Thursday, March 24, 2011

What do teachers make?

For all the amazing educators I know, with many warm thoughts. XOXO

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Back to the Polls

So it's all but official; amidst an earthquake and resulting tsunami in Japan, an uprising in Libya, government grinding slowly but surely towards a standstill in the US, Charlie Sheen's emotional breakdown and Elizabeth Taylor's sad passing today, that we, boring ole Canada, over the last week have held our government in contempt of Parliament (the very first time this has ever happened) for their un-transparent dealings (not recalling which specific scandal this was about ... the KAIROS scandal? ... In and Out? ... the refusal of a public inquiry about knowingly handing over military prisoners to potentially be tortured, with Parliament?), and the NDP announced they will not support the government's newly-tabled budget, becoming the last opposition party to withdraw its support, and meaning effectively a vote of non-confidence, meaning the government falls as it will not have enough votes to support its budget passing as a minority government.

Meanwhile, the Liberals tomorrow will be tabling a specific non-confidence motion to be voted on Friday. The government falls this week, which means an early-May election. Let the campaign begin!

Thursday, March 17, 2011

Hugely important movie

I would recommend anyone who works with children and/or their education - teachers, principals, parents, government officials, school board trustees, psychologists, kids themselves - see this movie, "Race to Nowhere". Incredibly important.

Sunday, March 13, 2011

Some thoughts on Lent

The Lenten season started at my church today ... although of course it started earlier this past week, with Ash Wednesday. This season is time to reflect ...

While some see Lent as a time of confession and atonement, debasing one's sinful self in preparation for the Hope and Light of Easter morning ... and I myself definitely see in it an opportunity for self-reflection ... I think it is more than that. I think while it is a time to look at that which is difficult and dark - about ourselves, about those around us, about the world - it is also a time for acceptance, for making peace, dare I say, for forgiveness. This is the tack my church is taking on this Lenten season, and I think it is a vital one - especially given how deeply misunderstood the concept of 'forgiveness' and 'atonement' can be in some Christian circles. The fact is - we are imperfect people living in an imperfect world. Conflict will arise, forgiveness is more than simply a virtue, it is necessary. And beyond interpersonal conflict, there will always be 'darkness' and 'difficulty' in the world in which we live - this is a fact with which we must make peace, in order to truly understand Jesus' Easter message.

Does this mean we must accept all injustice? Be a doormat because we have been taught to 'forgive'? No! In fact, sometimes forgiving means letting go of painful relationships in order to allow both yourself and your (not-so?)-loved-one be your best selves without one another. But it does mean not carrying around bitterness or anger or hurt ... allowing yourself to move on, to accept what has happened even if you don't accept it continuing; to be OK and forgive, even if you don't forget - forgetting is a disservice in a life in which learning experiences shape all of our next steps.

In the bigger picture, we saw a horrific example of just how dark a place the world can be on Friday, with the 9.0 earthquake which has absolutely devastated Japan. While compassion and prayer are great beginnings - should we misunderstand 'accepting' and 'making peace' as saying 'these things happen' before moving on with our own lives? Not in the slightest. It does mean accepting it has happened - and it means making peace with that fact, as human beings, means doing what we can to help out. If we cannot help - which sometimes we can't - accepting that is key. But personally, where I CAN help, I seldom find peace with not doing so.

What is YOUR way to Lenten peace, acceptance, and forgiveness? I know I am seeking my own ... will you join me?

Tuesday, March 8, 2011

Mysterious absence ...

Stomach flu.
First Little Tyke's ...
Then Ari's ...
Then mine and Little J's.
It's been fun ...
Mostly back on track ...
Only LJ still a bit buggy.
Hopefully the week=
Better than the weekend.
Next weekend MUST be better -
The in-laws are coming!
Which is actually always fun,
Yes fun. :)
Hope everyone
Has had a blessed Shrove Tuesday,
And enters the Lenten season
In the spirit of redemption,
Forgiveness, and contemplation
It is meant to represent.
I'm giving up fast food
And hopefully a few pounds with it.
Wish me luck on this journey
Which hopefully lasts
More than 40 days!

Friday, March 4, 2011

New Car! And my brief ponderings on the news of the week.

So - we are the proud new owners of a 2007 Chevrolet Cobalt with 53,500 km on it - yay us. That's where we've been the last couple of weeks as I may or may not have specified. Not particularly witty, funny, or exciting (except to us - nice new car=the result), but yeah. Last couple of days have been quieter, except both hubby and Little Tyke are both sick with a fun-seeming tummy bug that I might be catching too ... boo. It's been a busy time and I've had barely enough time to follow the good (the progress being made in the movement for democracy in the Middle East) the bad (evil Wisconsin governors attempting to take away teachers' collective bargaining rights) and the ugly (Charlie Sheen's winning warlock tiger blood), much less devote a whole heckuva lot of time to really dissect it.

However - please note that I wish the first continued success, and may peace and sanity reign in Libya; the second defeat at the hands of integral public employees and the Democratic representatives in the state legislature (although as he is printing off layoff slips in light of the refusal to pass his legislation, it looks like heels just got dug in), and the last a nice, long, health-restoring trip to a hospital or rehab ... let me just say I feel for those who genuinely care for this man - his parents, his children ... and I put a plea out to his fans who find this nonsense entertaining and edgy, and the media who keeps egging him on to keep themselves on TV, their entertainment blogs up to date, and their newspapers/tabloids/mags in print, to stop exploiting a man who needs help, not a platform.

May all of you be well. XOXO