What’s Your Talent

I believe that each of us is gifted with a talent when we are born. By talent, I mean something we’re naturally good at that can be cultivated and used to make the world a better place.  It’s something that comes easy to us and we enjoy doing it. I’ve often wondered what the world would be like, if we each were able to pursue our own natural talent for all our lives?

I would say that my greatest talent is writing and perhaps more specific than that, it is writing poetry. I love to write poetry and when I’m inspired, the words come more quickly sometimes than I can put them down.

I like writing nonfiction. Whenever I find out something new, I usually end up sharing it with at least one other person. Sometimes what I’ve learned is so unusual or outrageous that they doubt I know what I’m talking about. This is frustrating when I’ve done the rsearch and know exactly what I’m saying.

Sometimes I can be funny. I have dry wit. Many people have told me I should be a comedian and I do enjoy making people laugh, but I can’t do it all the time. I can sit down and write any minute of any day.

If you are reading this, and have time, will you please leave what you think your major talent is? I’m sure we all have more than one, but which one, given the choice, would you do all your life as your life’s work and it not feel like work to you?

Thank you for your reply.

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Career Ideas

My family is getting more supportive of my writing career.

I raised three sons alone and it was not easy. From time to time I’d submit something I wrote to a magazine and 80% of the time it would get accepted. I knew I had some talent, but I also knew I had three sons to feed, clothe and take care of. A freelancer’s salary would not do during those years.

Now I’m retired from my day job and looking at writing and different ways to write and publish. My sons are encouraging me to do different projects. They know more technologically than I do what is available to writers today.

I think any writer with a family needs the support and encouragement they can get from their family. I think four heads are better than one and I am using my sons’ susggestions to improve my writing career.

Emotional Upheaval In America

I check stories in the news daily. I do most of this checking online.

I see stories with emotional tugs in many categories.

It is my belief that the media works hard to keep Americans so distracted and worried about world or local events that Americans are unable to focus properly on their lives and situations.

No matter how bad a citizen has it, the media can shout that someone else has it far worse! Are you worried about weather, pets, famous people, celebrities, what Melanie is wearing, what Trump tweeted, the cost of products, the lack of income increases, crimes and criminals, terrorists, diet, exercise, diseases . . . whatever is your “trigger” for worry and agitation, you can find a dose of it daily in “news” stories.

News stories now not only tell you what to worry about, but they tell you why to worry. They give opinions, not just facts.

Is it a conspiracy by the government to keep citizens in check? If you are too emotionally involved in worry about certain facets of life, you will not be able to worry about things near and dear to you that might need to be noticed.

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Retirement

It wasn’t planned. It wasn’t anticipated. It wasn’t welcomed.

I was working in 2015 for one of the two best principals I ever had when the school was shook up by my principal being transferred out and another principal being transferred in to her place.

At the time I was teaching Reading Intervention and I enjoyed it immensely!

I worked with struggling readers in Kindergarten and First Grade. I viewed each as potentially successful readers before I even began my instruction. I tailor made lessons with each child’s needs in mind.

I love puzzles and children who have problems learning to read usually have just missed one or two key concepts, and if I can figure out what it is, I have them reading on grade level within nine weeks.

My principal, who was transferred elsewhere, understood my methods, and I was free to work with the children using research based methods that were both from today and from years past.

The new principal came in and took an instant dislike to me. I understand she’s in her forties and doesn’t like “older” people. Everyone she hired was fresh out of college and eager to follow her lead.

She was eager to get rid of me.

I was working with 35 children a day in ten different groups. I walked up and down the hall collecting my groups all day long. I was happy. I was successful. I got results. As I’d bring a child up to grade level, I’d meet with the classroom teacher and we’d decide to leave that child in the classroom and replace his or her intervention lessons with another child who was below grade level in reading. I worked in a school with many needy children.

The new principal sent me an email her second day there and told me to “get with the kindergarten teachers and add 13 more children to my roster of students”. That meant I’d meet with 48 children a day. I could not make any more groups because my day was filled with ten groups. The size of the group does affect outcomes and for 5, 6, and 7 year olds, it’s best to have groups of 3 or 4 at the most.

I emailed her back and told her that was a very heavy workload. I suggested she look at my record on the children I had served. I told her the old principal had me bring children up to grade level and then switch them out for a child who needed help. It was only the beginning of March and I had time to get all the K/1 children up to grade level. Would she please reconsider the increase in my workload?

She emailed me back that she would discuss my workload when I discussed my absences with her. ???? Did she mean when I was out the December before having test after test for what the doctor feared was either blood clots in my lungs or lung cancer? Did she want to discuss that with me on her second day at the helm? I emailed her back and told her I had been out a lot the previous December, but I had discussed that with the previous principal and I was fine now. (It had turned out to be a very stubborn lung infection.)

I contacted my Reading Intervention supervisor who had been upset when I had four children in most groups and I told her about the sudden increase in workload. She said there was nothing she could do about it.

I kept coming to work and trying, trying, trying to see every child assigned to me. My health began to deteriorate and by the end of April, I had to go out on disability leave.

I’d been contemplating retirement in June, but really had hoped to work one more year. I needed five more months to qualfiy for the retirement program. I never made it.

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Had to Buy a New Wider Binder

Title just about sums it up. I’ve printed out more pages of the Blindman book and they will not fit in the binder I’ve been putting the paper version of my book in. I went out today and bought a binder that’s twice as wide. I probably should have bought more printer ink. Mine will surely run out soon.

The new binder is bright orange and trimmed in gold foil. It’s certainly eye-catching and I’ll notice it daily. I certainly noticed it in the store. I realized this week that I needed a wider binder. As I passed by the school supplies in Walmart, this binder called out to me, “Hey, haven’t you been looking for me?”

I also got a Planner. It’s for July 2017 to June 2018. I know I’ve missed two months of this thing, but I will probably use it backwards anyway – charting my daily progress on all my writing projects.

I also started something called a “Capture Book” this week. Mine is just a red composition book I bought to use for that purpose. Stephanie Winston writes about it in her book, Organized for Success. A Capture Book is explained in Part II, Chapter 5 of her book.  I found her book in Goodwill last week. I’m always trying to find better ways to do things and looking at other’s ideas and how they accomplish their goals. I looked that book up and it also is selling on Amazon.com. Copyright date is 2004. I could beat myself up for not finding it sooner, or I could be happy I did notice it last week. I think I’ll do the latter.

I’m tired of the Blindman book. I’ve worked on it for years. I’m ready to see it in print and hope people buy it. I’m skimming it as I print it out. Serious editing will happen when I get the whole book printed out. I think it’s well-written. I think the story will hold the reader’s interest. I hope it will change things. That’s why I wrote it. Pen mightier than the sword and all that kind of thinking . . .

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