28 02, 2014

When Thinking Hurts

“Today we will brainstorm topics for speech writing.” Are the groans audible? Do you sense the less than enthusiastic response to your statement? And yet, we do it… We often ask our students and kids to brainstorm: to suspend judgement, release organization and structure to thinking and allow any and all ideas to flow willy nilly out of brains. Brainstorm all the ways a paper clip could be used. Brainstorm words that describe a character. Brainstorm words that can be used instead of ‘said.’ I for one, hate brainstorming. As the name implies, I feel as though a powerful fan was aimed at my brain and the result is storm of ideas that ricochet inside of my skull. When I was young, the fan just blew air but nothing moved. No ideas. No insights. Just a blank paper in front of me and an anxious feeling in my gut. I

17 02, 2014

A Cure for the Blahs

It’s like a wave numb inactivity, disengagement and lack of a give a damn sucks my typical enthusiasm for life.  I think many of us experience this dull, dry, ‘desert’ feeling at times. To be honest, I hate it. I despise being sucked into a sloth like abyss. But, at the same time, I find it very challenging to overcome. Perhaps, it is the weather, the lack of sunshine or the abundance of viruses and bugs that wreak havoc on whole families and classrooms. Whatever the reason, I find myself returning to what I know has brought me out of the doldrums before: more time with God. And so I return to solitude name my blessings, ask for help with my state of mind and wait.  I decide that my waiting must be active. I really don't feel motivated to do so, but I will  take the dogs for a

2 02, 2014

Will I EVER be Done????

When I look at the mountain of laundry that never seems to shrink, my shoulders sag and my energy wanes. I know that when I get one load done, there will be more…and   more. It is a never ending chore.                                                    Perhaps that is how some students with autism see the tasks ahead of them at school. The school day becomes a litany of tasks that are imposed on me. This happens in addition to the fact that I am trying really hard to stay calm after the roles of each member of the cooperative group I am in were changed. I am trying to ignore the sounds of the kids scraping their chairs on the floor and I feel like there is no way