You're encouraged to join and participate in what I hope will be an on-going conversation. Your participation will make this effort a much more worthwhile endeavor. Be sure to click on the "Comments" tab below to read what others have written in response. I look forward to hearing more from you.

Sunday, May 22, 2011

Wanted: Civility Engineers

Let's be honest.  Surely you've heard someone mention in recent years what they do for a living and you've wondered - Huh?  What exactly is that?  Well, where there's a will, there's a way.  And it seems like where there's a need there's a niche.  So, people are carving careers out of problems that need solutions, although I guess you could say it's always been this way.  Maybe you're looking to spruce up your living room but you're short on cash.  No problem - just hire an interior redesigner.  No need for new purchases - S/he'll take what you have and rearrange it.  And what about social media strategists or user experience analysts?  Thanks to the web, several careers like the aforementioned have evolved that weren't even imagined a few years ago. And lots of careers have sprouted from fertile opportunities in seemingly barren land.  Here's one we desperately need - civility engineers.

Civility in this country seems to be in short supply and the mechanisms that typically safeguard it are structurally deficient and even functionally obsolete.  The shortage of civility is threatening our civilized world.  Indeed, just a few weeks ago we witnessed a Congressman calling the President an outright liar while the latter was delivering a speech, although some might give the Congressman kudos for at least insulting the President to his face and not in cyberpace.  What's worse, the Civility Project, an initiative launched that was designed to bring more awareness to the need for civility in the political process, is shutting down after only three of 585 sitting representatives, senators, and governors agreed to sign a simple pledge that included the following - "I will be civil in my discourse and behavior;"  "I will be respectful of others whether or not I agree with them;"  I will stand against incivility when I see it." (Hope does remain alive, however, as the Civility Initiative at JHU continues to pursue its objectives - see http://krieger.jhu.edu/civility).

We all know that web-based incivility has gone viral, with no boundaries to the attacks launched.  What's often overlooked, though, is that workplace incivility has penetrated environments in such subtly insidious and even blatantly invidious ways that its toxicity is now impairing output.  How does incivility manifest itself?  Below are just some examples;
  • sending an insulting email.
  • asking for input and then ignoring the reply.
  • "forgetting" to share credit with colleagues for work done in collaboration.
  • interrupting or being verbally abusive in conversations.
  • giving the "silent" treatment.
No doubt, you could add more.  In the process, incivility is making us less productive by adding stress to our lives and subtracting engagement from our work (a case could easily be made for incivility doing the same to students in school).  A video to the right of this page (The Hidden Costs of Workplace Incivility) summarizes some of the research that reveals the toxic nature of incivility.  And then, of course, there are the random acts of unkindness to which we are subjected almost daily in our own personal lives.

Clearly, we face a growing problem.  So, maybe it's time for civility engineers to sprout up and get to work...on building "bridges" that connect human beings in healthier ways, on paving "pathways" that will enhance civil discourse, on designing "infrastructures" that will ensure constructive communication, on planning "dams" that will stop the flow of toxic incivility, on any project that will limit the damage caused by vitriolic spills and outbursts.  Human relations managers, you might be thinking, are charged with these responsibilities, arent't they?  Well, it seems they have other issues to contend with these days.  We need a radical intervention.  We need a new corp of civility engineers.

Sound far-fetched?  My guess is that interior re-designers once did, too.  And so did social media strategists and user experience analysts, and even search engine optimization specialists.  As Rodney King implored back in the '80s (remember?), "Can't we all just get along?"  It seems like we all can't anymore.  It seems like the civilized world has become so devisive and communication so derisive that a solution will need to emerge that doesn't now exist. 

Could civility engineers be that solution?  If someone has the will, perhaps one can find a way.  Clearly, there's a need.  Let's be honest.

Sunday, April 24, 2011

One If by Land, Two If by Sea...and Too Late If by Cyberspace

Nothing personal.   That's just the way cyber-bullying can be.  Except that, for the victim, it is.  And hurtful, too.

Warfare has been revolutionized since the days of Paul Revere perched high in the church tower. Technological advancements have brought tactical enhancements.  One way it's now conducted is with military personnel controlling drones flying over places like Afghanistan and launching missiles in designated locations, with all of this controlled via remote access back in the USA.  When the work day is done, "air traffic controllers" head home for dinner with their families.  It resembles a video game.  Nothing personal.  That's just the way it can be.

