Welcome to Awakenings

Life IS history in the making. Every word we say, everything we do becomes history the moment it is said or done. Life void of memories leaves nothing but emptiness. For those who might consider history boring, think again: It is who we are, what we do and why we are here. We are certainly individuals in our thoughts and deeds but we all germinated from seeds planted long, long ago.

Monday, April 30, 2012

Inspiration: Meet the Challenge

Visit catnipoflife for the latest posting in the inspiration series. Hopefully, you will be touched by words that will evoke personal thoughts and ideas. As these thoughts surface, write them down. Such thoughts could trigger a poem, a story, a personal reflection: Who knows when someone somewhere in time might read them and how a life might be touched in the process.

Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Inspiration Beyond Measure

On catnipoflife, I have been running a series of messages about inspiration. Today, I received something via email with a message that literally brought tears to my eyes for more reasons than simply the message itself. First, I must reflect on events of late in order to put everything in the proper perspective.

Background. . .
Since my husband Jim's admittance to the hospital my time for writing at the computer (laptop crashed a few months ago) has been minimal. I have, of course, kept my notebook in hand for times in which I can reflect on thoughts of the day as he briefly rests. I interject the descriptor briefly for I know it is only a minimal time away from discomfort and pain.

The day before the initial trip to the ER we were visited by a Navy buddy (Homer) of Jim's whom he had not seen in 53 years. This reuniting had been in the making for several months ever since the buddy was located. With him was his sister Annette. Enlightening camaraderie prevailed among the four of us. In fact, it was discovered that Annette at one time worked under the supervision of my brother when she was teaching and he was the school principal. Such a small world:)

Today. . .
Each night when I return home I have been seeking my next inspiration for Awakenings. It came this morning from Annette within an email message. The author is unknown but the message is truly awakening. . .

If it weren't for the United States military, there would be NO United States of America. Click the link Without Regret or view the video clip The Final Inspection, but before you do, you had better go grab a box of Kleenex.

Saturday, April 7, 2012

Appreciated vs. Expected

As an educational consultant, I am fortunate to work with educators that span classrooms from kindergarten to senior high. I received a video package from a teacher as part of her requirements toward the obtainment of Florida's reading endorsement. From the onset of the instruction, I was in awe! She was teaching the very essence of my post, Stitches in Time, with enthusiasm beyond measure. It was so obvious teaching is her passion and she had her elementary school students mesmerized. The class was from 25 to 30 fourth grade students all actively engaged in the learning process.

The focus of the instruction was vocabulary and reading comprehension. The text: The Star Spangled Banner. As this teacher gathered prior knowledge from her students, reflections were made on an earlier lesson centering around the Pledge of Allegiance. Students reported that saying the pledge since they studied it line-by-line now carried new meaning way beyond that of its past daily recitation.

That was just the beginning. . .
Isaac Smith American Patriot

Just prior to delving into the words of The Star Spangled Banner, a question arose about its becoming America's national anthem. This led to open discussion about The Star Spangled Banner first being a poem, then a patriotic song. Remember, this is a vocabulary and reading comprehension lesson. Therefore, the first two words discussed included the following:

     Anthem: A song officially adopted by a country as an expression of national identity.
     Patriot: One who loves, supports, and defends one's country.

It is from the uncovering of these terms that the following outcome took me totally by surprise. A question/answer discussion took place as events were being recalled which led up to the penning of The Star Spangled Banner by Frances Scott Key. In 1814, Key was inspired by the American victory and the sight of the large American flag flying triumphantly above Fort McHenry, Maryland.
And the discussion kept going. . .
As you read the questions presented during the discussion, keep in mind that these were being posed to a class of fourth graders. What is your response to each question asked? See if your thoughts match those of the elementary students.
     Questions: Do you think things were better back in the day that they are today? Do you think people were more patriotic back then than they are today? Do you think people were more honored?
     Responses: Overwhelmingly the response to each question was "yes" by the students.
     Question: Why would you say yes?
     Responses: Back then they got away from England because of taxes. They became free and glad to be their own people (pause) with independence. Now that time has passed we are used to being free.
     Question: So, today we expect it, instead of appreciate it?
     Responses: Overwhelmingly the response was "yes" from the students.

Share Your Thoughts
Did your thoughts coincide with the responses from the fourth graders? Were you surprised at the outcome? Is that true of America today? Are her freedoms, liberty and justice simply being taken for granted, totally expected, but not truly appreciated with consideration of the sacrifices made by our forefathers? 

Give it some thought, serious thought. Then, say it/sing it for America in appreciation for all her struggles  lives crippled and lost, battles fought and won!

And that needs to continue. . .

Share your thoughts in the comments box. Send this link to your family members, close friends, coworkers and acquaintances. It would be great to "say it/sing it forward" all across America, as well as overseas where so many of our men and women are serving our country in the military!