Processing

It’s been three years since Dad died. I wrote this piece immediately after his funeral. I couldn’t post it. It was too close. Three years on, I have come into a different place of grief than what I talk about in the original post. I have more times when there is the pain of loss, the anger at him missing out on accomplishments of my family, the sadness of things I want to share with him. Grief is a strange burden that changes and hides and comes at unexpected times.  This is a long post and it’s certainly more personal than most posts, but if you’re interested, please read on.

I’ve put off writing this post for three weeks. Has it been more? Three and a half? This has nothing to do with education and everything to do with me as a person. Me as a learning, growing and changing person.

So, I’m going to start where I stopped. I’m pretty sure this is going to fall into the category of TLDR (too long, didn’t read) for some of you, and that’s okay. Like I said, this is for me, and it’s something that I need to get out…

…This morning I buried my dad. I say I buried him, but my mom, my brother, and our families buried my dad, my mom’s husband of 52 years, and 5 girls Grandpa/PopPop.

It was a cold, beautiful sunny morning.  The minister met us there and read from his Book of Worship, he said a brief prayer, and then it was over. The whole thing was less than 15 minutes. This is what Dad wanted. He laid out some very specific plans with our preacher. This summer when he was in the hospital he told the family, “Whether I get out of here or not, call the preacher and make an appointment with him. I have some things I need to tell him.”

Later in the afternoon, we held a memorial for him. It was a celebration of his life. It wasn’t a funeral because there wasn’t a casket. It was a memorial service. It was the memorial service that my dad wanted. The service played out as Dad planned it.

The family received family and friends for over an hour. It was incredibly moving. I was very touched by the amount of people that came to pay respects to my dad. I was beyond touched by the number of my friends that showed up to support me.

When it happened, Dad passing, I was with my students as they were rehearsing for the annual Trinity School Christmas Program.  I knew it was coming, my whole family did. We had moved Dad from the hospital to home hospice, but still when I got word it was a sudden slamming on the brakes.

I’ve been making it through as the time has passed. I never thought I wouldn’t, but I’ve been oddly okay with the whole thing. My dad died, though, and I feel like there’s some way that I should be feeling. Obviously, I’m sad. I miss him. I miss him calling me to tell me about an Eagles concert on PBS or calling when he’s at the farm asking if there’s anything I need when he literally couldn’t do it b/c he was 65 miles away.

But I haven’t been so sad that I can’t function. And I feel like I’m not doing it right.

I know there’s not a prescribed way to grieve. I know that, but still…

A couple of weeks after he had died I was in my Man/Boy Room. One of the cats had knocked junk over, as cats are known to do. When I went to clean it up I found the notes that my students had made for me the day Dad died.

That opened up the tear ducts. They had written me personal messages, they had included Bible verses. It makes me tear up a little right now as I’m writing this. They are so touching, and it means so much to me that my seventeen 10-11-year-olds reached out to me in this way.

It was one of those moments that solidifies my choice in careers. I never doubt being a teacher. Well, maybe every once in a while when I haven’t gotten enough sleep and the lesson I thought would take an entire period crumbles after a few minutes.

Where’s this even going? Honestly, I don’t know. I think it’s like the title says, I’m processing. And part of that processing is being back in the swing of my normal routine. Being surrounded by seventeen 5th Graders that I can share my world with. I give to them and they give to me. Sometimes it’s an even swap and sometimes it’s more one way than the other. And that’s what it’s about, right? Give and take?

One of the things I said in Dad’s service was about something he gave me, and that is  to always help someone out when you can. Always make that choice to help someone out because you never know when you might need some help. And that goes along with the process of give and take.

I miss you, Dad, and I’m sad that you’re not with us anymore, but you left us with so much. I hope to be able to do the same.

 

 

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10 Influential Albums – Day One

Oldies But Goodies Volume 1

A high school friend nominated me for this look at 10 influential albums in my life. I’m super excited and hope you’ll enjoy it. Each day I’ll look at an album that has been a big part of my life at one point or another. I tried to pick ones that have had a lasting impact on me. It hasn’t been easy and for every one I feature, I have one that I could have included, but then, it’s not 20 influential albums…

First up is a compilation. Some people say those don’t count, but I disagree, especially if it is one that first introduced me to several artists and songs that I love dearly to this day. This way my gateway to 50’s rock.

