Today’s EveryDay Learners’ post opens up a discussion about diversity in our community. How have you taught the children in your life about diversity?
Today’s EveryDay Learner post focuses on how to reduce our level of tension and stress so that we can be better teachers and learners. Stress certainly doesn’t make it easier for us to help others, so how can we improve our sense of calm?
Today’s EveryDayLearners’ blog post focuses on quality family time. Get some ideas of how you can build your relationship with your child and enhance their learning too!
- Make one of these fun, kid-friendly snacks. This is a great chance to talk about fractions and arithmetic.
- Build a kite together and then go fly it. Talk about feet, inches, or even the basic physics of kite flying.
- Do a puzzle together
- Ask them to teach you how to do something.³
- Make your own wordsearch and complete it together.
- Visit the local library or bookstore and pick your favorite stories to read together.
- Buy two disposable cameras and go around town taking pictures². Make a storybook with the developed pictures.
- Look at old family photos together: see if they can identify each family member. Tell stories about your childhood.²
- Make sock puppets² and perform a familiar story.
- Go hiking together (you can find out about good hikes for kids here, here, and here) and try to identify the plants and animals you see (consider this iPhone app to help you do that, or check out a book from your local library)
I can do hard things. How many times a day do you say that to yourself? I say it all the time. I have a crafty little piece of décor that says it on my dresser. I have multiple Facebook pictures with that caption. I receive and send that text all the time. I can do hard things.
The first time I heard this phrase my freshman RA said it on the eve of the first day of college. My fellow freshman friends and I laughed at the “stupidity” of the phrase. Then about a month into college I used it. It was used as comedic relief for my roommate’s stressful midterms. But it worked. We continued to use it sporadically throughout the year. It was a great saying that I quickly forgot.
Then, four years later I was in Australia. I had just flown a grand total of 19+ hours and it was only the early afternoon of the same day I left. I was on a study abroad. A cool one. The kind where you camp for 6 weeks in Australia, New Zealand and Fiji. This was a trip that I was made for. The kind I dreamed of. My tentmate and I were assigned randomly. We hit it off immediately after meeting at LAX. We were pitching our tent along with everyone else in the group. But why were they getting it so much faster? Finally I said, “Courtney, we can do hard things.” And we pitched our tent.
For the next 6 weeks we probably used that phrase daily. We used it when we learned the water we were standing in had leeches. We used it when we stayed at a spider and snake infested campsite (seriously, ever had to go to bed at 7 pm to avoid being bitten?) We used it when we were swimming in water that had crocodile warnings and when we went scuba diving at night with sharks swimming in our point of entry.
It got us through the frigid black water rafting and carried us through our countless miles of kayaking. It comforted me through my coral reef injury and gave us the mind over matter we needed to eat the horrible food we were given. We were able to face fears of squatters, spiders the size of our hands (not exaggerating) and endure hauling bag after bag after bag of dirt. We did hard things. And we are better people for it. And we had more fun because of it.
The phrase “I can do hard things” is engraved in my soul. I use it to survive horrible days and it got me through the inevitable question of “what am I going to do with my life?” Listen, life is tough. And there’s not much you can do about that. Except change your perspective. I think people are more resilient than they know. They have stamina they can’t imagine. Life is tough but there’s no need to get a helmet. Just remember that you can do hard things. The next time you think you can’t, stop and say to yourself, “I can do hard things” and do it. Power through. You’ll be a better person because of it. And you’ll have more fun through it. But never forget that YOU CAN DO HARD THINGS!
Debbie Kotter Barkley learned the importance of businesses taking an interest in local communities when she started working at Nordstrom. Kotter Barkley, a retired store manager, was a co-campaign coordinator for Nordstrom’s employee giving campaign.
“I really respect companies that put communities as a priority,” said Kotter Barkley. “It makes a stronger company. It is great to know that you are helping people through your donations. Other things like United Way’s Day of Caring give you the opportunity to work with everyone. It makes you stronger as a team and better able to do the work that you are there to do.”
Kotter Barkley says that giving is a great alternative to volunteering, something that many people do not have time to do on a regular basis.
“You may not have the time to volunteer because you are [working]. Giving through the employee campaign is a great way to help people in the community when you don’t have time. You can give a one-time contribution or have it taken out of each of your pay checks. You don’t even miss it.”
As a campaign coordinator, Kotter Barkley’s enthusiasm was obvious to those who interacted with her. Many were inspired to give because of her excitement about giving.
“Every time you met with her, it was obvious how much she cared,” said Erika Coleman, United Way of Utah County’s major gifts manager. “She is someone who understands the impact that contributing to the community makes for everyone.”
Kotter Barkley has no problem encouraging others to give, even if it was something they never felt a need to do before, because she has had so many positive outcomes with her experiences.
“You always think someone else will take care of it,” said Kotter Barkley. “But it is waking up and realizing that it is up to me. It will make you feel better about what you are doing, and it brings more meaning to your life; helping people who need the help.”
Kotter Barkley says even though she is retired, she will continue to not only give but also encourage others to do what they can to make a difference as well.
”I’ve been giving for 30 years,” said Kotter Barkley. “It is a decision that I’ve never regretted."
BAHH!!! Its June already!! The way time flies, makes me sick! But not really, I love livin’ the dream!!
Yesterday, I said that to a group of friend and they rebounded with, “What’s the dream, Deb?”
I of course responded with something really clever like, “Um…something awesome!” or “It’s what I live” or “Duh! Do I have to answer that?”
But, the question brought out the scientist in me and I decided that I wanted to research “The Dream”
I began my research in the most obvious place…Instagram.
