Search

Susan Sleggs

Flash Fiction and personal thoughts

Tag

school

Thank a Teacher

Do you have a teacher that made a big impact on your life? Is there one teacher you remember over all the others because he/she could help you understand anything?  In my experience most teachers do their job because they love it, not because they are getting paid well to do it, except maybe private tutors. Continue reading “Thank a Teacher”

Enjoy the Fresh Air

No this isn’t going to be a recollection about how I walked more than a mile to school, in the snow, uphill both ways…… I’m sure you have heard your grandparents or parents tell that tale a time or two. I lived seven miles from my school (K-12 all in the same sprawling building) and had to ride the bus every day. It was a treat for me when I would stay overnight with a friend in the town my school was in and we could walk home. I don’t remember the distance, but I do know it took of forever, not because it was so far, but because we were talking, looking at flowers, petting dogs, and goofing off. It was fun especially after sitting still all day in class. I never did that very well, still don’t. Continue reading “Enjoy the Fresh Air”

Not Legible!

It’s National Handwriting Day. I have a girlfriend that loves handwritten letters. E-mails are acceptable, but she likes a letter to arrive via snail mail. I admit to liking the latter myself. Today I got a thank you note and a late Christmas letter in the mail. It made my day. The even better part, I could read both sets of handwriting. That doesn’t happen to be the case when someone gets a letter from me. Well, that’s not entirely true, but let’s just say, handwriting has never been one of my strong suits.

I remember in second grade learning to write in cursive. We would sit and draw circles over and over again on very wide marked lines. Some of my classmates made perfect circles that touched the lines. Mine were more like ovals that had trouble touching the line for more than the length of a pencil dot. I was told to practice, but it didn’t do much good.

I remember in my high school junior year, there were projects displayed in one of my classes. I had received a B on my work that had been lowered to a C because of my illegible handwriting. Right next to mine was another “brainy” students who got an A with a + for handwriting. Now, I didn’t wear glasses back then and her writing was so fancy, I had trouble deciphering her a’s from her o’s. I guess it was all from the teacher’s perspective, which I still believe was slanted….oh well. Life went on.

My handwriting is no better today but I have read that people with poor handwriting are actually more concerned with how well they do a job, than with how it looks, so I’ll hold on to that. I have also read that bad handwriting is a sing of a higher IQ. I’ll take that one too. Think about your doctor’s handwriting.

And of course, the argument today in the U.S. is whether they will even continue to teach cursive in the schools and that it may eventually become a secret code because our young people aren’t being taught how to write or read it. Wow, that sounds like a step back in history when people weren’t allowed to learn. That’s a sad thought.

I for one, still use my check book and still sign my name in handwriting and I will probably continue to do so. When I write a letter, I prefer to type it, just so the recipient can read it more easily. Handwriting is a great tool, but I know my real friends will say, “Oh good, she typed it,” when they take a letter from me out of an envelope.

Teach Your Child

National Parents as Teachers Day caught my attention because I didn’t know if they meant to recognize those parents who teach in the public/private school system so have lots of “children”, or if it was a plug for every parent to work with their own child, like no one else can. I found it to be the later. I’m glad about that because I believe a parent should ultimately be responsible for guiding, helping, and praising their own child so they can do a better job while in the school system.

When I went to school we had a class for the girls called home economics in which we learned the basics of cooking, sewing, and ironing. The old attitude that those chores were ladies work was still strong. Funny thing is, most of the young people I know now, under the age of 35ish, the guy does the cooking, and hardly anyone sews. We have become a throw away society. I think that’s sad. It’s also a big waste!

Back to the subject. It is proven, the more time a parent spends nurturing a little one, the better they do in school, barring learning disabilities. The more books that are read to them at home, the easier time they have learning to read in school. It’s a healthy cycle, and the bond between parent and child is strengthened.

I’d like to take it another step. I don’t think teens learn in school what they need to get along in this world. Simple things like balancing a check book, how to comparison shop, how to save money and not rely on credit, how to fill out a simple tax return with no special deductions, and even how to budget their time. My suggestion to you parents is the next time you do one of these chores, to include your teenager so they will at least have been shown how. Note: I get they probably won’t be interested….bribe them if necessary! Teach them any chance you get. I applaud you for trying-in advance!

Housewife Equals Stay-at-home-Mom

If you are one of the lucky moms that gets to stay home with your kids…..Please….never say you are just a housewife. You may often feel like the maid, but years from now your children will brag about the fact you were home when they got on the school bus and when they got off. And today in school, their class mates will be jealous that their friend’s mom is home and theirs is not.

