Sunday, 31 March 2019

Welcome to Holland

I love this applies to aging parents, children, transition...and it is posted in honor of World Autism Awareness Week-April 1-7. Welcome back from break, my ISKL friends.


Emily Perl Kingsley
I am often asked to describe the experience of raising a child with a disability - to try to help people who have not shared that unique experience to understand it, to imagine how it would feel. It's like this......
When you're going to have a baby, it's like planning a fabulous vacation trip - to Italy. You buy a bunch of guide books and make your wonderful plans. The Coliseum. The Michelangelo David. The gondolas in Venice. You may learn some handy phrases in Italian. It's all very exciting.
After months of eager anticipation, the day finally arrives. You pack your bags and off you go. Several hours later, the plane lands. The stewardess comes in and says, "Welcome to Holland."
"Holland?!?" you say. "What do you mean Holland?? I signed up for Italy! I'm supposed to be in Italy. All my life I've dreamed of going to Italy."
But there's been a change in the flight plan. They've landed in Holland and there you must stay.
The important thing is that they haven't taken you to a horrible, disgusting, filthy place, full of pestilence, famine and disease. It's just a different place.
So you must go out and buy new guide books. And you must learn a whole new language. And you will meet a whole new group of people you would never have met.
It's just a different place. It's slower-paced than Italy, less flashy than Italy. But after you've been there for a while and you catch your breath, you look around.... and you begin to notice that Holland has windmills....and Holland has tulips. Holland even has Rembrandts.
But everyone you know is busy coming and going from Italy... and they're all bragging about what a wonderful time they had there. And for the rest of your life, you will say "Yes, that's where I was supposed to go. That's what I had planned."
And the pain of that will never, ever, ever, ever go away... because the loss of that dream is a very very significant loss.
But... if you spend your life mourning the fact that you didn't get to Italy, you may never be free to enjoy the very special, the very lovely things ... about Holland.

Friday, 22 March 2019


I find that airports are confusing places. Such a mixture of emotion.
It used to be that loved ones were able to be together right up until the time of departure. Now, we drop our loved ones off at the curb and bid good-bye as we wrestle bags and avoid police and traffic.
Also, upon arrival, as we left our journey behind, our loved ones were waiting for us as we stepped off the plane, sometimes they even had signs welcoming us. Now, we are left to navigate the arrival to an unknown place on our own, and sometimes we even need to arrange a taxi or some mode of transportation to take us to the home of our loved ones.
Personally, I miss this. I wish I could wait at the gate, with my loved ones, until they departed (especially when a flight is delayed. I wish I could greet them at the gate when they arrive.
Happy Spring Break, and Safe Travels, my ISKL friends!

Wednesday, 13 March 2019

The Children's Peace Prize

Many people believe the only folks who are able to make changes are those that are adults, celebrities, rich, or maybe those that have given their lives for their cause have earned the term "famous".

There is a quote, its source disputed, that states, We do not inherit the earth from our ancestors, we borrow it from our children. 

I believe our children are our greatest resource as change makers.
Take a look at The Children's Peace Prize website.
Possibly you even know of someone to nominate!

Thursday, 7 March 2019

6 word memoir

6-word memoirs are a short form of poetry which express a BIG idea in only 6 words. The ONLY rule is that you MUST use 6 words. 

Check out the SIX WORD MEMOIR website. 

Happiness erupts in hidden magic moments. 

I will never eat moldy plums.

Can a plant feel eternal happiness?

Warm oatmeal reminds me of grandma. 

Lovely sparks of glitter float graciously. 

A cantankerous cat can cut carelessly. 

March Book Madness

If you haven't already, be sure to vote for your favorite book on March Book Madness.
The voting started on March 6th!!

                 Middle Grades Novel Bracket

Monday, 4 March 2019

No Hitting!

I did it.  I had not really planned on it but it happened.  It was like slow motion.  The snowman decorated christmas tin that I had taken from the garage and used to scoop up the vole flew through the room and landed right on her bed! The cookie tin opened and there it was the dead vole on right on her bed.  Nothing separating the vole from where she slept every night. My sister had taken my shoe and hidden it and refused to give it back.  “She deserved it”, I thought to myself.  But did she really?  And I knew she had a temper. As soon as it happened I regretted it.  I ran over, scooped the tiny dead vole off her bed and ran out of the room.  She slammed the door after me.  This wasn’t the last I would hear about it. Minutes later as I was talking to my mom, Allison ran out of her room red faced and furious.  The next thing I knew she had pounded me with her closed fist right on the top of my head as hard as she could.  What?!  I had expected her to retaliate but not like that.  My mom had seen everything and Allison was grounded.  There was no hitting allowed.

Sunday, 3 March 2019

16 First Days

There is an eerie feeling the first day you walk into a new school. Rolling emotions that falter between excitement and dread. Your brain is soaking in every new piece of matter which surrounds you. The Bookcase. The plant. The cement stairs. The stale air which reminds me that I will not feel snow in the foreseeable future.
ISKL was my seventh new school as a teacher and the first in which snow days were not automatically built into the schedule. The first days I have had in a new school are all surreal. There is too much to take in and comprehend. I want to make it appear to everyone that I am calm, cool and confident. In reality...I am terrified!  Will I trip and fall? Will anyone like me? Where are the bathrooms? Will anyone eat lunch with me? Logic would convince us that after seven schools as a teacher and nine as a student (that does not include preschool, but does include university!) the emotion would become second nature. That my brain would logically walk into a new building and be calmed by similar emotions that I have felt in the past.
Yet, my brain and heart always follow a similar pattern. Fear! Excitement. Nervousness. Joy in the Potential. The need to Puke.  ISKL followed the same pattern.
Thinking back to that day seven months ago, I wish I could tell myself that all would be ok. That I will make friends. Learn the varied resources and find my way around the school. I wish I could calm all of those emotions and jitters. But unfortunately, time travel is not yet possible. So, for now, I will find satisfaction in the fact that I lived through those emotions and learned a little along the way. Maybe next time the first day will be easier or maybe there will be snow.
Karen Callahan