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Posts Tagged ‘smart’

It all started with a desire to purge my house of ‘stuff’ we no longer use … and now it is an addiction.

We had this delightful dining table and four chairs. About twenty two years ago I had purchased it at a yard sale for $80. Although I loved it, it got rep20130617-215359.jpglaced, moved to our suite, painted four times, reupholstered twice, then moved to our living room for games and puzzles. I realized we simply were not using it, so off it went (within a day of being posted on Craigslist) to a new home … and I was $80 richer.

Then there were the two chairs that I had bought for $12, to go with that dining table. They were not a perfect match, but with matching paint and upholstery fabric they worked. The same person paid $10 more to take them too.

20130617-214319.jpgThen I sold our ten-year old sectional sofa. I loved its look, but the micro-fibre fabric was wearing very thin in many places, and looking so very ratty! So to Mr. Craigslist I returned, and in days it was gone and I had $100 in my pocket.

On the same weekend that the above items were sold I made a couple of great purchases via Mr. Craig; a leather sofa for $60 and a 7-foot Ikea desk for $60.

Now I am hooked!20130618-214516.jpg

To have gotten rid of the things we no longer wanted, and made money to purchase what we did want has motivated me to keep going (aka. the first part of this summer will be spent purging our household of what we do not need).

Not only do these purchases allow me to purchase desired or needed items at great prices, but the ‘income’ from the sales of our ‘unneeded’ items goes into my ‘summer renovation/home improvement’ savings.

This summer, with my renovation fund, I am hoping to replace flooring in a bedroom of one of our daughters, and redecorate it with board and batten, and a fresh coat of paint.

Actually I would love to replace the flooring in three bedrooms this summer … but Mr. Craig has not been that successful for me … yet!

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W A Y  back in the days of the abacus and slate boards, I was a pretty good student.

Maybe it wasn’t back quite that far (my high school grad class is having a twenty-fifth reunion this summer), but I probably work with a few students who would not blink an eye if I told them it was so.

I had marks in the 80-90% area, I did my homework, was polite to my teachers, and was involved with various school groups and activities. Not to be arrogant, but I was an ‘ideal’ student (although my memories of my parents coming home from parent-teacher interviews, always included, “she talks a lot in class” … okay, maybe not ‘ideal’ 😉 ).

I feel bad for the hard working teachers I had, because the pearls (education) that they presented to me, were received by a swine. They gave me what I needed to know, but I had rarely understood that I needed it, beyond test writing. I had learned to put the information in, spit it out for the purpose of assessment (test or exam), then forget I ever knew it. For me the information was only learned for the purpose of regurgitating it back at test time.

As an EA (Educational Assistant), I have learned so much by working in a high school, that I was supposed to have learned when I was a student.

In English I listen to poems that I could never have understood, when I was back in grade nine.

I sit in Math and I can read a word problem, involving algebra that I now understand will be the most practically utilized math skills, after school ends.

In a foods class I learn about different leaveners, and how each works. I cook every day … this is important education!

I watch a PE class and understand that ‘playing games’ is for fitness, and that fitness is something that is of vital importance, as we live and age.

I now understand that knowing about history (including religion) can help to make sense of world events, and can help us to learn from the past and (hopefully) not repeat it.

In science, a student can learn about the physical world we live in, and even if all one ever gets from astronomy is that they can lay on a blanket on the grass, on a summer night, and point out the big dipper to their own kids, it will all be worth it.

When we are school students we learn for no reason other than to just get it done, so that we can move on to the next grade, and so on, and so on. The information has not reached a level of practical importance.

I recently heard an educator say, “if a student can re-teach what they have learned, they understand it.”

Originally, if my child came home with A’s and B’s, I would feel confident that they had done well, and learned what was necessary. As I have worked in schools, and my own kids have gotten older, my perspective on learning has changed.  Now if my child is driving home with me, and tells me the interesting facts about life in the Roman Empire , and even includes what we can learn from their lives and the fall of the Empire, but only gets 70% on a unit test, I am far more pleased in the learning.

From my own experience as a ‘good’ student, and now being in classrooms on a daily basis, I see that a number on a report card does not indicate learning. I also know, from my own experience, that A’s and B’s on a report card do not indicate success in life, and C’s and D’s do not suggest a mediocre existence. And, sometimes, qualifications for life (after high school) have nothing to do with education.

I would rather see a child squirming in their seat, but absorbing the information that is taught, than one who is ‘conforming’ in their seat, able to perform a test.

Just sayin’.

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