Friday, May 11, 2012

Wk2 Blog Post - Art of Possibility (1-4)

This week I decided to do something a little different.  
This book is very inspirational and actually has reminded be of a lot of influential people that have helped keep me motivated throughout this journey.  I actually ordered two copies of this book this morning as "thank-you" gifts to pass on after graduation. 
I am huge on quotes- I have them tacked on post-its all around my house, screenshots have taken over my iPhone photo library, and I post them daily on Facebook almost every morning.
I have been sick for the past three weeks and I got started on this reading late.  But when my mom came over to fix up my garden, I joined her by placing a camping chair in the middle of my front lawn along with my laptop and a cup of green tea and read this weeks reading.  I can only imagine what my neighbors and the passing cars thought, but I found myself typing these four quotes into a Word document as I read and really got me reflecting on my own life...

  • "Every problem, every dilemma, every dead end we find ourselves facing in life, only appears unsolvable inside a particular frame or point of view.  Enlarge the box, or create another frame around the data, and the problems vanish, while new opportunities appear." (14)

Throughout this past year, I have found myself on multiple occasions being so overly consumed by stress that I wanted to give up just to catch a break.  And every time, there was always someone around me telling me to push through it.  Why I thought it was a great idea to buy my first house and start graduate school, all while working full-time with a brand new administration, I have no idea.  But now that it is almost over I have so many accomplishments to look back on and have filled my life with tremendous, genuine people. 

  • "…Every story you tell is founded on a network of hidden assumptions.  If you learn to notice and distinguish these stories, you will be able to break through the barriers of any 'box' that contains unwanted conditions and create other conditions or narratives that support the life you envision for yourself and those around you." (14-5)

Having being in grad school and having "adult" responsibilities such as having a mortgage and keeping up with a house has tested many of my relationships.  I have truly found out who my real friends are and those who just have not gotten to this point in their life.  I have built a giant support system in my life and have really figured out what I envision my life to be for the future.  I have determined key characteristics in myself and others that I want around, and those that I do not want and could not be happier for having making this discovery.  

  • "This A is not an expectation to live up to, but a possibility to live into." (26)

I LOVED this chapter.  It really made me think of my work and personal life.  Since working in special education I think I have always had this mindset.  My students may function at a low cognitive level, but I always think of their successes and accomplishments first.  I focus my whole curriculum on what they CAN do and not what they cannot.  The atmosphere of a positive learning environment has allowed myself and my students to have a more meaningful experience than I could have ever imagined.  
On the other hand, I have realized that I need to give more "A's" in my personal life.  This chapter made me reflect on many situations that I was left disappointed.  After reading this chapter I have looked back and realized that maybe I wouldn't have felt this if I didn't hold each of these people to certain expectations.  I actually read this chapter twice and will probably read it plenty more times to remind myself that if I give them the "A" in the beginning, the outcome could be so much more positive.  

  • "In fact, I actively train my students that when they make a mistake, they are to lift their arms in the air, smile, and say 'How fascinating!'" (31)

I really like this quote.  At my job, I hold many hats, and often times I make mistakes or things lapse my mind.  I always admit my mistakes and fix them, but I think I might try this line... It might add a smile or a laugh into my routine!

Hope you enjoyed!  See you next week, I cannot wait to see what I can learn from this book next week!
My Morning Mirror Reminders


  1. I like your interpretation of the reading. It reminds me that things should not be taken too seriously and that we need to not just "set a bar" but "erase the bar" and just do our best in all that we do. We are not perfect by any means even though a particular score or grade may tell us so. So I see where that phrase comes in that there is a "possibility to live into." Also, in reflecting on the quotes you used from the text, I realized that it is important to not focus on perceptions that we may have learned from things like technology and that we need to find other ways and new opportunities open up our eyes.

  2. Kristen your post is very interesting. You took out the essence of the reading rather than ramble as I did. I feel as an educator this reading is so uplifting, inspiring and preaches for an open mind. As you say enlarge the box or create another frame around the data and the problems vanish, while new opportunities appear. How true! We just need to get everyone to enlarge the box. I am so tired of people not being able to think outside of the box! Why be confined? It is stifling.

    This A is not an expectation to live up to, I would love to take the A out of the picture completely. How about just tell the students what they need to learn and then at the end of the unit they show or tell you what they have learned and they either move on based on what they know or they stay on that subject until it is mastered? Idealistic, yes but why can't we do it? Why can't we have a complete education revolution!

  3. Wonderful interaction with the chapters and great collection of quotes. I'm sorry that you've been feeling ill. Hang in there, you and your friends are almost through this experiment.