Your book report is totally awesome!! I know Laura helped you, but I can see your own thoughts everywhere. Really good work Theo! I'm so proud of you.
Multiplication will come. Multiplication can be fun. Multiplication is important especially if you want to work with computers! Have fun today. It is Friday after all. I love you!
"Use your head." Ever heard that before? Did you know your brain is like a computer? Imagine what a miracle it is to be able to think. God gave you a brain to use - use it well. Don't be afraid to use it. Don't be afraid to make a mistake. Your brain is a tool - it helps you work - it helps you play. Your brain can learn new things. There's lots of room in there. Mess around! Fill it up! Have fun!
There is / are soooooooooooo many things to choose to do! How do we make up our minds??? Well......... First - we think about the different things we can do. Second - we think about what we like to do. Third - we think about what we need to do. Fourth - we do it. We pick one because.... the truth is.... sometimes.... you never know until you try!!
School is play. School is hard work. School can be boring. School can be exciting. School can put you together with friends. School can sit you next to people you don't like. School has really good teachers. School has teachers that are not so good. School can make you sooooo happy. School can make you sooooo upset. School can make you proud of yourself. School can make you embarrassed. School is all of these things and more. School just is - so like Nike says... Just Do It!
Do you know there are so many things so many so many many many many so so many many many many many things many things so so so many many things many things so so so many many things you can do do do do do do do do do you?
Can I say on this day the many ways you are and will be? The joys, the pains, the loss, the gains, the sunshine, the rains that await you. Day by day, week by week, month to year to grown up to always growing. You will never stop changing, growing, living, working, playing and just plain doing. If you don't get it today, then work and you will get it tomorrow. It's called learning. It's called living. It's called life! I love you so much!
Work Work Work Work Work Work Work Work
What a busy time for you - for all of us - lots to do - lots that's fun - lots that's just plain drudge (rhymes with fudge!) But that's ok - we're all in it together! You - me - mom - Theo. Our friends and family... There's no escaping it. It's all just part of life. Just enjoy the good stuff - look to get what you can from the bad and grow and learn and laugh and cry and try and fail and try and succeed and get a good nights sleep and try again! Love 'ya.
I was thinking about some good rules for you to try and live by this year and I came up with these:
1) Never underestimate yourself.
2) Define yourself by your strengths not your weaknesses.
3) Always do a little more than required.
4) Believe in yourself.
5) Never underestimate the amount of work you have to do and the time it will take to do it.
6) Put your schoolwork first and fun stuff second.
7) Remember that Mom, Melissa and I are here to help you, but you have to be willing to help yourself.
I couldn't sleep very well last night. I woke up thinking about what makes people succeed. Succeed in anything - school, sports, business, life. And I decided that the one thing that contributes to success the most, more than natural talent and luck, is a willingness to try and fail and try again. Most of us are afraid of failure so we don't try things or we don't try our best or we laugh it off. We don't want to be embarrassed or hurt. It's natural to feel that way - natural but it holds us back. It keeps us from experimenting with new things or from reaching our potential with the things we think we know and like. So fight that fear Joanna. Try new things. And when it comes to the things you love, fight for them too. Work hard on where you need to work. Recognize where you're weak and work on it. Make yourself better. No one else can do it for you. It's your one life.
Here's an interesting formula to think about -
STRUGGLE + SUCCESS = GROWTH
It works! This one also works -
STRUGGLE + FAILURE = GROWTH
Everything we do involves struggle. Sometimes we win sometimes we lose. But no matter what happens we grow. We grow and learn. It all starts with the struggle. It all ends with growth. Cool hunh?! I love you so much!
"Who am I?" That's the hardest question in the world. You can't ask anyone else for help. You can't solve it with a computer or a dictionary or a text book - the answer isn't in any of those places.
The answer is only in one place - in your own heart. It's really in there you know - I'm not kidding. Look and you will find it. Be honest and you might not like what you see. But be true, be hopeful, be passionate and you will see that that image that you see is always changing. Always evolving, growing, always in the process of becoming. There is never any one answer to the question "who am I?" If you are living, learning, playing, working, then you are growing and changing constantly. Look inside yourself - what do you see? Do you like yourself? If "yes" then keep it up. If "no" then what do you need to change to make the answer "yes"? Start by seeing the good inside and try to add more everyday. It really works. I love and believe in you!
Take a deep breath Joanna. Close your eyes, exhale and relax. This year will march along and you will tick off, one by one, the many items on your list. You will jump the hurdles one at a time. You will be as prepared for each one as you can be. You will do the best you can and then you will move onto next year's challenges. You can and you will do it and you'll do it all in your own unique way. OK - now open your eyes. Repeat as often as necessary to relax, refocus, and play loose. I love you so much!
It doesn't matter what other people think about who you are and what's good for you to do. Are you surprised I would say that? I don't mean that you shouldn't listen to your parents, teachers, coaches or friends - of course you should listen and consider. What I mean is that you have to look inside yourself and find your own value, your own goals, your own path. Then think about the things you have to do to make your dreams come true. There are always obstacles that stand in your way or challenges that must be faced in order for you to keep moving forward. Accept them, deal with them, overcome them and move on. Listen to your heart and follow your own path. I love you!