1. I searched all the tags called “#livingthedream and found 10,048 photos where people had consciously decided to tag, or title, their photo as an example of their version of Living the Dream.
2. I coded the first 100 pictures I found under the categories of People/Relationships, Food, Travel, Life Events, Things.
Pictures included the following:
3. The results are shown in the table below. Each category reflects what these individuals define as a part of their “dream.” Because this is a very amateur study, I’m not going to delineate the meaning of each category. That is left to individual interpretation.
4. The Findings: These data show that in general, people mainly are satisfied with life when they have people in it. “The Dream” involves people and relationships. Another interesting finding was that, of the 100 pictures I coded, only 7 actually used the “living the dream” tag in a negative or sarcastic way. Hopefully this means that overall we are generally happy people when thinking about our lives and future.
The second source of my research were some individuals that I interact with regularly. I performed a one question survey (are those even reliable?) and asked them what they defined “The Dream” as.
These were their responses:
- Channy H. said, “I guess the dream would be making a difference, even a small one.”
- J.D. Cleak said, “The dream is constantly changing – but generally it has to do with women, in a boat, on a lake.”
- L. Karsle said, “Living the dream is having goals and achieving them.”
Some responses are better than others, perhaps, but I think the point between both super scientific research projects is to live in the now, strive for excellence and enjoy it!
There is enough sad, disappointment, hurt, pain and bad luck in the world. Lets try to focus on the happy, the good, the joyful, the future, the vision, or as the cool people say, lets focus on just livin’ the dream.
Here is me and some friends, doing exactly that.
I finally tackled the pile of papers that had accumulated on my bedroom floor over the past couple months. Yesterday, all the bank statements, movie ticket stubs and wedding invitations were put in stacks as I tried to decide what to keep, and what to throw away. In the past, notes from friends, programs from piano recitals, and old plane tickets all ended up in the trash. I wasn't overly sentimental. But I've realized that while these bits and pieces from my life may not have much meaning to me, they might mean something to someone else.
A few years ago, I lived in Bolivia and Peru. The only communication I had with my family was one hour every Monday where I read and wrote e-mails. That hour would go by so quickly! I wanted to know every little detail of my fmailie's lives, and I wanted to share every little detail from my life too.
When I came back to the United States, I could talk to my family whenever I wanted! I didn't need to write long e-mails and letters anymore. I went over to my grandmothers house one morning, and she had a box of photographs, mementos and stacks of letters. It was like you could see her whole history in that box! She governement issued booklets from Uruguay, giving advice about the best way to be a wife and mother and letters that she wrote to my grandfather while she was in nursing school in the United States. She didn't know at the time that she would have a grand-daughter who would want to learn about her and see these things from her life. I'm glad that she had the foresight to keep them. I"m also glad that she was there to tell me what all of those little keepsakes meant.
I htought about how well-documented my time abroad was, but now that I was home, all the experiences I was having were "missing". I decided to start documenting my stories, even if that just meant gluing movie ticket stubs into my journal.
Think what it would be like if everyone shared their stories! Our history would be so much richer. It would help us connect, not only to the past, but to one another.
Utah Valley is a great place to be if you like stories. The Timpanogas Storytelling Festival starts August 31st in Orem! Story-tellers from all across the country gather to preform. Or, if you want to share your own story, StoryCorps is an organization dedicated to sharing personal interviews. Here is one of my favorites:
Share your own stories! You'll be glad you did.
Submitted by guest blogger Jeremy C.
Every summer I manage to seek out some exciting adventure that usually requires an extreme amount of preparation and commitment. It can range anywhere from backpacking trips to marathons, this year I made my venture into the world of triathlons. I have to admit; sometimes I do ask myself why did I get in so deep to this? Is it really worth all the hours of work and training? I am sure you have all asked yourselves similar questions regarding different adventures you have set off to accomplish. Life itself surely can be an adventure where we ask ourselves some of these questions.
This past weekend I had my first triathlon of the summer in St. George. I must say I did pretty well for my first triathlon. I took 2nd place in my race division and finished in the top 10% of all the competitors in who raced. It was an absolute blast. I had my family and friends who came along to support me. It created a really motivating and inspiring feeling inside me to do well for them. It was pretty intimidating at first. There were so many people, many of which; have these amazingly light and fast bicycles that are several thousands of dollars and wetsuits that are extremely expensive. You can just tell they are extremely experienced competitors. I like to think I am a competitor, but just starting in the sport, I definitely don’t have the nice equipment or confidence they have. As the start of the race neared, my dad and mom came over to take a picture with me and as I went over with the other competitors both my mom and dad expressed their pride for my hard work in preparing and taking on something new, like an Olympic distance triathlon. What they said next as I was about to turn around and walk off to get ready, stayed with me during the race; my mom said, “Remember bud, winners never quit and quitters never win”! My dad followed with; “they can’t beat you if you don’t quit”! These two phrases were not new for me to hear from my parents because they have been telling me these two phrases for as long as I can possibly think back to remember. It just served as a great reminder to me in that moment that it didn’t matter if I were to take dead last or first place. What mattered or I guess I should say, what matters is that I do my best in whatever I set out to accomplish and that I never give up in period. I think for me, I find motivation for life in crossing the finish line, not in winning every race. Certainly, it is fun to win, but the joy and the sense of accomplishment is found in not quitting, but in persevering.
My parent’s words of encouragement and support serve to me as a reminder that we eventually will finish out on top if we just stay constant and never give up. Those words of support and confidence; “winners never quit and quitters never win” and “they can’t beat you if you don’t quit”, ring truth I think for all of us as we pursue happiness and success in life. We just need to learn to always do our best and keep moving forward. Eventually, we will come out on top.
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