What can we do?

So from half a world away, I read about the events that happened at Pulse. A place I have spent nights dancing at with friends. I am waiting. I am waiting to see who is among the people who lost theirs lives because they wanted to go out and have a little fun. Maybe I know them, maybe I don’t. But that is not the point. At this point, I don’t want to talk about Christians, Muslims, guns, terrorism, or any of that. Because in all honesty, this isn’t the solution to the problem plaguing the whole planet right now.

I want to talk about intolerance. This is the root of our problem. People, in general, are so scared, intimidated, and intolerant of anything that different from themselves. We don’t talk about our differences nearly enough in order to gain knowledge and understanding. People belittle, hate, and fear far too easily. The back and forth I see on social media is driving me mad. I don’t care what anyone says about my feelings on gun control (although I hate guns with a passion and would jump for joy the day that proper guns restrictions are put in place). But we are living in a world that breeds ignorance and bigotry. This isn’t an American problem or a middle east problem or any one place problem. It is a global problem. One way to help counteract this is through education. Educating our children on compassion, love, respect, and a general moral code. That is NOT okay to hate someone you’ve never met. It is not your place to harm others and then escape your responsibility because something was done “in the name of God”. That isn’t our burden. We need to come together and make honest efforts to relate to each other. In the end, we are so much more similar than we are different.

Today is a day that I am so amazingly proud to be an educator. That hopefully, I can reach some of my students and help them be proud to be a member of the human race and how truly beautiful that can be if we worked together to build peace, instead of slaughtering people in cold blood because of how they choose to live their lives. That through education and battling ignorance, we may help to make improvements to a world that is screaming for help.

These men and women were not hurting anyone. They are truly innocent bystanders that lost their lives in one of the most horrific ways imaginable. But they are our brothers and sisters.  They are our family. Not someone’s family, but our own. Changes to that ideology need to be made at such a basic level. We are one people and the world is in a civil war against each other. We need to lay down our weapons, lay down our hateful rhetoric, abandon our fear, and work together. There are such generally good, peaceful, beautiful human beings in the world. There are also monsters. This is in every place on Earth. We can cower in fear, ignorance, and hatred and allow this to continue by reacting to this with more violence, or we can do our part to make the world a safer place.

I, for one, refuse to stop living my life and trying to meet the truly amazing people that inhabit my home, planet Earth, because of these actions. I refuse to hate someone I have never met and hasn’t cause any harm. I refuse to name call and belittle people based solely on their beliefs. I refuse to live in fear. I will get up every day and smile at strangers, tell them I hope they have a great day, and help people in any way that I possibly can.

People are now screaming for more laws, more regulations, and more restrictions. On some of these points, I agree. But this in reality is merely a bandaid to our bigger problem. Fear, hatred, violence, every negative -ism on the face of the planet. Wake up and realize that in order to really make a dent in this problem, we need to be brave, compassionate, open-minded, tolerant of differences, and actively seeking peace in our lives.

I am still waiting on this list. From half a world away, with eyes burning, and mind clouded with exhaustion. But I am also so grateful. That I can see, now more than ever, how precious every life is, and that I will get the chance to see my loved ones in a few weeks and hold them close to me once more. I suggest everyone do the same. Let go of past grudges that are only there for the sake of your pride and ego. Let’s push out more love into the world and see what happens.

 

Peace, Love, and Light

Wendi

SOL: Taking stock

I realized today that it has been more than one month since the SOL challenge and I haven’t really written. In some ways I guess this is a good thing. I’ve been busy……

 

Loving myself

Imagining

Visualizing my future

Investing in me

Not focusing on the negative

Going forward

I rescued a dog this past month. I’ve named her Maddie and in many ways she reminds me of myself. She is beat up and bruised with a bad left hip. In the hip department we are twins. 2016-04-26 20.04.01

What a responsibility! She, sadly, has many problems and we are working on fixing her up. But really, she isn’t a bother, and it is nice to have her waiting for me at home with a wagging tail. I am excited for the day that she is fully vaccinated and I can begin taking her around the neighborhood. But for now, it is training to not go in the kitchen and just keeping her comfortable. After spending months eating trash and sleeping under cars, I think it is the least she deserves.

