In The Big Book, pages 198-200 [LATER NOTE: 229-232 in 2019 edition]
Moments: https://sandradodd.com/badmoment—No Bad Days
Mindfulness: https://sandradodd.com/mindfulness/ —Mindfulness in Unschooling
If you want to bypass initial chit-chat, greetings and side stories, click here.
Mindfulness is good. 🙂
it comes and goes with me. I suppose people aren't centered and mindful all the time, not even the best of them.Sandra Dodd:
Thanks for being here.VirginiaW:
Usually we wait half an hour or until we have ten people. So in the first part, people can talk about whatever in the world they want to.
I'm glad you still do this Sandra.Sandra Dodd:
There's a big black bird in my yard. Not a crow. I was watering the compost pile and a plop fell right in front of me and I looked up. He's still out there, in one tree or another, for the past hour and a half.Sandra Dodd:
Maybe making a nest.laura z:
Sandra did you see my message the other night asking about whether there will possibly be another ALL in NM this Winter? I believe not but just checkingSandra Dodd:
Maybe a raven, but his tail is wide and splayed out.Capn Franko:
Laura, I replied to that question where it was.
Good morning.Marta Pires:
Gonna change computers. Be right back.laura z:
okay will double check my messages againSandra Dodd:
Here's what I wrote:laura z:
-=-you probably won't be having an ALL in NM this Winter right?-=-
I'm planning to. Keith says I need to look at the numbers first. Also, I don't want to commit my kids to doing it, poor kids. They agreed the first time, and the next time they were totally drafted, and they had other things to do.
Pam Sorooshian's family might not come this year because of various expenses (universities the girls are in). Or Pam might come and not everybody.
I have lots of ideas for various levels and combos of people and activities.
And if you want to, if it happens that I don't do the whole hotel thing, you guys could come to my house and stay a few days.
But I'm vaguely planning to, and we'll look at the figures as we work on our taxes, so soon.
I see it now...for some reason I only saw the top of my question and never saw your response.Sandra Dodd:
I have all my tax papers here. An overflowing Xerox-box lid of receipts and notes and copies of book orders. Joy.Sandra Dodd:
I think Keith might like to take a year off, though, just to do that. He's my biggest help in those projects.Sandra Dodd:
I'm sorry you thought I ignored you! 🙂laura z:
nope didn't think you ignored me, just that the message might have been missed 🙂Sandra Dodd:
I want Deb Lewis to transport over here and ID that bird.laura z:
can you take a picture of it?Sandra Dodd:
or describe size and any markings
I went out on the deck (which is kind of high up) and I knew which tree he was in, because pollen was showering up (from an Arizona Cypress) but he was on the far side.laura z:
Black, bigger than a crow, tail spread out from below looking up. There are crows out there, doing regular crow noise, but this was doing something else. Or maybe it was a crow mating call. 🙂 Maybe it's a big butch crow-cock. 🙂
all my books are EasternSylvia Woodman joined the chat
Holly mentioned a week ago that there were crows in the yard. We haven't had any at our house (except passing by), ever. Not living here. Maybe this year, though.laura z:
I actually like this website WhatBird.comSandra Dodd:
it's been different here in Arkansas than in Florida. I've seen a few birds that I haven't seen since living in the Northeast
We're having an empty nest (people, not bird) trial run this week. It's not real, though, because all their STUFF is here, but Holly is in California with her boyfriend, Will, and Marty and his girlfriend are in Nevada, after which they're going to Utah touristing, staying with our friend Wendy north of Denver and then come south.Marta Pires:
Keith and I are going to Austin in a couple of weeks, and I like to see the birds in Texas. They're quite musical and colorful compared to the sparrows and doves I'm used to. Red and yellow-bellied finches are our most colorful birds.
How's Marty's arm?VirginiaW:
Where in Florida? I went to High School in Cape Coral? Laura?Sandra Dodd:
I think it's getting well faster with him being on vacation than it would with him being around his friends.Marta Pires:
If he was around his regular activities he'd be tempted to be more active than he should be. He can be a tourist without using his arm much.Marta Pires:
Virginia we were in Saint Petersburg most recently but have lived in Miami on and off several times over the last ten years as well as a year in Argentina (and a few other places)VirginiaW:
I got finch feeders, and I made one out of a plastic spice jar and some wooden skewers (poked holes in the plastic with a hot ice pick--a trick I learned from Keith when we used to repair action figures whose limbs were coming off). Burned myself doing that.VirginiaW:
"How'd you hurt yourself, mom?" and my honest and true answer was "with a red-hot ice pick."
