Relative Something

*this* John W. Hays' take on things and experiences

Posts Tagged ‘teaching

So Proud

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Today, I am giving a shout out and a hat tip to my amazing wife, Dr. Cyndie Hays.

This week, she is conducting a full week of training sessions, off-site, combining all of her many years of experience into beautiful teaching for other educators and caregivers. Merging horse knowledge, emotional intelligence, and courageous conversation skills, she is presenting powerful information, often life changing, to people in organizations that touch a lot of lives.

I am so proud of Cyndie doing this often difficult work. Guiding others in exploring complex and emotional concepts that often rupture the fabric of their senses about themselves, and others in the world, is demanding work.

When she comes home at the end of the day, worn out by intense experiences, I get the benefit of hearing about the incredible interactions of her day. It helps her unpack some of the residual emotion from the sessions.

I really think she should write a book about some of the life changes she has witnessed, and the principles and exercises that bring them about.

Her stories help to expand my awareness, both about myself and others. It is really an embodiment of Paul Wellstone’s basic credo: “We all do better when we all do better.”

Simply by hearing Cyndie describe how one of the day’s training exercises positively altered a person’s perspective, which flowed into an opportunity for participants to practice talking about subjects that are laden with emotion and years –generations, even– of avoidance or animosity, I am inspired to improve my “game.”

Am I behaving in a way that allows and encourages those around me to do better?

I am a firm believer that a success which must come at another’s expense, is not really a true success at all.

Altruism is not a universal trait, but if one has a genuine interest in caring for others, odds are improved that raising their awareness to unconscious biases and privileges will be valued.

In the stories that Cyndie brings home from sessions she has led, the number of people who choose to resist the insights she presents is always low. For days like this week, where she is talking to hundreds of participants, it gives me a good feeling of hope.

Maybe we are inverting the pyramid of ills in the world.

I know that Cyndie is sure doing her part, and for that, I am extremely proud.

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Brilliant Chickens

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Our chicks are growing up almost as fast as the days of the week that fly by in a blink. Ever since that first day when Cyndie taught them how to find a drink of water in our brooder, they have piled on one new accomplishment after another. Sometimes it is a result of them copying each other, and sometimes it is through our gentle instruction.

In order to raise them to be comfortable with our presence and willing to have us handle them, we spent some extended time picking them up and whispering sweet nothings in their direction yesterday. Cyndie spent much of that visit searching for unique markings that will help identify individuals for naming purposes.

I think we should get to know their personalities better, so they can show us what names they deserve. My idea for using favorite chicken recipes was summarily denied, but I still may succeed in getting one of the yellow ones named Parmesan.

We think that the classical music we have on all night long for them is working well to feed their rapidly growing brains with intricacies and emotional depth. They have demonstrated such quick ability to grasp everything we introduce that we are confident we have the makings of brilliance in this flock.

It’s almost like they knew to perch on that stick I put in the brooder before I even finished setting it in place. Now I am working on finding just the right gnarly branches from our brush piles that I can use to carve little chess pieces. With 10 chicks, I’m debating with myself over the need for more than one board. They obviously learn well enough by observing each other, I think they can get the game down by watching a match played by their brood-mates.

Cyndie is busy creating flash cards with images of ticks, flies, and bugs, as well as piles of manure to be scratched apart in a “green means go” motif. The back sides will have a red theme and include threats like the hawks and eagles overhead, fox, raccoon, coyote, the neighbor’s dogs, and yes, even Delilah.

Our chickens are going to be brilliant.

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Written by johnwhays

April 1, 2017 at 9:09 am