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Saturday, March 10, 2012

Why now?

As an administrator with 14 years of dealing with families in the school setting I realize the tug at my heartstrings is in the interactions with students and families, ages 4-14.  I especially connect with the angst and frustrations that middle school students project to everyone around them.  Maybe because I'm still a 14 year old at heart?

I'm enjoying these interactions within the school setting and certainly plan to stay there for a few more years at least.  So, now the question is why did I look at making a future shift into counseling at a time when people my age are discussing retirement?

You could say the typical baby boomer generalization that has us with an unending work ethic! Or, maybe you'd say we are afraid of the aging that is is looming over the next couple of birthdays!? I think for each of us looking back at a lifetime of care taking it is impossible to consider just stopping one day.  For me the wind down of my 6th decade of living should still consider helping others and what better way than to grab from my own life experiences and share with others. I see these years as the years for assisting my own family of 6 children and husband of course, but as adults they don't need me all the time.  There is a world and a culture of stressed and confused individuals that really just need tools to understand their own reactions and believe it or not I'm finding that most people can seek their own solutions!  Their direction just needs nudging and nuancing to help them discover their best potential.

The lyrics of Michael W. Smith's tribute to Cassie Bernall, who was martyred for her faith at Columbine certainly speak for her short life...but I believe the speak to each of us everyday!

This is your time, this is your dance
live every moment leave nothing to chance
embrace the mystery of all you can be
this is your time

Micheal W. Smith This Is Your Time. (C) 2004 In memory of Cassie Bernall

Friday, May 18, 2007


Dear SJA Families;

It is always so amazing to me how quickly the month of May flies by. As always there are mixed feelings about the passage of time. As we watch the students grow and change it is interesting to witness the flux in alliances and perspective also! The school itself is full of change and though we may miss some of what has been….we also hope toward a future that has many positive exchanges for us to partake in.

I thought it would be interesting to cover the definition from Wikipedia. It might even give us insight into why change can be so difficult for us to embark on at times.

“… the meaning of change is in terms of variation. Change is the word used to describe the transition that occurs from same to different. Change, the quality of impermanence and of flux, has had a chequered history as a concept. In ancient Greek philosophy, while Heraclitus saw change as ever-present and all-encompassing, Parmenides virtually denied its existence. Ptolemaic astronomy envisioned a largely static universe, with erratic change confined to less worthy spheres. Medieval thought fostered great respect for authority and revelation, severely cramping any encouragement of change.
Isaac Newton and Gottfried Leibniz harnessed mathematical concepts into calculus to provide mathematical models of change. This constituted a major step forward in understanding flux and variation.
With the rise of industrialisation and capitalism, the importance attached to innovation grew, and social and political upheavals and pressures often forced change by violent revolution (as in North America in the late 18th century and in later imitators). By the late 20th century much business and New Age thought focussed enthusiastically on transformation in management, in function and in mental attitudes, while ignoring or deploring changes in society or in geopolitics. And Madison Avenue receives payment to repeat the litany of the fad for change: In the fast-changing world of today, you need ... product X.”
Some quotes about change for us to reflect on:
All changes, even the most longed for, have their melancholy; for what we leave behind us is a part of ourselves; we must die to one life before we can enter another." ~ Anatole France
"All things in this world are impermanent. They have the nature to rise and pass away. To be in harmony with this truth brings true happiness." ~ Buddhist chant "Change is not merely necessary to life -- IT IS LIFE." ~ Alvin Toffler
"Everyone thinks of changing the world, but no one thinks of changing himself." ~ Tolstoy
"For me, words are a form of action, capable of influencing change." ~ Ingrid Bengis
"If we can recognize that change and uncertainty are basic principles, we can greet the future and the transformation we are undergoing with the understanding that we do not know enough to be pessimistic." ~ Hazel Henderson
"In the same way as the tree bears the same fruit year after year, but each time new fruit, all lastingly valuable ideas in thinking must always be reborn." ~ Albert Schweitzer
"In times of profound change, the learners inherit the earth, while the learned find themselves beautifully equipped to deal with a world that no longer exists." ~ Eric Hoffer
"It is not a matter of exposing one's unchanging identity, the true self that has always been, but a way of exposing one's ceaseless growth, the dynamic self that has yet to be." ~ James Carse
"Just because everything is different doesn't mean anything has changed." ~ Irene Peter
"Of the forces which are imperceptible forces, none is greater than that of change ... all things are ever in the state of change ... therefore the I of the past is no longer the I of today." ~ Chang-tzu
"Plus ça change, plus c'est la même chose." ~ Alphonse Karr ** Translation: "The more things change, the more they remain the same."
"You must be the change you wish to see in the world." ~ Mahatma Gandhi
"The only thing that doesn't change, is change." Bob
To change is good; to dream is better; to serve outweighs the rest!!

God Bless You All,
Machelle Nagel, MA Ed.