I would live in Florida again.Sandra Dodd:
But I think it seems the finches published our address on a "Finch feeders in Albuquerque" site somewhere birds read, because we're going broke on thistle seed.laura z:
us too...laura z:
LOL thistle is expensive...they must have put out the word!
ha! At least they are adorable!Sylvia Woodman:
I'm going to switch over to read only because I'm getting people food and helping Gabriella make pieces of pound cake look like French fries!JennyC:
We had a neighbor that was able to keep hummingbirds around. When she moved, the hummingbirds moved too.VirginiaW:
We were buying that seed at a feed store up the canyon just out of town, but they closed! I went hunting. Fancy bird store, it's expensive. Walmart has it, but it's Walmart. Marty works at Target. I asked if they had a garden center and he said kind of, in summer, but what did I want? I told him and he said "Oh, yeah..." and told me right where it was, across from the registers, with pet food.Marta Pires:
So next time. Marty's employee discount.laura z:
Caitlyn has yet to see a hummingbird...every time we would see one in the window I'd call her to see it but it was already too late!VirginiaW:
We see hummingbirds around here sometimes, Montgomery, ALCapn Franko:
Ah, food. I hafta try to make a green version of red velvet cake this afternoon for Chloe's (19th) birthday party which will happen on St. Patrick's Day.JennyC:
judging by my old neighbor's facebook page, she still keeps humming birds around in her new location, different state.laura z:
ohh yum. we're going to be making a coconut banana chocolate chip bread this afternoon!Sandra Dodd:
Hummingbird feeders are made to keep ants out. But it turns out that if the birds only get the sugar water (fake nectar), they're not getting the little bugs they get if they eat out of real flowers.VirginiaW:
You can make green icing from avocado.Sandra Dodd:
So IF you feed hummingbirds, don't keep the bugs out.VirginiaW:
I made it once for a alligator cake.Sandra Dodd:
We have ten people.VirginiaW:
I'll experiment today and make the final product Saturday. On to the actual chat...Sandra Dodd:
Part of the reason I try to document quotes and discussions more than I used to is that nobody can remember who it was, on the AOL homeschool message boards, who said not to think of a bad day, but just a bad moment. We thought everyone would always remember, and nobody ever remembered.Sandra Dodd:
But I have saved it and passed on and always said "This wasn't my idea, but it was a good idea."VirginiaW:
Saved my sanitySandra Dodd:
It makes every day longer, too, doesn't it? 😉Marta Pires:
It's like that "half the way" principle. If you go halfway across the room, and then half, and then half, you will never get to the other side.Robin B. joined the chat
So if every moment can be better, the next moment can be better, "Better" gets a long, long runway!
Almost an infinite number of moments. Or infinite, depending on your measurement scale, or religion.VirginiaW:
And that many more choices, as wellCapn Franko:
Lori Odhner (very religious, compared to my Not Religious) wrote something beautiful about that on her Marriage Moats blog today. About a tv show with a faked death. And she tied it in to people's own mortality.VirginiaW:
It's called "The Ending" and I'm going to quote it because it's about a moment.
There are two television shows I watch with my girls. The other day we saw the season finale of White Collar. I was a mess. Volatile dangers crisscrossed through the lives of these characters, leaving me agitated and worried. I yelled. I railed against the bad guys and moaned about the long wait until next season. There is no conceivable resolution. None. Everything is terrible and will stay terrible.
In an effort to lessen my angst we watched a past episode of our other favorite, Leverage. In this one a shady Italian villain blackmails the team into a high risk proposition. But this time I knew how it turns out. They overturned the corrupt government on a remote island by hijacking an election, hacking into the internet, faking a death and swooping into prison to free the true president. The first time I saw it, my heart rate escalated and I clutched the arm of my chair. I could not concoct any possible scenario where everyone survived.
But this time I was privy to how it ended. It was simply entertaining.
Then I paused. In a flash of fast forward, I saw myself thirty years from now, looking back over my shoulder at the storyline in which I play the lead. Today I do not know the outcome, and feel imprisoned by that ignorance. But one day I will break free, and the evil forces hammering in the foreground will lose their control. Even my death will be fake, because I will live.
Maybe that is why God is so calm. He knows how it turns out.
Something that pops into my head when I'm trying to do better is also from a TV show with a faked death.Sandra Dodd:
Cool! Tell it.VirginiaW:
Futurama. Bender is suicidal, and has a fake funeral.Sandra Dodd:
I just watched an old black and white episode of Wagon Train with a presumed dead guy who survives, and that's how they catch the would-have-been killer.VirginiaW:
And The Mentalist (my favorite show this year) has had a couple of good faked death story lines!
He is berating everybody for not being sad enoughHeatherB joined the chat
And Amy cries "We're doing our best!"Sandra Dodd:
And Bender says "Your best is an idiot!"
I'll insert that into the chat! Nice.ReneeCabatic joined the chatI didn't find a longer version.
So, Virginia...Marta Pires:
How does that thought help you when you're trying to do better? You're campaigning for a great eulogy?
I love that we can see what's posted here, while we're chatting. 🙂VirginiaW:
Simultaneously knowing that I'm doing my best, but that my best might be an idiot.Sandra Dodd:
Well then! 🙂VirginiaW:
It does make sense. 🙂
It takes me directly back to give yourself two choices...Robin B. joined the chat
Lately my choices have been pretty low-level. I feel like I'm on vacation. 🙂Jill Parmer joined the chat
And I was sick for a couple of days, nothing specific, just sleepy and didn't feel like eating, so I'm glad it happened when people were gone and I didn't have to ask anyone to leave me alone or be quiet.
Even that, though, is clear to me in ways it wouldn't have been 20 years ago.
I can think "DO I want to play a video game for half an hour? Really?" And think, "Yes, I do." It's kind of like sleeping. And I needed to be still.
