Wednesday, July 7, 2010

Day 37: Brave Irene

We might be onto something with this 3rd grade thing. On a whim, I Googled "3rd grade curriculum" to see if there might be insight into how to spend my summer, and there in the Reading/Creativity Module I found a bevy of recommendations that could come straight from any self help book. As it turns out, in the 3rd grad we learn to:
1. Identify a fantasy
2. Use context clues
3. Answer critical questions
4. Recognize and use strategies

Don't these things seem like areas most of us struggle with as adults? Discerning fantasy from reality, picking up on context that would tell us something if we'd pay attention, being willing to answer (and face the answers) of critical questions? And don't even get me started on the whole strategy the extent I've used strategy in the past, it's looked more like grim manipulation than thoughtful forward progress. Clearly, I've got some lessons to repeat.

Now, by way of full disclosure: I looked for a picture of a 3rd grade classroom to post here, and seeing that barrage of color and information plastered across every wall/desk/rug made my head spin. So I'm thinking of this as an outside-the-classroom adventure. You know, a field trip.

The good news is that the second module in our curriculum is called "Discovering Courage," which has full indoor/outdoor applicability. It says that we'll learn by reading about BRAVE IRENE, a dauntless girl who goes out in a raging storm to deliver a dress for her ailing mother.

I might be reaching a bit here, but maybe that's what courage--and life lessons--are about: The question of, "Do you have what it takes to do what needs to be done for the people you love.... Even (or maybe especially) when no one else thinks it matters?"

I may have shared this here before, but my BRAVE IRENE moment came one winter night when THAT DOG was a puppy. It was about 2am, and she needed to go out. I carried her down 8 flights of stairs (the elevator was broken) and out into the gusty, snowy wind. She did her thing, and as I bent to scoop it up into a bag, the wind blew the poop down the sidewalk. I had to CHASE it. That was the moment I realized that I have what it takes to put the needs of others ahead of my own desires if I have to. It was a good feeling, and it's stayed with me all these years.

Do you have a BRAVE IRENE moment? Or are you waiting for one? Who knows--it might be part of your summer curriculum :)


Sarakastic said...

I think I'm still waiting for one, although I have been known to shout "Look at the contest clues" at my loved ones which isn't nearly as helpful as I always think it's going to be.

larramiefg said...

What about having a moment to do what it takes for yourself? Think about it. Being brave is facing your reality, dealing with it, and moving on and around while remaining grateful with what you already have.

KimberlyH said...

I can't think of a Brave Irene moment at this time.
But I'll share something from a few months ago. I realized how many things I don't do, or delay doing, because of fear - for instance needing to have a challenging conversation at work, speaking up in a meeting, running my long loop in my neighborhood instead of a short one. So I tried a little experiment. I tried to be very aware of when this was happening and not let the fear influence my actions. Sort of a combo of "just do it" and "no fear". It was really amazing! I felt so much freedom and felt much more "myself" - like it was the way I was intended to be.