Peace Weavers

We are the weavers of children

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Whether they are wading, treading, or drowning

Each child is reaching out

For lifelines to pull them from their semi-fluid perceptions,

Yet many find flimsy ribbons braided with Achilles tendons

That split, then disconnect buoys

As they struggle in turbulent effluent.

Sometimes suspension bridges splinter

And they hang mid-air over purgatorial precipices,

Bodies flailing and thrashing.

And so we come,

The weavers,

Bringing strong cordage and twine of seraphic gossamer

To silence their cries and give them hope.

And when we set to work,

The floundering souls reach out for lifelines.

For we know the secret.

We have only to pluck the hairs from atop our heads,

Begin intertwining them with gentle words of a peaceful future

And thus create:

Blankets to keep them cool on hot summer days

Or safety nets for acrophobic trapeze artists

With loving words we

Spin arks to race arid currents,

Or create buoyant suits that deflect each incoming wave,

But we must remember

To continue weaving at our numinous looms,

And make our fingers deft

To find places where weft meets warp

And make fibers of

Ethereal clouds to moisten parched radices.

When our eyes grow weary of patterns too subtle for children to see,

Or when aching backs and cramping forearms make for troublesome twining

Even when our hands become bloodied by sharp sutures from the unknowing

or the insane,

We must endure

We are the weavers,

Intertwining and intersecting,

Spinning fibrous cable that children cling to

That they will wrap round their waists

Before plunging into cavernous incarnations

To discover,

In the depths,

A reflection of the future

A reflection of themselves

A reflection

Of the peace weaver they can become.

 

 

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Letter Writing to an Imaginary Bully

hand-299675_640 I know, we teachers are busy. We barely have enough time to teach the required standards much less add anti-bullying lessons to boot. So here’s a lesson that incorporates both writing standards and peace education. Here the learner will become familiar with the format for a friendly letter  while empowering him/herself to confront an imaginary bully. Materials: Lined paper, pencils, chart paper, white board or electronic whiteboard. Sample of a friendly letter. Procedure:

  1. Go over the parts of a friend letter:

Friendly Letter Format

heading: Contains if mailed. Just date if not first line – street number and street name second line – town or city, state and ZIP code third line – the date greeting or salutation: Dear So-and-so, (remember your comma!) introduction: Here there might be questions about how the recipient is, etc. body: This is the main part of the letter. It gets to the point of why you’re writing. Change paragraphs and indent each time you change the topic you’re talking about. This is the longest part of the letter. conclusion: Wrap it all up. Be clever. closing: Choose an appropriate closing like “Sincerely, Yours truly, Your friend.” Make sure this lines up with the heading. Only the first word is capitalized. signature: Usually in cursive. Goes directly under the closing.

  1. Ask students to give examples of a time they were bullied in the past. List on the board.
  2. Ask students what they would want the bully to know, if he/she could talk to them today. Make sure that all responses avoid name calling, revenge, retaliation, or violence. The goal here is to ask for empathy from the bully.
  3. Explain that they will be writing a letter to a bully of the past. If they cannot think of a prior situation they may invent one.
  4. Model how to write the letter on board.
  5. Students write their own letters.

Evaluation: Were the students able to follow the proper format for a friendly letter and share feelings in assertive yet nonviolent ways? Follow up: This could be considered a rough draft and the students could revise for figurative language use, more in depth detail, or any off-topic sentences. They could also edit for mechanics. Let me know how it goes!

Physical Therapy

photo (4)     I am so excited. Today I get to start physical therapy. No longer will I be that couch potato growing roots into the cushions. Now I will be active and on my way to getting this new ACL in my  knee working. Yes!

I clip clop with my crutches across the parking lot envying those people with handicapped stickers in their car, head for the elevator, and go upstairs to Beck and Cale’s office. I know this place. I went here after I injured my shoulder jogging with my weimaraner years ago. Their expert staff is as sweet as my favorite, chocolate raspberry truffles.

Physical therapy centers are a lot like gyms with weights, exercise balls, and a stationary bike or two. But they also have multiple exam tables, stability bars, and rolling carts with ultrasound machines. All around therapists direct patients in squats, finger stretches, shoulder rolls, and other strange-looking  exercises.

I’m ready. I head inside imagining  working out on the bike until sweat drips off  my face. Unfortunately my knee is not. Instead I do a few leg lifts, band exercises, and one where I press my foot into the ground. I have to wait two weeks for the bike.

I try not to look too disappointed as I follow Don Cale’s directions but finally blurt out what a drag it is . Then he patiently explains, in words I’m sure he’s used thousands of times before, that although the holes in my knee are small, it’s still surgery and I need to give the knee time to heal. I nod and vow to make that my summer’s work.

Next,  they apply adhesive electrodes beneath a cold wrap and I watch my tingling muscles twitch.  The electrical current is at the maximum I can bear so I grit my teeth, try to focus on fluff inside People Magazine and tell myself that it will all be over soon.

Thankfully it is and as I hobble to the elevator I realize that, just like writing, recovery takes place one page at a time.