Tag Archives: William Glasser

PANDEMIC VISION 2020: Where are you on the Pandemic Tree of Life – Part II.

Like most teachers – if I give out an assignment – I should also do the work to set the example (gotta love Vygotsky). So here is my Tree of Pandemic Life Essay, a treasure chest memory of this time for the future generations. Notice – I changed the words in various places – call it artistic license.

Pandemic –

A word that stopped the world mid-orbit.
A word that we confidently touted as a historical concept.
A word that applied to 3rd world countries – certainly not this country.
A word on the peripheral vision of life – not something in my direct line of vision.

A word of eight letters – the eternal number.
A word.

Yet – here it is on my Tree of Life. I lived through this on a major scale as a baby, toddler, preschooler. Polio kept me out of the water during those early hot summers, but other than that, it didn’t touch me. However, it forged an indelible memory of standing in a line of friends and family on the small steps leading into the cafeteria of my 1955 elementary school. Mom and dad held my hand. My older brother stood off to the side with a group of his friends. A small cup of liquid to drink, and then the word disappeared into the history books.

Pandemic.

The word eased itself back into my lexicon on a whisper of a breeze in late 2019. As I looked out the window, warmed by my gas logs, the full extent of that word was still just conceptualizing itself in my mind. Was this how my parents felt after they had battled their way through WWII and were facing this word? I prayed for those far away who were dealing with it as I prayed for those dealing with locusts invasions, earthquakes, volcanoes, and other illnesses. Surely, this new virus wouldn’t touch the shores of this country. Our society has 2020 vision – science, technology, stability, cleanliness – surely, it wouldn’t float over here. Yet – it did. It picked up speed until gale force winds swept over each of us and the eye of the storm peered down upon us.
Collectively.
Individually.
Nationally.

Pandemic 2020.

The word storm buffets the doors and windows everyday now of this place I call home. No longer a word of the past, but a word brandied about in every day conversation as we “social distance” away from family and friends. The illness itself as evolved with one name into another name into another name – Covid 19. I look out the window. The dogwoods, azaleas, wisteria are blooming. Spring looks beautiful as usual, but the world is different. I look at the picture on my desk. Where am I on this Tree of Life?

Where am I on the Pandemic Tree of Life 2020?

2019 was an especially hard year for me. My 40-year marriage covenant had broken and the “one flesh” shredded. If this pandemic had come 6 months earlier, I would have chosen the little boy lying on the ground. My world and faith in myself scattered about me in pieces. But the promises of My Father, ever faithful, had the golden glue that slowly mended me into a new piece of art. One that He had seen since the beginning of the sparkles in my parents’ eyes. Since then, I have gotten up, brushed myself off, put on a new dress and started to re-climb my Tree of Life.

Pandemic 2020 caught me on a lower branch. And – while I still grip the tree trunk fairly tightly, every now and then I glance up. I see the One who is reaching down – just in case – just in case I need some help. My bare feet feel the rough bark beneath them. My toes tighten at times to keep my balance, and then I glance up again. His face is smiling down at me, and I am ever so thankful for the past two months I spent in the gym. My balance is better. My strength is better. My health is better. Best yet, my knees can bend once again to touch the ground as I kneel in prayer.

I smile up at that Face. Yeshua Mashiach is still there. Not far away. Not sitting on a throne in a far away place. Not judging my mistakes or fears. Just reaching down and smiling. Waiting to help if I need a hand to climb a little higher. Waiting for me to be willing as He sits on a branch of my Tree of Life – as if He had not better place to be in the whole world.

So where am I on the Tree of Pandemic Life 2020?

I am climbing.
I am reaching up.
I am smiling, because I trust the One who is guiding me upward.

[personal images]

PANDEMIC VISION 2020: Where are you on the Tree of Pandemic 2020?

Many of my former students will recognize these worksheets from their autobiographies. During the last 20 years of my teaching, I developed my own version of an autobiography unit. It documented the transition time of Junior High to High School.
A snapshot of life that would be captured on paper.

During various times in those years bad things happened. The students wrote about those times. They wrote about the good things. They wrote about what they were thinking, and since it took the whole year to write the autobiography, they were often amazed at what they had learned about themselves. Years later, they still write me about what they learned from all that writing.

So in this time of distance learning, perhaps it is time for some new compositions to be written. I would love to read some up-dated versions of these things from my “students” and/or their children. Every child can do a version of an autobiography, and I can’t think of a better time to do it. Technology makes it easy to write, insert pictures/videos, and share with friends and family.

Trust your kids. Trust yourself. See what you learn.

Where are you on the Tree of Pandemic 2020? Look closely at the first picture. Are you at the top of the tree looking ahead to what you will do? Are you at the bottom feeling like it will never end? Are you helping someone up the tree or pushing someone down? Print it off. Color the picture, but make sure your special person stands out in some special way. Even adults love to color. I have lots of these in my own “incomplete” autobiography. BTW – this worksheet was adapted from William Glasser’s Reality Therapy, The Quality School

Who am I right now – in this time of solitude from my “normal”? Write an “I AM” poem. The poem pictured is my version of the “I AM” poem. Ir is one I wrote for my mom when she was going through her final years. It still brings that time back to me in such clarity.

If you are bored and you want to see what you are thinking inside of yourself or you want to see what your children are thinking about what is going on, try giving them a writing assignment. Open your vision. 2020 is the best, I guess. But sometimes, a blurry picture of what you see is wisdom as well.

Former students or families: pull out those autobiographies and get some ideas. The rest of you, start your own autobiography. These are treasures to your families and to those who come after us. Look on line. There are lots of writing prompts for an “autobio” on line now. There are plenty that can be adapted to younger kids or older kids. Positive Me from A-Z; Wonderful ME, coloring sheets of their favorite cartoon show, toys, fears, joys…Be warned though: they are addictive, and you will find yourself adding to them over the years.

Writing is a beginning of a conversation. One you should be talking about to your kids, with yourself, with your friends, church and family.

Where are you on the Tree of Pandemic 2020? Hmmmm…I may have to do a new one tomorrow as well.