Thanks for Sharing

On a lazy Sunday afternoon, what’s my favorite thing to do:  eat yummy food and watch movies!  Today’s pick:  Thanks for Sharing

Thanks for Sharing is a story centered around various forms of addictions: sex, alcohol, drugs, weight loss, food, all of it. Every single person has an addiction and you get to see the interplay between these characters as they try to figure out who they are through their own demons. 

I personally can not stand Gwyneth Paltrow, she makes me hurl, but, I love Mark Ruffalo, I think he’s super delicious, so, I sort of had to bite the bullet and stomach her ignorant ass. 

The movie takes place in NYC, the picture above was taken at Central Park, a place, I run through pretty much every night.  

Find your thing

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No amount of yoga, breathing, exercising, drinking green tea will substitute for “finding your thing.” 

Whenever you have unresolved issues within your heart and mind, it’s easy to ask others what you should do.  Everyone is entitled to their opinions and will tell you what they think given the information you offer. But, only you know what it is that drives your sense of existence. 

When you “find your thing” you’ll start to see the clouds of uncertainty and the fear of failure slowly subside, because you feel confident in each step you take.  Along the way, you will get distracted as others will want your attention, time and energy, but when you’re focused on why you’re put on this earth, all of that background noise will silence themselves. 

That’s when you start to “zero in” and see things objectively. 

The only person you can change is yourself. The only person that needs to change is yourself. You can not control what happens to you, but you can control how you decide to act afterward.  

Finding the right person

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I can’t tell you how many times I have to endure the same bullshit over and over again until I hit that breaking point.  Where I literally toss my hands in the air and say, “I give up.”  I’m so done. 

This much I know, loving the wrong person, crying over the wrong person really does help frame for me what it is that I’m looking for in a partner, a man, a lover, and a friend. 

Sometimes, we’re so in our own crap that we keep missing the “good ones,” that wave their hands in front of you. The ones that are emotionally available, the ones that want to spend their time with you, the ones that go out of their way to make you happy or bring out the best in you. 

I’m so lucky that I’m in that mindset now. It’s taken me 3 long, arduous years, to say, that I’m FINALLY dating healthy men for me, and it’s fantastic! I’m emotionally available and just loving this time of renewal and self-growth and feeling all of my woman-ness. It’s still in the early stages but it’s nice to hang out with guys who know what they want, but more importantly, know who they are. 

There’s an excitement and curiosity in learning about new guys.  Like, wow, I didn’t think that would fascinate me, but it totally does.  And, can I add that there’s no drama.  Hallelujah!  

But, it isn’t until you let go of the wrong person or persons, that the right person waltzes right into your life, and makes you laugh and smile for all the RIGHT reasons… like TAH DAH!  :D

How much are you willing to tolerate?

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I was asked this question and I thought it was one of the most efficacy questions people should answer for themselves.  

How much are you willing to tolerate?  When is enough, enough?  

I have a high threshold for pain, physically and emotionally. I was raised that way and since my adult years I have taught myself to be an “emotional punching bag” for most. I have toxic relationships in my life where another person makes me feel small and insignificant, not good enough, and I need to squelch who I am, or what I want to say, in order to make the relationship not only work, but just function, barely.  

I always find myself crying because that person refuses to listen to what I have to say. That person continues to hurt me, consciously and subconsciously, and no matter what I say or do, it’s ineffective.  That’s when I had to ask myself, “How much am I willing to tolerate?” 

As an educator, professionally, I feel like it’s my duty to help others. I place a barrier between myself and others when I go into 
"work mode," — but, sometimes, those lines get blurred and I’m left with a bunch of processing I need to do on my own. After all, at the end of the day, I’m left with me, myself and I. 

One of the things that frustrates me is people’s inability to analyze.  I’ve been told I over-analyze…my question is… “why are you under-analyzing?” In other words, to be a great thinker means that you’re looking at a situation from various angles, before you make a decision.  I rarely make important decisions without thinking through each variable and subsequent result. I factor in others’ opinions, mine especially, and I weigh the pros and cons. Only, after I have meticulously gone through each step, will I feel comfortable to stick with a decision. 

That decision has to be something I can tolerate for all intensive purposes. I hate it when people are wishy-washy. And because I possess high levels of emotional intelligence and I can tap into a person’s psyche (without them even knowing it), I can read into what’s happening before a person opens up his/her mouth. Or, I can decipher the meaning, even if the words are convoluted and messy. Especially during emotional periods of conversation. People may feel in that moment, but the great expression is the action afterward. How do they process that information, are they listening, are they being active with that information, or are they tossing it aside and pretending that moment never existed. 

I get it. A lot of people do not like confrontation, they want to be socially liked. It makes them feel uncomfortable. However, my voice and my thoughts are what separates me from everyone else.  While I might not always voice my opinion, depending on the circumstance, I am actively engaging within conversations. And what works for me, doesn’t always translate for someone else, and vice versa. You have to factor in their own social norms and cues, their ability to rationalize and problem solve, and their emotional intelligence. Taking a thirsty horse to a river doesn’t mean that horse will drink it, because the horse is too focused on the potential bugs it might encounter.  

