Utne Article

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I don't know whether it was the clutter in my house, or the clutter on my desk at school, or just the overwhelming and hectic life I am leading right now that led me to the article called "The Stuff of Life" by Scott Russell Sanders. Mr. Sanders points out in his article that it is part of nature to want more things in life. However, we can choose to lead a "materially simpler life" and we must not think of it as a sacrifice but as an opportunity to build our life with spiritual fullfillment instead of material fullfillment. I know that as a parent I am always rationalizing what I but for my children. But if you were to ask them what their most memorable times are it isn't playing with this toy or watching that video but spending time with one another and enjoying each other. This fall, on one Sunday night, there was a meteor shower that was providing an awesome show. My husband and I wrapped the kids up in sleeping bags and sat and watched the flashes of lights for 30-40 minutes. Both of my kids still talk about how much fun that was. A simple thing but something that could have been easily missed in our busy lives. This can also be true within the classroom. Sometimes we are so busy trying to meet the curriculum guidelines that we can miss out on some truly teachable moments. We must remember to stop and teach the simpler things in life. Enjoying nature and observing the things that are going on around us.

-- Anonymous, February 22, 1999


Hi Diane: You are really on to something withyour comments on this article. What else can we do in the classroom to steal those special moments of whimsy? I know that I look for ways to add that extra spice in. Have you got any other special tricks that have worked? Could you e-mail me and let me know? Thanks, John

-- Anonymous, March 26, 1999

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