I'm enjoying the benefits of a series of choices I made starting last October when I realized I was trying to control foodSandra Dodd:
I've found I can do things in moments and feel good, whereas in the more distant past I would've declared myself a lazy loser. If I work in the yard for two minutes, or five minutes, the yard is better. I used to think if I was going to work in the yard it needed to be for real, enough to have gotten paid for if I was working in someone else's yard.TamsinP:
The more I've learned about radical unschooling and applying it in our lives, it shed light for me on those times where I'd said before, "I'm doing my best," there were things I could have had in place so that my best was better. Now I'm more attentive to what my children will need and want, I find myself less often in that kind of frantic position where I'd previously have said to them, "I'm doing my best"Sandra Dodd:
Tamsin, can you think of an example?JennyC:
Like having food with you when you're away from the house?
I have called that a pre-emptive strike, in the sense that I'm neutralizing a potential threat to the peace of a very hungry kid being cranky.VirginiaW:
Sandra, the idea that things had to be better by some minimum amount before it was even worth bothering with was a great impediment to me. Getting over that idea was very helpful.Sandra Dodd:
I like twitter (not to use, apparently; I rarely do. but to read). It's a moment, expressed. Holly wrote yesterday:TamsinP:"I know I'm not in New Mexico because it feels like the middle of nowhere countryside life, yet I have full cell bars on my cell!"
So, previously there had been days out at the park (more than one for sure) where at one point I had one son overwhelmed, and one hungry and not wanting to leave. I would have negotiated with them, often not got any agreement, leading to one or more upset children. I know I've said in that situation before, "I'm doing my best!". Now, I know that on a park day, at one point my eldest is likely to need some time away from people; I pack the 3DS, at least one iphone, and make sure I have blankets in the car. I know my younger boy will want some fruit juice and food. I make sure I have it all with me, plus a fun idea or two for somewhere to tempt them to if we do need to goSandra Dodd:
So you're a more experienced mom. 🙂TamsinP:
With a growing range of choices!
Yep 🙂 But more experienced in listening to what they need, rather than more experienced trying to get them to do things a certain wayJennyC:
(Which is the change I made with respect to this)
that is a very distinct difference that took me a while to get!Sandra Dodd:
my oldest daughter just went along with whatever it was that I wanted to do, so my younger daughter took me by surprise by having her own ideas of these things 😉
And in any moment, one can still jump the track toward control from assistance. TamsinP: Yes! It was a huge light bulb for me when I started reading on always learning and suddenly 'got' the difference between working with principles and rules. It means that when I make choices in the moment I'm doing it in a constructive direction, whereas before I'd been flailing away from something but without definite and positive directionSandra Dodd:
So when my eldest was about two we knew we didn't want to be authoritative an punitive, and I remember trying to get him to tidy away his toys. It ended in an argument and I remember saying to my husband, "I know I don't want to use punishments, but how do we get him to do what we ask?" We'd taken away what our parents did as we found it negative, but had nothing to replace it with, so even trying to make decisions in moments was so difficult.
Tamsin, I'm glad to hear that Always Learning helped you. It's taking a lot of flak this week (mostly from people who've never been members of the group but they think they heard something horrible about it). 🙂Sandra Dodd:
When you make a choice in the moment for the benefit of your child, if it works well, the reward is immediate for both of you.
I went to bring a quote from the part of the book we're discussing, but in searching my just add light word file of The Big Book, I'm finding other quotes (searching "moment")."Make each moment the best moment it can be. Be where you are with your body, mind and soul. It's the only place you can be, anyway. The rest is fantasy. You can be here clearly, or you can live in a fog. Defog." (page 73)This is from that page:I'm heating my hot tub, which uses wood. It's right at 100 and I'm aiming for 105 degrees F, and the moon's coming into view through some trees and I was reminded of part of a Robert Louis Stevenson poem:
...and the pail by the wall / Would be half full of water and stars. (page 198) [editor's note: page 229, in the 2019 edition]
Given a pail of water, the chance of a person seeing stars reflected in it is not great. The chance of a person noticing is small. The chance of him writing it down, very small.JennyC:
The reflection of the moon in my hot tub is not a constant.
Usually the wooden cover is on.
Usually, the moon isn't up during the fifteen or twenty minutes the cover is off, occasionally.
What I find interesting is when parents continue with that kind of parenting logic when their kids are in their teens, never replacing the getting them to do what you want part of it with another solution. It creates so much dischord!Sandra Dodd:
I like "dischord" Jenny. Not harmonious!Marta Pires:
Part of seeing the value in a moment is being open and observant.
I love that quote Sandra! (the one on page 73, about fog)VirginiaW:
Sandra, 75% of my family have no idea how much you've helped them.Sandra Dodd:
Thanks, Virginia. 🙂VirginiaW:
I love that they don't even need to!Sandra Dodd:
They don't need to know.Sandra Dodd:
Pick-poke.... I don't drink coke, never mind.
Maybe it wasn't close enough for jinx.
"Pick poke..."This is a kid-rhyme that's probably not consistently all over the country (any country) but if two kids (or teens) say the same thing simultaneously, the first to say JINX! then moves on to say:
Pick, poke, you owe me a Coke.She probably won't get a Coke, but "Pick, poke" comes with the action of a light pinch on the other person's upper arm, and then a one-finger poke, but not hard.
