My Mission Statement

I write to serve, to unite, to educate. I write to share literature and flesh out ideas that may be of interest to others. I write to document an emotion, experience, or a blip in time. My mission is to write in such a way that the reader is reminded that we can find humor in all situations. It's one of the great blessings of life.

Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Not perfect, but REAL

Yesterday, we addressed the issue of girls and their self-images. Some of you sent me great e-mails (not comments, for a variety of reasons) and made some great points. There is a ton of research that shows that girls have healthier self-image and wait longer to become sexually active in two instances. The most significant contributor to healthy self-image in girls is a close relationship with their fathers. Some studies show that fathers tend to 'back off' when girls begin to develop because they're uncomfortable with their little girls growing up, but the dads who pushed through their discomfort and continued to hug their daughters, play sports with them, and interact with them 'normally', had healthier more confident daughters. Another interesting statistic is girls who play a high school sport. According to some studies, there is almost no instance of teen pregnancy in girls who play team sports in high school. One more reason for Title 9!!! I pledge to continue to be uber-conscious of the images my daughters see and dialogue about them.

All this talk about body image and self-confidence in girls has really gotten to me, I think. We have agreed to be on the Candlelight Christmas Tour again this year (no comment on that just yet), and I've seen my house with 'new eyes' these past few days. I've noticed places where some paint touching up is needed, as well as a TON of other things. But here's what I think (and tell me if you disagree). I pledge to put our best foot forward for the Christmas tour. I promise to have creative decorations drawn from greenery that is naturally available in this region. I pledge to NOT spend a ton of money on special arrangements or anything over the top (for a million reasons!!!). Because my new mantra in life is to shoot for REAL not PERFECT. Now I won't be THAT real--no socks on the floor or unemptied trash cans or Chris's beer can sitting on the fence post. But manageable, realistic, Christmas decor for a family of six. Remind me of this, will you? If I start getting crazy in two months? And don't get me wrong, REAL will be hard enough because I need to be REAL clean, REAL organized and REAL decorated, but just not perfect. How's that? Can you dig it?

I taught a SAT preparation course out at the school this morning. Wonder what will happen with all that? Do you think more schools will make the SAT optional? Or do you think the SAT is here to stay? I do like the new writing component. That's what I was teaching this morning. But it's only a small part when, in reality, the ability to write and communicate in this way will have a lot more impact on your college and job performance one day.

Just another reminder that it's banned books week. How about The Color Purple? And Alice's Adventures in Wonderland? Two more books that might not have been widely read because they were originally banned. Although, I have to admit that now getting banned or nearly banned is the quickest way to become a hot seller. Like The Higher Power of Lucky, the MG novel from a few years ago. It sold like hot cakes once word got out about the reference to male genitalia in an early chapter (except it was referring to a DOG for goodness sakes, if I remember correctly). Maybe my next book needs to be just scandalous enough to get some press but not so scandalous that it misses out on an award, like The Higher Power of Lucky. Hmmmm...

Have a wonderful day. Reflect on a banned book and how it has affected your life.

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Isabel by Donna Jones Koppelman

Isabel by Donna Jones Koppelman

Major Bear at the Grove Park Inn by Donna Jones Koppelman

Major Bear at the Grove Park Inn by Donna Jones Koppelman