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Scooby Doo, where are you?

Where did he, Bugs and a few other great cartoon characters go? I sure miss the cartoon friends I grew up with. I have tried to watch the latest cartoon sorts but none bring the giggles and belly laughs I got from those from the 1960’s and 1970’s. I remember laughing a lot on Saturday mornings when I woke early just to catch the cartoon runs because they all disappeared shortly after lunch time. I want those days back.

You know, there is nothing wrong with adults watching cartoons. There is comfort in revisiting those TV friends who taught us more than we thought at the moment. Also they brought is comic relief. You know laughter is the best medicine. I truly believe that is true. In fact, I suggest to my Life Coaching clients they revisit their favorite cartoons. Yes, they might be a bit cheesy now but overall, they still make us laugh.

Life today is full of stressors. Take a few minutes when you are down or stressed beyond belief to youtube or Netflix or whatever means you have access to for some laughs. I promise it will change your outlook a bit.

Eeeeeeh, watch me paste that pathetic palooka with a powerful, pachydermous, percussion pitch. – Bugs Bunny

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Warning, suicide is contagious

Yes, it is true. Scary thought but I have personally witnessed this in a residential school. One student attempts suicide and then there is an outbreak of attempts. Check the research, plenty out there but few speak of it. Yes, suicide is contagious.

Robin Williams’ suicide has brought on massive media attention. From a television special to constant flows on Facebook and Twitter, the suicide theme cannot be escaped. A few will seek out the attention factor. Some will identify with the torment experienced justifying if it worked for such a famous person then it must be my solution as well. Some… well, it is an endless list of reasons why this event might lead to others in a copy cat situation.

If you know someone who is depressed or is dealing with a crisis and their behavior has changed, don’t wait, react. The behavior change might seem to be a positive swing from the usual down mood. People, that can be a warning sign. Sometimes if suicide is well planned the person will have a false state of comfort. Often they will exhibit overly nice behaviors such as giving treasured things away, calling to mend relationships, or send letters. Then again, others might become very withdrawn and isolate themselves. It is different for everyone.

Depression is not extreme sadness. Depression is an altered state of irrational thinking based upon perceived ideas or extreme torment which is constantly replaying in the person’s mind. This is one of the reasons I stand up for extreme bullying. Bullying can bring on depression. I read a good humorous explanation. ‘Depression cannot be cured by chocolate or a pint of ice cream like sadness can.’ Very true! Do not try to understand another’s depression. It is deep-rooted based upon experiences you may not be aware of. Also, depression can be physically painful. It affects the body at times. If you have constant pain, relief is your primary focus. Some think there is only one way to relieve it. The pain is so intense the thoughts of how the decision to stop it becomes stronger than the reality of how it will affect others. Yes, it is a self-inflicted selfish act but in the mind of the tormented personal relief is all-consuming.

Limit media exposure during a celebrity suicide media frenzy. Keep the positive flowing. If you know someone suffering from depression, keep tabs on them. Visit, call, and try to keep a positive dialogue flowing. Let them know you are available to talk or just hang out. Help prevent a copy cat moment. Extra time spent now might prevent a loss of life later and stop the cycle of others thinking about this ultimate escape.

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My Captain, My Captain… why?

No passing of a famous person has effected me like the passing of Robin Williams. I am a huge fan of his. He was also an example of success I used when speaking to others who struggle with ADHD and Learning Challenges. His wit and unstoppable motion made him the star and in my belief, a philosopher. He used his challenges as gifts to rise above.

But there is a dark side to ADHD and learning challenges. Often the struggles lead to addictions and depression. Many fail to treat the side effects of ADHD and LD. I often wonder if when we identify children and adults with ADHD why we do not address the side effects as seriously as do assigning the label. If counseling and positive alternatives to medications were added to the treatment and educational component to strive for success, how many lives might avoid the torment?

Depression is a reality when performance is a challenge. When a person is faced daily with perceived failures, bullies who pray upon such frustrating moments, and authority figures who demand nothing less than impossible unrealistic perfection. It isn’t unusual to find ADHD and Learning Challenged types to seek humor and comedy to combat the frustrations and depression. Laughter we are told is the best medicine.

Laughter can divert others from the pending embarrassing moment at hand. A quick wit can cover a multitude of oops or blonde moments. It often becomes a coping mechanism for many ADHD and learning challenged sorts. Though it is often a quick fix or a means to recover from a potentially worse embarrassing moment, the reality of what happened will be revisited. I believe this was the case with Robin Williams. He used his coping mechanism to its fullest yet it never gave complete resolve to the frustrations and challenges of his disability. Yes, I said it, ADHD is and can be very disabling.

