Friday, March 12, 2010
Another Dream Come True
A lot of people, when asked to write something substantial, meaning something more than a Facebook status update or a shopping list, think, ugh, no thanks. That sounds as much fun as hitting my head against a filing cabinet. Then if they are asked to teach kids how to write they would rather take a ride inside a cement mixer. That's how popular writing and teaching writing are for most of us. I have met someone who not only enjoys writing, he loves teaching kids how to write. He loves teaching kids to write so much that he would rather go around doing that and speaking about it than actually writing.
I met Andrew Pudewa four years ago through my girlfriend Becky. Andrew owns his own publishing company called Institute for Excellence in Writing. See excellenceinwriting.com. It sells resources, many created by Andrew, on how to teach kids to write. My two oldest children took his High School Intensive Essay Workshop last spring and enjoyed it. I thought it was superb and wished I had been able to take such a class when I was their age to prepare for the ACT.
I have oodles of female kindred spirits. Andrew is one of the few male kindred spirits I have. I got to sell his books at a booth for the UTCH Convention four years ago. (UTCH stands for Utah Christian Homeschoolers.) That's because Becky, the Utah distributor of his materials, wanted to go to the TJED Forum, which was the same day. This is before I really converted to the TJED philosophy of education. Normally she would have been the one to be at his booth. (The whole story of my experience at the UTCH convention could be another post. I felt like a spy among all these evangelical Christians. They were all friendly and it was a great experience for a Utah Molly Mormon like me. My only previous experience of being among so many non-Mormons was when I went to second and third grades in upstate New York.)
Anyway, I immediately liked Andrew. We have many common interests. He has studied and taught the Suzuki method. That's something I've always wanted to do. He has also been a teacher at the Institute for the Achievement of Human Potential. (See glenndoman.com or iahp.org) That means he has studied how the brain works and how to make your babies and kids smarter. More than once, LDS Church President Monson has, in General Conference, referred to Glenn Doman's studies about how much little children are capable of learning. I've read Glenn Doman's books and have some of his recommended Bits of Intelligence on CD to flash in front of my budding proteges.
I've always wanted to take Doman's courses at the IAHP that Andrew has taken. But that would involve leaving a nursing baby for a week which would damage the baby's brain more than I would be helping. Andrew also owned and ran a preschool. That's something I've fantasized about too. We are both into Leadership Education. We both homeschool and have large families. We are both Christians, but of different denominations, and so we've had some interesting conversations about that.
I have several of his talks on CD. Whenever I would listen to these, I would think, "let's get him to come speak at the TJED Forum." I suggested that to him and to Diann Jeppson, founder of the Forum. Every year was the same, "no he can't come, he's already booked." But this year, he is coming! I am so excited! He is teaching kids how to write essays for the ACT and SAT exams on Friday March 19. Then on Saturday March 20, he's teaching parents how to teach kids to write, especially boys who just want to build forts all day. (I have three of those, what a fun challenge.) You can to tjedmarketplace.com (click on "events" to find out more and register.
So one of my dreams is coming true. Leslie Householder teaches that when pursuing success, you can attract more success, even if it seems like you are failing, by framing your present negative experiences in relative terms. In other words, take a step back and look at the big picture. The little bumps in the road don't look so bad. They especially don't look so bad when you compare them to experiences like say the handcart pioneers or Holocaust prisoners. That's the Law of Relativity.
So I'm thinking, OK, the dog got hit by a car last year. The surgery to fix her set us back financially. All around finances have been bad for us. I still have the same 30 pounds to lose and a car that doesn't have enough seatbelts for all of us, or a kitchen like I want or a big home. My book, Tree of Life Mothering, still isn't done and I still have the same obstacles to getting it out. But those are just minor bumps. I have soooo many things to be grateful about. I am grateful that the dog got better, extended family helped pay for the surgery (thanks Mary), my house hasn't flooded or burned down, my baby is here, cute, fat and happy, and all my children are healthy and happy, and that Andrew is coming to speak. Leslie is speaking too, and that was another dream/suggestion that I gave to Diann, two years ago. My life is great and it's getting GREATER so hooray!