29 December, 2006

Christmas! Christmas! Christmas! Part One Orange County

Our family has successfully traveled the length and width of the state, nearly, to celebrate Christmas with every family member on the left Coast.

We journeyed to Southern California...a harrowing 10 hour tour complete with rain, a sixth-month old who is teething and wanted to be nursed every twenty minutes for the first 250 miles of the trip, a very patient, and surprisingly flexible autistic big brother who tried throwing toys VERY far out the door of the car at each stop (as if we were going to let him get out and run to fetch them)...and fog on the Grapevine that slowed traffic to about 10 miles an hour between spurts of 70 miles per hour. Very scary that part.

We arrived at The Balboa Bay Club at 5:36. We had dinner reservations in the nice "coat and tie" part of the club at six. Somehow we managed to get Jake an ironed outfit, the Mom into a holiday dress, the dad into a coat and a tie AND pants that fit comfortably, babyLucy nursed and dressed in her Christmas dress...and make it into the restaurant by 6:15. Not bad. I think. We were able to see my neighbors from childhood, even Julie who was making a Left Coast appearance.

Jake didn't make it all the way through dinner. It was a lot of stimulation for those of us without "special needs". He was a trooper though. He finished his dinner, but before even our appetizers could arrive he really needed to go to bed. Descartes graciously said he would retire with Jake (I'm sure the lure of removing his tie helped him make the decision). We sent Descartes' food "to go" to the room. Descartes noted later that Oysters Rockefeller is not a good item to go.

just walking in the woods


Me and Demanda with our babies...

27 December, 2006

18 December, 2006

I'm an open book

So this evening my father-in-law asked me if I had a blog. For a moment, for just a brief moment I thought that I had better say "no". I told him I would send him a link to the blog, then I got nervous.

There is really nothing I am hiding here.. I mean obviously it is in the public domain. Why is it so much easier to think that only strangers would read what I have written? I can sing very well in front of large crowds..thousands of people. I have however completely sucked at just about every wedding where I have been asked to sing.

It may be that this precise fear, of those closest to me actually knowing me and seeing me is actually preventing me from finishing my writing.

I realized the other day that I have not worked on my book since I let my husband read through about 40 pages of it. It was a huge thing for me to let him read it. He said that it was very good, but he also said that "it isn't funny". I had not intended for it to be funny, so I suppose that is a very good thing that he wasn't laughing. It was just not what he was expecting. I'm not sure why, but it made me pause before I invested any more time in it.

Oh yeah, and I also had a baby, so maybe that is what slowed me down a bit. Lucy is 6 months now, so I suppose it is time for me to get back to work.

Anywhooo, so read on dear father-in-law.

06 December, 2006

22 November, 2006

Bringing Home Baby

So my little sister is in Wichita right now. Which it ta. Wichita.. Never been there myself. Probably will never have a reason to go there. I am hoping I don't. Not because I don't like the people there. On the contrary. It's because if I ever go there it is probably because my sister needs my help with some court obligation, and that will mean that something has gone awry in the adoption process.
My sister is bringing home my nephew. The newest addition to our extended family. It has been a long time coming home. He was only born a few days ago,but we have been waiting for so many years. I know he is their child, but we have all been praying and hoping and wishing and waiting. I cannot imagine her mind if mine is this crazy. We are all so excited. I have wanted to cry "alldee time always". and then some.

15 October, 2006

Jake and Papa

These boys always have a good time together. Papa is so patient with Jake, and Jake will stay with him through an entire meal. This is Jake sneaking back to the table to get more food after he was supposedly done eating.