ADHD and Learning Challenges cause the mind to be in constant motions. It rarely stops or slows down. It is the human mental processing form of the internet, a Google search engine on overdrive which is Yahooing on top of that mixed in with a touch of Bing.Trying running the 3 of those all at the same time and see how happy your computer is not. I can easily delete, cancel, and shut down my computer but the brain isn’t so easy to stop even one of these search engines. Plus the brain’s filing system isn’t as organized as a search engine. As I work with more and more adults with ADHD I am understanding why they chose drugs and other forms of distraction to stop the madness taking place inside of their heads.

Take time to seek help and support to help find outlets and non harmful ways to quiet the madness if you have ADHD. Let’s not lose another brilliant shining star to the emptiness of suicide as the only means to quiet their tormented soul. Let’s start implementing safe guards early on when ADHD is diagnosed. Educators, take depression seriously when you suspect a student is suffering. Parents, take your child’s mood swings seriously if they suffer from ADHD and struggle to maintain balance in their life. Friends, don’t let depressed friends suffer, help them seek help.
“You treat a disease, you win, you lose. You treat a person, I’ll guarantee you’ll win.” – Robin Williams
Read more at http://www.inquisitr.com/1406611/remembering-robin-williams-10-greatest-robin-williams-quotes/#bimzHjlOQAzJgyLY.99

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Why I Write

That is a good question, why do I write? I accepted the challenge to answer this question but found it not a simple answer. Never thought of myself as a blogger. If you know me well you are probably wondering the same thing. I am a proof reader’s worst nightmare. My spelling issues are beyond the dyslexia level, I think I was just passed over then that gene was being handled out. And, there is this weird writing style I have. I would like to say e e Cummings was my English teacher and I acquired it from studying from the master but that would just be a lie. I know the rules but… When writing like this I prefer the flow method then to edit. Well, that’s a dyslexic nightmare. I am the worst choice to go public with my ramblings according to English majors and editors.

I do have a message and greater purpose. To narrow down the list, there are two main reasons I write. The first would be to offer hope to those who struggle with challenges. From personal experience and as an educator, I write about trends and solutions I have found to work. I blog about solutions anyone can try which are practical. The other reasons I write is to promote the healing factor found in the arts. I firmly believe the reasons students are failing and behavior is getting worse is due to the exclusion of the arts in all aspects of their lives. Sports are important too but the arts have a broader spectrum of meeting needs to all regardless of age or ability level. Creative Tidal Wave is about solutions, life long ones. It is about healing. And, it is about creating new pathways to integrating the expressive arts as a tool for success.

I would like to introduce you to two fellow bloggers I enjoy following.

Shannon Barrett is a Martha Beck certified Life Coach, a student of Positive Psychology and an energy wrangler. She uses all these tools plus her intuitive abilities to help her clients rediscover their focus. She is also a certified Level Two Crystalline Consciousness Technique teacher. Shannon writes about the synchronies that show up in her life, the things that fascinate her and the lessons she learns from her clients. You can find her new blog, “What I Have To Say,” at http://eshannonbarrett.com/say/. You can also find her on FaceBook at https://www.facebook.com/shannon.barrett2.

Eddie Snipes: I am a writer, gardener, and father of five. I manage a tech support group by day, and write by night.

Visit my site @ http://www.eddiesnipes.com
Just east of Crazy
Twitter: @eddiesnipes

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I can’t, my ears don’t match

It is true, my ears do not match. One is pointed. I must have faery blood somewhere in my family. The other is… well, I think I must have troll blood in me as well. It has been a life long issue. The first thing my husband did after my children made their grand entrance in this world was check their ears. I can report neither has my ears. I feel sure he would have scheduled plastic surgery that very moment to have something done.

The school bells are ringing along with the cruel words and actions of bullies. It might not be mismatched ears but each of us has something we are taunted about. I remember not wanting to go to school on days my mom made me wear my hair up in a ponytail. I would get sick. I would find every excuse to not go. I would take the pony tail down wearing mess hair just so my ears were not exposed. Those days still haunt me. The bullying which wasn’t handled well caused a life long self-esteem problem.

Let’s change the attitude. I am. Yes, they are an odd pair, the faery and troll ears I am blessed with, but they make me unique. The media has warped our sense of beauty and has created a false illusion for the need for visual perfection based upon unrealistic models which are enhanced. We allow bullying, in fact it has become a way of life. Stop the cycle now. Teach your kids not to judge or make fun of folks due to outward differences. Appearances fade but a good heart stays true to the end. If you must judge a person, do so by their actions not appearances. Being unique is not a bad thing. I am now embracing my inner faery, though I am told I have troll moments when angry. Now if I can just get those faery wings to grow.