So, before you start cornering people into certain categories, really ask yourself, “what are you willing to tolerate?” And if the answer is “a lot,” — then, you’re opening yourself up to a pandora of emotions.  However, if you’re cognizant and aware of how you process, then, despite what comes your way, you’ll be able to handle a lot, rectify it within yourself, then move forward. 

Optimizing Vocabulary Acquistion - Creating an Interactive Word Wall

When you’re standing in front of your students and thumbing through strategies to help improve their vocabulary acquisition, most educators will immediately launch into teaching memorization skills:  root words (prefixes and suffices), spelling, and plain, “you just need to know this.” 

However, what students are not retaining is a deeper understanding of that word. 

I currently tutor an 8th grader named Mary Kate, no, not one of the Olson twins, but a bright student currently studying to pass her ISEE exam.  After reviewing her practice test results, I found a common thread – she’s was above grade level but she wasn’t able to decode or decipher difficult vocabulary terms and that’s when I decided to use the Word Wall method while adding my “Sooism” touches.

A Word Wall is an interactive tool organized around key vocabulary terms students will need to master.  There are many types of word walls:  high frequency words, word families, chunking similar words together, etc., but the end goal is that students to get engage and interact with their vocabulary words—so the experience of “memorizing the word” becomes personalized for them.  I added another element with Mary Kate.  Instead of using pictures next to a word, I chose the word “chagrin,” and made her do the following:

1)   Look up the definition and write it down next to the word.  (Definition)

2)   Draw a picture of what chagrin means (she drew a picture of a soccer match and the ball bouncing off the goal post)—I had her then explain what she drew to me.  (Cognitive Awareness)

3)   Then, draw a picture of something that connotes the opposite of chagrin.  (She drew the same soccer match, except the goal went inside.)—I had her explain to me what she drew (Teaching Antonyms)

4)   Next, I had her write out any misconceptions or difficulties with the word.  This is when I got to teach her how chagrin could be used in a sentence or in a reading passage.  (Guided Practice/Addressing Misconceptions)

5)   Finally, I asked her to write her own sentence using chagrin and reflected back with her, “what makes this sentence correct?”  (Independent Practice)

While the process is pretty scaffolded, it’s important to go over the steps until the student understands how to do it on their own.  After another round, she was able to do the entire process on her own, this time, she picked the word debunk.

I then asked for feedback, “How did you like creating your own Word Wall?”  Her response, “That was the most fun I ever had learning vocabulary words, I really like how you asked me to draw it out and explain it to you.”  We, high-fived then took it a step further as I asked to play charade with the words.  I could see Mary Kate quickly processing information while she thought of how she could physically act out a vocabulary word without speaking.  This was my opportunity to teach her test-taking strategies.   I gave her 45 seconds to act out each word and she responded afterward with, “putting me on the stop to quickly think like that was so cool.” 

What Mary Kate didn’t realize was that I was implementing “quick thinking strategies,” just as she would have to access during her ISEE exam—where she needs to make an educated choice and move on.  Except I made it fun and interactive for her. 

Not only did Mary Kate learn difficult and challenging vocabulary words during our tutoring session, but she was able to internalize it and personalize it for herself. 

She was able to master the vocabulary words and use them in context, but more importantly, she experienced the many shades of those words.  And that  “ah-ha” moment is priceless toward learning and retaining vocabulary.  

The weak are always tempted by those things that don’t seek fulfillment. The wicked are always tempted by others who carry the very same attributes that pushes others away. The arrogant are always tempted with having an audience, even if it’s the wrong people.
SJK

Swinging…not the one at the playground.

Raise your hand if you’ve ever been approached to have a menage a trois? In English, that means a threesome. 

In my experience, more than I would like to be honest about it. 

The situation always goes like this…the guy likes me, the guy wants to get to know me better, the guy is cool…except there’s one thing…he has a girlfriend who would also like to play with me, too.  

Swinging?  That’s the topic of the day. 

I don’t judge. If people want to have open-minded sexual encounters then by all means, knock yourselves out. But, what always fascinates me is…what about me suggests that not only would I be the “plus one for the evening,” but that I would like to engage with women?  Don’t get me wrong, I think a lot of women are beautiful, simply aesthetically, but I’m not attracted to them, and I’m certainly not interested in engaging in “acts” with them. 

Not to mention that you want me to engage with your man in front of you? Maybe, I’m a little territorial, but I don’t like sharing. And I don’t want someone else in my business, engaging with someone I’m involved with. 

But, different strokes for different folks. 

Call me old-fashion, but I prefer monogamy over a polyamorous relationship. How do you get to a place where you’re like, “yeah, let’s swap, or that’s fine, do what you got to do?” 

I think there’s other recreational things out there to keep one occupied.

And whenever I decline, I’m polite about it but I’m also interested in why they ask me. The answer:  because we think you’re hot. And you would be a lot of fun to play with. 

Yes, I’m a fun gal, but I’m not that fun. 

And the thing is, I’ve never been interested in doing that.  I know for some, they would kill to have that opportunity, well mostly guys, I think it’s all guys’ fantasy to be with two women, but for me, does absolutely nothing for me.  

The longer I live in NYC…the more nothing surprises me.