03 October, 2006

Notes to a friend

..when we sent Jake to camp this summer for 5 days (and nights!).. I really really missed him, and the noise and the hard work.. so the good news is... we do love our life.
Although last night at about 7:30 when Lucy was nursing for the gazillionth time (building up milk supply for next plateau I assume...) I said, "Uhm Descartes, I think I'm going to quit my job. It's just no fun anymore"...then I got the burst of smile from babyLucy and well, I opened a beer and reminded myself that I will probably never get to do any of this again.
No more labor, or nursing, or bathing baby butts or smelling like various stages of decaying milk. None of it lasts very long, even the hardest parts don't normally last longer than a few weeks. With Jake things have been stretched out over time, but even he looks like a big boy now. He just turned six on Sunday...

24 September, 2006

ugh. get selling

So I think I may hate eBay. I know it is hard to imagine, but I was thinking today that I have almost an entire room's worth of items that I think I should sell on eBay. What happened to a plain old garage sale? What happened to donating it to charity. I wonder if donations of quality items has decreased as the popularity of eBay has risen.

Celebrating Banned Book week

That's the whole trouble. You can't ever find a place that's nice and peaceful, because there isn't any. You may think there is, but once you get there, when you're not looking, somebody'll sneak up and write "Fuck you" right under your nose.

Catcher in the Rye

Banned Book Week

ALA Basics
I love banned books!

23 September, 2006

The Future of Homework

Loved this article in the SF Chronicle about homework


***************************************************
The Future of Homework

Over the past decade there has been a significant increase in the amount of homework schools require. Not many adults experienced an hour or more of nightly homework when they were ten years old. This increase may have come in response to the call for higher expectations, comparisons of American student performance with that of children from European and Asian countries, and the pressure created because of state testing programs. When I talk to teacher groups about the explosion of homework, it’s often stated that, ‘we give homework because parents expect it of us.’ Teachers report that parents believe that the homework is a sign of a rigorous program. It has also been reported that parents want the homework because it keeps the kids busy. When I talk with parents the viewpoint I most often hear is, ‘the teacher believes this work is important and we feel we must support the school.’

Ever increasing amounts of homework for younger children has become the norm and accepted practice. A majority of both teachers and parents support this position because they feel the system demands and believes in the efficacy of homework. More than any other single person, I believe I most represent the Oak Knoll “system”. Here is what I know and believe about homework.

The preponderance of research clearly shows that homework for elementary students does not make a difference in student achievement. It is hard to believe that a strategy used so extensively has no foundation. Even the most ardent supporters of homework have only been able to produce evidence of associative rather than causal relationships. In addition, it is not surprising that there is no research that demonstrates that homework increases a child’s level of understanding, improves their attitude towards school or inspires a love of learning. For a large number of students we know the opposite is true-- large amounts of homework stifle motivation, diminish a child’s love of learning, turn reading into a chore, negatively affect the quality of family time, diminish creativity, and turn learning to drudgery.

Unable to produce evidence that homework improves student performance, proponents often site outcomes that seem true because they make some kind of intuitive sense. “We give homework because it develops responsibility, study skills and work habits. Once again, there is no research to support any of these claims. If there was, we would be able to say with some level of authority how much homework it takes to develop good work habits--- two hours a week, four hours a week, or maybe a half hour every other day. We don’t know what is necessary- there is no data. I would suggest that our present one hour, four days a week, thirty-six weeks a year, following a six-hour school day is much more than is needed to develop age appropriate work habits in nine and ten year old children. I certainly don’t believe that homework teaches our children responsibility. There are very few choices in homework. The children are completing work that is required. They are complying with adult demands. Comply or suffer the consequences. This is not my idea of responsibility.

The argument for homework that makes the least sense to me is, “they get lots of homework in the middle school so we better get them used to it”. Parents and teachers say this resigned to the fact that this homework experience may be painful, work against quality family time, and diminish a young child’s fondness for learning. We want to get them ready to do something they are not going to want to do when they are older--- by forcing them to do it when they are younger. Young children are not the same as older children. What is good for older children is not what is good for younger children. There are developmental differences. Author Alfie Kohn says, “The fundamental choice we face as parents and teachers is whether our primary obligation is to help children love learning, or get them accustomed to gratuitous unpleasantness so they can learn to deal with it.”