As a kid going on car trips with my family always meant listening to Dad’s music and that is what formed my foundation. Early rock ‘n roll, doo-wop, rhythm and blues, and rockabilly made up these collections. I loved playing them on the turntable! It was good, heavy vinyl, not any of the flimsy stuff that my current records were made of.  This particular album has so many great songs on it. Seems like Side 2 has more of my favorites on there. “Roll With Me Henry (The Wallflower)”, “Stranded in the Jungle”, and “Let the Good Times Roll” are definitely my favorite. These songs bring back so many memories, all good. I remember several years back Dad was able to burn this onto a CD for me. I honestly don’t know how because to the best of my knowledge he never hooked up his turntable capable of digital transferring, but he knew how much I loved these songs and somehow made it happen. 

It Could’ve Been

Chuck Berry – The Great 28

I know. Another compilation. However, it’s Chuck Berry. I’m not including this one because I have never gone and dug deep into Chuck’s catalog, therefore, as influential as he has been to my musical life, it doesn’t count the way today’s entry does. It does count in that it was an important part of my life when Glitter Queen and I got our second tattoo and this was the soundtrack. Full disclosure – we skipped past “Havana Moon”. That’s my least favorite Chuck Berry song.

Dragon*Con 2016!

It’s been a few weeks now since my favorite weekend-long activity has passed and I’m finally ready to write about it. For those of you that don’t know, Dragon*Con is the  “largest multimedia, popular culture convention focusing on science fiction & fantasy, gaming, comics, literature, art, music, and film in the universe!” The universe. And it’s held here in Atlanta every Labor Day weekend. I love it. I look forward to it all year, but the start of the school year really starts to get me amped up about it.

For several years once Dragon Con ended I would get a little depressed. It is such a hyper-stimulation experience that it pushes me into a manic state. That’s not an exaggeration, you can ask GQ. We actually even came up with a phrase for this post-Dragon Con feeling, Chasing the Dragon’s Tail. It excited me so much that I had a hard time coming down and just getting back to the normal pace of life, which is exactly what you need to do after experiencing a full weekend of Dragon Con. So, for several years, I’d spend the two weeks after the show chasing the Dragon’s tail. I can proudly say that this year I was able to let it go once I left the convention area for the last time on Monday afternoon. That’s a first!

Why do I love it so much? Well, apart from the quotation above – which contains almost all the things I love and hold dear – it’s also the weekend that I get so see some of my favorite characters come to life. I get to walk around in the same space as Captain America, Black Widow, Wonder Woman, Batman (of all shapes, sizes, and costumes), The Flaming Carrot, Wookiees, Stormtroopers, robots, pirates, aliens and really, there are so many more that I can’t even name them all.

So, you may be wondering, do I just walk around agog at the spectacles around me all weekend? Far from it! I also go to several of the panels offered throughout the weekend. This past year Glitter Queen and I got 4-day passes for us and The Girls. When you buy them at the end of the current year’s con you get a serious discount for the following year. This year is the first time that I went down all four days. For all the years that I have been going, I think I went to more panels this year than I ever have before. One of the challenges that attendees face is that sometimes you are interested in more than one panel that is scheduled for a certain time. For instance, this year there was a comic book panel at the same time one for the CW show, Daredevil, was. Dilemma? Not this time. In order to get into panels for big shows like Daredevil you have to line up at least an hour early, if not two. I am not a big fan of standing in line for that long, but will do so on occasion. This wasn’t one of those occasions.

To keep this from being a ridiculously long post I am going to break the days down in separate posts; Friday, Saturday, and Sunday/Monday. I’ll leave you with a picture from last year’s parade. This guy got to come before the parade and kind of prep the crowd. He was having a great time getting the opposite sides of the street to cheer. How’s this related, you may be asking. Well, Dragon Con is completely run by volunteers like this gentleman here. They are dedicated, hard-working people that give up many, many hours of their lives to help out the tens of thousands of people that come and take part in this fabulous event.dscf1801

So, if you’re interested in reading more, look for three more posts over the next few days about Dragon Con.

