Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Caring and Writing

Today I presented with a fellow colleague from the Cooke Center for Learning and Development. We presented to some Bronx Catholic School teachers a workshop dealing with The Writer's Notebook. This is teaching technique/program that encourages children to write. It involves having a notebook for you to write down your ideas, thoughts, observations, favorite lines of poetry, dreams etc..

During the workshop we discussed a writing strategy called "Mapping Your Heart". This involves drawing a heart and then putting it into sections and labeling each section with a topic or interest of yours. What takes space up in your heart? Families, friends, God, pets, chocolate (or other favorite food), and reading (0r another hobby) were found on many people's hearts.

One person at the workshop mentioned how this exercise reminded her of how important caring and feeling is. Not only were we talking about writing, but also we were discussing and thinking about what makes us human. That to me is true education.

If you were going to map your heart, what would you place in there?

Sr. Jeannie Humphries, osu

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Mothers and Children

I woke up early this morning and have to admit instead of praying, I turned on the television. I ended up watching a Law and Order. That show always seems to be on some channel all the time..

This particular episode dealt with a young mom and her two young sons. One of the boys was shot and ended up being murdered at the hospital by the man who claimed to be the mom's boyfriend. He was a major drug dealer and had terrorized the mom and young boys. She was totally trapped in the situation. At the funeral of her son, the man shot her again even though she was surrounded by 6 police officers. She ended up then shooting her "boyfriend" and then had to move far away in order not to get arrested and or attacked by one of the boyfriend's connections.

Such a scary life, one that I know is shared by many. Through it all you observed her fierce love and dedication to her sons. Plus you saw in her surviving son, the love and desire he had to protect his mom. All I could think of during the show was how many women in my Bronx neighborhood struggle like this.

My mind also turned to a Danielle Steel book I'm reading that is about a young girls who suffered horrific physical abuse at the hands of her mother.

I ended up praying for all mothers and children. Many mothers are in tough situations. The decisions on how to handle them affects their children in so many ways. I always have a fierce desire to protect and care for children. They are our future and one of God's greatest gifts to our world. In my prayer today, I saw all the children that I have taught through the years and all my friends' children. I am so proud of what wonderful mothers so many of my friends have grown up to be. It's great to see the love and care.

Loving and Gracious God, please protect families. Help those who are suffering and give them wisdom to make good decisions. Please let children feel love and care. It is so important to their self- confidence, self-worth and self-esteem.

Sr. Jeannie

Saturday, August 14, 2010

70+ years of Religious Life

Today we celebrated the life of Sr. Marie Paul Denesha, osu. She was almost 92. Her funeral Mass took place at our Province Center in New Rochelle.

She was a magnificent 1st grade teacher in various places, Malone, NY, Wilmington, DE, Bethseda, MD, Springfield, MA and New Rochelle, NY. She was an expert in the Montessori method. In her later years, she was know for making rosary beads for so many. Sr. Marie Paul, osu really wanted to bring Jesus to all. All spoke so highly of her.

I remember best her calligraphy welcome signs to Malone whenever I came to visit and the hundreds of rosaries she sent me to give to my students.

Thank you Marie Paul for sharing your life with us. We will miss you but we know you're up there watching down on us. Please remember us in your prayers.

Sr. Jeannie Humphries, osu

Monday, August 9, 2010

Happiness is Spending the Day with Friends

Today, I spent most of my day at Zoom Flume Waterpark in East Durham, NY-Catskills Mountain Area.

I went with my friend Christina and her daughter Kyra. They belong to an Irish bungalow colony, Four Green Fields, in Accord, NY. About 40 people went from the colony from 5 year olds up to those in their 60s. It was great spending time together out in nature. The park is surrounded by mountains and it was beautiful to swim in the wave pool and look out.

I was also very touched by how the children in the colony looked out for each other and praised one another when they were brave and tried a new ride. Also how they made sure no one was left alone and grouped together to go on the rides. I was so nice to see.

The park was not too crowded and everyone there was pleasant and appeared to be enjoying themselves. It was nice to see families and friends together.

Angela stressed the importance of values within family life and the importance of the mother's role. Today, all the mothers at the park definitely were teaching their children's values of kindness, enjoyment and simple fun by being together at the park.

I'm so glad I went and I truly am so lucky to have great friends.

Sr. Jeannie, osu