I’ve been enjoying doing all things PYP. If you asked me what I expected from PYP curriculum when I first began learning about the curriculum and the philosophy behind it, it is so similar to what I am experiencing. It is hard, challenging, exhausting, but oh so rewarding. I get be a kid with my kids and help them learn things through doing it. It’s not perfect at my school, not by any means. We are new, we are lacking many resources I would love to have, but as a whole, I am in heaven. My kids are motivated and opinionated. They know how to work hard and be silly. I think I did a pretty rock on job for my first time teaching with PYP, and I have a mile long list of things I want to tweak for next year….so I forsee a big working summer, which is ok. But after Turkey, I was dreaming of a school and position that really ignited that passion for teaching again. PYP is it! It also helps that my coworkers are awesome.

Current stock of my life…..:

Job to keep me busy and fulfilled? check

Way to many plans for the near future? check

Strategies to make these plans reality? check

Good friends and family near and far that make my heart happy? check

money in the bank? check

clothes on my back? check

No, my life isn’t “traditional”. I don’t see myself ever moving home, getting married, and raising a family there. But my life is me, in all of its chaotic splendor and I am embracing it!

 

Our final post for SOL: Embarrassing Moment

I can’t believe how much fun I had this month completing the slice of life challenge. It’s been a good way for me to come up with new ideas about writing and I’ve definitely enjoyed sharing slices of my life with people from all over the world.

Considering tomorrow is April Fool’s I thought I would post a slice of an embarrassing moment. Something to hopefully make you laugh when you read it.

I woke up late that morning and was in a super mad dash to get to class. The professor I had that semester, I can’t even remember his name, was extremely strict about getting to class on time. I’d been late twice due to traffic and road repairs in the area, and if I was late one more time I’d be withdrawn from the course.

I pulled some clean clothes from the dryer, got dressed, and rushed through the rest of my morning routine, brushing my teeth while I poured coffee in my travel mug. I ran out the door 10 minutes after I woke, praying I would make it on time.

Luckily, the day was nice and traffic was surprisingly light for this time in the morning. I pushed the speed limit until I made it to the school. My next challenge being finding a parking space somewhere in the vicinity of my building. I’m not having much luck and I can feel the sweat trickling down my neck as I continue to search as the minutes tick on.

Just when I think it is hopeless, BINGO! A space opens and swing my Scion in the spot grabbing my bags as I turn the car off and jumping. I have 6 minutes to race across the campus and get to the class. With a quick apology to my short little legs, I begin to speed walk/ run.

All through the parking lot I am going as fast as possible. I reach the neighboring building a cut a tight turn towards my building when I run into someone hard enough that we both fall to the ground. Looking around I grab everything within sight as I pour apologies to the person I just body checked.

Annnnd then I look up…holy smokes!

I am pretty sure I am looking at a future movie star, that man was so hot! Just my luck, I am thinking as my face burns like red hots. He laughs, tells me not to worry, and we go on our ways.

Nervously, I check my watch and am relieved to see I can still make it if I go right now. I apologize again and begin to walk off.

“Miss, I think you dropped this.”

I turn just in time to see him bending over to pick up something from the ground…….

A pair of my polka dot panties!!!!! They had statically stuck to my pants that I pulled from the dryer.

We both realize what it is at the same time and as he pulls a hot potato and goes to drop it and my hand reaches out to snag it. I am aware that I must look like a tomato by now, shove them in my pocket and run to class.

There were at least 2 positives to the day:

  1. I made it to class with seconds to spare.
  2. The panties were clean.

 

I hope this made you giggle a bit and you have fun fooling your kids in class!

Firsts…..

I know I have taken a break from the challenge, I needed the rest. But I am back and I plan to finish out the month strong.

The other day I was working in my writer’s notebook for my students and started a lists of ideas based on firsts. There is something magical about doing something for the first time:

Your first day of school.

Your first concert.

Your first day at a new job.

Your first interview for your chosen career.

Your first love.

Your first kiss. (although I didn’t put this in my writer’s notebook for school haha)

Your fist apartment.

Your first time living abroad.

Each of these experiences are etched into my brain. But one of my favorite firsts was the first time I saw snow.

I had a joke a few years back. No didn’t really exist. Being from Florida, I never saw snow as a child, and as I traveled I always seemed to bring the warm weather with me. Even when I went to New York City in winter, I didn’t get to see snow. But when I finally did a little over a year ago, it was perfect.