 

Book Review – /The Geeks Shall Inherit the Earth/ by Alexandra Robbins

preface statement – I hate that I can’t underline or italicize the title up there

book cover

I found this book on one of the tables in the Teachers’ Lounge at Trinity back in late April or early May. I wasn’t sure I’d get to it, but it’s title grabbed my attention. I started reading it a few days after I took it home and got drawn in pretty quickly.

The author, Alexandra Robbins, follows six individuals for a school year. Each one is given a categorical label along with their name:

  • Blue – The Gamer
  • Whitney – The Popular Bitch
  • Regan – The Weird Girl
  • Noah – The Band Geek
  • Eli – The Nerd
  • Joy – The New Girl

In addition to introducing each of these people, Robbins also gives background information on what she calls the cafeteria fringe – “People who are not part of or who are excluded from a school’s or society’s in crowd.” She goes on to explain how very often those who a part of the cafeteria fringe go on to much more successful lives than the popular, or in crowd, people. She acknowledges that getting through those times of lack of popularity is not easy, and is a “gut-wrenching social landscape”. Robbins backs up her claim of the cafeteria fringe’s post-high school successes with something she calls Quirk Theory – “Many of the differences that cause a student to be excluded in school are the same traits or real-world skills that others will value, love, respect, or find compelling about that person in adulthood and outside of the school setting.”

The book is divided up into six parts, late summer-early fall all the way to late spring-early summer. In between each section Robbins introduces new ideas, explores different perspectives and shares stories of current well-known people that were not part of the popular crowds when they were in high school.

As I got further into the book I was amazed time and time again with how horrible high school students can be. I saw myself as part of the fringe when I was in high school, but I was really a floater – I could move pretty easily between groups at school. I did not fit into any easily definable category. I wasn’t a jock, but I swam for my school and played softball and basketball for a church league. I definitely wasn’t a nerd, my grades were far too low to be considered that. I didn’t drink or do drugs, so I wasn’t a stoner. I liked punk rock, but also many other types of music, so no to that too. I had the good fortune to be able to make the choice to walk away from the popular crowd at the end of 8th-grade. I say this as opposed to those that were never given the opportunity to be part of that crowd, more than an arrogant boast.

Robbins’ stories of her subjects are fascinating, sad, alarming as well as funny and touching. One of the subjects has an interesting twist that I won’t spoil. I highlighted over 30 parts of the book that struck me. There really are too many to go into, so I’m just going to try to hit some of the ones that really stuck out to me – positively and negatively.

The whole idea of popularity is split into the standard way of looking at it – the opinion of a person from another to perceived popularity – “how students rank a classmate’s reputation rather than their personal opinion”.

The part I am going to include now really blows me over. Even reading it again for this part just leaves me speechless. This comes from the mini-chapter, Understanding the Popular Bitch

When I asked a popular boy from Arkansas how people at his high school treated               students who were different from others, he said, “We crushed their dreams. We             had a kid who wanted to be cool, but he wore eyeliner, so we invited him to a party,         got him drunk and pushed him into a fire and then some guys peed on him when he         passed out. He moved the next week. [Supposedly due to technicalities, charges               against the aggressors were dropped.] We cut off a Pentecostal girl’s hair and hid             her skirt in gym class, just because we were all Baptists and thought Pentecostals             were weird. We felt it our right to do whatever we pleased. Part of being cool was             uniformity and anything that isn’t part of our hive mind needs to be mocked.”

I’m just going to let that sink in for a minute.

There’s nothing at all that get me to understand that mind set. Nothing. And the thing is, those kids were probably seen around their town as good, upstanding Christian boys and girls. It’s madness!

There is a section called, The Courage of Nonconformists that I really liked. I’ve always considered myself a nonconformist, and in high school I embraced that. Reading this section made me feel good about that, especially with all the science Robbins includes that shows how our brains are mostly hard-wired to conform. Looking at my daughters now, I can see some of the same non-conformity that I had. GQ had and has it in equal, if not greater quantities than I do.

