Wordsanctuary Revisited

Musings of a writer-teacher-counselor.

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Location: Cleveland, Ohio, United States

I am inquisitive and have worked in writing, editing, and teaching. I am a citizen of the USA and also concerned about the world. This is an addendum to my original blog, Wordsanctuary. That's at www.wordsanctuary.blogspot.com Please check out my column at www.insidehighered.com, "A Kinder Campus." Click on Career Advice to find it. Thanks for stopping by.

Thursday, January 3, 2008

Self-Help from the Afflicted

The lessons we learn in childhood are among the most enduring. Here are some of mine:


1. If you don't know where you come from, don't brag about it.

2. If you can't say something nice about yourself, don't say anything nice about anyone else either.

3. Go ahead. Risk the impossible. Put an apron on your dog and make her walk across the kitchen on her back legs for a dog biscuit. Then, give her chunky peanut butter. She will love you anyway.


4. The cookies in the jar are finite. Your appetite is infinite. By eating as many as you can in record time, you may enter: The Glucose Zone.

5. Given the choice between a storebought Halloween princess costume with sequins and a homemade one made with love, pay the 79 cents. You may get an itchy rash but you will fit in with everyone else.

6. The following foods are essential to your healthy development:


7. Stop hating yourself. There are plenty of people in this world who are happy to do so for no reason whatsover.

8. Keep your demons in the attic. That way, you'll know where they are. But lock the door, and don't misplace the key.

9. Keep your dreams in the basement. Play house, play school, make friends with spiders. Some day, if you're lucky, you may get to play upstairs.


10. Don't drink purple water from that little cup when everyone else is painting unless you are absolutely, positively sure that it is Kool-Aid.

11. Valentine's day is the best day of all. The whole class smells like chocolate, and you will see how much better your printing is than everyone else's.

12. Dance like everyone is watching. Put a stop to this nonsense once and for all.


12. If you love something, set it free. If you love something a whole lot, put it in your mother's purse. You will someday recover from finding twenty fireflies on their backs in the morning.

13. Always do the right thing. Drinking milk straight from the bottle was not the right thing. You have the chipped tooth to prove it.


14. Cultivate your inner child. You had measles in fourth grade, mumps in fifth grade, and chicken pox at age 42. It's never too late to feel utterly miserable.

15. Innovate. Pink and purple do make a good color combination, and never let anyone tell you otherwise.

16. You will win the spelling bee even if you ate three brownies instead of lunch.

17. The child you thought was a bully, is. Don't believe the rumor about his plan to become a priest. You saw what he did to those ants when it rained. He drowned them and gave them the last rites.

18. Do not forget that if you run fast enough, you will indeed fly. Do not believe the naysayers, even the family members who had to run down the street after you.


19. Wake up and smell the coffee, the herring, the Limburger cheese...and all the other disgusting things that grown-ups eat.

20. Accept reality. Although you would have preferred to play Dorothy in The Wizard of Oz, the role of the cowardly lion was better than no role at all. It was the one day of your life when your thick hair was an asset and you were allowed to wear a tail made of brown yarn and old nylons to school.


21. E = mc 2
Energy equals the speed with which you eat the cookies times the total mass of the cookies, squared.

22. If a tall, blonde first grader wants to walk you home and carry your report card, let him. This is as close to greatness as he will ever get.

23. If your neighbor wants to teach you to draw, let him. Twenty years from now he will change his major from engineering to education.

24. Forgive. Happy (your dog) ate your four favorite crayons. You were the one who left them out.

25. Be amazed at color TV. Butterflies. Your mother's fox fur. But don't try to put them in your mouth.

26. A blank wall cries out: "Write on me!" just as the sidewalk begs for chalk. Do not let your inability to write keep you from leaving your mark. Your mother just may buy you a blackboard.


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