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The Secret of the Paradiddle

For those of you who are not drummers, this is the definition of a paradiddle from Webster’s :a quick succession of drum beats slower than a roll and alternating left and right-hand strokes in a typical L-R-L-L, R-L-R-R pattern.

In the 9th grade I went from an oboe player to a mallet player on the drumline for the marching band. Oboes do not march. There was a huge shift from being in the wood wind section to becoming a drummer. Wood wind sections in the early 80’s were made up of predominately quiet and polite female sorts. There is one exception, when fighting for chair placement or rank there could be a cat fight. What can I say about the drumline? They had a reputation for being wild and not so polite but very driven guys who owned their rank and had the mindset they were the greatest of all drumlines. (I need to note that to my recollection, during 4 years on the drumline, we only received top ratings. So the guys lived up to their reputation.) Here is this quiet, reserved freshman entering her worst nightmare, so she thought. And, my first assignment was to learn to paradiddle.

Like all music sorts, I did tap out rhythms and beats but not like drummers. First lesson I learned was as a drummer your drumsticks never left your side. And, nothing was a forbidden drum. If I only knew then what I know now, I could have capitalized on the fame STOMP and Blue Man group has by creating endless drumming sources. In my case and my fellow mallet player, we had our mallet sticks with us. Yes, I was rapping our drum things as I called them on tables, chairs, on people who stood still too long, and even on a bag of Cheetos. None of which was producing the results I needed quick enough. Growing up in a family of teachers I knew the best way to learn something is to teach someone else. But who would want to learn to paradiddle?

I have the most remarkable cousin. He is 3 years older than me. He has taught me more about life and learning than any professor or teaching guru in the 34 years since I left high school and pursued a career in education. In fact I think he should have an honorary doctorate for the impact he has had on not just my life but others as well. Brad never attended college. I think the IQ label he was given is very misleading though he must have constant care. Downs Syndrome is interesting. Folks sporting genetic issues sure enlighten the lives of us who are suppose to have our genetic codes in order. Brad’s eagerness to learn any crazy thing I came up with made him the perfect candidate.

Thirty-four years later, Brad and I are still paradiddling. The paradiddle held its magic all these years. When he was basically unresponsive in the hospital the word paradiddle created a response. During a trying family time when I returned to spend time with him, what does he want to do? “PARADIDDLE, DONNA!!” When there is stress he looks at me and I know, we need to paradiddle.

Over my life time, the paradiddle has followed me. Out of the frustration to learn play the mallets a single word and rhythm pattern has brought only happiness at the mere mentioning of the word. I have paradiddle with my students. I have paradiddle with friends. But most of all, during personal times of challenges and heartbreak, I have paradiddled alone. The rhythm brings me back to the moments of happiness. The paradiddle reminds me I can rise above if I just get with it. I also need to share it. When I find I am challenged to learn something I remember the paradiddle. To be able to teach another means you must know it well enough yourself. I reach out to others to teach them the lessons I need to learn myself. It hasn’t failed me yet.

As freshmen on the drumline, one of the pro drummers told me if I just learned to paradiddle the rest would be easy. Thank you, Paul Pendleton! I need to give this guy another shout out. After 34 years he agreed to teach me to drum again. This time he had a much harder challenge since there was some slight neurological challenges as a result of an incident. Due to his magic of Pendlejam, drumming has been the rehab I needed not only for my left hand and brain but for my life. So once again, the paradiddle has come to my rescue. I am empowered, got my groove back, and conquering the impossible.

So what is the secret of the paradiddle? It is a wordless means to bringing a positive rhythm back into a dull broke silent moment in life. It is timeless and ageless. Anyone can learn to paradiddle. Just the word brings on a smile.

PARADIDDLE!! I challenge you to learn to paradiddle.

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Paradiddle

Welcome back to Creative Tidal Wave! Lots of awesome things have transpired during the break. Cannot wait to blog about my adventures and new developments.

One of the oldest means of music and communication can be traced back to drumming. Recent studies have shown there are great benefits from listening and taking part in drum circles. Drumming effects alpha waves. Drumming is also an excellent group leadership and community uniting activity. The magic of a drum circle to unite bring all the participates in unison is a phenomenon worth experiencing. It is an ageless activity that people of all backgrounds and levels can take part in together to create one flow of positive energy.