Robbins talks a good bit about how school systems are designed to get kids to think inside the box when almost every article written about what America needs to do to get education back on track is help to develop students that can problem solve, and almost all of those articles mention students that think outside the box are the ones that are usually best at doing that. I have been fortunate enough to work in three schools where the usual is not the case.

The last part of the book that I’ll talk about is the end where Robbins gives three sections devoted to what students, parents and teachers can do to help this situation. For the students, it again is a little heart-breaking. To be told to hang in there, it will get better seems so shallow, even though it is, for the most part, true. I don’t know how many students will read this book, but I think if they do they can find some hope and some connections with the subjects. I guess the part about the parents seems to be what GQ and I naturally try to do for The Girls. I think the part about what schools can do may be just as hard as what students can do. So much in education is set in stone. So many rules and laws and standards come from people that are not in school buildings daily, with the students. Everything Robbins says is necessary, but not easy to attain at all. However, if an administrator or teacher reads this book and recognizes some changes they can make to help students on the fringe feel more valued then that is a step in the right direction.

I think that The Geeks Shall Inherit the Earth should be required reading for anyone going into education. I also think that anyone considering being a parent, or has recently become a parent should read it also. It’s eye-opening on many different levels. I think that anyone who relates to children at all can find something that they can use to make a connection where there might not be one currently, and again, that is a step in the right direction.

The Geeks Shall Inherit the Earth is available for Kindle (currently $2.99!!), hardback and paperback.

30-Day Writing Challenge, Day 24 (Day 23 Prompt) – My Favorite Relative Outside of My Immediate Family

So, because I am giving my students the option of doing the weekend prompts, I’m choosing to do Day 23’s prompt on Day 24. To paraphrase Mel Brooke’s, it’s good to be the teacher.

My favorite relative outside of my immediate family is my mom’s sister, Mary Alice Wood. She is my mom’s older sister and she has always done a great job of being a part of my life and now my family’s life.

When I was younger she would take me to Turtle’s Records & Tapes for my birthday and let me buy myself a record, tape or CD. She would often question my selections and look at (and read [aloud!]) the lyrics, which my parents never did, and that was embarrassing sometimes. Especially when I was really digging Adam & the Ants, “Prince Charming“. I don’t know why the official video isn’t there on You Tube, but it’s not. Anyway, she always gave me the choice to get whatever I wanted.

When I was getting ready to go to college she gave me this advice: Make sure you talk to friends, especially older friends, to find out which professors are really good and which are really the ones you to stay away from. That’s some advice that I should have taken when it came to my Southern Lit class at UGA. That class resulted in the lowest grade I ever received in writing a paper, along with the comments,”This is barely legible.” and “I don’t know how you ever made it this far writing like this.” Up until that point, I had made really good grades on all of my papers. After that, it completely knocked me for a loop and took several classes to get my writing mojo back.

As I got older, got married and had kids, Mary Alice continued (and continues) to be interested and involved with what is going on with me. As GQ developed herself into the author, Angel Lawson, Mary Alice has kept up with her releases, asking her questions, recommending her books to friends of hers, and buying copies to share with friends. She shows the same level of interest with the Girls.

I don’t get to see her as often as I would like, but whenever I do it’s always entertaining and there’s always interesting conversation. I’m very thankful for Aunt Mary Alice.

30-Day Writing Challenge, Days 15, 17 & 18

Okay, so, when I started this I told my students that they didn’t have to do the weekends because it’s a school assignment, and I can’t assign them homework on the weekend. So, days 16 & 17 are weekend days. To be honest, Day 16 – Bullet Your Entire Day – blargh. Now, a comic book writer that I admire very much, Kelly Sue DeConnick uses a bullet point journal and does this every day and it seems to help her and many of her followers/fans be more productive. I’m not there. (in the spirit of Trinity School) Yet.

