The “Eternal Punchline”

Eternal Punchline

We all have had times when we felt like everyone was laughing at us (and not in a good way). It feels terrible. It alienates us. It is not what anyone deserves.

Jose and his smile definitely brighten the day.

In one of my Oral Communications classes, my student Jose shared a powerful statement based on the personal strength he discovered in himself after years of feeling like the “eternal punchline.”

Jose is Mexican-American, hard-working, and a super talented speaker. He is not a traditional student in that he is not “fresh” out of high school, but he is most definitely a refreshing addition to his program and to all those he encounters.

The Oral Communications course is designed to bring awareness to interpersonal differences and strengthen communication skills. With most of the chapters in our text, I ask students to write a personal reflection on the content or how it applies to their own experiences. Chapter 6 is on unfair judgement and bias. I asked my students to share their thoughts on a time when they experienced bias in their own personal lives and how it has affected the way they communicate with or view others.

Jose’s response was so honest and so powerful, I had to read it a few times to wrap my head around his pragmatic approach to the unfair way others (even his closest friends) have spoken to or of him. Continue reading “The “Eternal Punchline””

Lunch was Lovely – Thank You Letter to Sue Gelven

Sue and me

Dear Sue,

Thank you so much for accepting my lunch invitation. Meeting with you was wonderful!

Before we had our lunch date, the only times I had met you were at random school and community events and with each encounter I have admired you more and more.

In listening to you talk about your family, it is obvious you are passionate about those in your brood (both blood relation and those by happenstance). Your willingness to share the memories of your husband Don and the experiences you had together is so wonderfully appreciated. I cannot imagine the lengths you went through to keep your family moving (literally across the country) and growing. I am in awe of the steps you took to become an educator. If you hadn’t been so diligent, there are thousands of students, parents, and fellow educators who would not have benefited from your awesomeness (myself included).

I was particularly inspired by your storytelling ability. The art of telling a story is one that is not lost on me and I could have listened to your stories for hours. (We MUST have another lunch date!) It was in the stories you shared about the strength and resilience of women in your life that you showed great exuberance. When asked if you had ever considered writing a book, your answer about wishing you could document the life of Emma Busch was so cool to me. There are so many stories that never get told because they are simply forgotten.

I expected your answer to the book writing question to be that you would first consider writing on teaching or faith but that you had such a specific and vivid subject in mind, makes me REALLY want to read her story (as told by you, of course).  The world would definitely benefit from the stories you have to share. Continue reading “Lunch was Lovely – Thank You Letter to Sue Gelven”

Lunch was Lovely – Thank You Letter to Dr. Deeken

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Dear Dr. Deeken,

I am so glad you accepted my invitation and am even happier that we made that lunch date happen!

I would like to apologize for taking so long to write this letter. Life just has a way of getting away from me. Before we met, I promised to limit my questions to 10. I hope I was able to keep that promise. There were just so many things I wanted to discuss.

When we sat down and I had a chance to tell you that my friends were all jealous of our lunch date, you said that you hoped, “We were not underwhelmed” by your responses. (Clearly you did not see how starstruck I was to be dining with THE Dr. Deeken.) 

As always you listened, shared, taught, and inspired me.

One of the questions I asked was “What was your favorite advice for parents?”

Your sweet and smart responses of “Enjoy each and every stage of childhood, (speaking from personal experience),” “Don’t sweat the small stuff”, and “Don’t let kids dictate; You’re the parent. You’re not the friend” were true to the doctrines of appointments heard by thousands of parents and still need to be shared daily.

The fact that you have 10 children of your own is still one that awes me. The fact that you carried a panel of about 2000 patients floored me. When asked how you managed, you gave tremendous credit to your husband and said something that too many of us feel in the healthcare and educational professions, “I short-changed my family. You can’t get time back.” In learning that you often took your charts home to finish each night, after making your hospital rounds and full days of check-ups and medical emergencies, it’s no wonder you felt spread too thin. I think it’s fair to say that you did a marvelous job of tackling some tough stuff. Continue reading “Lunch was Lovely – Thank You Letter to Dr. Deeken”

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”

Sue Gelven, will you have lunch with me? – Sincerely, Intentergy

Dear Sue,

15 years ago I began teaching at Linn High School, and so frequently was my teaching style compared to yours, that I was scared to tell others what I was doing in the classroom for fear of failing the very high expectations set by your example.

Sue Gelven 1

Sue just hanging out in Egypt.

As time has gone by, I have had the honor of not only getting to meet you but to teach some of your grandchildren and to enjoy the stories of your travels via your fabulous Facebook posts. I have watched you bounce back from the loss of your amazing husband and become a Renaissance woman with your hunting and handy-woman skills. (You use a chain saw!)

 

Sue, I would love to have a lunch with you because I believe you have some seriously powerful messages to share.

What is it that inspires you to choose the destinations of your trips? What do you remember or miss most from teaching? What lesson did you hope ALL of your students would learn from your classes? What do you hope to teach those you encounter today? Where do you get the ammunition for all the rodents you exterminate? What is your next handy-woman project?Have you written a book? Are you going to write a book? Coffee or tea?

These are just a few of the things I would love to speak about with you. My goal with Intentergy is to bring positive purpose to the day, and I know you will be a wonderful resource for me to tap into and charge some ideas for inspiration and ingenuity.

So, it is with extreme trepidation and excitement that I ask, Sue Gelven, will you please have lunch with me?

Sincerely,

Melanie A. Peters

Sue Gelven 3

Lara and Sue

P.S. Sue’s beautiful daughter (and my friend) Lara graciously let me use her photos for this post. Thank you, Lara!