With all that being said, what are we going to do about homework at Oak Knoll? How will we work and support the homework policies of Menlo Park? In no particular order:
• We will promote reading as the central aspect of our homework. Preferably, reading of the child’s choice.
• We will not provide weekly homework packets that have not been differentiated based on individual student needs. Weekly packets help parents and students manage time. However, packets of this nature almost always include homework of which the child has demonstrated in class that he has absolutely no need to complete.
• At no time will homework exceed the district maximum time limits.
• We will not assign homework for homework’s sake.
• Homework, other than reading, will be assigned when a specific need arises, when it’s necessary to practice a skill or complete important work.

With these directions in place, most parents will notice a considerable reduction in the amount of homework. The Oak Knoll teachers will be working to comply with my direction as principal and with the policies adopted by the Menlo Park Board of Education. Parents should also notice an increase in the relevance of the homework to their child’s needs. Should you have questions about the quantity and quality of homework please feel free to contact me.
*************************************************

18 September, 2006

Quarantine

I have been rarely checking email for the last week or two we have been running from doctor's appointment to the pharmacy.

We have been dealing with Jake.. no surprise there, but he has had a recurrence of MRSA . Basically it is a staph infection that does not respond to most antibiotics. He had it right when Lucy came home from the hospital and we thought we beat it. This time it made terrible horrible wounds on his lower body and was very painful (even for a kid with a VERY high pain tolerance) and we have needed to be extremely conscientious above and beyond my normal geraphobiness to keep things bleached and hands clean, and of course there I am with eczema and nursing a newborn...we just spent the three days in the hospital (Descartes slept there) getting Jake intramuscular shots of antibiotic ever 8 hours. We weren't even allowed to leave our room. We have been reported to the CDC etc.

Lovely

09 September, 2006

babyLucy


Here is a picture of baby Lucy. She is scary alert and interested and interesting for a three month old...she loves Sesame Street and yelled at me the other day when I put it on mute so I could hear better the conversation I was having with Descartes. It appears that I would have one child on each end of the spectrum, thus am I blessed in this world. She has a pleasant disposition, happy kid unless she has a wet diaper or needs some more milk.. she is just like her mom...zero to ballistic in three seconds, then happily sated with good customer service. All she wants is for each of us to do our best. Luckily I still get points for trying. She is in love with Jake, watching his every move, and he has been the ever-gentle big brother. Very calm and slow around her. A tremendous relief to us all.

22 August, 2006

Autism linked to delayed brain development - health - 21 August 2006 - New Scientist

Autism linked to delayed brain development - health - 21 August 2006 - New Scientist
Autism may be the result of a delay in neuronal development in the first year of life, despite the fact that autistic children have larger brains, a new study suggests.

The findings challenge a previously held theory that brain abnormalities characteristic of autism were due to faster development.

Brain scans, using magnetic resonance imaging (MRI), have shown that children with autism have brains that are enlarged by around 10%. However, although the children’s brains are larger in size, they appear to lack the neuronal development of healthy children, the researchers say.

Stephen Dager at the University of Washington School of Medicine, US, and colleagues examined the brains of children aged three and four. They compared the brain development of children with autism to children with normal development using a technique known as T2 relaxation, which measures the water properties of brain tissue. As the brain develops, water gets incorporated into neurons and changes from being mobile to tightly bound.

During normal development, this process occurs at a dramatic pace for the first six months, and then continues at a slower pace until 18 months.

Critical stages
Surprisingly, they found that water was more mobile in autistic brain tissue, suggesting that there is actually a delay in neuronal development. This delay was found to be more specific to grey matter distributed at the surface of the brain.

The delay could be cause by inflammation in the first year of life, Dager suggests. “If you’ve got inflammation, it can affect connectivity at a critical stage of brain development.” This may lead to learning difficulties as the child develops, he suggests. “For example, a child has certain key developmental stages for learning language and if you miss those it can be harder to learn that language.”

