Saturday, October 01, 2005

Saturday Morning Mumble

I should be up and doing, as in cleaning my house top to bottom and getting a start on cooking next weeks meals, but instead I am sitting in front of this computer screen taking a rare moment to mumble out loud and in public. Times for mumbling and thinking out loud are becoming rare due to the full nature of my schedule now that school is back in full swing.

Speaking of school -- I think it is going well. I am up there every day diligently grilling the children in grammatical useage, noting what their math drill scores are, correcting tests, going over vocabulary and reading out loud for novel studies amongst other things. Next week we start swimming lessons twice a week, which means that we now have swimming, hip hop dancing, piano, and guitar lessons, not to mention band practice. Somewhere, somehow, I need to schedule time at the gym. It isn't easy.

Teachers in BC will likely be going on full scale strike near the end of the month. The beauty of this E Bus program is that it really doesn't matter. We can keep working on the school stuff and just pass it all back in when the dust finally settles and everyone is back to work. In spite of the strike and the resultant lack of teachers, I feel quite free of the pressures of recent years in worrying over whether or not we are doing an adequate job in educating the kids. I'm a fairly independent worker, but having the outside help available when needed, and having the recognition of a certificate at the end relieves a great deal of psychological pressure of going it alone. If we had a covenanted nation, it would be even better.

Primal Teen by Barbara Strauch arrived at the library the other day thanks to interlibrary loan. It was a very timely arrival. My neighbor is having troubles with a teen son who is currently exhibiting signs of being partially brain dead and the client I had yesterday has two teen daughters who have suddenly lost their mind and are causing all kinds of stress. I'm not too far into the book, but one of the things I have grasped is that neuroscientists can now see that the same thing that happens to children around two which calls forth that stage of life usually known as "terrible twos" is the same sort of thing that is happening to the brain of teenagers. The prefrontal cortex starts to exhibit signs of exuberance, which is another term for rapid overgrowth. While this process is taking place, children and teens use the limbic system and amygdala, the emotional centers of the brain, for doing a lot of their reacting with the expected imbalanced results. This explains a lot. Further insights will, no doubt, be forthcoming.

Nathanael is back in school finishing up his requirements for graduation. He apparently has only three more credits to earn before he gets his Dogwood certificate. His intentions are to win the school's trophy for best attendance, best attitude, best grades, etc. He had the honor of being chosen by his teachers to serve on the school district's curriculum advisory council. One of the things he will be recommending to the school district is Saxon Math. Heheheheh.

Getting back to the gym -- my current desire, sort of. I have all sorts of reasons as to why I should pursue it: a good body mass index equals good health, it is a good example for the children, I should practice what I preach to others, and it means being able to keep my physical and mental faculties in good repair so that I don't end up in a nursing home being useless in my latter days. My desire is to die in the traces, if at all possible (Lord willing, barring unseen providences of course). I have a greater chance of doing that if I exercise, eat properly etc. So why is it a struggle?

This is one of those opportunities where I got to see the twisty nature of my heart. I know what is right and what I ought to do, but often self-sabotage, even with the full knowledge of how good and right a particular choice might be. Very often the reasons for doing so can be hidden from me by the deceitfulness of my own heart. I finally sat down and mind mapped my conflict with weight loss the other day. I won't tell you what I found since it isn't necessary that you know, but it was pretty interesting to me to see what was behind a lot of my behaviors. If you really have some problems to overcome and can stand to find out what the core issues are that are holding you back, doing a mind map and just allowing the creative free associations to flow can really be helpful. You can't apply the right remedy until you know the real problem.

In other more cheerful news -- Jamesie is a darling. Some babies are just easier than others. People often remark on the cuteness of Elodie, who has enormous eyes with long lashes, but personality wise-- she resembles Lucy of Peanuts comic strip fame. She can be a crabby, pushy, little girl. (I think her brain is being renovated at the moment.) James, on the other hand, is a cheerful little bohunkus who spends most of his day happily squealing and smiling. And he loves to cuddle. He has discovered his hands lately and spends a lot of time gnawing on them and trying to swallow them whole. He is also a well educated baby and the teacher's pet in school. He either sits in the teacher's lap during lessons, or else is worn in a harness in front of the teacher when she is up writing stuff on the blackboard. I wonder if he will learn to read earlier than the other kids?

Well, the dust motes are calling me to come and gather them up. Thus endeth this day's mumble.

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