This summer I reconnected with my drummer past. In high school, I was a mallet player on the drumline in the marching band. If you have never been around a high school drumline you may not be able to fully comprehend the magic that occurs when the drummers gather. It is a tribal inner connection which is brought about while drumming. It doesn’t matter which percussion instrument you play, it is being a part of the rhythm and beat created as a unit which brings upon the magical trance of the vibrations which radiate through out your body and soul. Yes, I guess one can say it is somewhat of a spiritual experience.

Over the past years I have experienced some trauma. I was aware there was some neurological damage which manifested on the left side of my body. Very slight but still I was aware something wasn’t right. It was very notable when I started back drumming. Over the past 4 months I have experienced a remarkable change. I do owe some of this to my fantastic drum instructor who has amazed me on inventing ways to work around some of my quirks. Working with the drums I have developed confidence, rehabbed my mind by rerouting the messed up wiring, and I have reset my inner rhythms. Now I cannot go very long without the need of chiming in by hand drumming various beats I hear in my every day life. This has been such a calming effect as well as one which has heightened my focus and awareness. The problems with my left hand are returning back to normal as well.

I was pondering what the outcome would be if drumming became a part of the school curriculum. I remembered back to my early childhood days when the arts especially music was a part of my weekly routine. Rhythm sticks, rhythm bands, listening to drum music and learning to tap out the beats, and the field trips to hear orchestras were all a part of my curriculum. In most schools today this doesn’t happen. I dug into more research to find early drumming experiences can have a positive effect on reading and behavior. Hmmm, could the solution to help struggling students be this simple?

Stay tuned to learn the secret of the paradiddle.

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Finland has figured it out!

The internet is busting with articles on Finnish schools. If you read a handful of them you quickly realize that the United States is clearly following the wrong path to success. In fact, it is such a vast difference in theory and practice it makes one wonder who is making the decisions about education in this country. It only makes sense we would seek top ranking educational countries and see what is directing their success.

What secret practices and expensive programs are causing such an uproar? Are you ready for this? You are not going to believe how simple the solutions are. In the USA we are all but cutting out recess but in Finland they have increased it to 75 minutes a day. Yes, you hear me right, 75 minutes of recess. Research shows this to be a key factor in reducing behavior problems and to increase focus. I just wonder why we find such a simple and cost effective solution not appropriate for our children. It gets better. The other secret is reduced homework. Younger students have little to no homework. Plus children do not start school until they are 7 years old. Makes you wonder if education in the USA is not government funded daycare starting some children as young as 3 years of age. Finnish schools are focused on cooperation not competition. Testing is not a focus like it is in the USA. Can you imagine the uproar of the testing folks if the USA dropped all the testing? People are earning billions of dollars off of tormenting children by high stakes testing. Personally, I think it is one of the largest rip off schemes around.

I urge you to investigate education from all over the globe. Things will not change here in the USA until parents and the public educate themselves on alternatives and start demanding change. As noted above, these changes would drastically reduce the cost of education. Behavior would improve as well as a reduction in ADHD medications use. Families would have less stress.

http://www.weareteachers.com/hot-topics/special-reports/teaching-around-the-world/finlands-a-plus-schools

 

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Over scheduled child

As a parent of two active children, I understand the meaning of being an over scheduled parent. It is difficult to work 40 to 50 hours a week coupled with the duties of being a mom. Add to the work and home chores are the weekly activities. In today’s society we have a driving need to make sure our children are involved in as many sports and arts activities as possible to give them the edge in their future endeavors. Sports are different when I was a kid in the 70’s. Some children practice daily for hours to become world-class athletes at the old age of 12. It is the same for children with music practicing recital pieces for hours on end mixed in with private lessons and group sessions. The pressure to be the best at the age of 8 or 9 years old did not exist some 40 years ago.

Olympians are getting younger. The need to lie about age is a constant reminder of the need to compete for extended years. The same is happening in little league. I have heard of children being put on strict diets to make weight requirements to play recreational league football and wrestling. It amazes me what parents will do in the name of sports and the ultimate glory to win it all.

I believe another term for this madness to push children has been called the “hurried child.” The constant push to excel at all cost has caused many children to lose the best years of their lives, the careless days of fun and exploration as a child. What happens when we take away childhood?

I have witnessed the result of such pressure on children. There is an increase in suicide in children/teens who feel they have failed to meet expectations. The disappointment from a parent who is constantly pushing a child beyond limits is resulting in more failures than wins can make a huge impact on the emotions of a child. Stress injuries are on the rise in children where it was rarely seen before. Some of these injuries are life altering or worse, life threatening. The absence of age appropriate interactions often affects how children deal with problems later in life. The emphasis on personal validation  wrapped around a trophy or rank can cause the inability to find happiness without competition.