Some children may have a gene that makes them more likely to produce an inflammatory response early in life, Dager speculates.

Gene hunt
“I think these results are an interesting development, but most research still has no direct link to treatment,” says Matthew Belmonte, senior research associate at the Autism Research Centre at the University of Cambridge in the UK.

“Until we know exactly what it is that causes the abnormal development of grey matter we cannot develop drug treatments,” he adds.

Current research has focused on finding candidate genes that might cause rapid early development, but Dager’s study suggests that other avenues of research could be more appropriate. “One might look at genes that cause a susceptibility to inflammation instead,” he says.

Journal reference: Neurology (vol 67, p 632)

21 August, 2006

First Grade makes Me Cry

I remember first grade. I remember

Jake started first grade today. and I cried last night as I was packing his lunch. I cried because I remember the school play, and losing my teeth and sitting next to Kristin Gunnerson. And I remember wearing a 'dickey' to school because my mother made me, then slipping it off in the bathroom because it itched, and Mrs. Geiser asked if I had left my sweater on the bus (because she could not imagine that my mother had sent me to school without a shirt under my jumper.)

So I cried because Jake is there. He is where I begin to really remember my life. And I am not quite sure why it makes me so sad, except that he is experiencing these things and we can't really even talk about them. Then when he is older, will he remember too? Does he remember things like I do? Does he look forward to things like the first day of school? Was he worried this morning? Was he scared on the bus? Is that why he cried? Oh how he cried this morning.

Bonnie from Tower Road, she told me that I would mourn over and over. That I would be able to get it together in between,but that I would probably notice a loss again when we reached different milestones. She forgot to mention first grade. I thought I wouldn't feel it again until junior high school.

My wonderful husband hugged me in the kitchen until I stopped sobbing.

Jake had a great day at school today. He told me he did.

16 August, 2006

Bad Moms Never Wonder at All

So at OUR house... at 5am Lucy wakes up and makes all sorts of grumping noises for about an hour. Then at 9am if Jake is in "an episode" he cries and whines from 9:05 until 9:45. So I guess the increase in Zoloft has helped him get over most of the panic attacks, but it has not made the episodes go away completely..
and has anyone ever heard of lymphoid hyperplasia? I am not getting much information except it seems painful and cyclical... hmmm like my child's episodes? My God. What if it is some thing more than a biochemical issue? What if he has some very painful inflammation every six weeks.

I just doled out the advice that if you are wondering if you are a good mom, then you probably are. Bad moms never wonder at all.

I think I will take my own words of wisdom. I am doing the best that I can right? I picked a splinter out of Jake's foot this morning, do you know how hard it is to get an autistic monkey to sit still?...and I gave him his medicine in bed in some yummy vanilla whole fat yogurt. I am trying everything.

Autism -- an evolving concept -- BERNEY 176 (1): 20 -- The British Journal of Psychiatry

Autism -- an evolving concept -- BERNEY 176 (1): 20 -- The British Journal of Psychiatry: "In the absence of a cure, the implementation of ideas will continue to outstrip factual evidence. Clinicians are challenged by the availability of information (and misinformation), particularly on the internet. "

15 August, 2006

Alexander Pope Solitude: An Ode

Alexander Pope (1688-1744)

Solitude: An Ode

I
How happy he, who free from care
The rage of courts, and noise of towns;
Contented breaths his native air,
In his own grounds.

II
Whose herds with milk,
whose fields with bread,
Whose flocks supply him with attire,
Whose trees in summer yield him shade,
In winter fire.

III
Blest! who can unconcern'dly find
Hours, days, and years slide swift away,
In health of body, peace of mind,
Quiet by day,

IV
Sound sleep by night; study and ease
Together mix'd; sweet recreation,
And innocence, which most does please,
With meditation.