I was in Austria celebrating Christmas in a family environment for the first time in 4 years. Living in Asia I never got Christmas off, but we did get a long break for Chinese New Years. I was anxious because the weather report said it would snow soon and ice was already beginning to form on all the trees and plants. It was stunning, especially at his house. The house had a private nickname from me, “Snow White’s Cottage”. It was adorable and nestled next to a creek with trees and vineyards as far as your could see.

As I was reading in the living room, Thomas came in and told me to come outside. When I did I got to the beginning. The ground was dusted in a fine white powdery snow and I was giddy to see it falling from the sky. I ran around like a child grabbing snow, watching it melt in my hands, and struggling to make snow balls for our impromptu snow ball fight. Afterwards, we warmed up in the main house with coffee and soup. Just when I thought the day couldn’t get better, Thomas suggested a drive.

We ended up on a private road that noone drives down very often. We continued our snowball fight before I decided I was going to make a snowman. I didn’t care that there wasn’t “enough” snow to make it. So I made the tiniest snowman I’ve ever seen complete with twig arms and a drawn on face. I named him Goliath :D. Putting him on a sign post, we left and headed back home. The following weeks I got to really see snow in the Austrian Alps on top of a glacier, but I will still love that day the most.

Dread

I am not sure why, but I have this feeling that something is going to change in my life. Not sure what, and not necessarily for the better. Where this feeling is coming from, I am not too sure. I don’t have any unanswered decisions to make, nor anything planned soon that could account for this feeling. Yet, it is still there. I’ve learned to trust my gut instincts, however, without some clue as to where the worry may be stemming from, I am not sure what to do. I will just have to be aware of what is going on around me and with the people I care for deeply.

Perhaps, this is just another side effect of all that has happened in the world recently. I can’t fathom how people who live and breathe the same air that I do, have the same heart and blood in their bodies can do the atrocities that we’re constantly seeing. It’s making me desire more and more next year to join the volunteers helping the refugees. I would do it now, had I already not made the commitment to farm in Ireland for a month. Maybe I can do another volunteer mission this Christmas. Any hands for any number of days can help.

For now, all I can do it wait and keep positive. Have any of you who read my blog had this feeling before? Any advice on how to move past it? Thanks in advance!

Currently

I am sitting pondering the different stories in my mind….but nothing is coming together in a complete fashion. SO….I am stealing a bit.

I’m currently…

Listening to:

Latvian music in the background of my new Netflix show “Miss Fisher’s Murder Mysteries”. 🙂 I dig it.

Loving:

A week off for spring break. It was just what I needed.

Drinking:

Red Wine

Thinking:

about why people still continue to hurt each other in so many ways. Why do we lie, cheat, steal, murder, judge, etc? It doesn’t make anyone feel better.

Wanting:

a visit from some special people. I would love to get some of my American friends here in Europe with me this summer.

Procrastinating:

Completing school work. But  I did read more than a third of the first Game of Thrones novel in the past day. I will stay up late tonight to read more. I need to get myself back into “work” mode because reading for book club at school is fun, but my week won’t be if I don’t get cracking tomorrow.

Needing:

a puppy to snuggle at night. :

Reading:

Game of Thrones among a dozen other stories. 😉

Worrying:

that I will have a hard time once I get back in the gym. I love getting in there and getting sweaty. But with my physio and the rain I’ve gotten LAZY! I need Marini to whoop my booty once the docs release me for exercise.

Wondering:

about someone special.

Anticipating:

my summer in Ireland woofing. I hope there is a nice quiet park where I can read, write, and use the camera I plan to buy when I go home before the trip. I am so happy that my couchsurfer told me about this organization. It sounds like it will be a lot of hard work and fun, plus I get play with pigs. 😀

being a night owl zombie!

So I am still sitting awake……and it’s almost midnight. I should be working, reading, or any other number of things but my mind is buzzing.

These are the nights I should be living in the woods or on the beach. Instead I am home in my apartment after a day spent relaxing and soaking in more sunshine. And I’ve started a new series on Netflix.

My agenda for tomorrow is full. I need to read the first 2 Game of Thrones for my book club, work on my last unit reflections, prepare my rubrics for the next unit on habitats, find more resources, finish putting together portfolios, clean my fridge :(, and talk to my personal trainer.

But instead i am enjoying a brownie and fig tea, life is good!

 

We will see how I feel in the morning. 😀