The easier one, for younger kids who couldn't buy anyone a coke anyway is just to yell JINX! And the first one to do it gets to punch the other kid on the upper arm. Not too hard.
Ha ha!Sandra Dodd:
In England last summer I drank two Coca-Colas.JennyC:
I thought it should be that!Sandra Dodd:
and I misspell it every time I write that word!
(about "dischord" for "discord")
At home, I drink iced tea, or root beer, or Dr Pepper.Capn Franko:
In England... twice my best choice in a moment, for various reasons, was to drink a Coke. Theirs have better sugar, and it was an American-homelike thing. I can go years in the U.S. without Coke. 🙂
So sometimes a moment is its own kind of place. 🙂
This is the moment when I gotta hit the grocery and get some foodstuffs for now and the indeterminate, fuzzy future. See y'all later.Marta Pires:
I don't know if this fits in the topic, but I wanted to share something that I learned later than I'd have liked to.Sandra Dodd:
Back when I was first reading your site, the were two big sections I didn't read because I was sure I didn't "need" to.
"Food" because I thought I wasn't controlling food. 😐
And "deschooling" because my kids never went to school.
I wish I could tell everyone that if there's some part of Sandra's site they think they ”don't need ” to read, READ IT FIRST. Read it twice.
If it hadn't been for Margaux being a baby that cried all the time and wouldn't ever let me set her down to sleep, I probably would have ignored the deschooling stuff too, since Chamille hadn't gone to school either. I was just young and arrogant enough to think that it wouldn't apply to me. I did a lot of sitting and nursing and holding a baby in my lap, so I sat at my computer and read about unschooling and let it all sink in.VirginiaW:
Your bad ideas are trying to defend themselves by tricking you.Sandra Dodd:
Virginia, can I quote that right now, somewhere else, with your name on it?VirginiaW:
(not the second part, just that first part. 🙂
Everything I say is copy left. 🙂JennyC:
This was before Sandra's site existed, so it was in the unschooling dot com boards and reading Holt and Gatto. So, it was ME that needed all the deschooling!Sandra Dodd:
I had webpages, but not The Site. 🙂JennyC:
and for as long as I can remember, since I was 5, school didn't sit well with me, so it was easy to see the terrible bits of school and then it became what to do instead.VirginiaW:
I didn't know you had webpages!
but honestly my memory is hazy from that time period, with a fog of nursing a constantly crying baby that never slept
I was very successful in school, and I was one of those kids who "liked" school, but I still never missed a chance to ditch school.Marta Pires:
I'm glad I found radical unschooling so early on (I know I've said this a thousand times) because I've been able to read and think a lot, calmly, and then really start deschooling, and relaxing into this life philosophy, before Constança is even school-age! 😉VirginiaW:
My parents were alcoholics and drug addicts and assholes, so school was a place to get approval.JennyC:
I'm sorry VirginiaJennyC:
I really love the part of unschooling, where you get to be to your kids how you felt your own parents should have been towards youMarta Pires:
Me too, Jenny. 🙂JennyC:
I see how it's helped so many grown ups AND kidsMarta Pires:
It is SO healing.VirginiaW:
Yes! A tool I just started using is "I would have loved if my parents did X".JennyC:
I realized recently that I can re-parent myself and my husband this way, too.
homeschooling was never on my radar at all until my daughter turned 5 and she wasn't able to attend the school we wanted her to attend, and at that point it was just one more thing that school did to piss me offSandra Dodd:
School was still very fresh in my mind! I had Chamille at a young age and finished college in 1996 and she turned 5 in 1999
My mom was an alcoholic and she was mean, and if it hadn't been for school, I might have assumed most adults were that way.JennyC:
I'm glad you had that experience Sandra! I know many teens where I was that person. Schools were a disappointment to so many teens that I know, just more of the same of disrespectful adults.Sandra Dodd:
Ah. Webpages were ugly in those days, Jenny. This is the oldest capture, but it was there six months or a year before that, with fewer links. No deschooling page yet, though! http://expage.com/RadicalUnschooling (on The Wayback Machine, at The Internet Archive)Sandra Dodd:
I would've just called that page unschooling but someone had already named a page that. So that's why, to this day, my site is called radical unschooling.Marta Pires:
So cool, Sandra!Sandra Dodd:
Trivia you probably can't ever use. It won't be on the test. 🙂VirginiaW:
I wonder if it will ever be acknowledged that "bullying" is nothing more than children treating each other the same way most adults treat most children most of the time?Sandra Dodd:
Good point, Virginia.VirginiaW:
And it's also the natural result of putting a lot of people of the same age together in a small space and not letting them leave. They form their own social hierarchy, because people's interactions involve hierarchies.