V
Thus let me live, unheard, unknown;
Thus unlamented let me dye;
Steal from the world, and not a stone
Tell where I lye.

14 August, 2006

Yay for Adderall

I think we have figured out Jake's dosage of Adderall. We actually went to breakfast this morning and we all FOUR of us sat at Stacks and ate breakfast together.
Jake is now able to sit through a meal in a restaurant again. This might seem silly, but our family.. well, one thing we actually do together is we eat. It's something everyone can do. It makes us feel safe.

27 July, 2006

Collins Rhythmcraft - Shakers

Collins Rhythmcraft - Shakers I went to highschool with Mrs. Collins (although that's not who she was then:)

23 July, 2006

What Your Soul Really Looks Like

You are a warm hearted and open minded person. It's easy for you to forgive and forget.

You are a very grounded, responsible, and realistic person. People may not want to hear the truth from you, but they're going to get it.

You believe that people see you as larger than life and important. While this is true, they also think you're a bit full of yourself.

Your near future is in a very different place (both physically and mentally) from where you are right now.

For you, love is all about caring and comfort. You couldn't fall in love with someone you didn't trust.

This is going too far...

The Tooth Puller

People Iced:Eight
Car Bombs Planted:Eleven
Favorite WeaponCurdled Milk
Arms Broken:Thirty Two
Eyes Gouged:Thirteen
Tongues Cut Off:None. Pathetic.
Biggest Enemy:The Knuckle Scrapper

Get Your HITMAN Name

How Evil are You?

Now someone once told me that I have "a mean heart".. I don't speak to that person anymore.. that is a very long story, which thankfully is being shortened and less painful as the years go by...but now that I take this little quiz.. perhaps I am not as good as I thought :)
You Are 40% Evil

A bit of evil lurks in your heart, but you hide it well.
In some ways, you are the most dangerous kind of evil.

What City are You?

Apparently, I am New York

Cosmopolitan and sophisticated, you enjoy the newest in food, art, and culture.
You also appreciate a good amount of grit - and very little shocks you.
You're competitive, driven, and very likely to succeed.

Famous people from New York: Sarah Michelle Gellar, Tupac Shakur, Woody Allen

10 June, 2006

Looking for Childcare

Care Needed for my Crazy Monkey Boy-- Nanny, Babysitter, Someone!

We are a fun-loving family with a special needs child. He has mild cerebral palsy ataxia (he walks like he's drunk, but he does walk, run, hop, skip, jump and climb). He is also on the Autism Spectrum (but hey, isn't everyone these days?) He is healthy, and strong...with an emphasis on strong. At just 5 1/2 he's already 3'11" and 59 pounds of pure muscle.

Our kid has a lot of energy, loves to eat and run around the park or play in our backyard. He is just begining to talk, so he is a bit frustrated trying to communicate, but it is pretty easy to figure out what he wants once you get to know him. He is actually a very easy kid to watch as long as you don't ever let go of his hand in a parking lot.

So basically I need a bit of help. I am about to have a baby...any day now, and our boy's current caretaker needs to have surgery, and can't take care of the physical needs of children anymore (What a great suprise for me!). I am also still doing some consulting work, so we would like to find someone who wants to stay with us for awhile.

So we are looking for: - A part time nanny (babysitter, caretaker, second mom, child care provider, girlfriend whatever you want to call it...)

- Approximatley 20 hours a week

- Fairly set schedule (say Tues, Wed, Thurs 1:00-6 pm and a date night? we can work it out).

- Occasional additional hours possible if desired.

- Our last three caretakers have been $10.00 an hour. This is somewhat negotiable. I know it's not a million bucks a year, but the pay will be consistent and the checks won't ever bounce. We also provide money for ice cream, zoo, gas money for trips and such..of course.

- Pick Monkey Boy up from the bus (in front of the house) during summer school and into the fall so timeliness is VERY IMPORTANT.

