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Day 55 - Mindfulness Reminder

Coming back after Thanksgiving, I decided to use the spare ten minutes of class time usually dedicated to homework review to do what my kids call "yoga". Really, we do a bit of stretching in our seats and I lead them in a brief mindful meditation. I know it is ambitious to expect 13-year-olds to refrain from giggling while also telling them things like, "just focus on breathing" or "pay attention to the rise and fall of your chest as you breath slowly," but my students are awesome. I of course have to give consistent reminders to close your eyes, but overall they are quiet, calm and engaged in the exercise.

Today while finishing our meditation, I shared with them the story The Station by Robert J. Hastings:
“The Station"Tucked away in our subconscious is an idyllic vision. We are traveling by train, out the windows, we drink in the passing scenes of children waving at a crossing, cattle grazing on a distant hillside, row upon row of corn and wheat, flatlands and valleys, mountains and rolling hillsides and city skylines. But uppermost in our minds is the final destination. On a certain day, we will pull into the station. Bands will be playing and flags waving. Once we get there, our dreams will come true and the pieces of our lives will fit together like a completed jigsaw puzzle. Restlessly we pace the aisles, damning the minutes - waiting, waiting, waiting for the station. "When we reach the station, that will be it!" We cry. "When I'm 18." "When I buy a new 450sl Mercedes Benz!" "When I put the last kid through college." "When I have paid off the mortgage!" "When I get a promotion." "When I reach retirement, I shall live happily ever after!" Sooner or later, we realize there is no station,no one place to arrive. The true joy of life is the trip. The station is only a dream. It constantly outdistances us. "Relish the moment" is a good motto. It isn't the burdens of today that drive men mad. It is the regrets over yesterday and the fear of tomorrow. Regret and fear are twin thieves who rob us of today. Regret is reality, after the facts. So stop pacing the aisles and counting the miles. Instead, climb more mountains, eat more ice cream, go barefoot more often, swim more rivers, watch more sunsets,laugh more, cry less. Life must be lived as we go along. The STATION will come soon enough. Life must be lived as we go along. 
The STATION will come soon enough. 

Our new mantra

The rest of class we practiced solving systems of equations containing lots of fractions via elimination and they had time to make progress on their hybrid/gas car projects.