Suicide, especially amongst young adults, is rampant in today’s society, all around the world. My nephew in Texas asked his Facebook friends to post this number, (the words below the number are his) which inspired me to write this post. Please share this number, it is operational in both the US and Canada.
Suicide Prevention Hotline (USA and CANADA) 1-800 273 8255 It’s OK not to be OK 22 a day is too high
Have you heard about the new Pokemon Go game app? My son is consumed by it. He is not 2 or 3 as he was when he was first obsessed with Pokemon, or even 7 or 8, but almost 19! He and his friends walk around the neighbourhood “hunting” Pokemon characters and defeating “gym leaders” with their cell phones.
Mix the reality of local landmarks (players use their phone’s GPS to navigate) with the fun and challenge of the game, as well as all the walking and you have Pokemon Go. It is aimed at the over 10-year-old crowd, but it doesn’t appear to have an age limit. I guess the exercise is the upside, as you cannot play on the sofa in front of a TV screen. Another plus; the app is free for android and Iphones.
Social media has caught the Pokemon Go fever too. These two jokes regarding this newest craze were recently posted on Facebook…
So, if you see youngsters wandering around, head down, eyes glued to their phones, don’t be alarmed, they are probably just hunting Pokemon. My son caught one in my garden last night; go figure, here I was blaming the rabbits for eating my plants.
Recently I attended a talk entitled “Ignite the Spark” It was presented by two high school teachers who believe students that exercise before class increase their attention span, improve their grades, improve their fitness level, decrease absenteeism as well as suspensions, and lower depression rates. They have put this theory to test in several high schools in the Ottawa area by implementing a short exercise period first thing in the morning or at lunch time. Sessions can be held right in the classroom and do not have to involve any special equipment.
This makes complete sense to me as a mother of three boys. Boys are notorious for short attentions spans, especially in the early school years. I remember years ago that my brother failed grade one, along with 6 other six-year-old boys. I’m positive it was because his middle-aged female teacher could not relate to or handle little boys. When my sons were in primary school, I helped out in their classrooms. One day I arrived to a grade two class to find the substitute teacher in tears because one of the students spilled paint on her silk blouse. The students were sitting at their desks with their heads down on the desk in punishment. The teacher was very young, perhaps 25, but again, no experience handling small children.
Both of these experiences show that teachers have to find a way to relate to their students. The best way to get students, especially young children, to perform at their best is to exercise their brains so their strengths are optimized. Sitting in a classroom all day with no physical activity is the fastest way to slow the children down both mentally and physically, preventing them from reaching their full potential.
Igniting their spark sound likes a healthy alternative to me, promising great results for teachers and students.
My family (except for my eldest son, who unfortunately could not get the time off work to join us) just returned from a week of vacation in Puerto Plata in Dominican Republic. Similar to the recent challenge post of introducing my home town, I thought I would share our time in DR through pictures. I had planned to post this from there, but vacation got in the way.
Our resort was nestled between the Atlantic Ocean and the mountains, with spectacular views of both. Although the rooms (clean and comfortable), food (lots of it, with a good variety, including many gluten free options for me) and beach (shelly, lots of coral, and short in length) were of average quality, the mountain scenery was the best feature. This trip was planned around our youngest son’s spring break, and as it is his last year in high school he invited a few friends to join us. The unlimited food and drink for a reasonable price and great weather was the selling feature. After all, you do not go to the Dominican Republic for the food; you go for the weather. The resort was one of three in a row, connected by a winding, palm tree lined walkway, approximately a ten minute walk from end to end. Vacationers staying at any of the three hotels, all of which are under the Riu banner (Merengue Village, Merengue Garden and Bashara), were welcome to use the amenities offered at each site.
old stone farmhouse
grazing cows and mountains
trees growing through roofs
trees growing through roof
tree growing in hallway
The following pictures represent a typical day, from sunrise to well after sunset…
sunrise over the mountains, right outside our balcony:
830 am breakfast was mandatory; our rule to get the boys up and moving rather than sleeping all day after partying all night:
While a walk to the far end of the beach was next for my husband and I…
…the boys filled their day with various activities such as swimming (pool and beach), volleyball, soccer, bocce ball, basketball, kayaking, sunbathing (napping), and shopping:
lounging and napping
The boys were on their own for lunch, often eating at the “snack bar” just steps from the beach:
we often went elsewhere:
Dinner was a group event scheduled for 730 pm following an afternoon of more activities (them) and another beach walk topped off with a dip in the ocean (us) Between the three hotels, there was plenty to do and see each evening as well:
The weather was great; hot and mostly sunny each day, with a few quick downpours, usually in the early evening or through the night.
It sure was painful to arrive back to the winter weather here in Ottawa; where would you rather be?
Puerto Plata, Dominican Republic: partly cloudy and 28 °C (82F)
Ottawa, Ontario, Canada: mostly sunny and -12 °C (10F) with winds at 26 km/h (16 mph)
Is Shakespeare necessary in high school English classes? That is MY question…
Why do they still force Shakespeare and ancient literature on high school students who have no future use for it? I understand that Shakespeare’s tragedies are part of the history of literature, and feel that he should be mentioned in that context, but devoting a large part of English classes to deciphering it is ridiculous. I do not mean to offend any readers that may enjoy and appreciate Shakespeare, but am speaking here as a mother of three sons, none of whom found the hours spent on Shakespeare useful or interesting.
English is the only mandatory (at least here in Canada) course in grade twelve. That fact is understandable as we are a predominantly English-speaking country. Most Canadian universities require a minimum mark of 70% in grade twelve English for admission. That would not be much of a problem for university bound students if the curriculum consisted of things these students could actually use in their chosen careers. Useful skills such as writing resumes, memos, and technical reports, using proper grammar, preparing PowerPoint presentations, debating and public speaking would be much more beneficial and less of a waste of time for students trying to concentrate on their futures. When they are not interested in, and have no future use for Shakespeare and English literature, forcing it on them only serves to lower their grade average, compromising their acceptance into the university of their choice.
Grade twelve is a stressful year for students trying to decide what they want to do after high school graduation. Unless headed for a degree in English literature, studying and analyzing Shakespeare is of no use to many of these students. Perhaps English literature should be an optional course in high school instead of mandatory, so that those students that enjoy it and may have use for it can benefit without punishing those that do not and will not…
“To Be or Not to Be” should be “To Take or Not to Take”
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