Monthly Archives: July 2012

Food (and activity) journal reflection

I have been keeping a food journal, and as I have noted in an earlier post, I like eating good food. There’s a problem though; I don’t always eat food that is good for you (or even eat good food all the time). A lot of the times (when I’m low on time) I’ll grab something out of the freezer and eat that. What I pulled out of the freezer was often fried and/or something less than nutritionally delectable. What has improved was my activity. Once I noted (or didn’t note) the activities I was doing over the week I saw that I was far behind what I perceived to be a good physical habit, about an hour a day. I wasn’t always following that, but I got closer to it than I did without the journal. I hope I can set myself as a good role model. I try to engage in physical activities daily, my love for the outdoors, but my eating habits are still under par.

My main goal was to incorporate more vegetables and fruits into my diet. My thought was it would be a substitution for my other eating habits (mainly my love of bread and sweets). I did add a lot of vegetables and fruits into my diet. Our grocery cart for the week was always about third vegetables/fruits. I still ate sweets and lots of bread. I drank wine (moderately) which is a healthy decision (NOT for students, obviously). It also helped that my wife and I motivated each other in activities. I have been running two to three times a week (I’d like to push that to three to four, depending on my knees/shins) and also mix in pushups, squats, crunches, etc. Making time, at the same time every day would make reaching these goals a lot easier. What works best for me is if I do it as soon as I get home, around five thirty. When I’m tired, I’ll easily miss the deadline, but then it’s time to make dinner, clean and do homework. I’d want myself (and students) to set aside the same time every day, and if they don’t do an activity, then write what they did instead. If they did (or I do) an activity at a later time, note that, and try to make a better schedule.

Health and fitness is integral to be a good student. If the students are healthy and alert, they will learn better and feel better. They are starting good habits for life. And that should be noted, these activities and nutrition are not really goals, but how you should model your life. I think this won’t be overly difficult to incorporate into normal learning, as long as it’s integrated with the standard learning (reading, writing, and math). As time for science is already low, whatever topic I can teach I would like to incorporate. Human physiology is amazing and students can learn both about and how to maintain and improve their own lives. I think we have shown that even a thirty minute lesson (incorporate reading, writing and math) can do so much. I know that the lessons can also be continuously improved.


This is your brain on education

Warning: Not for the squeamish.


Touching brains, lungs, livers, hearts is quite an experience. It’s not recommend on an empty stomach, but it’s something in education that needs to be seen to truly appreciate. Too often things get lost in the written word, images or video. Sometimes you just got to touch the real thing to have that mental connection. Once you get over the gross factor (organs stored in formaldehyde for decades right before lunch),  you can appreciate that what you’re holding is being held inside your body.

This type of learning is one of the best, but it’s also one of the rarest. I’d love to have access to microscopes and museums, laboratories and zoos at the whim for a lesson. Take a field trip to the south before reading The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn. Sadly, most of the time you’re in the classroom, limited to the materials on hand. ButI fret not, because I know it’ll just take a little bit of creativity on my part and on the students’ to appreciate the world. Sometimes we can’t touch the world, but if our imagination is strong enough, we may be able to set foot on a distant planet.

A sticky situation

Whether or not I have to teach Sex Ed (as I still call it) I still may have some tricky questions I’ll have to answer to some kids, and not just my own.


I think the key is not being uncomfortable with the question, or the nature of the question, and answer it matter of fact. It takes the humor out of it, and almost makes everything sound clinical and sterile. As if it only belongs in the hospital.


But nature is a beautiful and amazing thing. The process is quite extraordinary. We just have to instill to the students that they are ready physically, mentally and emotionally before they make these choices. Kids grow up as fast as they do already. I don’t have kids yet, but I see cousins, nephews, and friends’ kids alike growing up. I can’t always be uncomfortable with my little sister dating – especially if she’s about to turn 21. We also need to give kids the proper tools, because some will act on impulses at a much younger age. It’s a scary thought, but you have to prepare them. You can teach a kid about the hydrogen atom, and its beauty in constructing most of the universe, powering life with stars like our sun, or they could go ahead and build big the worlds biggest bomb with it. If we can teach them the beauty, we can also teach them the destruction. Kids will make choices. We should as teachers be able to answer their questions within the means of the school zone, else they might hear it first from someone more around their age and a whole lot less mature.