Kids can conduct their own warfare at home as well...and from a distance outside the physical reach of the intended target, too.  They can launch missiles via text, email, Facebook, Formspring and the like.  And the missiles, once exploded, can form viral mushroom clouds that go far beyond the original point of attack. Once done, these kids can move into the kitchen for dinner with the family.  It looks like virtual bullying.  It's also virtue-less.  Nothing personal.  That's just the way it can be.

When you don't have to "see" the target, the inclination to launch is less of an impediment.  The blow delivered, however, is no less severe.  And there is no early warning device, either.  Log on and ...boom.  You're hit.  You never see it coming.  And you may never know who launched it because the missile could be wrapped in anonymity.   Home used to provide a safe haven from harassment.  No more.

Below are some facts related to this potential peril;
  • Around half of teens have been the victims of cyber bullying.
  • Only 1 in 10 teens tells a parent if they have been a cyber bully victim (many are afraid they'll lose their tech privileges if they do tell).
  • Fewer than 1 in 5 cyber bullying incidents are reported to law enforcement.
  • 1 in 10 adolescents or teens have had embarrassing or damaging pictures taken of themselves without their permission, often using cell phone cameras.
  • Girls are somewhat more likely than boys to be involved in cyber bullying.
  • Boys are more likely to be threatened by cyber bullies than girls.
  • Mean, hurtful comments and spreading rumors are the most common type of cyber bullying.
How can one defend against this?  Here are some suggestions.
  • Make a rule that teens may not send mean or damaging messages, even if someone else started it, or suggestive pictures or messages or they will lose their cell phone and computer privileges for a time.
  • Encourage teens to tell an adult if cyber bullying is occurring. Tell them if they are the victims they will not be punished, and reassure them that being bullied is not their fault.  It's not easy to manage this as a parent when texting and Facebook and even emailing are controlled by the child.  Open lines of communication between parents and children are vital.
  • Teens should keep cyber bullying messages as proof that the cyber bullying is occurring. The teens' parents may want to talk to the parents of the cyber bully, to the bully's Internet or cell phone provider, and/or to the police about the messages, especially if they are threatening or sexual in nature.
  • Teens should never tell their password to anyone except a parent, and should not write it down in a place where it could be found by others.
  • Keep the computer in a shared space like the family room, and do not allow teens to have Internet access in their own rooms.
  • Encourage teens to have times when they turn off the technology, such as at family meals or after a certain time at night.
Sources:  Hartford County Examiner and Cyber-Bullying Research Center 

In order to minimize vulnerability to surprise attacks via cyberspace, it's wise to take necessary precautions and be prepared to respond appropriately if attacked.   It's never too late to do either.  It only invites harm to do neither.

Nothing personal.  That's just the way cyber-bullying can be.

More web sites for information are below.




Thursday, April 7, 2011

End Readicide

Watch Kelly talk.  Talk, Kelly, talk.

See Kelly run.  Run, Kelly, run...

Well, you can watch Kelly Gallagher talk in two very short videos (to the right) about his book called Readicide.  Gallagher is a longtime educator who argues that schools are performing mass destruction on the joy of reading.

You can also see Kelly "run" with this argument in the attached interview.  Click on the link below.


I could summarize it for you in Sparknote fashion, but then you wouldn't be able to see Kelly run.  Hopefully, the short videos will spark your interest to read more - starting with the attachment (it should take fewer than five minutes to read).

Mark Twain once said that there is really little difference between someone who can't read and someone who won't.  According to Gallagher, too many of us simply won't.  It's already disheartening enough that some can't.  For the many who won't, the joy is gone.  And the consequences of this are now upon us.

It's a problem, at least in Gallagher's view.  He says that the solution clearly rests with all of us.  It's not a problem for the English teachers alone to solve.  Rather, all teachers own it.  And so do parents.

If you've made it this far, perhaps you'd be willing to share your thoughts.  Do it in a few short sentences - like the ones you encountered when you first learned to read. 

Can reading be saved?

Wednesday, March 30, 2011

False Hope

I learned during a meeting last week conducted at Manchester Community College (MCC) that the state and federal governments will soon be redefining the term “college readiness”.  It has several implications for high school students and for their larger school communities.  Although the proposal is still being discussed in the legislatures, it’s likely that what it means to be ready for college will change quite significantly.

