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Posts Tagged ‘talking’

So, I have decided that the best way to get to know your children is to go on a road trip.  Seriously, I highly recommend it.  Granted, it will depend on the type of kids you have and how many.  With just my son and me in the car, it is quite easy.  If you add two more kids to the mix, I am sure it becomes more difficult, but with proper planning it could go quite well …  I think.

On the second leg of our trip to Colorado, we talked about sports (His topic).  Our conversation about sports got philosophical quite quickly and lasted for almost an hour.  I wanted to know why he played sports.  You see, my son is in a lot of activities.  He is in karate, he starts football in August, then wrestling, then back to karate, and if there was infinite more time and money, he would also be in swimming.  He is the best swimmer that I know.  He is a blue belt in karate and is getting quite good at his defensive line position in football.  Of course I am biased, but I believe the previous statements are accurate.

But it was the why questions that interested me the most.  I asked him about karate and if he knew why they discussed things like honor, dignity and humility.  His sensei is very old school and he trains in the Okinawan Shorin Ryu school of karate.  I asked him if he knew what that meant.  He did not, and quite frankly, neither did I, which led to a discussion on why not ask why?  This may be normal for 13-year-olds, but I found it curious.  My son does a lot of things without knowing why he is doing them.  He likes karate for the exercise.  He likes football because he has friends on the team and he has dreams of being in the NFL.  He likes swimming because I think he is part fish.  My son can stay in the water all day.  And when I say all day, I mean all day.

The why questions led us to a discussion about his school classes.  His classes are apparently stupid and he does not see their point.  We talked about the purpose of education.  I explained to him that there is still a lot that he does not know and that he is not ready to be kicked out of the house yet.  He agreed.  We talked about goals, and why it is important to have them.  We talked about life and philosophy and why there are certain rituals in his karate class.  We talked about why he never asks the ‘why’ questions.  His answer to this surprised me, it’s because no one else does.  I said, “You are right, most people don’t ask the ‘why’ questions, and if you can learn to do this, you will be a step ahead of everyone else.  It is important to ask why, especially when you don’t know the answer.”

I have no idea how my son will look back on this summer when he is older.  I hope he will look back in a positive way.  I hope I am not coming across preachy.  I hope he is not becoming skilled at tuning me out, which I am sure he does more often than I would care to admit.  But nonetheless, it was a good ride to Colorado and I learned a lot.  It makes me wonder how much we could all learn about one another if we could just periodically be stuck in a car for 16 hours.  Can’t wait until the drive home at the end of the month.  We still have a lot of topic cards left.

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One interesting thing I learned on the second leg of the trip.  My son wants to see his birthplace, Lawrence, Kansas.  As we drove through Nebraska I said look around, it’s a lot like this, except with fewer trees.  Despite my description of his birth state, he still wants to go.  So, we will be taking the long way home through Kansas.  I will just have one thing to say to my son before we embark on our Kansas journey.  Be prepared to be disappointed.  I’m just sayin’ …

Yup.  It looks just like this.

Yup. It looks just like this.

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So, you might be surprised to learn that I talk to myself.  I don’t talk to myself in the way you might think.  For example, some people I know talk out loud as if someone else is there, but no one is there.  I find it kind of spooky when I run into that.  Imagine walking into the house and hearing someone speaking to someone else, but you find that there is no one else in the room or the house.  Who are they talking to?  And why does it sound so natural for them to be carrying on a conversation with the air?

No, I talk to myself in my mind.  As a matter of fact, I have full-on conversations in my mind.  Sometimes I can make myself angry because of what someone in my mind says.  Here is how it works:  In my department, about 20 of us, we have weekly meetings.  I might imagine a departmental meeting in my mind.  I will create a subject, and everyone will speak and react the way I think they would in real life.  Sometimes I do this in preparation of an upcoming meeting, but other times it is random.  The funny thing is, I have always done this, ever since I was a little kid.  The only difference between now and when I was a little kid is that my lips would move as I imagined conversations in my head.  I think many people, especially my family found this to be annoying.  Imagine seeing some kid’s lips moving as if he is talking to someone, but no sound is coming out of his mouth.  You might find that weirder than the out-loud conversation described above.  Now when I talk in my mind I am better at NOT moving my mouth.