Ha ha, ”schooled-up” is a term I've added to my mental vocabulary.JennyC:
and I tell those kids that when they have kids of their own, they should remember to treat them the way they would have liked to be treated.SaraJean:
I like that a lot Virginia.JennyC:
ooooohhhh, I do remember that bit of trivia!VirginiaW:
I must have known about your webpages then
like I said, hazy memory from back then
Has anyone observed a phenomenon of people getting panicky when their kid is approaching an age that was a hard time for that parent, when they were a kid?Sandra Dodd:
Where did you see "Schooled up"?VirginiaW:
I think I made it up. Not sure.VirginiaW:
I'd like to have had a semi-original thought!Sandra Dodd:
I was looking for what you were referring to.VirginiaW:
Like screwed up? Or full up?
Like screwed up.Sandra Dodd:
Got it. 🙂VirginiaW:
More like overlaid with phony values.SaraJean:
I do that Virginia, I am working on it. But yes I panic on stuff that I know was difficult for me.JennyC:
some people really truly believe those are true values that all kids MUST knowSandra Dodd:
Some things that can help:
Making a choice. In that moment of choice making, that crossroads, you're in that moment.
That air only goes into you once, ever, in that moment.
Realizing that you have another moment to make a different choice.
physically turning in a different direction has helped me lots, facing away from whatever it is that is causing the frustrationSandra Dodd:
And the senses.JennyC:
Touch something; there's your moment.
Smell something. It's right then, right there.
(A cat peed in Marty's room the other day.... that could've lasted a while, and there was fifteen minutes of me continuing to smell it as I cleaned up, a suede boot and a nylon folding chair, in its bag, and powdered the floor with pet-stink-removal stuff.)
But being aware of what is happening, what you're hearing and seeing, is a flash of awareness.
Thinking in terms of moments has helped me be less anxious.TamsinP:
One thing that helps me is visualising for a brief second how my children and I are going to feel after the moment is over depending on which way I choose. Sometimes it's too easy to choose the choice that's *not* the better choice because the vast difference isn't apparent until afterwards.JennyC:
it's not as overwhelming to think of a moment instead of all or foreverSandra Dodd:
Very nice, Tamsin. Looking a move or two ahead, in a way. A day can't possibly suck anymore, in my life.SaraJean:
The 'moment' has helped me too. ALso when unbelievable (for me anyway) things happen I tell myself I cannot be the only persont his has ever happened to, it strengthen me a little.Sandra Dodd:
Even when someone is being spiteful and noisy, someone else is going to smile at me or say "bummer so spiteful and noisy!" and there's a nice moment.JennyC:
Knowing what things trigger me personally, has helped me be more aware of when to be nicer and calmerJill Parmer:
I have a really hard time when others are angry and upset, it's this weird thing in my head where I take it personally, when it's NOT ABOUT ME, geez, then I can move forward to my own happy thoughts that can rub off on others!
If I think in terms of moments, rough ones are so short lived. And sweet ones last a long time in my memory.Marta Pires:
It has helped me to not stay in a negative place, when less-than-good things happen.Sandra Dodd:
Because of this page in the book, because of that quote about the bucket, a dad named Bruce Curtis drove me by a house near his house in Penicuik, Scotland, where Robert Louis Stevenson had lived for part of his boyhood. It might have been the house, where the bucket was. Because I wrote that, and Bruce read that book, and I went to his house.... Isn't that cool?JennyC:
It was a moment, based on factors stretching back in time.
In several directions.
And we are part of all that swirl of life
I love those bits of life!Sandra Dodd:
And we can say "look" when stars reflect in water, or we can forget to look, or we can throw dirt in there or dump the bucket. Every moment, a new opportunity to make our lives, and the world, better.VirginiaW:
Me too. We recently met a kid at the pool, and when I looked around I found his dad was one of my math professors from college.JennyC:
Chamille's newest favorite band, she found in a round about way because many years ago, we listened to Series Of Unfortunate Events, which had music before and after on the disc that we listened to.JennyC:
so she made a pandora station on that band just to see what might pop up and something interesting didVirginiaW:
We're always talking about the voice actors who link together so many of the shows we loveSandra Dodd:
I was listening to Pandora this morning when I was still in bed. I put in "Thomas Morley" and they played two things I taught Keith, years and years ago, and we sang with a group of people. One of them wasn't easy at all, but we didn't know that, and so we learned it. "April is in my Mistress' Face." Four part madrigal. Not the easiest harmonies. And we were solid and good.VirginiaW:
I called Keith at work and told him mushy things.
Living in moments opens us up to accept little things that might only last so short a while that you couldn't send anyone the bill. 🙂Sandra Dodd:
Keith was the lead tenor. I was the group organizer and lead soprano. I was married. Not to Keith. We didn't talk about that this morning. 🙂Sandra Dodd:
If something is good for a moment, it doesn't take a bunch of planning, and it doesn't need to be reported or documented. It can just be a good moment.Marta Pires:
Sweet, Sandra.Sandra Dodd:
And when people get more and more practice doing what it takes to create or accept or recognize those moments, they can have more and more of them.JennyC:
I see Chamille doing that more and moreReneeCabatic:
thanks for the sweet moments, Sandra. I'm off to play outside.Sandra Dodd:
bye Renee!Sandra Dodd:
(I didn't see Renee come in, and now she's gone, in a moment! (in my life, a moment))VirginiaW:
It's hard to share those moments sometimes, though, when you're interacting with people who'd rather see a report card.Sandra Dodd:
Right, because report cards are based on a combination of things that are measurable, long amounts of time. 18 weeks, or 9 weeks. Hour-long tests. 50-minute class periods. Homework.Jill Parmer:
I think sharing those moments are great. I've noticed that my husband and my mom say sweet things about the moments they see, since I've been sharing those for so long.JennyC:
yeah that's hard. You can still share those things, those happy moments with others.VirginiaW:
What do you say when you share your treasure with someone and they say ”So what? How are they going to learn algebra?”Sandra Dodd:
What do you say when you share your treasure with someone and they say ”So what? How are they going to learn algebra?” Having a sweet moment during a test or class is considered to be wrong, pretty much.JennyC:
I can't really share bad moments with my extended family because they will take it and run. I share good moments mostly.Sandra Dodd:
Give them a link to my page, Virginia. Or ask them when's the last time they used algebra.JennyC:
And then ask them when's the last time they had a moment so profound that it was like a treasure they wanted to share with someone else.