I didn’t get to Day 15 because I was packing for a trip GQ and I are currently on with The Girls. Oldest Child and GQ ran the Disney Dark Side Half Marathon down in Orlando, and so we used that as an opportunity to go to Universal Studios and Islands of Adventure. I was packing and getting ready and didn’t have time to do “Three Pet Peeves”. Let me tell you right now, there are a lot more than three, but in the spirit of the thing, I’m going to stick with that. I’m also going to include Sunday, the 17th in there because it’s a really good one, “A Quote You Try to Live By”, and being that today is the 18th, I’m going to get back on track and do that one. They’re just all three going to be wrapped up in one package. It might be long. You might even be, TLDR, and well, not going to blame you for that, but I’ve gained some followers recently, I may even be up to EIGHT, so…there, I guess?

Three Pet Peeves

1. Being unaware of the people around you while you’re driving your car.
– I know, it’s easy to forget the world exists outside of your car. You’re in there safe and alone. You can pick your nose, you can sing out loud to your bad music choices, it’s just you and your automobile. But here’s the thing: THERE ARE STILL LOTS AND LOTS OF OTHER PEOPLE BEING AFFECTED BY YOUR DRIVING! La lala lala…I’m going really slow or I’m stopping for no reason. My blinker is just an option. I’m changing lanes because I forgot to when I was supposed to. La lala lala.  Do me a favor, please. Pull your head out of the cloud, take a look in your rearview mirror and to the left and right of you. There are lots and lots of other drivers behind you and beside you that are shooting visual daggers at you, cursing you and your inability to drive well, and feeling that tightening pressure as their pulse quickens and their blood pressure rises. Just be aware of other people on the road and have some common sense. That’s a lot to ask, I know, but I think we’ll all be a lot better off for it.

2. Grammar Idiots
– “loose” is not the same as “lose”. They’re, there, and their are really, really, really easy to tell apart. I’m going to leave it at those two.

3. Putting the Ice Trays Back in the Freezer Empty
– Our ice maker is broken. I like ice in almost all of my drinks. I mean, I really like ice. I like ice so much that my in-laws buy bags of ice to keep at their house when I come visit. So, when I go to get ice from the ice trays and there are empty ice trays in the freezer, it definitely falls into the Pet Peeve category. Fill it up. It doesn’t take long. It might make a little watery mess as you take it from the sink to the freezer, but that’s okay. I’m better with water on the floor than no ice.

Day 17 – A Quote [Quotation – see Pet Peeve #2]  I Try to Live By

“I like nonsense; it wakes up the brain cells” Dr. Seuss. If you no me at all then you know that I certainly like nonsense. Perhaps more than my fair share of it. I like Seuss’ quotation because I find it to be completely true. When things are nonsensical you have to really prick up your mind to try to make sense of it all. You may not be able to make sense of it, but it will definitely get the old noggin moving trying to figure it out. Sometimes the nonsense doesn’t make me happy, and I would be apt to say that I don’t like it, but most of the time, 9 times out of 10 I do like it.

Day 18 – My Favorite Color & Why

I would be tempted to say that my favorite color is orange. I like orange. I like it a lot. My car in high school and college was orange and it totally fit me as a person. Whenever I do those Color Tests, I’m an orange. Recently though, I’ve become more blue. Blue was my first favorite color. When I was maybe 9, my mom told me that I could get my room painted whatever color I wanted. “Really?” She said yes, so I chose royal blue. It was so awesome. So, now I’m back to blue being my favorite color. Orange is a manic color and for a number of years I was pretty manic. Blue can be both exciting and subdued and I like that. I need that. I am not often subdued, but sometimes it’s necessary, and I find that blue can fill that need. It can also be awesome, like my royal blue bedroom walls. It can happy or sad. It can fit the mood that it needs to fit, and that is why blue is now my favorite color.

Well, that was fun. I am going to get back on track of doing this daily tomorrow after we return from Orlando. It has been a great trip! Lots of fun to be had at Universal. Another favorite Dr. Seuss quotation is, “From there to here, and here to there, funny things are everywhere,” perfectly sums up this trip.13029686_10209372403534090_1736733160495711928_o13001056_10209371879080979_5659724344373857463_n

30-Day Writing Challenge, Day 7 – Your favorite symbol and why

red-heart.png

What’s my favorite symbol? That’s easy, it’s the heart. Right, I know, it’s not the shape of a heart. It’s the shape of Love. And that is the most important thing to me.

