Posts tagged ‘community’

Camino Gratitude


As you may have heard me say before: I intended to walk the Camino alone.  I did this, but not really.  And I am grateful for everyone who took the walk with me emotionally, spiritually, and physically.  I would like to acknowledge them here.

My Inspiration

First, I would like to thank Goldie Matthew.  I first learned of the Camino at her Motivational Movie Night, when I saw Walking the Camino: 6 Ways to Santiago for the first time. (The seed was planted!)

Father Don Elias

I also want to thank the priest, Father Don Elias, who revived the Camino and whose yellow arrows guided me so perfectly all the way to Santiago.

My Family

I am also grateful for my family, who supported me immediately from vision through completion to readjusting to normal life!  My fiancee made sure I checked in every day and gave me a perfect welcome home. My dad was immediately excited for me and offered me some travel gear to help me on my journey.  My sister helped take care of our pets while I was gone, supported me financially in some of my travel costs, and helped me download Relaxercise, which saved my feet from tendonitis and any other possible foot ills!  My mom bought me the two guide books that helped me set the perfect foundation for a successful trip, as well as my amazing hiking boots, sleeping gear, and other odds and ends.  It was truly a group effort!

My Grandmothers

Next I would like to thank my grandmothers!  My Ukrainian grandmother prayed the “Little Flower Novena” for me every day, followed my travels on a map from town to town, and told me to watch for roses (which I saw EVERY day!)  My grandmother-in-law encouraged me with her Facebook comments on my trip updates.  My Illinois grandmother sent me off with the most beautiful, loving phone message that touched me and made me cry.

The Pilgrims

I am so grateful for the many people I met along the way, some who I met in passing — some who I’m still connected to!  I met people from Mexico, Argentina, Puerto Rico, many parts of the U.S., Canada, Scotland, Ireland, England, Spain, Portugal, France, Italy, Germany, Switzerland, Austria, Tunisia, South Korea, China, Norway, Sweden, Slovenia, Poland, Lithuania, Belgium, Denmark, the Netherlands, Australia, and New Zealand! (And I’m probably missing some!)

Though I needed my solitude, it would have been incredibly challenging for me to have walked the whole way alone.  I am grateful to those who shared dinner with me, albergues with me, part of the Way with me, or even just a “Buen Camino!” with me!

My Home Community

The outpouring of support I received from the community back home was unbelievable, and I was amazed by how powerful and pivotal that encouragement was for me. Some supported me through texts, some through social media.  I posted updates on Facebook maybe 15 times, and the amount of loving, supportive comments I received was staggering.  I am truly grateful to anyone who was a part of this journey, on any level.

My Spiritual Community

I would be remiss if I did not give thanks to those in the spiritual realm who were with me every step of the way.  Of course, I give thanks to Source, the Creator of all (including me, Spain, and the Camino!)  I thank the angels and spirit guides who keep me safe, nudge me with guidance and teachings, and who support and unconditionally love me through every little detail.  (May I learn to love as you do!)

I give thanks again to everyone mentioned here, to anyone I may have missed, and to you readers, who have also been a part of my journey.  Your love and support means more to me than you could ever know.

Love, light, and blessings. ❤

Commentary on the Clip “Why Education in Singapore Works”

I’ve often wondered why we don’t look at other countries more.  If other places have such better education than ours, then why don’t we find out what they’re doing?  According to PISA results (Program for International Student Assessment) in 2009 – as referenced in the video, the US is 17th in the world in reading, 30th in math, and 23rd in science. Singapore is 5th in reading, 2nd in math, and 4th in science. So, what’s so special about Singapore? This short video gives quite an enlightening introduction to the world of education on an island on the other side of the globe.

Overall Perception of Teachers

Singapore’s National Insitute of Education is an entire university devoted to preparing educators. Granted, the country is an island, but the gentleman interviewed shares that in a place where “a square foot of land is equated to gold and diamonds”, 16 hectares (40 acres) is devoted to the teaching university. He calls teacher education “the heart” of the education system in Singapore. As further proof of the importance placed on education, 20% of government spending goes toward education, and only the very top performing students are chosen to teach designated subjects in particular teaching positions.

Community Collaboration

The video shares that businesses are closely involved in the classrooms, wanting to ensure that the students are adequately prepared for the working world and that any type of career is available to them. Businesses integrate into the classrooms, even helping shape the curriculum. And it’s evident that technology is an important piece in all levels of education.  For example, what appears to be a group of elementary students were using Excel weekly as part of their classroom projects.

Practice and Accountability

The video closes with some other key aspects of the Singapore educational system:

– The focus is on collaborative environments in every aspect of education.

– Visualization is emphasized, as opposed to memorization.

–The students enjoy the learning process.

– There is an absence of talk and fixation on testing and test-based accountability.

– The school system is based on collaboration and trust.

Though this was a quick video, it seems like a great place to start looking for answers, if our country is truly concerned about the future of our education system.

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