So there are a plethora of little things that have sparked my interests, touched my heart, teased my brain, and comforted my soul since the last time I blogged, and since I can’t think of just one thing, I will ask of thee to pardon my scattered thoughts and hopefully find something that you can relate to or find inspirational as well.
1) I’ve said it before, but I’ll say it again: Every little good thing is worth celebrating. This is the number one thing I’ve learned this Summer and have been reminded of this simple yet so unconventional concept every day of our Summer Learning Academy. These elementary students with Down syndrome may not perform academically like the way most of us did when we were learning to read and perform math, but it seems like I’m the one learning from them. Every time we get an answer right (and I say we, because it feels like it is an accomplishment for both of us and I am rooting so hard for these kids), we do high-fives, say “yayyyy” or put a sticker on our sticker chart. It has never been so fun to learn, these kids are so excited, and it’s a reaction I’ve brought into my own life. Last night, I was putting together a puzzle. I do this a lot, as it is a hobby of mine, but this time was different. Every time I got a piece of the puzzle to fit into place, I caught myself saying (in a dramatically high-pitched voice for a grown man like me) “yayyyyyyy….” It was SO MUCH FUN!!!
2) Don’t take for granted how much people in your life want you to succeed. I can’t say that when I was in grades 1-4 that I recognized my teachers wanted so badly for me to learn the class curriculum, develop social skills, and improve my behavior. In fact, they wanted me to succeed so badly, they put up with a whole classroom of us for 9 months out of the year! Now, we didn’t have Down syndrome students in my class, but I can’t truthfully say I outbehaved these youngsters.
3) I won’t make for a good teacher for the developmentally disabled. No sir. The patience our SLA teachers have is amazing. The creativity needed to maintain the kid’s attention is impressive. To our teachers out there, I salute you. To our parents out there, I salute you, too. But if you want someone to play tag with your kiddo, or go on a bear hunt with him/her (we must have don this 5 of our 7 days, it’s an interactive story with motions and music played on a cd), I’m your man.
4) Columbus is awesome. It is hip. It is fun, innovative, creative. It is sporty (well, thanks to my Buckeyes) and it is smart. It has a great future because of some great businesses, some fantastic leaders, and people who really buy into the heart of the heartland of America. Our population is booming, our business is zooming, and greatness is looming. Thank you Leadership Columbus for your vision and dedication to my favorite city in the world. And thank you Columbus Foundation for everything. I love you. The end.