An eceltic morning

Bird Droppings October 24, 2011
An eclectic morning

Over the past week of vacation I was discussing with several friends, The DaVinci Code and other philosophical diversions and fearing death as a basis for religion came up somehow.

“Learn as if you were going to live forever. Live as if you were going to die tomorrow.” Mahatma Gandhi

It has been a few years since I watched an episode of Star Trek actually it may have been one of the Star Trek movies. Spock has interfered with Star Fleets objectives in relationship to a small group of colonists on an obscure planet. It seems they live forever or at least aging is so minute that life times are measured in tens of thousands of years. What was interesting is that they by choice became nearly primitive living off the land and pursuing wisdom, reading, writing, all forms of art work. Life became a process of always improving since time was not a factor. As I read this quote from Gandhi earlier this morning that Star Trek movie popped in my mind.

“The world is apprehended by way of the mind, the world is acted upon by way of the mind and all good things and bad exist in the world by way of the mind.” Samyutta Nikaya

As I thought further about Star Trek and this group of people living on a planet where radiation from their sun seemed to be the key to longevity I was reflecting back on several incidents at school almost eight years ago. My assistant Principal came in with thirty minutes left on the day before a holiday to do an observation or so she said sticking her head in the door. On top of the timing I had two extra students who had been placed with me since they are not functioning in regular classes. They were in a sort of holding pattern for a day or two. I was in the middle of trying to alleviate a year book emergency rewiring a CD burner and trying to print out a picture for a teacher who wanted her daughter’s angel scene from a Christmas play I just took for drama dept. and several extra students were assisting in helping down load hard drives from refurbished computers. So all in all, ten things were happening in last thirty minutes of last day before the holiday not counting an observation.
I never mind observations and probably have had more in four years than most have in a life time or was my AP was getting back at me for several previous practical jokes. But we think what we portray in our minds within seconds I was shifted from disaster to plotting a new reprisal. Actually got quite a good report for diversity and individualizing the learning situations.

“Honesty can be cultivated by transforming your inner language. For example, you might think: “I am no good” or “They are not good.” Is this true? For some strange reason, people want to wallow in the idea of being either the best or the worst. What is true in this moment? How close can we get to the reality of our experiences?” Martine Batchelor, “Meditation for Life

Thinking back to the movie, Spock was trying to save the Utopian society of a small group of people as he turned against Star Fleet in the movie. The reason that Star Fleet wanted this planet was literally to sell and package longevity. They were willing to destroy a people for profit. Human nature many would say. I observed those two extra students I had on that observation day. One of them I have for a period every day the other I did not know. As I thought to why both ended with me it was because of inappropriate behavior in class. Such terms as acting out and attention seeking were used. I used to be a big fan of “Law and Order” a popular TV show. Last night a young boy who had been abused was talking with the prosecutor and recalled a particular day in his life. The very man who had abused him for four years was the hero by chance. He was concerned he was “sick” because the greatest day of his life was also with the person who destroyed his life. Shortly after on the show this young man tried to kill himself.

“Real love is not based on attachment, but on altruism. In this case, your compassion will remain as a humane response to suffering as long as beings continue to suffer.” His Holiness the Dalai Lama

Perhaps I am trying to cram too many thoughts into one sitting. It was a busy week and it will be getting worse preparing for the upcoming holidays and end of course tests. We all need to be looking at our lives are we trying to over simplify? Are we being honest with ourselves? Do we use the word love as merely an attachment? Can we be more than we are in our given time? Many issues as we head into the holiday season I just need to take my wife’s car to the service station and here in the Atlanta area soon we will be deluged with all the folks heading south. It seems all major interstates seem to converge here and for a late Thursday just a reminder from Will Rodgers.

“Too many people spend money they haven’t earned to buy things they don’t want to impress people they don’t like.” Will Rogers

So as I am thinking further.

“The appreciation of the profundity and subtlety of his thought comes only after serious study, and only a few of the most committed students are willing to expend the necessary effort. Many, upon first reading him, will conclude: that he was a churlish, negative, antisocial malcontent; or that he advocated that all of us should reject society and go live in the woods; or that each person has complete license to do as he/she pleases, without consideration for the rights of others; or that he is unconscionably doctrinaire. His difficult, allusive prose, moreover, requires too much effort. All such judgments are at best simplistic and at worst, wrong.” Wendell P. Glick

Interesting I was thinking Glick was referring to me in this passage but alas it is Henry David Thoreau.

In a lesson plan on how to teach Thoreau Glick points out the difficulties even today though Henry David Thoreau is recognized as a great writer it was his idiosyncrasies that kept him from public acknowledgement in his time.

“He had in a short life exhausted the capabilities of this world; wherever there is knowledge, wherever there is virtue, wherever there is beauty, he will find a home.” Ralph Waldo Emerson, in his eulogy for Thoreau

Early today I was answering an email about how I had gone into teaching. A friend from high school never imagined me teaching. I found that interesting because since I was twelve I have been teaching be it swimming lessons, boy scouts etc. As a parent we are always teaching. I started with Henry David Thoreau in that he was a teacher but he walked away from teaching to be a better teacher. Thoreau left to become a learner. He sought knowledge; he craved new ideas and thoughts. Everything about him was a classroom.

