Blogging on The Brightside

"I think I can. I think I can. I think I can." -The Little Engine That Could

“Worry is a misuse of imagination.”

— Dan Zadra

As we (my district and many other fellow educators) begin a new school year tomorrow, I am overcome with a myriad of feelings.

Excitement. Anxiety. Hope. Doubt. Joy. Passion. Worry.

With every good emotion, feeling, and memory comes the struggle that follows every educator. A few questions will always remain.

Will what I do be enough? Can I change my students for the better? Will my students be better people when they leave my class? Will they show what they know? Can I get them to reach their fullest potential and try their best?

As these questions float around, anyone can feel overwhelmed. (There’s a reason that so many teachers leave the profession within their first few years.)

But what if we let go of the worry? What if we gave ourselves more room to imagine the best of our students, our curriculum, ourselves. When we pause and leave room for this kind of thinking, the room that is necessary to imagine the best in all situations, we can transform our classrooms. We can transform our students’ futures. We can transform our lives as a whole.

Use your brain for good. Remind yourself that as we start a new year, new season, new part of our lives, worry drains all the energy we have to make ourselves great. Use your imagination and lift yourself up. Living fully requires everything you’ve got. Whatever you give to worry you can’t give to anything else.

Tomorrow is a new day. Tomorrow starts a new year. Tomorrow could be a new life for you.

Make it count. Imagine the possibilities.

Love and Light, Carly

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“The opposite for courage is not cowardice, it is conformity. Even a dead fish can go with the flow.”

–Jim Hightower

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It’s been a while, friends.  Hasn’t it?  Have a wonderful week.

 

 

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“You win some, you lose some, and some get rained out, but you gotta suit up for them all.”

— J. Askenberg

Suit up, kid. You’re in the middle of the game of your life. (Literally.)

You may not win them all, but you have to play to have that chance.

Don’t let a little rain stop you. Get your uniform dirty. Wear your colors with pride.

Take that stride to the plate and make it count. BATTER UP.

Have a great week, everyone.

Love and Light,

Carly

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“…And tonight I thank the stars, as I count my lucky scars…”

But Honestly, The Foo Fighters

A friend of mine posted this quote as a Facebook status, it immediately stuck me. The song and these lyrics have been with me for the past couple weeks and I can’t keep it cooped up in my head any longer.

How often do we take a step outside, breathe in the crisp, cool air (some places more crisp and cool than others), and simply thank the universe for another day, another hour, another moment? We can look up and lose sight of the light things around us and remind ourselves how small we are in the middle of this enormous place. Our scars remind us of not just what we have experienced, but what we have survived. And in that moment, we get lost in that incredible feeling.

We should not only be grateful for our time on earth but our own strength, our spirit, our unfailing efforts to live the life we are given.

So tonight (and every night I can), I will look up at the stars, fill my lungs with the incredible energy and light that surrounds me daily, as I remind myself once more that every experience is one for growth and even the biggest problems are only a blip, a hiccup. Fill the universe with your optimism as the universe fills you with exactly what you need… a hefty helping of hope and a reminder that you are here and have made it through it all.

Have a wonderful week, friends. Breathe it all in and remind yourself, you’ve earned your spot here.

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“Life is not a spectator sport. If you’re going to spend your whole life in the grandstand just watching what goes on, in my opinion you’re wasting your life.”

– Jackie Robinson

This post was submitted by our friend Joelle Wisnieski, a graduate of Akron University whose laughter lights up the room.

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As a first basemen myself, Jackie is one of my role models. A wonderful ball player and a passionate civil rights activist, he continued to play his hand when anyone would have understood if he folded, but more than that he really PLAYED. Not only was he the first African-American to play in major league baseball, but he was then named rookie of the year. I mean who has the courage to steal home 19 times! And I’m not talking about 19 attempts… that is 19 runs that Robinson scored by stealing home base during his baseball career. I think that this quote by Jackie pretty much sums up his attitude toward baseball and toward life. Life is NOT a spectator sport. Unfortunately, still sometimes find myself living as if it is one… letting my life pass before my eyes with minimal involvement, challenge, passion.  I don’t want to live that way – and I’m guessing neither do you.  Recently I found that I had all these dreams and aspirations for my life. I want to help people. I want to teach, and travel, and love. I want to enjoy the little things but experience the big things… but most importantly I want to make a difference. But then I took stock of my life and I was very upset at what I found. I’ve been wasting time, precious time. When I could have been making an effort to help someone, be a friend to someone, or maybe even to learn something new – what was I doing instead? – watching the latest episode of “The Bachelor” or rereading “The Hobbit.”  Don’t get me wrong, I love me some TV drama and I enjoy an excellent literary story, but what else was I doing.  At that moment I realized that I was sitting in the grandstand with my feet resting on the railing in front of me, but I also looked at the field and realized that they had been calling for a first basemen to come play.  I refuse to take a seat when there is one amazing life to be lived! We all have moments in life when we look around and don’t understand how we fell into a ditch. But don’t forget it is never too late to get your hands dirty and climb out.  Don’t live your life as a spectator (because I agree with Jackie on this topic) – it would be a waste. Instead, go out and play. Learn something new, go somewhere you have never been, challenge yourself and the people around you. I promise you won’t regret grabbing your glove and taking the field.