Here’s the quick take.  Not surprisingly, money allocated to community colleges is shrinking while enrollment is expanding.  Something has to go and that something looks like remedial classes.  So, before students are accepted to MCC, they’ll need to reach established benchmarks on the ACCUPLACER (I asked about the “placement” of these benchmarks but couldn’t get a definitive answer – probably because it hasn’t yet been established).  If they don’t grab hold of the benchmarks, but reach an accepted (but, again, not yet determined) level below them, these students will be allowed to take a VERY limited number of courses available to them and will only be allowed to matriculate as part-time students (this will affect insurance coverage on them relative to their parents' policies).  If they fail to even reach the aforementioned, they’ll be DENIED admission to MCC, required by the state to return to their local communities and enroll in adult education programs to prepare for the ACCUPLACER and get ready (college readiness) for college. So, community colleges will no longer be an option for anyone with simply a high school diploma or GED if this proposal becomes reality.  And the burden for remediation will be shifted back to local communities.

This shift in thinking is really based upon a concept known as "ability to benefit", which means that students need to demonstrate an ability to benefit from being enrolled in college (read: successfully complete college-level work).  Anything less will no longer be considered college.  Having said that, it will end the false hope that some students have of moving on to higher education without first taking sufficient care of what needs to be done in high school.

The link below will bring you to an article that addresses this issue in Arizona but sounds strikingly similar to the discussion being heard in Connecticut.


Thursday, March 24, 2011

Teaching to the Text

Teens text often.  They should learn how to write in a concise, coherent, and cohesive manner. 

Define.  Describe.  Conclude. 

It's about sound bytes, isn't it?

Hit send.

The attached piece, written by a college professor, addresses this issue.
(Of course, you can hit delete, too.)



Monday, March 21, 2011

Rival Philosophies About Education From Two College Dropouts

Hear from and read about two college dropouts and their rival views on education.  You may be surprised to see who they are.  Also, take seven minutes to view the video imbedded in the link below (you'll need to click on "Read the Discussion").  And, while you're at it, take a few more minutes to click on the links to the left of the NY Times piece.

What's the primary purpose of education in today's world? 


Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Boys Will Be Boys...As Girls Race Past Them In the Classroom

Below is an article I wrote in March, 2004.  Nothing really has changed.  If anything, it's become worse.  Read on and, if it sparks an interest, then read three articles on this issue that appear below and watch a brief video that speaks to it as well.

If the pursuit of academic achievement in high school were viewed as something resembling a long-distance road race, girls would be out-pacing boys at a considerable rate.  And the latter would be losing ground as more distance was covered.  At least that is what mounting evidence is revealing.  What this means down the road, as experts debate the issue, could have sociological and economic ramifications.

It has been known for years that girls in general outperform boys in the elementary school classroom, and that a gap in achievement usually diminishes by the time they move through middle school.  What has the experts scratching their heads lately has been the sustainability of this achievement gap well into the high school years.

The Southern Regional Education Board (SRED), a consortium of 16 states committed to improving education, recently conducted a survey that revealed surprising information.  Among the 40,000 males and female students polled in over 1000 high schools, all of whom were considered typical in that they were neither stellar performers nor slackers, boys clearly placed less value in school than did girls.  Whereas 84% of females surveyed reported that it was important to pursue higher education beyond high school, only 67% of the males felt similarly.  This bears out in the data released by the U.S. Department of Education - at the end of the last decade, 133 women received bachelor's degrees for every 100 men, and the former is expected to rise to 142 by 2010.  Moreover, 70% of these "average" girls surveyed by SRED see a direct relationship between school success and achievement of life goals while 57% of the boys hold to the same view.

Skeptics might point to verbal aptitude as a function of gender and that that these differences might reverse themselves in the quantitiative domain. Well, the data doesn't support this notion.  Across just about every measure, girls are outperforming boys.  Why?  Would anyone like to offer an explanation that appears to be perplexing to the experts?

Of course, what happens in the employment world, understandably, is another story, and perhaps for another time.  But, for school, falling back on the argument that "boys will be boys" is falling down in the face of a growing problem.

Fast forwarding to 2011, the rate of matriculation to college by gender is at about 57% for females and 43% for males.




Be sure to read the comments left by readers of these articles.  And feel free to post your own comments here.

 Look under Short Videos to the right - "Where Have the Good Men Gone?

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Is the American Dream Just That?

No other country in the world can hold claim to its own dream like the United States does with its "American Dream."  This dream has lured many from elsewhere to migrate and make this dream become for them a reality.  Many have, no doubt. And many haven't.  Coined in the 1930s just after the nightmare of the Great Depression was coming to an end, the American Dream became a reality as the country awakened from the financial disaster and then later WWII to find itself flush with resources and a booming economy that brought a middle class lifestyle to millions of Americans.

