Tag Archives: Music

An Anthem For Adulting

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Welcome to my twice-monthly feature about anthems, the songs that inspire us.  You can listen to the songs on my Spotify playlist, Carry A Watermelon Anthems. New Anthems will be posted here the 1st and 15th of each month (usually…this post is a day late because Summer Brain).

Please welcome Suzie Bichovsky to our playlist.  Suzie and I have been friends for over ten years.   I’m agonizing over how to describe her, so I’m going to say the first thing that came to mind: she is like a piece of baklava – layer upon layer of goodness, a little nutty, very sweet, and always comforting.

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“What we think, we become.” ~ Buddha

Music permeates and seeps into the mind, body, and soul. If we are what we eat, then we must also be what we hear. I use meditation music to get my day started and to get grounded.

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If meditation music slows me down, then my anthem speeds me up. When cleaning, paying bills, jotting quick writes, I turn to Express Yourself  by Diplo featuring Nicky da B. For real.

I was first drawn to this for its beat and a misheard lyric on my part. “Express yourself…release your goal.” (The real lyric is “Release the glow.”) A real lyric I love is “Put your back in it.” This is what I do. I use my voice to express myself and support others in doing so. I step fully into choices that make my goals a reality instead of dreams. I give my all to what I am committed to and passionate about.

When the words drop out and the musical frenzy kicks in, my inner hip hop goddess emerges. My dance moves are epic and private: I’m all head, shoulders, hand movements at the chest level, resting think face. That’s right- Resting. Think. Face. I zone out and get pumped.

I can take on the world!

Or…my to do list.

While it might be expected to have more moments of clarity when tuned into stillness, lively and vibrant beats often reveal inspiration to me.

“In the midst of movement and chaos, keep stillness inside of you.” ~ Deepak Chopra

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Suzie Bichovsky is a burnout prevention coach, an urban educator, and a professional development provider. She also likes cats. You can find Suzie online at suziebichovsky.com or follow her on Twitter and LinkedIn.

 

 

 

Don’t forget to follow Carry A Watermelon Anthems on Spotify for  a playlist of additional inspiring songs!

An Anthem For Teachers

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 Welcome to my twice-monthly feature about anthems, the songs that inspire us.  You can listen to the songs on my Spotify playlist, Carry A Watermelon Anthems. New Anthems will be posted here the 1st and 15th of each month. 

Well, this month it’s the 18th because I’m a teacher and it’s mid-June and it was time to…

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Now that all of my scores are in and for the first day in since September, I don’t have a looming deadline (writing or teaching), I can reflect.  I’ve been in the biz for about 17 years and so each year brings different life lessons, different joys, different sorrows, different relationships, different discoveries.

Some years, we expect this:

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Steel Force, Dorney  Park, Allentown, PA. I got stuck on the first hill once for 20 minutes. It was kinda fun.  We got free soda coupons at the end 🙂

 

And often get this:

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Find the article about this sculpture here.

Don’t misunderstand me – I wouldn’t change my experience for anything.  I work at an innovative, amazing school with some of the best people around.  But it was also a very hard year personally, so changing jobs is stressful enough, but add the mix of deaths of three people I love very much and two people I love very much having near-death experiences, it’s been a ride.

Also, I am the teacher who gets hugs and letters and drawings that say, “Thank you so much for pushing me, Ms. Harlen.  You can be hard because you really care about us.”

I wish they’d figured that out a little earlier this year…but the good news is I’ll teach the same students next year.  We’ve all learned from each other; I’m a better teacher and person because of what I’ve learned from them and my colleagues.

So fellow teachers, when you are feeling beat down by  by all the things, stay true to yourself and who you are.

That’s how I got by this year.

I am a teacher with a huge, generous heart, with clear expectations and big dreams for my students.  My general rules:

Be safe, be respectful, and try.

But sometimes, this is a lot for teenagers, especially those working through trauma.  The push-back can be immense, but I know that who I am makes me a damn good teacher.  So the words of a wise 21st century philosopher, “Baby, you were born this way!”  helped me stay the course.

HAPPY SUMMER! HIGH FIVE!

Don’t forget to follow Carry A Watermelon Anthems on Spotify to hear this Anthem and a playlist of additional inspiring songs from other posts.