my immediate family I just try not to share bad momentsSandra Dodd:
I'm getting a little anxious about an upcoming family vacation.Sandra Dodd:
-=-What do you say when you share your treasure with someone and they say ”So what? How are they going to learn algebra?”-=-Jill Parmer:
You could say "You had a choice, when you spoke, to say anything in the world, and that's what you chose. "so what"
But don't take your eyes away if you make a move like that. Don't look away. Steady gaze and you win.
"So what? How are they going to learn algebra?"Sylvia Woodman:
You could say that those two things aren't mutually exclusive. 😉
I used to share moments like that with my Mom all the time. There are still times when one of the kids does something so amazing and I want to reach for the phone.Sandra Dodd:
If you have a car, at the vacation site, be ready to need to go to town for something you just remembered you needed. Take the kids. What you might need is to get in your car and leave for a while. 🙂VirginiaW:
Yeah, I should probably just stop beating my head against that wall. These are people who end discussions by saying "I don't care."Sandra Dodd:
Why go on vacation with them, then?Sylvia Woodman:
Sometimes I post them on FB. I have a not very well kept journal. Maybe someday I'll have a blog.JennyC:
I'm with Sandra on this oneSandra Dodd:
why go on vacation with people who don't care?
If they don't care about you and what you say and do, why go where they are? It's a big world.Jill Parmer:
Don't have discussions with them. Play games. Be the fun. Look for the sweet moments.JennyC:
maybe they won't care if you come and visitSandra Dodd:
I ask myself that, a lot. It's my husband's family. I think err mostly go because it's free.Sandra Dodd:
Sylvia, you could make a blog, and quote the best things you've written elsewhere. You can backdate posts, and make a history. Share what you wrote about your mom in a more permanent place than facebook. More accessible anyway.Sylvia Woodman:
Good idea Sandra!Sandra Dodd:
Is it free Disneyworld or Jamaica?VirginiaW:
If it's free GLORIOUS DESTINATION, suck it up. 🙂
Yeah, I'd rather go to an unschooling conference. Or Minecon. Or PAX.Sandra Dodd:
If it's not something your kids love to pieces, send your husband.JennyC:
or spend lots of time getting to and from and a weekend with themVirginiaW:
Orlando. No, it's great. This is my work. Bill parents aren't monsters, but they are very detached.Sandra Dodd:
Or keep a list of the rude things they say, on paper, in your room, and amuse yourself and your kids with it.Sandra Dodd:
The further I got from cynicism and pessimism, the more they jumped out at me when I heard them.JennyC:
me too Sandra!Sandra Dodd:
It shocks me now, some of the things I can remember saying, casually, when I was in my 20's and would insult my friends for fun.VirginiaW:
"everybody was doing it."
We were hurting each other, for amusement. For practice. Out of habit.
Yeah, it was hard the day I realized that being nice didn't come naturally to me.Jill Parmer:
Detached is better than poking their nose in your business and commenting and telling you what to do.Marta Pires:
I agree, Jill. 😉Sandra Dodd:
If you write it down as a bad example, you might want to consider, at some point, writing it up for them and saying all those things were spoken, to you. That way if you ever don't want to go and they press you, you have a formal excuse/exemption/reason you could (if you wanted) show them.Sylvia Woodman:
And it might help you see how far you've come.
This reminds me of something I was thinking about earlier about laughter. I was once in a bad dysfunctional relationship. One of the main things I remember about that particular man was how much we laughed together. Really hard gasping for breath laughter. But underneath it was meanness - the laughter was always at someone's expense.Sandra Dodd:
And it might help you decide whether it's worth going when the kids are older and the comments will be aimed at them when you're not right there.VirginiaW:
It's easy to be mean.
It's harder to be nice.
Yes. Especially if you like to be funny.Sylvia Woodman:
Jim and I laugh together but it's totally different.Sandra Dodd:
I keep thinking about this whole thing that's going on lately, with the international criticism of (I think, it seems to me) Always Learning. Maybe it's more general criticism, but I was named once, and the group was named a couple of times.JennyC:
I'm being called pretty negative things.
