I Can Explain… – Wise Words Wednesday

I can explain it

“I can explain it to you, but I can’t understand it for you.”

The hardest part of communication is when the sender expresses the message to best of his or her ability but the receiver cannot wrap their brain around what is being shared.

As a part of each week’s lessons, I include an article or example for my students to evaluate. They are then to respond to a prompt about the excerpt. In a recent journal assignment, I shared an article about research writing and the fact that your words should be the star of the paper and the sources are your supporting characters. I was very surprised to read the response of one student in particular.

Their response said that they had not understood their thoughts and words were to be the star. The student only thought they were supposed to use the words of others as they developed their paper.

Even though our first SIX weeks had been about what interested the students and what their potential thesis and counterarguments would be, that particular student failed to understand that it is the author’s words, thoughts, and opinions that make a paper relevant.

I started to reply to the journal entry with an apology for not being clear on the intent behind their research, but then I asked myself,

“Can I make them understand with an apology?”

Continue reading “I Can Explain… – Wise Words Wednesday”

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So What Are You Reading?… (Read this even if you don’t like to read.)

Western reading

Will Schwalbe is one of my writing heroes.

Will Schwalbe 3

Will Schwalbe & me

Will has written: SEND: Why People Email So Badly and How to Do it Better (2010), The End Of Your Life Book Club (2012), Books for Living (2016). He does a terrific job of making connections with his readers because of his writing style and powerful messages.

It is Will’s practice to ask everyone he meets, “What are you reading?”

This question never fails to elicit amazing responses or conversations from those who are asked. Even if the person being asked isn’t a big reader, there are always books or stories from the past that seem to create connections for those in the conversation.

Recently our family took a trip to a state park. During a few of my MANY trips trips to our cabin, I noticed a gentleman reading outside his lodging. After the second day, I stopped and asked him, “What are you reading?”

“Oh,” he said, “nothing that would probably interest you.” 

I said, “Try me.”

He was reading a Western novel by William Johnstone.

As an avid reader, former bookstore employee, and proud possessor of a soft spot for Westerns, I began to list off some of the series and books that I happened to know were written by William Johnstone. He was tickled by my knowledge and appreciation for the genre. Continue reading “So What Are You Reading?… (Read this even if you don’t like to read.)”

An Elephant Over Your Fence

An Elephant Over Your Fence

elephant-on-a-fence

Q. “What time is it when an elephant jumps over your fence?”

A. “Time to get a new trampoline”

We love jokes and riddles at my house. Recently I wrote about elephant jokes, and when my daughter came home with this new one, I knew it was time to add another post about the benefits of jokes and riddles to Intentergy.

Riddles and jokes provide three things:

png 1 humor

png 1 imagination

png 1 problem solving skills

The humor found in silly jokes adds much-needed happiness to our stressful days. They provide us with innocent joy and make us laugh. Laughter is good for the heart and soul.

Q. “What type of dog can tell time?

A.”A watch dog”

The imagination stimulated by jokes helps us break away from the mundane and latch onto the light-hearted. I know you pictured a 2 ton elephant flying over a fence when I shared the first joke. (trunk and ears flapping, elephant cry bellowing, giant feet scampering for solid ground; flattened trampoline crunched sideways with its torn canvas; you have to smile now.)

Q. “What has to be broken before you can use it?” Continue reading “An Elephant Over Your Fence”

Communication is necessary. No bull!

Communication is necessary. No Bull!

No Bull - communicate

For a while my husband has been looking for a balancer bull to round out our herd of Red Angus cattle. He had mentioned a few times that he found some nice looking Charolais or other breeds but I told him we raise Red Angus and I had no real interest in any crossbreeds.

Low and behold at dinner one evening, my husband announced that our new bulls and heifers would be delivered the next day. The kids were excited. I was confused. When did we buy new bulls or heifers?

He went on to tell the kids that they were going to get some pretty, new white cows. He didn’t look me in the eye. I didn’t want any white cows. We raise Red Angus!

I didn’t say anything. I just began to clear the dinner table. After dinner we finished up another crazy evening of dishes, homework, baths, and bedtime. I was too exhausted to bring up our new white cows.

The next day the Charolais arrived as promised. We took our excited kiddos to see them in the lot. The kids named them and asked questions and fought over who got to open and close the gate. I didn’t say much. We raise Red Angus.

Each night we continued to check the white cows and the red cows. The kids continued to be excited. I continued to be silent. Life was too busy to talk about those stupid, white cows.  Continue reading “Communication is necessary. No bull!”