Six decades later, this notion of the American Dream is now fading for millions as the country has suffered from what is now called the Great Recession.  There is much debate about whether or not America will recover from this devastating crash and again become the land of opportunity it has long been known to be. 

You may have your own feeling about this and perhaps your own experiences as well.  Two pieces recently published in the same newspaper take contrasting views on the fate of the American Dream.  Take a few minutes to open both and read them (the links are below).  What's your take?  Is the American Dream still alive?  Or is it an experience that one can only have while sleeping?



If you choose to make the time, a report out of Harvard recently provided directions for "Pathways to Prosperity".  click on http://www.gse.harvard.edu/blog/news_features_releases/2010/02/pathways-to-prosperity-seeks-to-redefine-american-education-system.html.  It's worth the time.

Saturday, March 5, 2011

"Race to Nowhere" Attracting Attention

"Race to Nowhere" is a documentary film that is actually in a race its producer may not have initially expected.  This race seems to be one in which an increasing number of (affluent) communities throughout the United States can't arrange a showing fast enough. 

Briefly, the film is about this "race" in which students feel they must participate in order to compete for the few seats available in the most selective colleges this country has to offer.  Occupying one of these seats, so goes the thinking, will supposedly guarantee a life of grand success. 

This "race", in the process, is producing a generation of stressed-out, depressed, and increasingly disengaged kids who see little value in learning other than amassing AP credits and the like.  Other students are opting out of the "race", and some are so turned off by this "exercise" that they are opting out of learning altogether.

The previous post was on the status of AP courses.  This is a continuation on the theme.

You may want to spend about twenty minutes viewing the two short clips posted on this film.  Each is listed to the right under "Short Videos".  After viewing them, you may also want to post an opinion. 

While you're at it, why not spend a few more minutes at this site and click on any (or all) of the short clips addressing the state of the American Dream.   I wonder if this "Race to Nowhere" and the "American Dream" are intimately linked.  Or is there a disconnect here - one where an argument is being made for downshifting the pace of learning and the other calling for an uptick in order to prepare students for a world that is becoming increasingly more competitive?

Saturday, February 12, 2011

AP Gets Advanced Play in the News

The College Board published a report this week that highlighted the steady rise in Advanced Placement (AP) tests taken over the last decade (see http://chronicle.com/article/Number-of-AP-Test-Takers-Has/126313/?sid=pm&utm_source=pm&utm_medium=en).  You may also want to check out a related article that recently appeared in the Wall Street Journal (http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424052748704858404576134142048372986.html?KEYWORDS=AP+exams).  The report was released with a coating of pride in the fact that, not only has participation doubled in the past decade, research indicates enrollment in AP courses helps to increase the likelihood that AP participants will go on to and graduate from college.  Also included in the report (although not necessarily highlighted) is the steady increase in lower scores.

AP courses have been the subject of much debate in recent years as some highly reputable prep schools and school districts have discarded them for what they feel are more sensible and equally challenging replacements.  Other schools have placed more value upon dual credit programs that allow high school students to complete college courses that also meet high school graduation requirements but without requiring an end-of-course (make-it-or-break-it, win-or-lose) exam. The major criticism of AP courses is that the curriculum, a mile wide and an inch deep, is covered in a sprint that lasts from September to May.  And the challenge AP courses present, critics argue, is like asking someone to memorize the New York City telephone book.

Is it time to reconsider this sprint and the amount of ground covered in the race?  Apparently, those schools that have opted out have made The College Board think twice about its program.  While more students may be participating in the AP Program, they may not be the students for whom the AP Program was originally designed.  So, now it is reconsidering its program in light of the criticism and is about to make revisions.  The New York Times recently published an article that addresses some of the issues as well as plans The College Board has in store in the coming months (http://www.nytimes.com/2011/01/09/education/edlife/09ap-t.html?pagewanted=all).

The College Board buckled under pressure several years ago when the California State University System was ready to abandon the SAT in favor of subject tests, arguing that the test was not an accurate measure of college readiness.  With California providing the most test-takers of any state in the country, The College Board was pretty much forced to listen.  And it did.  So, analogies were deleted, Algebra 2 questions were included, more reading passages were inserted, and a writing sample was required as well.  Of course, now it takes  about half a day to complete the test.

