Friday, December 14, 2012

A Day of Prayers and Hope

Dear Dialog,

I know that this blog is for education related postings, and I guess that this post is to some extent but I have to say that today, I question my faith in humanity and the goodness in people. Today, one of the most horrific incidents in recent American history occurred. Twenty elementary students, ages 5-10, were murdered by a 20-year old man at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newton, Connecticut. The identified gunman, named Adam Lanza went to the elementary school for reasons that have yet to be determined and now the country is trying to figure out all those questions that have yet to be answered.

Why did this happen?
How could it happen?
Why so many victims?
Why an elementary school?
Why did this happen to children so young?
Why did this happen to kids who had their whole lives to live?

These questions I do not know will ever be answered. Today these questions and this tragedy has brought so many feelings to the surface. Five and a half years ago, there was a shooting at Roseburg High School in Roseburg, OR. In 2008, there was a shooting at Virginia Tech University. In 1999, there was a shooting at Columbine High School in Colorado and in 1998, there was a shooting at Thurston High School in Springfield, OR.

Every few years, there seems to be these unimaginable tragedies that are continuously occurring. No one has been able to answer why these events happen or why they have transpired, but what we do know, is that there will always be fear. There will always be blame. There will always be changes in laws by State officials. There will always be tragedies.

Today, a friend on Facebook posted the following:
"A much wiser person than I gave me this exercise so you might try it. When you are feeling anything negative, especially as strongly negative as today's events would inspire, imagine it as dark smoke. I feel it as very thick, black, almost choking smoke. But use your chest, your heart, your lungs, your love, to change that black smoke into white. Breath in the dark smoke and using your own love change it to white and then breathe it out. Imagine it coming out of your mouth looking white, calm, compassionate, and peaceful. Breath in and breath out and each time you do, choose to breath out white smoke. Hold hands with someone as you do it. And give yourself permission to take a break from your day and spend a few moments in silence imagining your own body changing this hateful black to compassionate white and breath it out slowly. Feel it surround you and fill up the room. If others are you are breathing out black smoke, recognize that they are hurting and are responding as they know how and breath in their black smoke and use your own good will and compassion to change their black smoke into white. Choose to breathe theirs in and feel the black change to white through this choice you have made to put more white smoke into the room. Visualize it. I'm doing it now. Breathe in and breathe out. Breath together."

So today in closing, I hope that you chose to continue to breathe in and breathe out. To breathe together. To pray for the good in people. To hope that these events no longer occur. 

Sunday, December 9, 2012


Dear Dialog,

Today has been a day of memories... Today I went Christmas Tree Hunting with my boyfriend and my dad who is in town for the weekend. He brought me a bunch of ornaments that were on our trees when I was growing up and it brought back all those memories of decorating the big tree in the middle of the living room, the smell of hot coco, the smell of cinnamon pine cones and the sounds of family...

I am going to be able to bring in these memories to my school tomorrow. A fellow co-worker asked if we could bring in an extra tree since she knew we were going hunting... We found a wonderful, tall tree that will work perfectly in our lobby. My homeroom students are responsible for decorating the tree and maintaining it while it still maintains it's residence at school. With almost 75% of my students being low SES, and many of them not only unable to have a Christmas Dinner but also a tree and presents, bringing that sense of holiday cheer to them is wonderful and makes this time of year even more special.

Well more tree pictures are to come and I hope that everyone has a wonderful and happy holidays... Only 12 more days until our Holiday Break!!!