beneficial, we need to remember our true purpose for being at college.

4)   Trying to be someone you’re not automatically diminishes your chances of success.

If you don’t want to be yourself why should anyone else want to be with you, work with you, be friends with you, or hire you? Be yourself and everything will fall into place. “Who you are is a declaration of independence in itself!”

5)   The word “no” is a powerful tool… use it.

This is a concept I have had trouble grasping in the past, but once I learned how to say “no” a weight was lifted off of my shoulders. It doesn’t make you mean, rude, incompetent, or any other negative thing if you make use of the word “no.” No one will think any less of you because you have a limit. In fact, they’ll probably think, “Wow, they know what they’re doing.” Saying “no” is a strength.

 

Are there any life lessons you’ve learned? Please share them with me!

In My Next Life, I Want To Be My Dog

Disclaimer: The following statement is not meant to inflict shame or insult upon any of my two-legged loved ones.

I like dogs more than I like most people. This is not to say that I don’t like people or that I put dogs and people in the same category. Let’s get real; obviously dogs are in a higher category than  most people.

My family rescued my beautiful dog, Gracie, about a year and a half ago. She succeeds our family’s princess of a puppy, Sophie, my first love. We have no idea what Gracie’s life enTAILed preceding her entry into our family  and at first we had a hard time connecting with her. She didn’t display affection, act protective, or even respond to us for the most part. We (fondly, of course) referred to her as a “Lug,” because she really didn’t do much of anything.

Of course, with time, patience, and lots of reassurance from us, Gracie has become a part of the family. She is affectionate, protective, and responsive. We love her very much and she clearly loves us in return. Today, however, was an exciting first in my relationship with Gracie because today was the first time she followed me around the house. She walked beside me like the trusty companion she is, and I was touched. I’ve seen her follow closely on the heels of my parents’ feet, but this was a first for me. I felt Gracie’s loyalty and trust more than I have ever before.

I find dogs to be so sincere. In my opinion, they behave the way that humans should behave toward one another. There are so many lessons that we can learn from our dogs and we’d be better people if we acted more like them. If dogs were our teachers we would learn these lessons and more:

  • Always run to greet loved ones when they come home.
  • Take naps.
  • Be loyal.
  • Always be yourself.
  • If something you want is buried, dig until you reach it.
  • When you’re happy, jump around and wag your whole body.
  • Do not bite when a growl will suffice.
  • Take the opportunity to appreciate the small stuff.
  • If someone is having a bad day, sit close and nuzzle them.

In my next life, I hope I have the honor of being as great as my dog. She has taught me how to be a better person, an invaluable lesson.