Soul Food for the week of May 11th, 2012

Happy Soul Food Moments!

Teaching is a Calling and They Give Their Whole Being While Imparting a Love of Learning:
Last night I was privileged to attend the celebration of the New Department of Education Studies (formerly TEP) after 40 years of serving the educational community as a thriving academic program.

Sponsored by UCSD Alumni this event celebrated “official department status” in the division of the Social Sciences at UCSD.

Attended by hosts of graduates, supporters and practitioners of research, scholarship and practice it was reminiscent of when I was one of the students that successfully petitioned the Academic Senate to convert the Communications program into a full-fledged department at UCSD many years ago.

It was especially fun to hang out with many interconnected generations of student & teachers. For example one of my karate students Luz C. is now teaching in the Ed Studies program, and has as her PhD. Student Suzanne B., who is currently teaching my son Arman in Middle School! We truly are interconnected…

Did you know Chancellor Fox after getting her Masters in Cleveland taught 7th grade math, and that Dean Elman was a public school teacher in a bi-lingual program at the early stages of his illustrious career?
Jeff Elman and Bud Mehan were true activists and advocates for that which is right and boy could I relate to their “all in” spirit and actions. They still have that rebellious nature too!

Congrats to Alan Daly for getting tenure- you so deserve it- and my hats off to Amanda Datnow for leading this group to new levels of greatness and impact in this most worthy of professions!

Thanks for including me in your celebration.

This week’s voyage of discovery includes:

Collective Impact for Education
On Tuesday I was honored to be at a table with the San Diego Grantmakers Education Funder’s where 50 local groups have come together to explore and prepare for a collective impact approach to education in San Diego County. A big aha that struck me literally right between the eyes at this meeting, came during a discussion of the great work the Price Charities are doing with a cluster of schools in City Heights. When Principals were polled about their most urgent and pressing need to positively impact education at their schools, the #1 thing they needed in the schools, was wait for it…

GLASSES!

That’s right, many of the kids in this low income community did not have the ability to see properly, and glasses would fundamentally change the landscape of education for them.

The difference between looking and seeing is profound at many levels. Paying attention is one of the most powerful tools in our soul food tool kit.

A Soul filled interview with bestselling author Maurice Sendak and NPR’s Terry Gross
As you might have heard bestselling author of children’s books Maurice Sendak died this week at the age of 82. His classic children’s book Where the Wild Things Are is an award-winning favorite for generations of kids including my own.

Also on Tuesday, Terry Gross whom I consider one of the best interviewers of all time for her ability to be a great listener, to pay acute attention and ask delectable questions dedicated the entire show to Maurice and it epitomizes great journalism.

While listening to the entire 45 minute segment might not be in the cards, I would invite you to simply listen to the last section of the last interview as Maurice shares his experience of living, aging and yes even dying.

Pick up the audio at the 41 minute mark for a genuine soul-filled 5 minutes of full catastrophe living!

Listen to how Maurice esteems Terry at the end if you want to experience the power of paying attention and the gift you provide when you do this for others

This was a real “driveway moment” as I simply could not turn off the radio, listening to this in-the-moment experience and bawling my eyes out.

Click on the link below, click on listen to the story, wait for the requisite 15 second commercial, then toggle to the 41 minute mark and strap in for a soul journey…

I am in love with the world
It is a blessing to find the time
Live your life, live your life, live your life…
http://www.npr.org/2012/05/08/152248901/fresh-air-remembers-author-maurice-sendak

Confront the brutal facts, but NEVER give up hope!
Speaking of inspirational, this is a remarkable story…

Pat and his wife Diane have a 42 year-old daughter who was severely, severely autistic.  She never looked anyone in the eye, or communicated in any way with anyone until she was 22.  But Pat and Diane spent those 22 years always making Peyton a part of their family and life.  She was never excluded from any conversation, family gathering, or school event. Pat and Peyton took her to normal classes all through grammar school and high school. Still not any reaction from Peyton…

And then, at 22, Peyton very awkwardly picked up a computer keyboard and typed the words, “I am Intellgent”.

This is about her story.

Today, Peyton is following through on her vow to be an advocate on behalf of other devalued people.

Her inspirational life embodies the notion that “All people are vastly valuable. Treasure all because each is great.”

http://www.amazon.com/Am-Intelligent-Heartbreak-Healing–A-Daughters/dp/076277925X/ref=sr_1_1?i.e.=UTF8&qid=1334582016&sr=8-1 

(Thanks Remar)

“Learn, learn, learn. Be thankful for everything. Everything is a present”
Many of you loved last week’s article about Alice Sommer Herz. This 5 minute video shares more about here remarkable story.

Alice Sommer Herz is thought of with affection by hundreds of thousands of people in the world as both a sage and a saint. Her wisdom is evident in almost everything that she says. Her saintliness is seen in her almost unique tolerance and her compassion. She has the true gift of forgiveness. “Life is beautiful, love is beautiful, nature and music are beautiful. Everything is a present.”

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=g5VTkQKgxkY&feature=related
(Thanks Anne)

Elevate your mood with this blend of sound and moving pictures in nature that is positively transcendental:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Rk6_hdRtJOE
(Thanks Mique)

Finally, these pictures are worth more than a thousand words…

What is your fav?

Take a look!
(Thanks Larry)

The voyage of discovery is not in seeking new landscapes but in having new eyes.”–MARCEL PROUST

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