Posts tagged Education
#FuelPersistence

“What are your plans for life after graduation?”

As a student about to leave the school walls and enter the professional world, your obvious answer would be: “Get a job in the field that I studied.”

Life doesn’t go as planned.

During your studies, I bet you never envisioned for yourself that you’d have to move back in with your parents, be struggling financially and/or in serious debt, and couldn’t find a job that requires a degree. After spending countless hours of classwork, extracurricular activities, and paid work, not to mention the yearly tuition to earn your degree, you’ve no guarantee of a job. Sadly, for many graduates today, their dreams for life after higher education turn into this reality.

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What does it mean to be alive?

What does it mean to be alive? This was a question one of my grandmothers asked me recently after we were reflecting on just how precious life is. Why does it take death or the process of losing someone dear to you to realize what truly matters in life?

You could be in a place thinking there is no clear pattern to your career and you are looking for direction. Sometimes it takes you doing what you don’t like or seeing the world from a different lens to actually realize what your gift is in this world and what your purpose is on earth.

On the airplane home after an inspiring trip with family and friends, I couldn’t help but reflect on how valuable life is and the mark I want to leave on this world.

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Assertiveness: The Power of Expressing Your Thoughts

In past years, I have been silent about important issues because I lacked the belief that my point of view mattered or was valid. Even though I knew deep down that I was of value, I was too insecure around others to tell them my honest thoughts and opinions.

What helped me speak was the presence of a supportive community who lifted me up. I truly encourage you to find positive role models in your life as social learning is such a valuable tool for your personal growth. When you surround yourself with individuals who model healthy behaviours, you observe them and want to apply their behaviours yourself.

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February 27th is Pink Shirt Day in Canada!

Now, you might be asking yourself "What is Pink Shirt Day?"

The last Wednesday of February (this year is Feb. 27th) in Canada, is Anti-Bullying Day (i.e., Pink Shirt Day).  It is a day where we take a stand and address this important issue.

As I work in bullying prevention and love the colour Pink, I support this wonderful cause and am proudly wearing pink today.  People always ask me, Why bullying prevention?”  My answer is always the same: “I have seen and personally experienced the negative effects of bullying and want to stop it from hurting others’ lives.”  That is why I support this initiative.

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Persevere Even When No One Will Listen

“Never, ever, ever, give up!” You may have to adapt your course like I have, but trust me don’t quit! I have persevered through many obstacles in my life; the most recent occurred within the last year. Instead of giving up, I changed my approach.  Doing so has made all the difference to achieving my goals.

Through my research and athletic experience at graduate school, I saw a need to reduce bullying in sport. The research I had conducted focused on creating effective school-based bullying prevention programs.  However, towards the end of my studies, it became very apparent that prevention cannot only occur in formal classroom settings (as these programs were using). I believe this needed to reach beyond the classroom. After I graduated, I wanted to improve the climates of educational and athletic environments by focusing on healthy relationships.

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Standing Firm Against The Tide

Water is an essential part of my life and a great teacher to me.

I cherish going to the beach, as it empowers me.  You may have guessed this through the theme of my blog. I look at the mighty rocks on the shore that stand firm despite the waves which persistently crash against them. The intensity of the tide will vary; and the rocks will be shaken, depending on the water’s strength.

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Coffee, Talk, & a Walk: Elaine Raakman

I'm delighted that Elaine is sharing with us her thoughts on perseverance. She has extensive experience in education and sport, which gives her great insight on these topics. Thank you so much, Elaine! I contacted her earlier this year, as I am interested in positive organizational climates and reducing bullying in sport. I suggest you check out the program after you read her interview below. The work being done is very well needed!

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Surround Yourself with Positive People

Every individual that was interviewed for my series, myself included, has stressed the importance of social support in pursuing their passion. Friends and family help you persevere through the setbacks.

You will have many obstacles in your path. So, it is essential to your success to surround yourself with people who cope with these obstacles in a positive rather than a negative manner.