It's a whole slew of negative criticism, and people who felt defensive because somewhere in their memory they were "treated mean"Marta Pires:
Again, Sandra? 🙁Jill Parmer:
If you go, you could always work on looking toward the sweetness, and stay in positive, happiness, so much that it leaks out onto everyone. 🙂Sylvia Woodman:
Is this the same thing from last week or is there something else now?JennyC:
so those people are coming out of the woodwork and feeling all validated by how they "felt"VirginiaW:
Oh, I'm found much better now than the last time I saw them. Always Learning FTW!Sandra Dodd:
But a candid count of words on my last over-100 posts on facebook showed this:JennyC:
Not negative words at all.
That's always my personal take on things Jill! Infuse people with happiness!Marta Pires:
I loved that image, Sandra!Sandra Dodd:
Continuation of last week, Sylvia.Sylvia Woodman:
So I was trying, though it's difficult, to see it objectively.JennyC:
And yes, there are magazine-sales considerations. And yes, there are "let's all be social" aspects.
right, Sandra, it keeps popping up in the Wendy circles of people saying amen to her post on how "some people" are just so meanSandra Dodd:
But I think it's "There is something in the world that SUCKS and let's all get ANGRY about it."Sandra Dodd:
So I wondered if there was a word cloud of Wendy's last 293 posts, what some of the words might be?Sylvia Woodman:
I think "corporations" and "evil" might be in there. 🙂Sylvia Woodman:
(coffee spray!)Sandra Dodd:
And bad and disappointed
But I'm the one being called negative.Jill Parmer:
Sandra, it's because you are a wonderful, vocal, generous person...making you a big target for nay sayers. I really wish they would not get to you, and you would look at those of us who are immensely grateful for the things we've learned from you to make our families a great place to be.VirginiaW:
I was writing to somebody about unschooling recently and wrote:Sylvia Woodman:
The term "unschooling" is becoming problematic in sort of the same way that "liberal" and "anarchist" have; every person who uses the word seems to mean something different by it. Anyone can call himself an "unschooler", even if their children are miserable. The term has now been around long enough for people to start trying to make money off of it as "experts", so now they have to manufacture orthodoxy so they can excommunicate each other.
Even if the children are in school!Marta Pires:
What Jill said!!!Sandra Dodd:
Jill, I try.Sylvia Woodman:
I am reminded of the early Church - with all the heresies and excommunictions! Also I second what Jill said!Sandra Dodd:
But they're making me tired and flinchyJennyC:
I really think people don't like to see their own faults at all, and when they do, they get upset and need someone to blame other than themselves.Sandra Dodd:
You are an easy scapegoat, Sandra, because you are vocal
it's easier to blame big mean Sandra, than to examine ones own behavior
Virginia, do you think I'm being excommunicated, or am I on the team you think is excommunicating people? 🙂VirginiaW:
Sandra, you seem so tough, in a good way, I can't even imagine how this stuff can hurt you.Marta Pires:
Could you not read those things, Sandra? Protect yourself a bit?Sylvia Woodman:
Fear is so seductive! Misery loves company!Jill Parmer:
Well they are the one wallowing in negativity. You are not there being negative; you can't control someone yammering on about their negativity and using your name sometimes. I pity them.Sylvia Woodman:
Could I go and kick those people in the shins?Sandra Dodd:
I don't go looking, Marta. Sometimes it comes in my facebook feed.VirginiaW:
They are trying to excommunicate you.Sandra Dodd:
Oh! I hadn't thought of it that way.Marta Pires:
Yes, that happened to me too.Sandra Dodd:
They're certainly trying to shush me.Sylvia Woodman:
But of everyone I now personally in those discussions (and there were a dozen I know in person and three dozen I've long been in internet contact with), I'm the only one who has been consistently helping other unschoolers.
They love being miserable about the world. They don't want to hear that it is a choice they are making!Sandra Dodd:
Some of them have bopped in for a while here and there. And they're sarcastic and negative and reactionary, and they all got in one place and had a bloody frenzy.JennyC:
Virginia, once you see, in action, really terrible unschooling happening and see clearly that those are exactly the people who have been hating on Sandra for years, well, you will see more clearly what that word means and doesn't mean "unschooling"VirginiaW:
I only recently subscribed to LLM, I am pissed.Sandra Dodd:
Mostly I don't think about it.Sylvia Woodman:
You could cancel your subscription and let them know WHY!JennyC:
that's it right there, Sandra, sarcastic and negative and reactionary, one or allVirginiaW:
Yeah, I should.Sandra Dodd:
And mostly I'm confident that I'm doing enough, and that even if I didn't do anything but Just Add Light, it would be enough.Jill Parmer:
and I've seen really terrible unschooling, if you even want to call it thatVirginiaW:
If you stopped everything tomorrow, what you had already done would be more than enough.JennyC:
and some people just flat out lie online about what they doMarta Pires:
I agree with Virginia. 😉JennyC:
and Sandra isn't a liar!Sandra Dodd:
and the people she quotes and adds to her website aren't liars
Jill, Keith and I were talking about you a bit yesterday, beause he picked up a printout of my flight times to Denver (for the Minneapolis ALL Unschooling Symposium) and was changing the time on his calendar. I said don't bother, they keep changing it a little bit, and I've quit even printing them out. All I care about, I said, was that I get to sit with Jill from Denver to Minneapolis.laura z:
I used to subscibe to LLM but stopped after never reading their issues but always going to AL or Sandra's sites or my books. I now get constant emails asking me to resubscrubeJennyC:
and it seems clear and obvious to meSandra Dodd:
Jenny, there are a few people quoted on my page that I might want to sneak out some dark night. 🙂VirginiaW:
I was looking for something new because I was down to hitting random over and over on Sandra's siteSylvia Woodman:
Tell them why. Wendy should get the message that negativity is bad for business!JennyC:
well, then you could maybe do that! Or take the name off if the quote is goodSandra Dodd:
I have a year's subscription to a magazine that published an article of mine last fall. So I got the electronic copy yesterday. And I read one article, hoping I would love it. I didn't love it.Jill Parmer:
I can't wait, Sandra. I was thinking about snacks to bring for the plane and things you might like. And sitting with you and chatting. 🙂Sandra Dodd:
Pathways to Family Wellness.VirginiaW:
A little boy didn't sleep well, at a year old.
