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Archive for August, 2011

A couple of months back I heard Seth Glier in concert at Rivermill at Dover Landing. Seth is 22 years old but has a depth and profundity to his music that bespeaks someone much older. His opener and the title track of his latest album is The Next Right Thing which, in its own way, challenges us to take the next action that will benefit beyond ourselves … to do the next right thing rather than simply the next thing right which may be just about us.

A couple of weeks ago I got some clothing back from a friend who was doing alterations on them. I had given them to her over a year ago. Her life got very involved so that she didn’t finish them last summer but this one. With many apologies and embarrassment, she gave me the bag of clothing. “It was really O,”K I told her (and it really was) and gave her a hug; things happen, and friendships are worth more than delays. When I emptied the bag a few days later, I found a note of apology and five $20 bills folded up as turtles and hearts. She was returning the money I had paid her. Well, I don’t remember if I had paid her in advance or not, but returning it because of the delay was not something I wanted. I knew that we could play the “pass the money back and forth” game and neither of us would win.

So, taking the challenge of Seth’s song and in response to a piece I heard on NPR about how expensive it is to get ready for school, I opted to buy school supplies for kids at the elementary school near my house.

With backpacks costing $25-$100 alone, I knew my funds wouldn’t go too far. However, since Staples was running 25%-50% off of them, that’s where I headed. I had the cashier ring in items in a particular sequence to see how far I could make the money go. The three backpacks (at 50% off) were $74.97. We added notebooks, pencils, pens, glue sticks, folders in a bunch of colors, pencil cases, and so on. Though I hit the $100 mark somewhere around glue sticks, I had the cashier continue with the total coming to $152.06. $100 cash and my Discover card given and I was back at the car.

Feeling that I had made “our” money go far, I couldn’t wait till the next day to drive to the school and drop off the items.

Well, talk about surprises and confirmation that I was doing the “next right thing,” when I got my mail, in it was a check for $55.62; so my shopping trip was more than covered! While the money was for some online teaching that I do, I thought the arrival date was most interesting and timely. Hmm, wonder why?

Now, if I could only be a fly on the wall to see the faces of the kids receiving the items … but then that’s not what it’s about, is it?

My challenge to you: Find YOUR next right thing and maybe watch Seth’s video for inspiration.

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Back before the days of Howard Gardner’s Multiple Intelligences (Visual-Spatial, Bodily-kinesthetic, Musical, Interpersonal, Intrapersonal, Linguistic, Logical -Mathematical), student learning styles were classified as either “Concrete Sequential” (the math/science types) or “Abstract Random” (the art types).  A few years back, I started referring to myself as “Random Sequential” meaning that I have a tendency to take random pieces of information and attempt to make sense out of them, my very own learning style!

Well, that was in full operation recently though I had nothing to do with the “random sequencing” that was occurring. It provided the unexpected means to an end.

1983maxima

1983 Datsun Maxima

My son had posted on FaceBook about missing our 1983 Maxima and uploaded a generic photo. While our family photographs are far from organized, there are a number of albums, with 1983 and beyond being one of them. I headed right to the book and found a photo of our car.

However, one I wanted to find of him around age 6 standing up through the moon-roof was not to be found. I uploaded the actual photo and sent the rest of the ones I found to the family. My husband came home and proceeded to look through the boxes and boxes of loose photographs for that same photo and was as unsuccessful as I was.

Fast forward a couple of days while I was working on my website for my new job. Since I am returning to my roots of teaching high school business, I thought it might be kind of nice to show a photo of me back in my first teaching job along with one of the school that had a population of probably 2000 along with a current photo of me and one of my new school with a population of about 300. Where was that early photo to be found? A few years back I had had a print made from a yearbook picture and put it “somewhere.”

Diana SchumanI mentioned to my husband what I would like to do to which he replied, “I just saw it in one of the boxes I was looking through,” walked over to the cabinet and handed me the photo I needed. Check out the new site.

Coincidence, Divine intervention, great minds working in concordance, alignment of the planets, all things working together for good, my Creator knowing what I needed before I did –- I don’t know – but a bunch of appearingly random acts produced a sequence of events that brought me to an effective conclusion.

 

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It’s been a long time since I’ve blogged, not there haven’t been lots of issues I’ve thought about over the last months, too many to go into now.

In the midst of doing day-to-day things, God manages to send me messages that all will be well, even about the most turbulent things that may be going on in my life. I’m sorry to admit that I think He probably sends way more messages than I actually “hear” as I flitter and float around and spend way too little time being quiet and meditative.

Anyhow, I’m making chocolate bark (dark chocolate, cranberries, coconut, almonds, rice krispies – yum) to take to a friend’s 60th birthday party tomorrow and all of a sudden I was thinking about the quote I put at the top of many of the application letters I sent out and how that might be a good quote to put at the top of the webpage I need to create for my new job (I’m going back to teaching high school and will be developing a brand new course to boot.)

It’s a very ancient saying, but a true and honest thought, that if you become a teacher, but your children you’ll be taught.

With that, my brain immediately switched gears to Pandora, the on-line music service, wondering what would happen if I put in Rodgers and Hammerstein as a search string – picked up the iPad, launched Pandora, put in Rodgers and Hammerstein, and the FIRST song to come up is Getting to Know You from The King and I.

Is that God’s way of saying, “That’s a good idea. And don’t worry about fall, being in a new situation, teaching a new cours. All will be well.”? I sure hope so.  I guess even God uses technology.

(BTW, those who know me know that I love Broadway tunes. The playlist for the first 15-20 minutes of Pandora was: Getting to Know You (King and I), Over the Rainbow (Wizard of Oz – OK not Broadway but they put it in there), Oh, What a Beautiful Morning (Oklahoma), One Day More (Les Miz, about my favorite show), I Dreamed a Dream (Les Miz), The Surrey with the Fringe on the Top (Oklahoma), The Music of the Night (Phantom of the Opera), and One Hand, One Heart (West Side Story). Poor husband Bob had to listen to his usually off-key wife singing her head off.)

If you’re not familiar with Pandora, you need to check it out! (Pandora.com) It plays even better on the iPad or iPhone than on the computer!!

God is good all the time; all the time, God is good. And singing is good for the soul!

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