Truth be told, on the source page the 30-Day Writing Challenge came from Day 7 was, “Do you have any tattoos, and if so, what are they?” Well, I didn’t think that was appropriate for my 5th graders, so I changed it to the symbol thing. I can tell you that it has caused some confusion.

Student – “What’s MY favorite symbol?”
Me – “Yes.”
Student – “MY favorite symbol?”
Me – “Yes.”

Different Student – “Can it be more than one?”
Me – The prompt says, “Your favorite symbol, and why”
D. Student – “Yeah, but I have several favorites. So, can it be more than one?”
Me – “Are you going to tell me about them?”
D. Student – “I have more than one.”
Me – “Just do it.”

Again, truth be told, if it was the original post my response would have been, I have two tattoos. One of a moon face and one of a family crest that GQ and I designed and the tattoo artist drew. It’s a 4 symbol shield:

.IMG_6892

This is the original drawing of the tattoo artist. Here’s the story of the symbols:
The heart symbolizes me. The crown represents GQ. The star represents our 14-year old, Ramona. The skull and crossbones is our 11-year old, Coco.

I feel that needs a little more explaining, but honestly, nothing I can say is going to really fit, so I’m not going to go to try.

Fam-4770

They are interchangeable, though. Sometimes I’m the star. Sometimes Coco’s the snuggly, squeezy heart. Sometimes Ramona’s the skull and crossbones (especially now that she’s a teenager. Sheesh) GQ, well, she can be whatever she wants.

Anyway, back to the Symbol, because that’s what this post is supposed to be about.

Love. It’s why I do what I do. It’s why we are here. There are several telephone poles around my neighborhood that are decorated with a cut-out, wooden heart painted red. Similar to the one at the top of the post. In all, there are probably 8 different posts with the hearts on there. Every time I drive past them they make me smile. Clearly, there’s another person out there that feels the same way I do.

In the words of John Lennon, all you need is love. To paraphrase the words of crazy Norman Bates as his mother’s voice, “Is ‘Love’ going to pay the bills?”

What’s your favorite symbol?

30-Day Writing Challenge, Day 2 – My Earliest Memory

I have read about people having very early memories, particularly exceptionally intelligent people. I don’t know how old I was in my earliest memory, but I don’t think it falls into that “very early” category. So many early memories come from photo albums. I’ve seen the pictures and heard the stories dozens of times, so they have become ingrained in my head to seem like memories. I guess they could be seen as shared memories because it would have been my parents or grandparents sharing these pictures and stories with me.

The Kinks – Picture Book

What I do recall as my earliest memory is being down in Hogansville, GA on my grandparents’ farm, out in a corn field with my grandfather and my brother, Phillip. boom

source – http://www.neighborhoodies.com/uploads/readymades/boom.png

That was the sound of my grandfather’s shotgun. It was so amazingly loud! It’s almost as if that BOOM kickstarted my mind into gear, ‘Hey, you know, you might want to start remembering some of this stuff.’

We were out in the corn field with Granddaddy Benefield while he was shooting crows that were getting his corn. He hated those crows. Well, I’m not sure if it was him or if Grandmother Benefield told him to get out there and do it. “Yes, ma’am.”

Phillip and I spent a lot of time down on the farm. He loved it because he was an outdoors kind of kid. I liked it because I got to be with my grandparents, watch TV with Grandmother Benefield, her “stories”, eat delicious food – she always had the little boxes of sweetened Kellogg’s cereal and heavily buttered white bread toast for breakfast, and drink tall bottles of Coca-Cola out of their Frigidaire.

I have lots more memories of my times on the farm, but that shotgun blast in the corn field is my first.

How about you? What’s your earliest memory?