Good morning Joanna! Somehow the note from your first day of school this year went through the washing machine. Mom was devastated and wanted me to remember what I had written and do it again. I can't really do that so I'm just writing you a new note about the first day of your Junior year of high school. It's a big year for you Joanna. You know that already don't you? You've accomplished so much in the years leading up to now. I feel like you're prepared for what's in front of you. Decisions to make. Tests to take. Sports to play. Friends to help and be helped by. In the midst of it all is you. I know it's hard to have perspective on yourself and to see yourself as special but you are Joanna - in so many ways. Let your light shine through this year and every year in everything you do! I love you so much!
Last night at chorus practice we started right out with this Stephen Sondheim broadway musical song. I was nervous because I start it out with a whole verse solo. When it was over Marlene said, "your solo was good Bob, it'll sound better when you get some confidence."
Ain't that the truth! Doesn't everything work out better when you have confidence in yourself and in your ability to do it - to get the job done? Confidence is key I think to success in anything. If you believe you can learn something, write something, or throw something well, the chances are you will. Have a great day and night Theo! See you tomorrow!
Searching for love. Searching for faith. Searching for meaning. Being at peace with the search is key. Relax, have faith and work hard. Understand that you have your own road to walk down. You're walking on it already. With every step your story gets richer. Pursue the things you love. Always give 110% - whatever your best is and be satisfied. You will excel in this and fail in that. No one bats 1,000. It's OK. It's OK as long as you tried your best because you'll know it wasn't meant to be. If you held back you'll never know if you could have made it. I love you so much!
Know yourself! Know your strengths, your weaknesses, your likes, your dislikes, what's good for you, what's bad, what helps, what hurts, what you want to do and what you don't want to do. "Want" is a complicated word that we usually underestimate. "Want" has all that stuff I started this note with inside it. It's not only what do I feel like at the moment, for example, "what do I want to accomplish in my life?" Or more short termed like, "What do I want to accomplish in my Junior year?" It's good to think of these kinds of "wants." It's good to try and know yourself. Try to avoid the simple but mistaken idea that you already have a fixed idea of who you are. You're growing and changing everyday. Every day there are new possibilities. Try to be open to them and learn about yourself!
"In 1934 I coined my own definition of success, which I tried to personally attain and get all my students to attain. It is 'peace of mind,' which is a direct result of self-satisfaction in knowing you did your best to become the best of what you are capable." - John Wooden, UCLA basketball coach.
Dr. Metzel put that quote in the front of his book "The Young Athlete" and it really struck me. Fear of failure, fear of losing is everywhere in our hyper-competitive culture. The ability to find peace of mind in that environment is huge. Whatever you set out to do always give it your best shot and then, win or lose, you'll know you didn't sell yourself short. I love you so much!
Don't be afraid to take chances. Don't be afraid to make mistakes. Don't be afraid to realize you made a mistake, apologize and correct course. Draw a line with confidence and then draw another. Trust your eyes, your hands, your head and your heart. Don't be afraid to lose or you may never win. Take your work seriously. Take yourself seriously. When you do that your "fun time" will be sweeter. Have dreams. Make plans. Make them happen. Take care of your own stuff. Solve your own problems. Think about the problems of others and help however you can. Live your life well.
What is 100%? How do you give 100% to so many endeavors at the same time? Isn't there only one 100% in each of us? I was talking with your mom this morning about lots of things but one thing that stuck with me is this idea of 100%. To be a 100% good parent, a 100% good spouse, a 100% good boss or employee, a 100% good friend. How do you carve up your one 100% into all these different areas and be 100% in all of them? I guess the answer is you try to do it all - that's all. You just try!! So have a 100% good day Joanna. I love you so much (100%)
There's an interesting article in the NYTimes OpEd page by David Brooks called "The Art of Growing Up." He talks about President A. Lincoln (in my opinion our greatest president ever) and how in his time "to achieve maturity was to succeed in the conquest of the self." That "human beings were born with sin (and) the transition to adulthood consisted of achieving mastery over them." Lincoln was the successful product of that philosophy. Brooks goes on to say how in the 20th century that idea changed. "Progressive educators emphasized students' inner goodness (not sin)... self discovery replaced self-mastery as the primary path to maturity." I see in there two philosophies. The pendulum swing - one extreme is replaced by another - from total self-mastery over natural depravity to total self-involved, inner searching. Seems to me that somewhere in between is the path. Discover yourself and then learn to focus these talents and be the best you can be. Good luck in English today.
(I feel like I still haven't gotten used to writing "2001" on my letters and now it's almost time to begin writing "2002"! At least there's a certain symmetry to that.)
(I have never seen such an amaryllis - four flowers on top and four on the bottom - amazing!)
There are two options facing you when confronted with a new problem or decision in your life. You can say "this looks tough - let me get going!" or you can say "this looks tough - I could never do this!" That's it! It doesn't matter whether it's climbing a mountain or solving a math problem. Yeah maybe sometimes you'll come to realize that you took on a challenge that you just couldn't handle or solve - but take it on first. Then if you fail, you can still be proud of yourself for trying.