I understand the economics of the 21st century. It takes two incomes to even think of making ends meet. And, this category is based on a two parent household; which is less and less common. Another thought, sometimes the second income isn’t enough to make it worthwhile for one parent to work, so they stay home with the little ones. You need to do what is best for your house, then hold your head up high and own it.

In my day as a child, very few mom’s worked. One income used to be enough to get by on, and daycare wasn’t heard of in my little home town. If there was a latch-key kid, the neighbors looked out for them, no money changed hands. Remember, I am talking little hick town, not city. I didn’t grow up in a city.

When I got home from school my mother and her best friend were often doing some elaborate craft project; leather tooling, copper tooling, caning chairs, making Christmas wreaths with real pine boughs. These things took training and practice. I think scrapbooking is an art, but it doesn’t take much training. I digress. Today, if Mom is home she is expected to be  chauffeur, chef, friend and maid. Life was easier in my day, each kid didn’t belong to six groups, and didn’t have an expensive cell-phone in their pocket.

I think I like the old days better, but I’m old. So there you go. My first thought stands, if you are a stay-at-home mom, you are so much more than a housewife. I applaud you.

Please scroll down to leave your comments.

Recognition Goes a Long Way

I’m not quite sure why they chose the above picture for Get to Know Your Customers Day.  I would have taken a picture of someone paying for something in a small retail store. Hopefully you have a good memory of a local Mom and Pop store where your parents shopped and the owners called them by name, or you now have a friendly coffee shop where you don’t have to tell the Barista how you want your drink prepared or a bartender that sets up your beer as you walk in the door.

I’m a name nut.  I can’t remember who sings what song, but I can probably tell you all the names of my high school class mates.  Mind you, there were only 72 in my graduating class.  I can even tell you which teachers were my older sister’s favorites.  When my children were dating, they didn’t tell me about a new interest without being able to tell me who she/he was related to in our area because they knew I would ask.  My sisters call to ask about family connections from our original hometown when they can’t remember.

I worked in a quilting fabric store for thirteen years.  I could greet about half of the people that shopped there by first name.  It’s easy for me and I believe it made each customer feel welcome and special.  My boss might tell you I did too much personal talking with them.  I might agree with her, but I bet most of them aren’t greeted that way now that I no longer work there.  In fact, I had another of the employees tell me one day I made the rest of them look bad because I did use first names.  When I think of that comment it makes me sad.

My memory is not just about names.  I hear from friends and family that they enjoy what I share here; I write about people, passions and experiences that have become part of my life, some are pretty old.

The big box stores and on-line shopping have taken personal customer service out of our shopping experiences.  And we all know, getting decent customer service via telephone is often unsatisfactory.  There is an answer.  Shop local, in privately owned stores.  Introduce yourself to the owner and let them know they are meeting your needs.  You’ll be surprised how easy it is to get to know each other’s names.  I promise they will appreciate getting to know their customer.

Visit your Child’s School?

The titles on the National Day of Calendar can evoke much different thoughts than what the day was actually set up to recognize.  When I saw the title, Take Your Parents to Lunch, I had visions of my adult children calling to invite me to meet them for lunch, during their work day.  That would be possible for me because I’m retired, and I could meet them at their place and time of choice; in my son’s case, an hour from my house.

Alas, when I read the description, it is meant for younger parents to visit their child’s school and go to lunch with them in the cafeteria.  Mostly to learn about the process and see what a good job the school does feeding their child.  I’m a dinosaur, parents didn’t visit us in school when I went to grade school.  [And we didn’t text all day either.]  I do know a lady who had lunch with her daughter every day in school through fifth grade.  That girl just graduated from high school and choose to go to  Arizona for college.  That’s a mighty long way from New York state. None of us wonder why except her Mom.  I guess you can be too involved.  I think the term for that now is a “helicopter mom”.  It’s not always easy to find a good balance that fits the mother’s and child’s emotional needs.

Sitting here, I can’t remember ever eating out with my father.  Stopping for ice cream, yes.  The only time I can remember doing it with my mother was at a church dinner.  But, we lived in rural New York state.  At that time, fast food places were only in the cities, and we didn’t go to restaurants unless it was a very special occasion.  Now, they are both gone, so I can’t take them to lunch.  I’m jealous of people my age that still have their folks to talk to and spend time with.

I’ll suggest you make this day work for you the way that is best for your circumstances.  Or maybe, borrow someone else’s parents to take out, just because you can.  Or call your own kids, and invite them out, without a reason.  Often times we don’t realize how fast time goes.  Take advantage while you can to take every opportunity to go to lunch with your children, or parents, or cousins, or neighbors, or special friends.

 

 

Powered by WordPress.com.

Up ↑