- Prepare healthy snacks (or not so healthy trips to the ice cream parlor).

- Light cooking (for the kiddo, not for me...but you can unload the dishwasher for me if you want to).

- Take Tiny Man to the park, or zoo or something so you two don't die of boredom.

- Get him ready for bed with bath, jammies etc if necessary.

- Provide consistency with kiddo's school and life goals (potty training, eating with a fork, walking and holding hands etc.)

- Change diapers, wipe his nose when he catches a cold this winter, and all of those other things that I would do if I were watching him (like save him from a burning building, etc.)

Requirements: Male or female candidates only, excellent driving record, English speaking, experience with children and love of them, patience, valid Cal driver lic., your own safe and insured car (although we do have a car which could be used..we can talk about this one), and references. Joie de vivre. Physical strength and energy is a must. Please be willing to make at least a bit of a commitment. May not bring your own children. No smokers (or at least you can't do it with the kid, or smell like smoke). We have two golden retrievers who can stay in another area of the house while you are here, but the kid loves the dogs, so probably being comfortable with dogs would be helpful. Oh, and you must be able to tolerate a dark sense of humor and a very frank family.

Please email me and we can figure out if we are right for each other.
Thank you for considering our family.

16 May, 2006

Absent Element :: Merchandise

Absent Element :: Merchandise

If you want to buy a CD with Chris Daughtry on it.... were you as disappointed as we were? Man, we really wanted him to win.

04 May, 2006

"that's uncle roger drunk" - Google Search

"that's uncle roger drunk" - Google Search

My Name is Earl just produced a great line... "That's not just drunk...that's Uncle Roger drunk."

29 April, 2006

Another Moment of Great Love

This passage is from Love in the Time of Cholera by Gabriel Garcia Marquez
In the final momentsof his life, Juvenal Urbino (who fell while trying to capture his parrot from a tree.) looks into the eyes of Fermina Daza his true love of so many years.

He recognized her despite the uproar, through his tears of unrepeatable sorrow at dying without her, and he looked at her for the last and final time with eyes more luminous, more grief-stricken, more grateful than she had ever seen them in half a century of a shared life, and he managed to say to her with his last breath:

“Only God knows how much I loved you.”

A Moment of Great Love

Memorable Quotes from "Grey's Anatomy" As We Know It (2006)
"Grey's Anatomy"
As We Know It (2006)

In my opinion this is one of the greatest love scenes I have ever watched...or read for that matter. Love is in the detail of things, the minutia. At the end of the day, at the end of our life, we remember moments.
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Dr. Meredith Grey: Hey.
Dr. Derek Shepherd: Hey. You almost died today.
Dr. Meredith Grey: Yeah, I almost died today.

[Derek is at a loss for words and starts heading to the door]

Dr. Meredith Grey: I can't, I can't remember our last kiss. All I could think about was, "I'm going to die today and I can't remember our last kiss," which is pathetic. But the last time we were together and happy, I... want to be able remember that, and I can't Derek. I can't remember.
Dr. Derek Shepherd: I'm glad you didn't die today.

[Starts to leave but stops]

Dr. Derek Shepherd: It was a Thursday morning, you were wearing that ratty little 'Dartmouth' T-shirt you look so good in, the one with the hole at the back of the neck. You'd just washed your hair and you smelled like some kind of... flower. I was running late for surgery. You said you were going to see me later, and you leaned to me, put your hand on my chest and you kissed me. Soft. It was quick. Kind of like a habit. You know, like we'd do it everyday for the rest of our lives. And you went back to reading the newspaper and I went to work. That was the last time we kissed.

[Derek starts to leave]

Dr. Meredith Grey: Lavender. My hair smelled like lavender... from my conditioner.
Dr. Derek Shepherd: Lavender. Huh.