Why am I writing about this?  I don’t know really, other than the fact that I got really mad this morning because of what someone said in my head.  It took a moment to realize that the person was a figment of my imagination and I really did not have a good reason to be angry.  After all, it was just in my own mind.

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No funny ending today, but a friend of mine did say something to me in a discussion about students and their work towards graduation that I hope to always remember:  “You can have anything you want, but you can’t have it any way you want it.”  I like that.  I’m just sayin’ …

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So, today is Wednesday.  You know what that means in the Woods household?  No TV day.  Isn’t that the craziest thing you have ever heard?  TV has given so much and asked so little.  A while back my wife requested that we have at least one day when the television is not turned on.  Of course my response was, “Why would we do that?”  “I don’t know, so that we could talk as a family. Get to know each other maybe.  Bond.” She replied.  Silliness.  Down right silliness.  Which brings us back to today, no TV.

The first time we did this, we announced to only Brett at the time that Wednesday would be no TV day.  He of course asked “Why?”  Mighty fine question son.  Leah explained the deal, and he again asked if we had to, looking to me for help.  I gave him a look as if to say, “We are on the losing team on this particular battle, son.”  Once he saw no help from me, he said, “Fine”.  I still remember that first night like it was yesterday.  Brett Jr. had gone to bed, and the first thing I do is turn on the TV.  Which of course met resistance from my wife.  “What are you doing?  It’s no TV day.”  “What?!?  You meant me too?  Why do I have to have no TV day?” was my response.  “So, we can talk.” She said.  “AAAAAAAHHHHHHH! Ugh, I say.”  Which brings us back to today, no TV day.  We have been doing this for several years now.  At has become part of us.  Everyone knows that Wednesday is no TV day.  I remember when my brother and his son was staying with us for a while.  I even made him obey the no TV rule on Wednesdays.  He was not impressed.  Of course it led him to want to move out of our home quicker, so that was a bonus buy.

We will have dinner tonight.  Go around the table and everyone will talk about their days.  After dinner, the boys will “play” fight until the 3-year-old cries and then complain to us that his older brother is being too rough.  To which we will reply, “Then don’t fight with him.”  Thirty seconds later, he is fighting with his brother again, until once again he is crying and the circle of life continues.  Once a little three year old energy has burned off`, at least a little, we will either play a game or watch a movie.  The choice will be affected by how tired we are, which is interesting, as I think most decisions in this house are determined by the adult fatigue level.  Which brings us back to today, no TV day.

Things have evolved over time.  No TV day has slowly become Forced Family Fun Day.  Sometimes it is good to not only NOT watch TV, but get out of the house and do something fun.  The first time we did this, it received the same resistance.  Brett asked me “Do I have to go?”  “Yes” I replied, “As a matter of fact I have to go too.” Hence the term, Forced Family Fun Day, as everyone is forced to enjoy the day.  This is probably mostly for me, as I can be a pill sometimes.  We will be having FFF Day this Friday, which means a second day of no TV.  How did that happen?  I’ll tell you how that happened.  It turns out that kids enjoy hanging out with the family.  Brett Jr. suggested we have family day later this week.  “Traitor! He has been turned over to the Dark Side!”  Well, what do you do?  It turns out my wife’s crazy brained idea has been adopted by the entire family.  Yeah, I don’t mind them either.  What’s a little Forced Family Fun among friends?

So, I will go without TV for two days this week.  I guess it is not a bad price to pay for a family that enjoys being around each other.  Makes you wonder if you shouldn’t consider having a No TV Day of your own, or maybe a FFF Day.  Of course if you do, and your family looks at you crazy, don’t blame me, I’d look at you crazy too.  No TV. Bah!

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You know what is funny?  I got up this morning and it was zero.  ZERO!  That’s cold.  On my way home I think the temperature was around 25.  Now, here is the funny part.  I took OFF my jacket.  In what world is 25 warm?  The Wisconsin world that where!  No one should live here.  I’m just sayin …

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