A Way Out

Clay Tablet Babylon Ca. 2000-1700 BC

Clay Tablet Babylon (Ca. 2000-1700 BC); SCHOYENCOLLECTION.com

 

“I just get lost,” she sighed. Her pre-teen face was creased with dejection.

Schoolwork is hard for her. She tries but often fails to live up not only to the expectations of her school, but also – and harder still – to her own views of perfection. She begins. Gives up. Procrastinates. Misses deadlines. Then needs to make-up what she had delayed as well as keep up with current assignments. School is a merry-go-round of stress and frustration.

“Lost how?” I prompted. Not only did I want to understand more about what she’d meant (rather than assume I knew it), but one of the things we’d been working on is expanding her ability to narrate her feelings and perceptions, explain and communicate her needs.

She glanced at me, not quite in irritation, but almost.

“I’m not being tricky,” I smiled. “I really want to understand.”

“Fine,” she sighed again. Her brow furrowed as she thought, and she reached over to the pad of paper that rested on the desk between us. Doodling can sometimes help make paths for words.

She scribbled for a moment, then her breath deepened and she flipped to a new page on the pad. “It’s like this,” she said.

She drew a labyrinthine squiggle that turned several times onto itself. Added another squiggle that sprouted from it, then another, and another. Sketched a stick figure at one end of the criss-crossed creation  and a bulls-eye at the other. Looked up at me to see if I’m still paying attention.

Very much so. I smiled encouragement.

“I have stuff to do and I think I know how, but I start doing it and then I get stuck,” she moved her finger over the squiggle till it ‘hit a wall.’ “So I go back, and I try another way … and I get stuck again,” her finger slid on top of the paper to another dead-end.

She looked up again. Her eyes were bright.

“So I get lost …” she swiveled her finger around the squiggly lines in a half-aimless, half-frantic manner. “It’s too hard. I give up.”

“I hear you. I really do.” I nodded, lifted my pen, and drew another squiggle around hers, connecting the pencil figure with the bulls-eye. “We need to find a better way. A way without a maze.”

 

 

For The Daily Post

Kids’ Logic

Kids have been known to say the most amazing things. They can come up with stuff that leaves jaws hanging. Make connections we did not see coming. Expose language ambiguities that we no longer hear, and make expressions a never ending study in explaining why we did not mean the words we said even though we very much did mean what we said …

Kids can also give the most hilariously brilliant unexpected answers.

Here is a compilation of answers from 25 kids whose responses on tests, quizzes, assignments and schoolwork prove that they are awfully literal, completely out to lunch on what’s inquired about, totally impish, wholesale Smart-Alec’ish, or a combination of the above …

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Read more and enjoyhttp://www.viralnova.com/awesome-kid-answers/#VGpIS22CscTiyxSg.99

Thank you ViralNova.com for this delightful collection!

Write on!

Today we had: No more snow. No new ice. Partial blue skies. Nice weather bluff and freezing sun. New York City a la Alaska.

Like quite a few of my townspeople, I am learning to appreciate what true northerners deal with every winter, throughout winter, September to late March. They may be chuckling at our overreaction to minus twenty in the sun, but when the Arctic visits this part of my world I am all the more grateful for how most days in this latitude are usually more temperate ones … 

Still, its cold outside. Educational opportunities abound. A child came with a school assignment to write about the “Cold Snap.”

The writing product of the chewed-off-pencil munchkin so far: “It is a cold like snapping peas because when you walk outside the snow snaps and the air snaps at your face and your fingers feel like they are going to snap off.”

Pretty snap on, don’t you think? 😉