Wednesday, February 28, 2018

What I Learned in February

I wrote about some things I learned in January, and I decided to try that kind of post again this month.  I made a very short list, but then February is short.

Back at the beginning of the month, I learned about the Red Rule of photography.  I post a photo every day on Facebook using prompts that come from CY365, and the prompt for February 2nd was "The Red Rule."  When I looked it up, I learned that the rule is "Every time you see something red, take a picture of it."  I took lots of photos of red things and enjoyed the way the color pops every time it appears.

I learned about a podcast that is not at all new.  It is called ArtCurious, and so far I've found every episode completely fascinating.

I learned, not for the first time, that you can't possibly over-communicate in seventh grade.  Have you told your students several times a day for three weeks about an assignment?  Are you getting tired of hearing yourself talk about it?  It doesn't matter.  Say it again.  I guarantee you that someone in the room will be hearing about the assignment for the first time.

I learned that The Courage to Teach, by Parker Palmer, really is a wonderful book to discuss with a group of intelligent friends.  I thought it would be when I first read it, but I hadn't had the opportunity to be in a discussion group about it until now.  Back in November, I heard Gretchen Rubin recommend on her podcast to "schedule some daily transcendence."  It's sort of a secular way of saying what those of us who grew up evangelical were taught as "have your quiet time."  This book falls in that same transcendent category.  Palmer encourages a kind of reflectiveness that teachers often don't have time for, as we run about dealing with the immediate chaos that faces us.  It's so rewarding to look deeper and talk about the process.

At the end of the month, I had a big birthday, and learned some of what my friends think about me.  Since I was turning fifty, some people made a list of fifty things they like about me.  I'm still floating on the good feelings of this gift.  I highly recommend telling people what you like about them, and getting them to do the same for you. 

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