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“Most obstacles melt away when we make up our minds to walk boldly through them.”

— Orison Swett Marden

While most of us hope to physically thaw out this upcoming week, take a moment to provide yourself with some powerful motivational imagery.

Imagine looking before you at all obstacles standing in your way. Ignite your passion and resolve to conquer these struggles and watch the obstacles themselves and the stress that surrounds them melt away as you press on.

Have a wonderful week, everyone!

 

 

 

 

 

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“Do not allow yourself to be blinded by fear and anger. Everything is only as it is.”

— Yuki Urushibara

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As you begin this week, remind yourself that fear and anger can be great motivators, but should not be a perpetual source with which you get through each day.

Do not overthink. In assumptions, over-analyzing, and general t00-much-on-my-mind-edness, we make literal monsters out of everyday struggles and and catastrophes out of real, substantial issues.

Remind yourself of one simple phrase: It is what it is.

When something scares you or angers you, you lose your sight of the situation and often times, you lose yourself. Don’t allow the shadow cast by difficult mask your conviction to make it happen.

It is what it is, and what is is life. Chaotic, fast-paced, dizzying, and beautiful.

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“What I came to realize is that fear, that’s the worst of it. That’s the real enemy. So, get up, get out in the real world, and you kick that bastard as hard as you can right in the teeth.

–Walter White

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In light the series finale, our Monday Morning Message is from Breaking Bad.  We can certainly learn a lot from Walter White, our everyday high school chemistry teacher, but this is one of the more valuable lessons he shares.  When you are done with fear, when you can move past it and confront your challenges, nothing more can stand between you and your empire.

Have a great week.

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“Do not anticipate trouble, or worry about what may never happen. Keep in the sunlight.”

 Benjamin Franklin

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It’s easy to be lost in the darkness and to hide in the shadows.  When a stream of light is pouring through the window, move your work and your thoughts into its beams and exist in its glow.  Let its warmth radiate in all that you do and melt away your worries and troubles.  If you teach, open the blinds and let your students learn by the same light by which history’s great minds have studied.  If you are a student, take your book under a tree in the grove and let its pages be illuminated by sunlight.  And when you feel a drop upon your head and the rain clouds block out the sun, when you’ve rushed back inside to take cover, remember to turn on the light.

Have a great week everybody.  Do great things.

-Ray

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Genius is eternal patience.

-Michelangelo

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Michelangelo, the world’s best known sculptor, was commissioned to paint well over 5,000 square feet of frescoes on the ceiling of the Sistine Chapel.  The project required him to learn the technique of buon fresco, the most difficult type of painting undertaken by only the masters, and challenged him to learn to paint perspective correctly on a curved surface 60 feet above the viewer.  Besides these challenges, it was truly an exercise in patience.

He did it mostly by  himself.  Sure, there were assistants to carry his paints up and down the scaffolds, but most of the brushstrokes were his own.  He painted for four years, bent over backwards and painting over his head.  The master complained that the project forever ruined his vision.  500 years later, all who visit the chapel stand awestruck for a few minutes to soak up the splendor of the work.

You’re going to lose your patience this week.  You’ll sit in traffic or get put on hold for hours.  Your computer is going to freeze, probably before you remember to hit ‘save’, and your boss is going to give a ridiculous and tedious assignment.  Your baked potatoes will take longer to bake than you expect.  The check out line will be too long.  Your kids will need to use the bathroom when it’s time to get on the bus.  But if you can take a deep breath and keep it together, your patience might lead to a stroke of genius.

Have a great week everyone.

-rge

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