Saturday, October 3, 2015

Creativity in Understanding History is Only as Fine as the Day’s Details

Ignoring details drives me crazy. I read this article and thought I would share.

Some Thoughts on the 'Boring' Social Studies

By Greg Milo 

I love this article. This is exactly how I feel in many classes. Good questions and ideas pop into my head and most times I get the horrible feeling I would be the one boy outlier who listed the written details of what I would like to understand better. I recognize it won't be on the test, so I think inside I should look it up on my own.  But, I need a better way to record all the available information so I can note what I want to look up later. 

Good history teaches so many interesting lessons that trigger the leeway for us to have understanding about the intricate details that lead to governments justifying war, or the true giving of ingenuity for solving problems. I need to have this available insight so I could literally not try to reinvent the wheel.

Wheels have been done to death, and the point of studying history is to move forward smoothly. So, instead of making more wheels we should be addressing steering.  …By the way, that has been done too. The point is the history around the event is more interesting to understand because the toll of collective details gingerly describes a world that we can relate to, and how people made decisions based on many things. These are called little multifaceted elements that matter if we are really looking to not repeat the outright mistakes and atrocities of the long ago past. 

Sunday, May 4, 2014

Grant's thoughts on Autism Awareness Day April 2 2014

A first post for Grant....something he wrote earlier this month.

Autism Awareness: What does Autism Awareness mean to me?
A response written for the PTA newsletter by Grant Blasko, a 5th grader at Carderock Springs Elementary.
Grant is 11, an aspiring writer, and has nonspeaking autism. He types on an iPad to communicate.

Nice to know there is Autism Awareness month. High treatment is expected, lol. Just kidding. I am joking about a subject I feel very strongly about to break the ice. Autism is supposedly a mixture of social deficits, communication disorders, and repetitive behaviors. I would like to talk with you about the farthest thing from people's minds, and really tell you what it is like on the inside.

Yes, for years I really tried to reach out, but my body betrayed me at really every thread of its being. I could see the frustration and disappointment in people's eyes who held eternal opinions that I did not think well. Joyous children were everywhere around me but the option to nicely join was a thought in my head that I could not make my body listen to more than once in a while. Others took this as a sign that I did not want to be a part of things, but politely said, nothing could be farther from the truth. For years, I drifted farther away and found my hopeless efforts were awkward, and more frequently than not, misinterpreted. Kooky my body was, but inside my mind I longed for a cure, not only for my autism, but for everyone's misunderstanding of my behavior too.

In my recent 5th grade memoir, I talked about a scene in a NYC park where my Mom explained how people fear what they don't understand and my behavior can frighten if parents are busy trying to protect their children, and I should take notice.  I was saddened to hear that when my kooky body launches out of my control, it causes those offended looks to ensue even though my wall is down to connect now. I am going to try hard to change minds.  Bopping bodies are not to be feared, but need love and compassion.

This piece of my memoir fits well because I want to help other joking bodies too. I give good credit to a lot of people for seeing me now as the thinking boy I am, bungee jumping each day along with this crazy body of mine. How many others are like me? My suspicion is a lot. Whether we dice words by typing, or are still silent, we need the same truly open treatment to have the coins read JACKPOT. Most of my typing friends share the same stories. Dealing with these bodies, nifty ideas long to come out each day, but stay locked away inside if geared pistons don’t fire right. I have found that my joking body joins easily when others treat me with open arms and don’t let what they see cause them to move away. How nice it is to be in the world when I am understood. Yes, connecting is easy when communication is read the right way.

Each day now I look forward to school, and learning, and friends lobbing good questions. Hurdles in life are possible to overcome if people accept me first as a boy, and then sift through my challenges to sway their opinions to a positive place.