Sunday, January 24, 2016

Anticipation Matters

One of my favorite things about this week was anticipation, an element I firmly believe plays a hand in motivation. With a week that is hard to summarize into pat statements like I had a good week! Or, It went by so fast ... what mine came down to was:

Every day I anticipated something positive.

And it was. We were off on Monday to celebrate Civil Rights Day, so my kids and I baked our annual birthday cake for Martin Luther King, listened to I Have a Dream and they topped it off with their version of Top Chef Jr by creating new foods from recipe books. They had been awaiting that time together for days. 

A hot ongoing thread of conversation and inquiry in my classroom is equity. This week the essential question centered around outdoor recreation and nature. We formulated the question: Who's left out? Why? How can we help change the faces that most often appear in outdoor recreational activities? These guided our study of James Mills, an author, journalist, and media producer right here in Madison, WI. He wrote the book The Adventure Gap, helped produce the movie 5.14 about Kai Lightner, spoke on Ted Talks Madison, and is a reporter for Madison newspapers. Those are just a few of his roles. What impressed me was how my students interacted with the build-up before his class presentation on Friday. I mean, they read a biography, perused his website, read excerpts from his book, and developed several deep questions to ask him. The learning was engaging and my students were all about the anticipation of James Mills' visit. You'll have to ask him about it, or ask my students, but let me just say, it was freaking awesome. James is accessible and real, and dropped historical and honest gems. Anticipation matters to young people and I believe James measured up to their high expectations. 

Yesterday I went to Adventure Rock for a climbing competition. I've deemed it my annual Try Hard event to raise my psych for getting stronger, more focused, and have more fun climbing. Those folks who build-up Quick on the Draw #qotd know how to run a super fun comp. The vibe is all about fun, and the theme of fun coupled with try hard sets a really positive scene. I'm proud of Jamie Lauer Katie Lawler, and Audrey Biemeret who all represented age variances and incredible climbing focus! It was fun to be part of this annual anticipation, an event that leads up to bouldering nationals right here in Madison. The by-product was spending all day with my ever supportive husband who pretty much played the role of squire and chauffeur, with a beer as our final destination. 

Get out there you all -- build some anticipation!

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