Hope is an amazing and powerful thing! Think about it... where would you be without hope? "I hope I make this shot." "I hope I do well on this test." "I hope I can earn a B average." It's so important to feel hope in all that we do. Yes you have to work hard to try and make sure that your hopes come true, but without hope nothing is possible. Hope for a better future for the realization of our dreams is what makes living and working hard possible. Sometimes our goals seem so far away and out of our reach. Without hope we might give up. Yet it's exactly the time when there seems to be so little reason to have hope that hope is so important to have. Work and hope go hand in hand! I love you Theo.
Nobody does it on their own. All of us need the help and support of other people to achieve our goals. Lean on me. Lean on mom. Lean on Melissa. Lean on your teachers. Lean on your friends. Lean on your teammates. Lean on all those people around you who care for you and want to help. You will grow faster and stronger and everyone else will as well. We help ourselves when we help other people.
Life goes by quickly doesn't it? Whether you're aware of it or not each day slips away into the next without much thought. That's why it's so important to use your time well. Make the most of it. Sure - include "hang" time in your schedule but also include focused time as well. Look around you wherever you are - home - school - the street - see what's there. Notice things. See the beauty that others have made around you. Think of things you can do to make your world a better place. If you see someone struggling offer to help. If you see something that needs doing then do it. It starts with seeing, noticing, being aware. Open up your eyes and mind to the world around you. It will be a better place because you're in it!
Attitude - when you say "attitude" you really mean a good attitude - a good outlook - an understanding of what's going on and an acceptance of what you've got to do to deal with it.
Concentration - once you accept what it takes to reach your goal, you have to focus on it and concentrate with all your ability.
Effort - once you've accepted and concentrated your focus - all that remains is 100% effort.
Am I talking about baseball? Sure I am. Am I talking about an English paper and a History test? Yes I am as well. A.C.E. applies to everything you tackle in life. I love you!
You work hard Joanna. I can see that. You honestly try to do your best. You play hard too. Maybe that holds you back a little but it's who you are so what can you do? (By "playing hard" I don't mean drugs, alcohol and sex - just loud, laughing, physical fun!) So what do you want in your life? Fun? Love? Work? Fame / Fortune? You've shown me talent. You've shown me drive. You've shown me hard work. What have you learned about yourself in your 15 years? Think about it. Don't do it for me - do it for yourself. Really get to know yourself - who you are and what you want. Then work on your life the way you work so hard in school. Keep the fun, the friends, the family but don't lose sight of you! I love you so much!
Success isn't accidental. You've heard that before I'm sure - maybe even from me! Success takes planning and hard work, dedication and commitment, but it starts with the most important element of all - a dream! Without a dream what is the planning and hard work about? What dreams do you carry in your breast? (Dreams aren't like birthday candle wishes - you can share them if you want and they can still come true.) Mom and I are happy to help any way we can, but you know, ultimately it's about you! I love you so much!
Good morning! Yeah, some things happen in life because of fate or happenstance; you look down and there's ten bucks on the sidewalk. But the things we really want to happen we have to work on making it happen. Then, like in any game of winners and losers, we make it work out or it doesn't. The difference is in the desire and the effort. It's good to want things for yourself. Now go out and do what you can to make them happen! I love you so much!
When I was growing up, there were times when I felt overwhelmed - that things were just too difficult to deal with. At times like that the easy, natural thing to want to do is to just forget about them, not do them, and just take the attitude that if I don't deal with the hard things they will some how just go away. I learned that doesn't work. Avoiding the hard stuff doesn't make it go away. The bad stuff hangs around getting worse instead of better until you decide to deal with it. It's not that you'll be able to solve perfectly every problem you face, but rather that nothing has a chance to be solved until you first decide to face it. Ignoring work, ignoring problems does not solve them. I know because I've tried too!
I'm not crazy about the focus of education these days with the pressure to get good grades and to "test well." To me grades, or the focus of leaning on grades, misses the point of education entirely. You know how when you have a teacher you really like he/she inspires you to want to learn, not to get a good grade because that will follow naturally. Kids are competitive and I guess you all spur each other on to get good grades. But my point is grades don't measure love of learning. When school is over and the grades are a matter of record, what's left if you didn't learn to love learning? Get good grades sure, but remember to learn to love because that's what you'll keep and that's what will really help you in your life. I love you so much!
It's never over until we say it's over - ever hear that before? While it won't apply to all things in life, it does point out an important truth... things that we have control of can be accomplished as long as we have the will to keep trying, keep working. Because once we give up - then it's over. We each decide what's important to us - what we're willing to fight for - to work for. Be careful about giving up too soon just because something is hard. That's all - that and I love you!
Cooperation is key to success Theo. Cooperate with your teachers - your parents - your coaches - your friends.
Cooperate means working together, both people asking questions and solving problems. Teachers don't speak to an empty classroom - they try to engage every mind in the room. Parents don't talk to hear themselves talk either. We talk because we have something important to say and we want to be heard. Listen and respond to your teachers, to us. You will learn so much and be a happier person for that.