Oh lord.Sandra Dodd:
When he got older, he lagged behind other kids on his sports team.JennyC:
Sometimes he was frustrated.
poor little boySandra Dodd:
So they removed all gluten from his diet.JennyC:
Or something. I don't know. It was sad to see and I can't give you a link, I guess, because it's a subscription deal.
I don't want my kids to end up with a broken down body like mine, so I let them eat as much of a thing as they want and as little of a thing as they want!Sandra Dodd:
If it turns out that gluten IS rising up to kill us all, I will have been wrong, continuing to make bread. But if it turns out (which I think more likely) that it's a fad and a panic to match any food fad of the past 500 years, each child whose diet was so extremely limited will think less of his parents.JennyC:
I see it each moment my children decide what to eat or not, how that choice is made and it's a GOOD THING!VirginiaW:
I had a huge blind spot here. I got better.Sandra Dodd:
I wasn't allowed chocolate, for YEARS, when I was a kid. The other girls would get chocolate, and I would get a stupid almond windmill cookie or some such.VirginiaW:
We recently had what I'm calling "The miracle of the doughnut holes"JennyC:
and sometimes each kid has limited their diet in a way that I wouldn't have and then balanced it all out againJill Parmer:
Alrighty, back to my sewing. Thanks for the chat, everyone!Sandra Dodd:
And beause a doctor had told my mom I was allergic to nylon and soap, I was given cotton underwear (while the other girls had pretty day-of-the-week panties) and bath oil.Marta Pires:
It's over? Nooooooo!Sandra Dodd:
And it turns out the cotton was fine, but the bath oil was BAD. I had eczema, and needed to be cleaner.Marta Pires:
Oh no 🙁Sandra Dodd:
Not oiled up and sad. 🙂Marta Pires:
My mom needed to wash me more, or get a frickin shower. We had one bathroom with a tub for six people.JennyC:
and chocolate was probably good for you!Sandra Dodd:
Wait. I want to know the miracle of the doughnut holes!!!VirginiaW:
I had eczema on my hands for years. 100% psychological.Sandra Dodd:
I had it in the bends of my elbows and of my knees. I think I was allergic to my own sweat. Stress made it worse.VirginiaW:
I used to get yelled at and swatted for scratching it.
Early October, I realized I was screwing things up with food.VirginiaW:
Started reading your site again, joined Always Learning.JennyC:
Realized I was using food as a tool to get them to do choose what I wanted them to choose
Realized I was treating my husky daughter's good choices differently from my lean daughter.
Decided to stop it.
and did they call you out on it?VirginiaW:
Wish they had!Sylvia Woodman:
Started saying yes more. First thing that happened: they started sharing their fun foods with each other.JennyC:
They're 6 and 8.
generosity is good!VirginiaW:
A box of doughnut holes from the Fresh Market used to be a supreme prize around here. We used to argue with the girls. "Don't open those now, they're for tomorrow morning!"Sylvia Woodman:
Fast forward to this weekend.
Saturday morning, nobody wanted them.
I am loving this story!Sandra Dodd:
I'm waiting quietly for the miracle.Sandra Dodd:
(Well I WAS until I posted THAT.)VirginiaW:
Oh, nobody wanted the doughnuts.Sandra Dodd:
Okay. Good miracle. 🙂Sylvia Woodman:
The "don't open now" part means you didn't think this page was important:Economics of Restricting TV Watching of Children, by Pam Sorooshian
Jim bought Girls Scout cookies from a co worker and brought them home. The kids sort of shrugged.Sandra Dodd:
They might've been dreaming about doughnut holes, the glory of incomparable doughnut holes.Marta Pires:
Well ladies, got to go! Dinner's on the... couch!Sylvia Woodman:
That would have NEVER happened in my childhood!Sandra Dodd:
Yeah, I need to go move the water in the back yard. 🙂 Thank you all very much for being here!Sylvia Woodman:
The water or a puddle?Marta Pires:
[reference to Moving a Puddle]
Bye!Robin B. left the chat
Ha, I thought I didn't need that because i never restricted games or TVJennyC:
thanks ladies /bye
Moments: Living in moments instead of by whole days
Mindfulness in Unschooling
Transcripts of Chats on sections of The Big Book of Unschooling