And now the AP Program is poised for change.  Is anyone about to start a "wave" in celebration of this?

Saturday, January 22, 2011

Framing Setbacks

First - about last week's post. 

I was very pleased and encouraged by the response received from last week's post on "Not Yet Successful" and the video about "Teen Brains on Technology".  Regarding the latter, technology has certainly had an impact on how (and how long) and what we read these days.  In fact, it's kind of called into question what constitutes real reading.

You may have missed a previous post on "Reading at Risk" (a couple of weeks ago - you can click on it to the left if you're interested).  And you may, if you haven't done so already, take a look at the article on the right entitled "Is Google Making Us Stupid".  In the meantime, even though the post was a summary of the published report gleaned from the Executive Summary, what follows is a summary of the summary in (almost) twitter form.

We're not reading much of anything these days...rate of reading is declining rapidly for both men & women...across all ethnic & racial groups...across all ages...steepest decline is among teenagers...decline relates to increase in use of electronic devices, video games, & portable digital devices.

That's the summary, although not in 140 characters.  So, you might be asking - "Why, then, should we even read the summary, never mind the report?"  I get the sense that kids are asking questions like this, too, when it comes to reading assignments.

On another note...  let's continue this conversation about the word "yet".  In reality, sometimes the right choice to make when pursuing a goal is to say "Not now, and - you know what? -  not ever".  This is not an easy decision to make because one never knows how close s/he may be to achieving the desired goal.  But here's another spin on it.  "Stuff" happens and we have to learn how to deal with it.  RESILIENCE.  Framing setbacks in a way that provides constructive feedback is an immensely important skill to acquire in life.  Sometimes stuff happens that seems devastating at the time but later on may evolve into a blessing.  Take a moment to read the SHORT story below;

There was an old man and is son who worked a small farm with only one horse to pull the plow.  One day, the horse ran away.  "How terrible," sympathized the neighbors, "What bad luck."
But the farmer replied, "Who knows whether it's bad luck or good luck."  

A week later, out of nowhere, the horse returned from the mountains, leading five wild mares into the barn.  The neighbors heard about this and exclaimed, "What wonderful luck!"  "Good luck? Bad luck? Who knows?" answered the old man.  

A couple of days later, the son, trying to tame one of the wild horses, fell and broke his leg.  "How terrible.  What bad luck!" cried the neighbors.  "Bad luck?  Good luck?  Who knows?" said the farmer.  

Ten days later, the army came to all the farms to take the young men for war.  The farmer's son - with his broken leg -  was of no use to them, so he was spared.  Good luck? Bad luck?

Retrospect offers us what no moment, in the present, is capable of doing.  Time will reveal the reason for the baffling or troubling situations that have dogged our paths along the way.  Whenever the road feels rocky or we are confused, we need to trust.  Our lives are not happenstances.  There is a performance being staged.  (From a Promise of a New Day).

In one sense, then, nothing really matters in and of itself because the importance of things lies in the ways we have learned to think about them.It's really all about framing your experiences, and this includes "setbacks" along the way.  Experience isn't what happens to you so much as it is how you interpret what happens to you.

Check out the one-minute video interview (posted above and to the right) with Bill Bradley, the former basketball player who starred at Princeton in the 1960s and later on with NY Knicks in the NBA, but not before taking two years to study at Oxford as a Rhodes Scholar in between.  Later on, he had a long career in politics as a US Senator from NJ and made an unsuccessful run (not yet - not ever) for the presidency.

Sunday, January 16, 2011

Not YET Successful

If you're reading along like I am, you'll recall that the last entry was about the "power of yet".  It's linked to failure, that word in our culture with an undeserving reputation.  Really, I don't know anyone who has ever achieved success without experiencing failure along the way.  We should be paying more attention to those who are successful and how they've learned to befriend failure instead of turning our backs to it.

It's important to fail.  And it's important to give children permission to fail.  Only by risking failure can anything really ever be achieved.  Failure can be an ally in other ways, too.  Failure gives us a unique opportunity to learn.  And it gives us options, if we're paying attention.  Failure, by the way, is no more permanent than is success.

You've heard it - the road to success is full of hurdles and potholes.  You may have also heard the Japanese proverb - "Fall down seven times, get up eight."  So, failure may simply mean "not yet successful".

Wait a second - isn't this a grading option?  Seniors at certain schools who are completing capstone projects sometimes receive this feedback.  It means - go back to work and do better because we think you can.  It sends the message that someone else expects you to do better.

