There's absolutely nothing as effective as getting puny to remind me how much I value my health, good diet and outdoor time. Plus, I just don't do puny well.
This winter, I've had the interesting challenge of returning to the classroom as Title 1 Aide at the Klukwan School. Working with the kids who are in sixth grade through Juniors in high school has been great, though they're light years ahead of me in most arenas offering the dual benefit of hope for the future plus daily lessons in humility.
For the students that I work with, I AM able to lend an elbow to elbow focus-tether plus frequent reality checks on the relevancy of what they're studying: "You see, mastery of math and grammar matters now and in the long haul. Just look at how I struggle trying to help you!"
Also, I confess my surprise over how little general knowledge most kiddos have of history and the world in general. Last week I heard: "You mean the Nazi's were real! Not just characters from computer games who turn into zombies once you've killed them?" And: "So, who was Martin Luther King?" "What the heck are civil rights?" "Why do we have Elizabeth Peratovich Day?", what was the Arab Spring?" (translated as "Why should we care?")
The all consuming attitude of "BORING" is the largest challenge, especially as most Jr. High kids work really hard at maintaining that mindset. Here's my take: dullness combined with a lack of exercise effects our health and opens the door for migrating bugs to be shared, (homegrown science labs yearning to be explored.) Plus, it keeps you stupid and generally unattractive to others.
I mandate that each time a kid runs a fever or shows other clear indicators that they're sick, they should be required to stay in bed - IN BED, (no gadgets allowed). This also requires that someone is home watching over them - as they sleep, read one good book, or two, or three, draw, write letters, make frequent notes in a journal about what they are dreaming and pictures of the progression of their symptoms.
Frequent chicken noodle soup, (with plenty of basil!), is optional, (though it comes highly recommended.) Reading together as a family never, EVER hurts!
Now, back to healing, (damn shared bugs). Blessed are Edith Pearlman and the joy of a savory Garrison Keillor Love Sonnet or two. Go ahead, read the reviews, while you're at it.
P.S. A special thanks to my Honey Man for firewood and a cookie and to Yevette Graham for sending her private stash of Emergen-C Super Orange. What friends!