Monday, February 13, 2017

A need for discipline?

As I was checking out some funny stories, I came across one that stood out.  The article entitled, “Awkward Family Photos: 12 Detention Slips Only A Millennial Kid Could Get,” included several examples involving students who had reportedly “misbehaved” and the detention slips that were in turn produced by the concerned teachers.  At first glance, I agreed that the student behavior was in line with the times and, in my view, rather harmless.  However, one story caught my attention. 

The case in question involved a student who was given a detention for “improper usage of a computer.”  As outlined in the note, having finished his classwork early, the student proceeded to take a laptop computer and began looking at pictures of “pugs.”  As a result, the child ended up spending the lunch hour in detention.

Some readers might say that since he didn’t ask permission to use the computer, the teacher was justified in giving him detention.  Others would say that the child should actually have been praised for demonstrating initiative.  In essence, rather than being disruptive in any way, having completed the required tasks, he occupied his time by looking at totally inoffensive pictures of dogs.  In addition, we might question the teacher’s seemingly lack of direction and attention, failing to delineate the limits within which the students could function if they finished their work early.  Last but not least, how did the teacher fail to see the student take the computer?  Was she sleeping?  Did she fail to ensure appropriate supervision while she left the class?

My belief is that the teacher felt guilty for having failed to provide suitable limits and attention, in turn taking it out on the student by blaming him for her failure.  I will add that the entire situation provides us with a good example of bad teaching.  No wonder why today’s kids do not strive to excel or do anything over and above what is required or asked of them!  What do you think?  Is this so far off the mark? 

No matter what we think, some of us might take the easy way out!  You got it: We can always blame it on fast foods!

- B. J. T. Pepin

Monday, January 09, 2017

2017 New Year’s Resolutions

What is our society’s fascination with making New Year’s resolutions?  To get a better idea, let’s consider some definitions.  The Oxford Dictionary defines a New Year’s resolution as: “A firm decision made on New Year's Eve or New Year's Day to do or refrain from doing something over the course of the coming year.”  Similarly, the Cambridge Dictionary suggests: “A promise that you make to yourself to start doing something good or stop doing something bad on the first day of the year.”  Lifehack further clarifies what it’s all about for most people: “re-evaluating some of their life choices.”  Therefore, it is evident that the intent is to make some type of positive change in one’s life.

Most of us would say that we have a good sense about the things that we should work on or change, but some might benefit from a nudge or some ideas.  With that in mind, the following are my favourites from Lifehack’s article.  I hope that one or more of these will prove helpful and provide you with some direction.

- Stick to the good healthy habits you’ve developed—not everything you’re doing is bad; make note of and give yourself credit for the things you’re doing right
- Get more quality sleep—better sleep leads to better performance
- Start eating healthier food and less food overall—a better diet leads to better health and performance
- Get in shape
- Give up cigarettes and start drinking in moderation or quit drinking altogether
- Go see your doctor more often—be preventative rather than reactionary
- Spend less time on social media and watch less TV
- Face your fears and insecurities
- Learn to control your emotions—if you pull the emotion out of things, decisions can be a lot simpler
- Reduce stress—stress is bad for your health and performance
- Learn to be happier with your life—everyone has their own struggles, so be happy for what’s good in your life
- Spend more time with the people that matter—being around the right people will make your life better
- Become more organized—if you aren’t organized, how are you supposed to get anything done?
- Learn how to be more self-reliant—the more control you have, the more you can influence your situation
- Learn how to defend yourself—gives you one less threat to worry about
- Pick up useful skills or fun hobbies—better yourself!
- Read more and learn more about art, music, culture, etc.—enrich your life!
- Earn more money, get out of debt, and start saving money
- Turn your hobby into a career—make money off of what you love and are already good at!
- Start expressing yourself artistically

So, now it’s up to you to take action and make the necessary adjustments/changes.  Of course, if any number of these resolutions don’t quite work out, you can always…blame it on fast foods!

- B. J. T. Pepin