The way you can measure a society’s soul is by the way that it treats its children.
Issue No. 52 – 14th February 2008
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I came across this great article that I feel is very pertinent to anyone dealing with children. Enjoy.
Whose life have you touched today?
“When I was quite young, my father had one of the first telephones in our neighbourhood. I remember the polished, old case fastened to the wall. The shiny receiver hung on the side of the box. I was too little to reach the telephone, but used to listen with fascination when my mother talked to it.
Then I discovered that somewhere inside the wonderful device lived an amazing person. Her name was “Information Please” and there was nothing she did not know. Information Please could supply anyone’s number and the correct time.
My personal experience with the genie-in-a-bottle came one day while my mother was visiting a neighbour. Amusing myself at the tool bench in the basement, I whacked my finger with a hammer. The pain was terrible, but there seemed no point in crying because there was no one home to give sympathy.
I walked around the house sucking my throbbing finger, finally arriving at the stairway. The telephone! Quickly, I ran for the footstool in the parlour and dragged it to the landing. Climbing up, I unhooked the receiver in the parlour and held it to my ear. “Information, please” I said into the mouthpiece just above my head.
A click or two and a small clear voice spoke into my ear. “Information.”
“I hurt my finger….” I wailed into the phone. The tears came readily enough now that I had an audience.
“Isn’t your mother home?” came the question.
“Nobody’s home but me,” I blubbered.
She must have sensed my deep concern, for she said quietly, “Wayne always remember that there are other worlds to sing in.”
Somehow I felt better.
Another day I was on the telephone, “Information Please.”
“Information,” said in the now familiar voice.
“How do I spell fix?” I asked.
All this took place in a small town in the Pacific Northwest. When I was nine years old, we moved across the country to Boston. I missed my friend very much. “Information Please” belonged in that old wooden box back home and I somehow never thought of trying the shiny new phone that sat on the table in the hall. As I grew into my teens, the memories of those childhood conversations never really left me.
Often, in moments of doubt and perplexity I would recall the serene sense of security I had then. I appreciated now how patient, understanding, and kind she was to have spent her time on a little boy.
A few years later, on my way west to college, my plane put down in Seattle. I had about a half-hour or so between planes. I spent 15 minutes or so on the phone with my sister, who lived there now. Then without thinking what I was doing, I dialled my hometown Operator and said, “Information Please.”
Miraculously, I heard the small, clear voice I knew so well. “Information.”
I hadn’t planned this, but I heard myself saying, “Could you please tell me how to spell fix?”
There was a long pause. Then came the soft spoken answer, “I guess your finger must have healed by now.”
I laughed, “So it’s really you,” I said. “I wonder if you have any idea how much you meant to me during that time?”
“I wonder,” she said, “if you know how much your calls meant to me. I never had any children and I used to look forward to your calls.”
I told her how often I had thought of her over the years and I asked if I could call her again when I came back to visit my sister.
“Please do”, she said. “Just ask for Sally.”
Three months later I was back in Seattle. A different voice answered “Information.” I asked for Sally.
“Are you a friend?” she said.
“Yes, a very old friend,” I answered.
“I’m sorry to have to tell you this,” she said. “Sally had been working part-time the last few years because she was sick. She died five weeks ago.”
Before I could hang up she said, “Wait a minute, did you say your name was Wayne?”
“Yes” I answered.
“Well, Sally left a message for you. She wrote it down in case you called. Let me read it to you.”
The note said, “Tell him there are other worlds to sing in. He’ll know what I mean.”
I thanked her and hung up. I knew what Sally meant.
Never underestimate the impression you may make on others.”
Quoted in Wayne Mansfield’s The Maverick Spirit, August 27th, 2007. (http://www.themaverickspirit.com) Article comes from Michelle Allsop of Dare To Succeed.
Quotes of the Week
It is the LITTLE things in life that make a BIG difference.
From Tom Murrell’s Media Motivators ‘ www.8mmedia.com 28/9/05
A person never stands so tall as when he stoops to help a child. (source unknown)
One person can make a difference and every person should try. (unknown)
For Aspiring Children’s Writers
If you are interested in writing for children, I recommend you subscribe to The Children’s Book Insider newsletter. Published in the USA, it is part of the Write4Kids website and provides information for writers. They have just published an e-book ‘I wish someone had told me that!’ in which experienced authors were asked to write on these specific topics in order to inspire and give advice to aspiring children’s writers:
When I started, I wish someone had told me …
The best advice I ever got was …
The biggest mistake I ever made was …
The most important thing a writer can do to achieve success is…
I really need to tell you this …
This is the book I contributed to.
To purchase a copy of this e-book, click on this link http://write4kids.com/wishbook.html
NATURAL HIGHS for Valentine’s Day
Being in love.
Laughing so hard your face hurts.
Having someone play with your hair.
Holding hands with someone you care about.
Getting a hug from someone you care about deeply.
Watching the expression on someone’s face as they open a much-desired present from you.
Knowing that somebody misses you.
Having someone tell you that you’re beautiful.
Jurien Bay PD 2007
What would you tell other people about this presentation? ‘
‘Ideas are fantastic and very practical.’
‘I have a music background but lack confidence in the classroom. Some fantastic ideas which tie in with fundamental movement skills.’
About The Author
Marlene Rattigan B.A., Dip. Ed. (ECS), CELTA
Marlene Rattigan is an Early Childhood teacher, a teacher of English as a Second Language, and from 1987-2000 was a nationally accredited fitness leader. Her background is in music education. A keen interest in motor development in children led to the creation of Kidz-Fiz-Biz which she taught successfully for 13 years. Marlene also conducts workshops for children, teachers and parents at schools, in the community and at festivals. She has produced teaching manuals complete with audio CDs which are an extension of her ‘Kidz-Fiz-Biz’ program.
PO Box 6894, East Perth WA 6892, Australia
T: +61 8 9325 1204 M: +61 (0) 410 64 2781 E: firstname.lastname@example.org
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Until next time – continue being a legend in your classroom.
Marlene Rattigan, Editor
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