Don’t take me wrong, it is good for children to be involved in competitive activities. It is very important to take part in team and group activities in moderation. More so, it is good to be able to balance school and other activities of interest. Colleges do look for future prospects who can maintain good grades while participating in a variety of activities. Success such as excelling in a sport or holding leadership positions builds character. There are those rare exceptional children who are gifted. But we must realize not every child is or can be made into a super star.

Childhood is a time to explore and not worry about the pressures of adulthood. It is a time to  test limits within the safety of supervision. A time to learn how to interact with others via unstructured but monitored gatherings. It is a time to dabble in a variety of interest  without the fear of failure. Children need lengthy down time moments.

A hurried or over scheduled child finds it difficult to handle down time. This includes the excessive gamer children who must always be hooked up to some sort of gaming system constantly. I do consider those in this category because gaming is another form of competition. Children also get wrapped up in winning via thumb-play as much as they do a highly competitive sport but without the physical training which includes fitness.  Those of you over 45 years of age will remember creating games and never having a problem finding something to do after school when you were finished with your homework. We never had excessive ball or piano practice. We had a great deal of outside play or finding fun things to do indoors. We did not need to be entertained at all, in fact we just wanted to be left alone to explore and create. We sought time to disappear to find treasures often getting in trouble for all the holes we dug in the neighbor’s yard. We tested out agility by climbing trees. We would swing on our swing set for hours. We painted masterpieces in mud on the driveway then made to hose them off. We were inventors, dreamers, and no doubt testing limits daily with bending the rules.

I urge you to allow for some unstructured time for your child. If you are the parent of a super athlete or artistically talented child who is involved in competition, please find time to allow your child to have extended breaks. Create a balance. Challenge yourself to revisit those carefree days. You might need to show your child how to build a fort out of sheets on a rainy day. How to make mud pies, win a snow ball fight or the skills in staying dry during  a water gun battle are all things children should experience.  Just make sure there is time for fun creative childhood memories.

Please share some of your best outrageous childhood adventures.

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Environmental Impacts or Simple Causes for Frustrations

You are dining in a popular restaurant around lunch time but during the time between Christmas and New Year’s. Just a meal with a friend but with some business talk on the side. You notice both of you are getting very frustrated. It has escalated. If you have a background in environmental impacts you might have caught it like I did before it became an indirect disturbing emotional moment. People often will lash out at another for no known cause other than something is irritating but not obvious. Let’s look at the environmental impacts which might be causing the disturbance resulting in irritation.

To the left is a table of ladies who are obviously celebrating a gathering to exchange holiday gifts or maybe a birthday. To the right is a bar full of gentleman who are obviously not on the job because they have definitely indulged a bit more than normal at 12:30pm. The noise level of these two groups is escalating. Surrounding you are parents and grandparents out with children who would have otherwise been in school at this time. Normally at this time of day you have your business lunch folks or those grabbing a bit on the job. Little marketing and business tricks, keep the place cool and the music fast paced so people move in and out quickly. This  strategy could be a bonus if you targeting the business folks. It is a psychological trick to get people to eat faster. Business lunch crowd needs to keep up a fast pace and music can definitively shape that behavior. So back to the trouble spots. Fast loud music means the partying groups are getting so loud it was hard to hear. Loud people laughing and doing what loud people do often can upset kids causing them to become more irritable.  Irritable children scream or cry which makes parents raise their voices. Do you see a  cycle here? The other folks elevate their voices to talk over the party folks, crying children and upset parents so the noise level is steadily increasing as more people dine. All folks get anxious thus causing them to get frustrated but never aware it is due the increase noise levels. Oh, and not to mention being cold. Must note that the temperature dropped a few hours earlier from a warm spring like temperature to now a nice polar breeze.

What could management do? Well, someone needs to always be aware of the public dynamics happening, it could influence your bottom line. Because this wasn’t the typical week day lunch crowd the atmosphere should have changed to a night-time one. Slower music does calm the savage beast or lunch party crowd goer. Raising the thermostat a few degrees to welcome folks out of the unexpected cold helps as well. Since the restaurant clearly was divided, place the happy party goers to the right and the lunch bunch even those with kids to the left. I am willing to bet there would be an increase in appetizers,  desserts, and drinks bought that day because folks would have been cozy and desire more food while socializing. A few tweaks would have made a big difference.

Awareness is the key. Have someone who has experience in environmental studies to come into your work place to see where small changes can be made to help improve sales, staff or client behavior, or deal with some frustration to which you haven’t been able to figure out the cause. You might be surprised what small changes can do.

Tomorrow I will address another example of environmental impacts at the work place.

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