"You're not done - yet."

We're almost done.  There are just a few final questions to ask.  What if the D and F were eliminated from grading options?  After all, a "D" represents unsatisfactory performance, anyway.  What if, instead, any student not performing satisfactorily was told that s/he is "not yet successful"?  Does the message in the grade deliver a different kind of lesson?

"You're not done - yet."

Any thoughts on this?

Monday, January 10, 2011

The Power of "Yet"

With a new year comes new goals to pursue - or recycle.  Hope rises as temperatures fall - at least in New England - only to see this hope plummet when, well, temperatures  again rise a few months later (at least in...).  Hope springs eternal with well-intentioned plans.  And then patience begins to wear thin as - for instance, if someone is looking to lose weight - the "waistline" remains unchanged.  Failure has no deserving place in our lives, or so we feel.  So, instead of feeling like one (a failure), we often just abandon our goals.  Yet, what if we added a three-letter word to the end of our judgments - yet?  "Yet" can change everything.  It can empower us to keep on keepin' on in pursuit of those goals we're otherwise so quick to discard. 

We've heard this phrase expressed repeatedly - "Forget it.  I can't do that."  Okay.  Maybe not - yet.  "Yet" changes the perception of "failure" from a sense of permanence to one that is temporary.  "Yet" extinguishes excuses.  "Yet" connotes choice. "Yet" tells us that it's a judgment in the moment and not one that is absolute.  "I can't do that - yet."

Think about it.  Think about something you want to do or wanted to do but didn't.  Perhaps it's losing x amount of pounds or running an x minute mile or learning a new software program or joining a new club  - or all of these.  Perhaps it's writing a research paper or solving a math problem or doing homework daily.  It's January 10th.  Now think forward to April 1st.  And you haven't done what you set out to do.  Don't fool yourself by saying - "I give up.  I can't do that."  Instead, give up the first sentence in the previous phrase and add one word to the second sentence - "I can't do that YET."  Hope remains alive...and so should your commitment.  There may be goals we can't reach or behaviors we can't master no matter what, but not nearly as many as we think.  Rather, we simply can't do them yet.

If you're old enough, you may remember the three "Rs" as Reading, 'Riting, and 'Rithmetic.  Each still has its place in learning, but so does another set of "Rs" - Relationships, Relevance, and Resilience.  It's this last one that deserves our attention in this piece.  Resilience is about belief.

Believe me.  This blog hasn't generated much feedback (its original purpose) since it was launched back in early November - yet.

Monday, January 3, 2011

Another Year and Growing Older

It's a New Year.  And we'll all be a year older on one of the days in this New Year.  Rather than focus upon resolutions, which are often simply re-solutions to the same problems (and with the same results), perhaps it would make sense to take a moment to reflect upon what it means to be a year older.  The poem below may help trigger a reflection.

Growing Older
Maya Angelou

When I was in my younger days, I weighed a few
Pounds less, I needn't hold my tummy in to wear a belted dress.

But now that I am older, I've set my body free;
There's the comfort of elastic...Where once my waist would be.

Inventor of those high-heeled shoes...My feet have not forgiven;
I have to wear a nine now.  But used to wear a seven.

And how about those pantyhose -
They're sized by weight, you see.  So how come
When I put them on
The crotch is at my knee?

I need to wear these glasses...As the print's been getting smaller;
And it wasn't very long ago I know that I was taller.

Though my hair has turned gray and my skin no longer fits,
On the inside, I'm the same old me,
It's the outside's changed a bit.

But, on a positive note...

I've learned that no matter what happens, or how bad it seems today,
Life does go on, and it will be a better tomorrow.

I've learned that you can tell a lot about a person
by the way s/he handles these three things: a rainy day, lost luggage, and tangled Christmas tree lights.

I've learned that regardless of your relationship with
Your parents, you'll miss them when they're gone from your "life".

I've learned that life sometimes give you a second chance.

I've learned that you shouldn't go through life with a catcher's mitt
on both hands.  You need to be able to throw something back.

I've learned that whenever I decide something with an open heart, I usually make the right decisions.

I've learned that even when I have pains, I don't have to be one.

I've learned that every day you should reach out and touch someone.

People love a warm hug, or just a friendly pat on the back.

I've learned that I still have a lot to learn.

I've learned that people will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel.

Be open to learning in this New Year.  And be open to seeing problems in new ways.  You may then arrive at new solutions, with no longer the need for re-solutions.