“Yet, hermit and stoic as he was, he was really fond of sympathy, and threw himself heartily and childlike into the company of young people whom he loved, and whom he delighted to entertain, as he only could, with the varied and endless anecdotes of his experiences by field and river: and he was always ready to lead a huckleberry-party or a search for chestnuts or grapes. Talking, one day, of a public discourse, Henry remarked that whatever succeeded with the audience was bad.” Ralph Waldo Emerson

In my email this morning my friend wrote about teaching should be fun and how for many years her fellow teachers thought her methods were different. Often I have other teachers wonder at what I do with students and how and why. But they learn and they ask questions. I was looking back earlier to why I chose teaching. Initially it was because of a Biology teacher I had in tenth grade. I wandered away from direct teaching into publishing of training materials for twenty three years and came back. Often I find myself using the statement I am where I need to be at this moment. My pathway has led me to this spot. Soon we will have a day of thanksgiving of holiday family and friends. So often within the constraints of life we find times of sorrow. Please be aware that around you and nearby someone may be suffering as we celebrate offer a hand, a shoulder a thought and please keep all in harm’s way on your mind and in your hearts and to borrow from a veteran and friend from an email many months back and with veterans day a few days away and still very applicable today.

“Please remember the sons and daughters in faraway lands, for once we were them” Reah Wallace, retired Navy

A new dawn coming a new day and a new reality and who knows for sure peace might be around the corner.
namaste
bird

An eclectic morning

Bird Droppings July 21, 2011
An eclectic morning

“Learn as if you were going to live forever. Live as if you were going to die tomorrow.” Mahatma Gandhi

It has been a few years since I watched an episode of Star Trek actually it may have been one of the movies. Mr. Spock has interfered with Star Fleets objectives in relationship to a small group of colonists on an obscure planet. It seems they live forever or at least aging is so minute that life times are measured in tens of thousands of years. What was interesting is that they by choice they became nearly primitive living off the land and pursuing wisdom, reading, writing, and all varying other forms of art work. For them it was about always improving since time was not a factor. As I read this quote from Gandhi earlier this morning this movie popped in my mind.

“The world is apprehended by way of the mind, the world is acted upon by way of the mind and all good things and bad exist in the world by way of the mind.” Samyutta Nikaya

As I thought further about Star Trek and this group of people living on a planet where radiation from there sun seemed to be the key to longevity I was reflecting back on several incidents at school last semester. My assistant principal came in with thirty minutes left in the day before a holiday to do an observation or so he said sticking his head in the door. On that day I had two extra students who had been placed with me since they are not functioning in regular classes sort of a holding pattern for a day or two. I was in the middle of trying to alleviate a year book emergency and rewiring a CD burner and trying to print out a picture for a teacher who wanted her daughters angel scene from a Christmas play I just took for drama dept. and several extra students were assisting in helping down load hard drives from refurbished computers so all in all ten things happening in last thirty minutes of last day before holiday.
I never mind observations and probably have had more in eleven years than most have in a life time but my AP was getting back at me for several previous practical jokes. But as we think what we portray in our minds as I shifted from disaster to success and within seconds I was plotting a new reprisal. As I am here sitting pondering how we see things in life.

“Honesty can be cultivated by transforming your inner language. For example, you might think: “I am no good” or “They are not good.” Is this true? For some strange reason, people want to wallow in the idea of being either the best or the worst. What is true in this moment? How close can we get to the reality of our experiences?” Martine Batchelor, Meditation For Life

As I drove into the school this morning coming around a turn an object was in the other lane to the side of me. It was a box turtle and I stopped and began to back up to get the turtle to the other side. Flashing through my mind was a similar incident the other day in the same spot of road where I stopped to remove a six foot black rat snake before it could get hit. I stopped looking both directions for cars and even had flashers on and door open. A car was coming the other direction and never slowed down, aimed at snake hitting it before I could clear my door. I grabbed my snake stick which I always carry and moved the injured snake into the bushes. So here I was again trying to save an animal and again a car does not slow down and right at the poor turtle. As the car tire hit the turtle it changed to a pine cone and skipped across the road.
Wandering back to the movie Mr. Spock was trying to save the Utopian society of a small group of people as he turned against Star Fleet and in effect society in the movie. The reason that Star Fleet wanted this planet was literally to sell and package longevity. A good friend posted something about profit and capitalism this morning. I responded that the website for ethical capitalism is seldom visited. Star fleet was willing to destroy a people for profit. In the article my friend mentioned it was a major bank was willing to destroy people’s lives eventually in bad mortgage deals for short term profit. Is it human nature since that is what many would say?
I observe my students literally constantly making mental notes on behavior and going back to the day before holiday with the two extra students. One of the students I have had for a period every day the other I did not know. As I thought to why both ended with me it was because of inappropriate behavior in class, acting out, attention seeking whatever the cause. I have been a fan of, Law and Order, a police show on TV. Last night in an old rerun a young boy who had been abused was talking with prosecutor and recalled a particular day in his life, the very man who had abused him for four years was the hero by chance. The boy was concerned he was “sick” because the greatest day of his life was also with the person who destroyed his life. Shortly after on the show this young man tried to kill himself.

“Real love is not based on attachment, but on altruism. In this case, your compassion will remain as a humane response to suffering as long as beings continue to suffer.” The Dalai Lama

Perhaps I am trying to cram too many thoughts into one sitting. It was a busy day yesterday and will be today preparing for a trip to Myrtle Beach and a reptile show. We all need to be looking at our lives. Are we trying to over simplify? Are we being honest with ourselves? Do we use the word love as merely an attachment? Can we be more than we are in our given time? Many issues as we head into the coming days. I need to take my wives car to the service station and for tomorrow just a reminder from Will Rodgers for our politicians.

“Too many people spend money they haven’t earned to buy things they don’t want to impress people they don’t like.” Will Rogers

Please as we head to holidays keep all in harm’s way in your hearts and on your minds.
namaste
bird