[Smiles then leaves]

Pieces of April



A scene from the side of the road on our trip home from Tahoe on Easter Sunday. Most of the rest of my family was in Southern California Posted by Picasa

23 March, 2006

Waiting

My entire house is in disarray. Not that it is in order most of the time. With a 5 1/2 year old autistic kid, it would be hard to have anything stay in one place for too long.
The problem is.. I have begun nesting. At least I think it's nesting. It started earlier this pregnancy. I have been baking and sewing and generally not leaving the house, and I want everything put away and neat and nice... and well, that doesn't happen in my house.

While shuffling our stuff about the house we have unearthed an entire box of cassette tapes. Most of them are mine circa 1990, when my best girlfriends made me mixed tapes to take off to college. Most other people stayed pretty close to home for school. I headed north from the sandy beaches of Surf City and went to Berkeley, and honestly I have never been back "home" for longer than 3 weeks in a row. ANywhooooo my girlfriends made me all of these great tapes with songs like Total Eclipse of the Heart Great tapes with songs that are on the verge of coming back into style just like those nasty 'pumps' with the criss-cross front that were so unattractive the first time.

12 March, 2006

The Real Reason I can't have any downtime

I am supposed to be cleaning out our office in anticipation of our daughter's birth..which is now less than 90 days away. Instead I got on the computer to send an email to a girlfriend of mine who has moved all the way to Texas.

Instead of just writing the email and quickly getting back to work I cruise around the internet, somehow getting to The Ladders website which is a job search website catering to those who either want to make over $100k, or normally do and who, as they are job hunting, don't want to sift through 600 lower positions for which they are over-qualified. I think it's a great idea. Anywhoo that led me to the blog of the founder of that Company Marc Cenedella. And after reading more than one entry of his blog I randomly found an entry that discusses the difference between American emoticons and those of the Japanese. I don't even use emoticons very often.

SO now of course I am documenting my unimportant mini-drama here on my own blog.. for what purpose?
I really, really don't want to clean out this room right now.

(-_^) wink

06 March, 2006

Desiderata

I have always loved this bit of prose, and wanted to find out more about its author etc. Once I started looking it turns out that I have a framed copy of the prose that was distributed with the attribution "Old St. Paul's Church, Baltimore A.C. 1692."
The words were actually written by Max Ehrmann, a poet and lawyer from Terre Haute, Indiana, who lived from 1872 to 1945.
with thanks to Mr. Ehrmann

Go placidly amid the noise and the haste,
and remember what peace there may be in silence.

As far as possible, without surrender,
be on good terms with all persons.
Speak your truth quietly and clearly;
and listen to others,
even to the dull and the ignorant;
they too have their story.
Avoid loud and aggressive persons;
they are vexatious to the spirit.

If you compare yourself with others,
you may become vain or bitter,
for always there will be greater and lesser persons than yourself.
Enjoy your achievements as well as your plans.
Keep interested in your own career, however humble;
it is a real possession in the changing fortunes of time.

Exercise caution in your business affairs,
for the world is full of trickery.
But let this not blind you to what virtue there is;
many persons strive for high ideals,
and everywhere life is full of heroism.
Be yourself. Especially do not feign affection.
Neither be cynical about love,
for in the face of all aridity and disenchantment,
it is as perennial as the grass.

Take kindly the counsel of the years,
gracefully surrendering the things of youth.
Nurture strength of spirit to shield you in sudden misfortune.
But do not distress yourself with dark imaginings.
Many fears are born of fatigue and loneliness.

Beyond a wholesome discipline,
be gentle with yourself.
You are a child of the universe
no less than the trees and the stars;
you have a right to be here.
And whether or not it is clear to you,
no doubt the universe is unfolding as it should.

Therefore be at peace with God,
whatever you conceive Him to be.
And whatever your labors and aspirations,
in the noisy confusion of life,
keep peace in your soul.


With all its sham, drudgery, and broken dreams,
it is still a beautiful world.
Be cheerful. Strive to be happy.
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