Carrie's Weekly Update 12-17-15

posted Dec 18, 2015, 10:55 AM by Cynthia Friedman
Greetings Middle School Families,

Announcements
Planned Absences – In addition to informing the teacher about planned absences and/or extended trips please inform the office staff!

Spirit Fridays – All students now have their Ridgeline t-shirt! We want to show our school spirit by inviting everyone to wear Ridgeline gear or blue (this year’s school color) on Fridays. Please join in!

Academics
Personal World - In mindfulness this week, we practiced observing messages sent from our bodies: itching, tingling, numbness, tension. We practiced observing these sensations only. We were to have a go at noting them, and even labeling them, but then just being present with them and observing the sensation itself. The tricky part was to not judge the sensation as bad. We practiced noting if we would start to make up a story about it, or start wiggling or itching, or stretching. When we noticed any of these activities, we would then gently return our attention again to the sensation. To illustrate some benefits to practicing non judgement, we read the ancient Chinese proverb.

Bad Luck? Good Luck? Who Knows? Author Unknown

There is a story of a farmer who used an old horse to till his fields. One day, the horse escaped into the hills and when the farmer's neighbors sympathized with the old man over his bad luck, the farmer replied, "Bad luck? Good luck? Who knows?"

A week later, the horse returned with a herd of horses from the hills and this time the neighbor congratulated the farmer on his good luck. His reply was, "Good luck? Bad luck? Who knows?"

Then, when the farmer's son was attempting to tame one of the wild horses, he fell off its back and broke his leg. Everyone thought this very bad luck. Not the farmer, whose only reaction was, "Bad luck? Good luck? Who knows?"

Some weeks later, the army marched into the village and conscripted every able-bodied youth they found there. When they saw the farmer's son with his broken leg, they let him off. Now was that good luck or bad luck? Who knows?

We then discussed how our judgement of a situation can impact how it may turn out, just with our attitude towards it. Once we start judging a situation as bad, we can then quickly move to blame and entrench ourselves so deeply in a perspective that we lose our ability to be present and respond to new information.

Math - Students in both my math groups wrapped up this week with tests. Most worked very hard and should be proud of their efforts. The concepts they are working on are new and challenging. Through their concerted efforts, they are getting these concepts down and developing work habits that will serve them in high school and beyond. By the way, they all have a math assignment that should be completed over break, and checked first thing when we return on Tuesday.

Friday Explorations - I am fortunate to be exploring the culinary world with a group of adventurous food lovers. Just my type of people! This Friday we explore a few bites of Japanese cuisine by making Sushi and Mochi. Yum!

Have a wonderful break and enjoy the extra time with your precious kids,

Carrie


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