I encountered an “obstacle” in my life this past week with the death of my dog, Sable. I am so blessed for all the support. Thank you from the bottom of my heart!!You have helped me to cope with her passing a positive and healthy manner.

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"Dig Deep": The Lesson I Learned From Disney's Beauty and the Beast

When I was growing up, the Disney princes were what us young girls thought of as our "dream" guys.  Huesmann (1988) suggests that when children view television, they learn about many aspects of society. They gain knowledge of the attitudes and behaviours that are acceptable to society. The children learn from television by copying the behaviours that are portrayed on it. Therefore, if a behaviour is shown on television to be acceptable and valued by their society, the children will learn to emulate that behaviour.

If you haven't seen Beauty and the Beast, you should watch it, as the movie is a classic.

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Creativity is Important: Time to think outside the box!

I went to watch this Improv music class at the beginning of the week with a friend of mine.  A new friend was teaching the class, so he invited us to attend.  The class had five students, who each played different instruments in this fourth-year class.

I was expecting to be blown away by their music and they did really well. The thing is, I wasn’t blown away by their performances.  All the students were amazing musicians but they weren’t excellent.  My definition of an excellent performer is someone who has the abilities but also has the mental drive to shine and take risks.  It felt they were staying in the safe zone and not taking any risks.

One of the students even said they were insecure.

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The Power of Girls: Empowerment Through Education

Such an important message:  Invest in a girl and she will do the rest.  

Many of us, however, may see this ad on the television or in the newspaper but not accept it as a reality, because this oppression isn't occuring in our everyday life.  Let me tell you, oppression of some kind is occurring in your life.  The whole world is connected.

The one statistic that really struck a chord with me was: 130 million children lack the opportunity to go to school!  Something that I took for granted.  That number is HUGE - it is almost four times the population of CANADA and half the population of the United States.

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The Importance of Asking Questions

In order to learn, you need to reach out and ask questions.   I sent a message to a well-established blogger the other day,Laurie Pawlik-Kienlen, and this is how she responded. Read the post here. Thanks Laurie!

This made me think where I was taught this important life lesson.

I learned the importance of asking questions from my high school Algebra and Geometry Teacher.

Our school wasn't semestered, so all of our classes were full-year courses.  I loved math and science, which was great because I had planned on becoming a medical doctor.  

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Craving Connection 1: What’s Wrong with This Scenario?

The young adults in our society today are so transient.  We are constantly moving to attend schools, work, or just for a change.  This scene rings all too familiar with me; since leaving high school, I have had many new beginnings and endings with cities, schools, and work.  I have loved every one though, as I love meeting new people and learning their stories.  It is hard being new in an environment that is already settled.  It is even harder and almost impossible to break into an area when the people of the new place are resistant to change and are unwelcoming in their approach to meeting new people.  Therefore, you have to be persistent and it takes a lot of strength to attend a new setting.  It is hard work, and some people give up.

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"Sitting Disease": How do we prevent it?

Does convenience come with a price? These days you really don't have to do much exercise if you don't want to.  You can have almost anything delivered to your house (i.e. food and supplies).  Also, if you commute to a desk job or are a student there is a lot of sitting involved there too.  Think about it, many individuals get up and take either the bus or drive to school/work, they then sit in lecture or at a computer doing their work. Then they come home.  The setup isn't designed to include much physical activity.  There is so much sitting that researchers have labelled in the "Sitting Disease".

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Healthy Campus Initiative

My question to you is: Why is participation in physical education class not a important/valued part of the curriculum in every faculty of the universities and colleges in Canada? I think this lack of physical activity for our students needs to be changed. The focus of post-secondary educational institutions is on academics, which is very important. However, participation in physical activity allows the students to promote physical and psychological well-being and to stay healthy. More importantly, it causes the students to be more well-rounded members of society. Every post-secondary educational institution in Canada is equipped with adequate athletic facilities. Why not make it mandatory for each student to take part in some sort of physical education class while on-campus? 

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