30 Day Writing Challenge – Day 1

social media

  • source – http://hivechicago.org/portfolio/social-media-working-group/

I gave my students a 30-Day Writing Challenge today. I have asked them to do this just to get them writing some each day. I know that some will do the very bare minimum that they can get away with. I also know that some of them will dive right into it. I will be randomly choosing students from my bag of Luck, Chance and Fate to share their thoughts. I am attempting to complete this challenge as well, and I will be sharing some of my entries with my students to let them see that I am taking part in it, not just giving them an assignment.

Day 1 – 5 Problems With Social Media

  1. Too many kids don’t understand the permanence of it.
    • I have two Facebook accounts. I started my second because former students used to find me and friend request me. I’m not embarrassed of anything that I post, but I’m an adult with adult friends who sometimes don’t have the same judgment I do when I ‘m sharing, and I don’t want to be responsible for exposing them to something that an adult friend may post. So, a separate account for former students. I can’t tell you the number of pictures I have seen of my former students engaging in…inappropriate activities for their age as well as pictures that will live forever on the Internet.
    • To be a 13-year old girl on social media
  2. I spend a ridiculous amount of time on it.
    • I have a problem with it. I do. I know this. I have gotten better than I used to be. It’s mostly Facebook and Tumblr that are my big problems. In the past year, I went through and unfollowed a long list of sites from my Tumblr account b/c I was spending too much time on it. It’s a rabbit hole, and I fell down it every single time.  What I try to do now is scroll through once, and if there isn’t anything that really catches my attention, or leads me to an article to read, get up and move away from the computer. It used to be (and sometimes still is, truth be told) too easy to just refresh again and again and hope for something new. I want to add that this is at home at the end of my day when I’m tired and sitting in my desk chair is MUCH easier than getting up and doing something productive.
    • b5cef-crackbook
  3. Too many parents aren’t aware of what their children are doing on it.
    • This ties into #1, but there’s more. I have current students who are on social media now. That would be fine except that I teach 5th-grade and 5th-graders are 10 and 11 years old and to have an account on almost all (if not all) social media sites you are supposed to be 13. I spoke about my laziness in #2 (ha, ha #2), but the laziness of letting children on social media without monitoring it is a big concern of mine. That being said, these are parents making choices about their children, not mine. GQ and I just offered our 14-year old an Instagram account this past December, and she declined. Our 11-year old can’t wait to get on, but wait she will. That’s how we roll.
    • Unaware Parents
  4. The people that say that it’s useless
    • I have no time for those people that don’t see the use of social media. I get a little annoyed and a little sad when I read an article that says how social media does more to separate than bring together. It depends on how you use it. I find the opposite to be true. I have made connections with people through social media that I would not have made otherwise. I have been fortunate enough to make some very good friends through social media also. I am a part of no less than six groups on Facebook. Each group centers around a specific thing that I am interested in, and discussions there are entertaining, sometimes enlightening, and help me connect with friends in a variety of ways. Social media is what you make it. It can be a drain, it can be a bridge, it can introduce you to new people and new music, books, ways of thinking, movies, and more.
    • Debate – Has Social Media Made Us Less Social
  5. When it is used to bully and intimidate.
    • Unfortunately, there is a part of social media that is a haven for people who treat others horribly. I don’t know if it’s that you can say whatever you want about a person or an idea without saying directly to another person’s face, or something else. I have read more articles than I care to number about teenagers getting bullied so extremely that they have taken their own life. I can’t think of anything to say about that except that it is beyond sad. This ties back into my second point also; parents not knowing what their children are doing or being exposed to on social media. Just because kids today intrinsically know how to use technology doesn’t mean that they don’t need to be monitored. In addition to monitoring, we can’t expect them to know how to use it properly if we don’t teach them how to be responsible with social media. Easier said than done? I don’t think so. I think it’s just staying plugged into what your kids are doing. Yes, if they really want to do it they will find a way, but that’s a whole other can of beans, isn’t it.
    • Cyber-bullying Statistics
    • Cyber-bullying

Whoo! Just made it! The first entry in my 30-Day Writing Challenge. I am excited about this, and I’m looking forward to seeing what comes from it. See you tomorrow!