Monday, 22 March 2010

Last week, French television showed a rather frightening experiment. You can read about the Game of Death here and here

I used this as a teaching tool. We looked at the excerpts on youtube, and everyone was suitably horrified. I felt that some of the comments in the press didn't go far enough. "we need to teach to teach children to disobey"? Sorry, we have lots of children who disobey, who have no respect for "authority" Yes, authority gets it wrong. Yes, TV should not be authority. But neither should a gang boss. Neither should a terrorist. Neither should a religious fanatic. Neither should a .........................We need to teach children to chose wisely who they should obey and who they should disobey. And it should be their choice not ours. We get it wrong too.

I spoke earlier about Steven Covey' 8th habit, and I went back to his 7 habits, and brought that into class. It was clear that the people in the programme had lost their "true north" their real values. We discussed all of that.

And then, the girl who had to present habit 7, sharpen the saw, came up with something so simple and yet so mindbending. In the 7th habit, amongst other things, you look at what you should be doing in the following fields, physical, spiritual, mental and social. She said, that you had to get the physical in line first, be healthy, before you could tackle the rest. I added that you had to respect yourself, or it was difficult to respect others. She said that those were the words she had been looking for.

Soooo, the £64000 question, appropriately also from the TV (or not). Do you respect yourself?

Bodies and Respect and Choices

This may not be as finished as I would like, however, I wanted to blog. I may not express myself as well as I should like to, but I am making a choice!

Some of my students did a very silly thing in another class.......not only did they copy work from the previous year, they also added some very sexist comments to the powerpoint slide. Every year I do at least one class on the place of women in the workplace, and also society, and this fell just at the right time. I then went on further, and gave them some articles to read about a remarkable woman Camila Batmanghelidjh.

We then discussed the woes of society, and what could be done to help. Yes, I know I am supposed to be teaching them Business English; however I do have a sound pedagogical base for my methods....once they have discussed such difficult things, then business English is a piece of cake!

Soo, where does that get us. One thing that is clear from the articles is how removed from their bodies (and society) these kids are. Having been abused, so horrifically, they often continue to abuse themselves, with drugs etc. And they do not respect themselves. How could they, they have been disrespected in the worst way. Here I come back to Sophrology, and Dr Caycedo saying that society is now very ill, and I have to agree. And that these kids are not "conscious" or aware of their bodies. They can't be. It has been necessary to cut of their awareness of themselves in order to survive. How can they respect anything when they themselves have been so "dissd" This does not make it any easier for their victims, when their learnt responses leads to another act of violence. And for those who are touched by it. I don't have an answer here, for those damaged souls.

So where does that take me? Well, the distance between being conscious of our bodies, respecting them, and really owning them. Let's look at society, and what do we see. Unreality! Airbrushing women whose heads become larger than their hips.......cosmetic surgery, increasingly for men as well as women.... the oversexualisation of women, reducing them to objects, as seen in my students actions above.....the oversexualisation of men too, putting unreal expectations on them, six packs, constantly virile........the abolition of good clean dirt, learning your bodies limits, through play.......too dangerous, too risky leading to too too bland!

And then this morning, I started to re read Stephen Covey's the 8th habit. So far it is talking about choices. Scary things choices. It means that we are responsible for ourselves. We can't argue that a big boy or girl "made" us do something and then ran away. We are free to chose. And quite often we don't make the right choice. If we had always done so, well, we wouldn't be here, to be quite brutal. If we had made the right choices we would have eaten less and exercised more.

We, or at any rate I, are removed from out bodies. I continue to make choices that disrespect my body. I've just looked at a photo taken on my 40th birthday. I'll be 53 next week. I was coming out of anorexia at the time. So I'm quite slim. According to the BMI I was really healthy. But I wasn't. That doesn't stop me looking at the photo, and dreaming of getting back to that weight. Not realistic. Not healthy.

So the bottom line for me. If I truly respect my body, I shall take better care of it. I shall make choices, and one of those choices is to let go of the perfecionism, to stop beating myself up for the mistakes. To stop letting the past rob me of the present, and above all of my future. I am working on choosing to accept the body I have, and therefore owning it, and then choosing to do what is necessary to repect my body more.

I am becoming concious of my body, and the choices I make concerning my body. I chose to respect myself.

Tuesday, 2 March 2010

J and K

The letter J has an interesting history. Prior to medieval times, it was used to represent the consonant /i/ and was pronounced as /y/. So, a word like "iest" later transformed to "jest". The letter J did not exist in ancient Latin and was later introduced to the alphabet near the end of the medieval era. Today, calligraphers have a field day writing the letter. There are many ways and styles the letter can be represented, especially with its umbrella hook at the end. source

Yes, J is not the easiest of letters. I could simply say that I am Janet, that being one of my middle names, but that is possibley cheating.

And I am going to continue to cheat, by using "La Jocunda" and her famous smile, simply because she is lovely to look at.

It's my blog, and I can if I want to...

I am going to be jovial and jubilant and joyful and jingly and jiggly

and jolly and jokey and jazzy and jumping jacks

Watch out for the jiggly.

I am kind of kind
and possibly even one of a kind, and I am going to be knowing and keen and kissable and kickass and kooky and

a knock out

Monday, 1 March 2010

G to I

I am gregarious!, that is to say fond of the company of others; sociable Well, a lot of the time. Here I think I'd be trying to chat with the introverts.
And I am going to be glorious and great and gorgeous and golden and generous and glowing and glittery and graceful!

I am helpful
although it won't be long til I'm the one with the cane. I am going to be happy and hardy and humane and heroic and humane and healthy
and also HOT

Nope, that I am at the moment, I am going to be this kind!

I am inspirational. I know that I have inspired some of my students, and helped them to look at things in different ways
I've also had it explained that often we're good at teaching things we're not that good at putting into practice! Do as I say, not as I do. I am also intelligent, and I am going to use that intelligence to achieve my goals.

I am going to be immaculate and incredible and interesting and independent and impressive and intriguing

And I am having a lot of fun finding the illustrations.....some trickier letters coming up soon though!