Tuesday, March 27, 2007

Relaxing and "Better Know a VRCC'er"

The picture above is of a sign hanging in the great room of the vacation home that Jennifer and I rented over Spring Break. I tried with all of my might to live by the rules of this household (relax, relax, relax), but found it more difficult than you would imagine. Even in the midst of this peaceful time, I found myself counting the moments to the next thing on the schedule, mourning how much there was left to do before our time in paradise expired.
I've re-experienced this problem as of late. The last two nights I've slept horribly, waking up every couple of hours just long enough to confirm that I still have some time to sleep, anxious that my time was slipping away from me.
So, I guess my question is, what do you do to really relax? How do you avoid this dread in the midst of your peaceful moments that those peaceful moments are inescapably fleeting?
On a completely different note, I thought it would be interesting to try and get to know each other better. Many of us have been friends for years, but how well do we really know one another? So, I wanted everyone to post one thing that almost no one knows about you. I'll go first.
I have two siblings, an older sister and a younger brother. As with everything about me, though, there is a story. My brother is actually my cousin. Before the inbreeding jokes start, let me explain. My brother Steven is the son of my mother's brother and his now ex-wife. When Steven was five years old, his parents divorced, but both realized that they would be unable to care for Steven on their own. Therefore, my parents adopted him. I am ten months older than he is, which led to a great deal of confusion for those who grew up around us, especially since Steven kept his last name. So we are the twin brothers who look nothing alike and have different last names.
That's enough sharing from me. Now, it's your turn.

Monday, March 5, 2007

Do Your Work!

I guess I'll try to stir up a discussion, and I'm sorry if this is too teacher-y, but I think some of us might be able to relate. I'm struggling with a certain population of the 8th graders I teach, and thought it might make for some healthy discussion. I have about 15 kids who are really smart. They have got all of the academic skills you need to really excel at school, but they are all failing, and failing miserably.

The reason for this is that they are not doing assigned work. There is no doubt that they are capable of this sort of work because when I stand over them menacingly and refuse to move until they put pen to paper, they can knock out the work with breath-taking speed and accuracy. There is, however, a prevailing notion among this group that says that their capability should be sufficient. In other words, the fact that they could do the work if they wanted should outweigh the fact that they refuse to do the work.

I guess the question under discussion, therefore, is where does this attitude come from? If you are so capable, why hesitate to do what should be so easy for you?