 

 

Intentergy is 3! Happy Blogiversary!

blogiversary

Happy 3rd Anniversary to Intentergy!!!

How is it that three years of posts are in the past?

When I started Intentergy, I had lots of ideas. Many of those ideas I have put into action. Some I have totally tossed aside. Others are still in the works. And too many to count have made their way into my creative cogs.

Thank you to everyone who has read, commented, liked, shared, and replied to any of my work. Your support means a great deal to me.

Please continue to read and write in response to Intentergy posts. I always want to grow and become a better source for my site. Without your feedback, I cannot do either to my fullest potential.

Intentergy is energy with positive purpose. Sharing my ideas, stories, challenges, and experiences has been one of the most rewarding purposes in my adult life. I will continue to put my version of Intentergy out into the universe and I hope you all will do the same.

Below are a few of my favorite posts from the past. Please enjoy this scroll down memory lane.

Helium (2)Thank you, World Wide Web!

29 Gifts

Require Sunscreen

Positive Pants

Overalls and a Pocket WatchGrandpa Frank

Emergency Room Enlightenment

Are There Toys in Heaven?

Don’t Knock Jokes

Alleluia After Lent

Helium

The Power of Yet

Inking God’s Plan

What has been your favorite Intentergy post?

Happy anniversary to all of you who have followed since the beginning! Thanks for having an open heart and mind and a willingness to share in the positive energy. You are blessings in my life.

By: Melanie A. Peters

P.S. If anyone would like to send an anniversary gift, I love comments, feedback, and shares of posts or chocolate. Chocolate is always good.

 

Making Your Imprint Tonight!

I hope you can come out to join me for “You in Print = Your Imprint” at the Missouri River Regional Library in Jefferson City, Mo 6:30-8:00 p.m.
in the Art Gallery.

 

You in Print = Your Imprint – Blogger Melanie Peters of Intentergy.com shares strategies for adding productivity and positivity to your life through writing. With ideas for blogging, social media practices, and journaling this presentation is geared to helping individuals make a positive digital footprint through the development of composition practices. Traditional writers and composers of the digital age alike will find Peters’ approach to positive methods insightful and inspiring. Individuals who are looking to add positive energy and organization to their lives, as well as writers who are looking for ways to develop their craft, will find this presentation helpful and entertaining.

By: Melanie A. Peters

How Things Work Out…

How things work out

Sweet Home Alabama is hands down one of my favorite movies. No matter what mood I am in or how I am feeling, it makes me feel better. One of the scenes that I can never miss is the one with Melanie and Jake in the coondog cemetery.

When Melanie wipes her eyes, sniffs and says, “It’s funny how things don’t work out,” Jake smile and replies, “It’s funny how they do,” my heart flutters and my mood soars.

I don’t care who you are. There HAS to be a time when this statement was true for you.

There are many experiences in my life that I never would have imagined turning out the ways they did, but each one had its own way of working out.

Whatever you are facing today, I encourage you to remember there is joy in the optimism that all situations have a way of working out.

Tough choices, challenging changes, heartbreak, illness, or seeking purpose are all means to a new beginning. Don’t let the tears and sniffles outnumber your dreams and hopes. Don’t dwell on how funny it is that some things don’t work out. Rejoice in the fact that they will.

By: Melanie A. Peters

P.S. My heart also flutters when she says, “So I can kiss you any time I want.”

Dr. Mary Deeken, will you please have lunch with me? – Sincerely, Intentergy

Hello Dr. Deeken,

Ten years ago you allowed a crazy, pregnant lady to meet with you prior to the birth of her first child. You were kind and patient and, as that same crazy mom continued to bring all three of her babies, you showed the same dedication and compassion. Thank you!

Clearly, I was that crazy lady and through all the chaos of childhood injuries, immunizations, and illnesses you cared for my kiddos and provided answers for any questions I may have had. As I move forward as a mom and a writer, I want to take to you to lunch and talk about the lessons you have learned as a mom, a wife, and a care provider.

I know you would not let a little thing like retirement keep you from keeping busy, so your schedule is probably just as booked as always, but it would mean the world to this crazy lady to have lunch with you.

How did you keep your cool when parents were so unreasonable with their requests or demands? How did you find such wonderful ways to calm those cranky babies? How in the world did you balance your career and home life with your own large and loving family? Where did you come up with the term “goofy poof”? These are things I am eager to discuss with you. Continue reading “Dr. Mary Deeken, will you please have lunch with me? – Sincerely, Intentergy”

Explaining Dr. King to My Children

mlk jr. quote

My two older kiddos have read the I Am Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. book and have had numerous lessons about the way he changed the world, but my 5-year-old had some questions about why he didn’t go to school today.

mlk jr

A terrific book on the life and times of Dr. King

The simple answer was we didn’t go to school today because we are remembering and honoring the life of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.

His question in return, “Why?”

Well, where do I start?

I told my son about how African-Americans were not treated equally in America and how Martin Luther King Jr. was a smart and kind man, who tried to get people to work together so that everyone was treated equally. He wanted his children to grow up to have the opportunities all others had. He didn’t want people to have to live in fear of being beaten or left out because of how they looked. Dr. King preached about how peace could and would bring about change if only everyone would open their hearts to its healing powers. He asked people to respond with kindness and understanding instead of anger and hitting. His ideas gave us wonderful guidance as to the ways we should treat one another and resolve our issues.

“Oh, okay,” was my son’s simple reply.

Later my two older kiddos were fighting and my youngest son yelled, “Hey, we are out of school because Marting Luther King says we have to stop fighting! So stop fighting” Continue reading “Explaining Dr. King to My Children”