Beauty is in the eye of the beholder

Beauty is in the eye of the beholder‘ ~ Margaret Wolfe Hungerford

Beauty is only skin deep‘ ~ Sir Thomas Overbury

I’m sure you are familiar with these quotes. I read a great book last week called The Ravenous Gown and 14 more Tales about Real Beauty by Steffani Raff. It was a lot of fun, but it also had a very profound underlying message. It challenges the idea that you have to fit society’s idea of beauty in order to be loved and accepted. It’s about being yourself, and being happy in the skin you’re in. It’s in our library now just waiting to be taken home and enjoyed.

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Mr Browne’s Precept

“When given the choice between being right or being kind, choose kind.”   – Dr Wayne W. Dyer

Mr Browne is Auggie’s English teacher and he begins every month by writing a precept on the board for his students to copy into their books. At the end of the month they have to write about the precept and what it means to them. (A precept is anything that helps or guides us when making important decisions.)

Wonder_Cover_ArtWonder by R. J. Palacio is the story of 10 year old August Pullman who is petrified at the prospect of beginning year 5,  as this will be his first year at school. You see up until now Auggie has been home schooled. Auggie is a huge ‘Star Wars’ fan, he’s clever, he’s funny, and he’s become pretty good at pretending he doesn’t care when people stare at him which they do a lot, because he was also born with very horrific facial abnormalities. He doesn’t describe his appearance other than to say, “…whatever you’re thinking, it’s probably worse.”

This beautifully written book takes us on an emotional  journey with Auggie, his family and classmates during his first year at Beecher Prep school. What is so powerful is not just the way Auggie’s courage, strength and ability to overcome the huge challenges he faces is so realistically portrayed, but the insight into the behaviour, attitudes and prejudices of some of his classmates and their parents. He endures some of the worst kind of bullying and enjoys some of the best kinds of friendships.

Auggie’s first year at  Beecher Prep helps everyone become more tolerant and accepting as they realise that his outward appearance doesn’t make him any different from them on the inside.

I hope this book is never sitting on the shelf in our library. I want it to be borrowed, read, loved and talked about. There is so much we can learn from Wonder. Its a book that has the power to move hearts and change minds.

Where the Magic Happens!

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‘Outside of your comfort zone is where the magic happens’. That’s the quote I chose for the Homepage of our brand new blog at Tenambit Public School. It’s the message I gave to my enthusiastic group of bloggers as they embarked on this exciting new journey.

I remembered back to the beginning of 2015 when I too was undertaking the same journey when beginning this blog. It was all very new and more than a bit scary. But I know that to learn and grow we need to continually challenge ourselves. We should not be afraid to try new things and understand that we have to fail sometimes in order to learn.  If we always settle for safe and comfortable, we are never going to know what we are truly capable of.

I hope that you visit our new blog regularly and share the learning and experiences of our newest bloggers at Tenambit Public School.

The learning begins when you step outside your comfort zone! That’s where the magic happens.

http://tenambit15.edublogs.org/

 

Stand out in the crowd!

STAND OUT IN THE CROWD

Image: “Surrounded” by Calef Brown

“Why fit in when you were born to stand out?”  – Dr Seuss

I found this when I was doing some random surfing. I like the artwork and the sentiment. Be the best you can be.  Don’t be afraid to stand out. Be confident and proud of who you are.

What makes you stand out from the crowd?

“Always look on the bright side of life…”

Our library suffered significantly during the recent severe storms with many books totally waterlogged or moisture damaged, the carpet saturated and the ceiling soggy and possibly in need of replacement. It will be weeks, possibly months, before we will be fully operational.

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It was however truly heartwarming to read the many caring and thoughtful comments, and genuine offers of help from our wonderful parents and friends on Facebook. It’s a wonderful reminder of just how lucky we are to have the tremendous support of such a great community. Many thanks also to the amazing staff who worked very hard to help me set up a temporary space where we can continue to borrow until our library is back up and running again.

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“Painting is poetry that is seen rather than felt, and poetry is painting that is felt rather than seen.” — Leonardo da Vinci

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I think this quote is wonderful! Da Vinci lived his life knowing how to combine deep thinking and art.

I’ve been so, so busy with preparations for our upcoming Art Show of late that I’ve found myself with little time for much else. This morning I’ve paused to reflect on why I’ve invested so much time and energy into it and I guess the simple answer is; it’s something that I really value and enjoy. I love to see the creative talents of our students displayed alongside the work of ‘real artists’ in an exciting exhibition space.

Art is an essential part of my life as is music and poetry. They have much in common. Art, poetry, and music are all forms of expression that have the ability to nourish our mind and touch our very heart and soul. For every feeling, thought, or emotion, you can find a painting, a poem, or a piece of music that expresses it concisely. Poetry is a form of writing that strips away all that is unimportant and leaves only the barest, most honest and expressive words behind. It creates an emotional response just as viewing amazing art, or listening to awesome music does. Some of the best poetry is to be found in the lyrics of the many songs we listen to.

Do you love and appreciate art, poetry and music as much as I do? I’d love to hear about it.
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