Flowers are Rainbow-Colored. People are Weird.

Let’s teach our children that weird is a good thing. Because it is.

And Nothing You Say Can Change My Mind


And she said, “Flowers are red.”

“Flowers are red young man / Green leaves are green / There’s no need to see flowers any other way / Than the way they always have been seen.”

She’s a teacher, a character in a song by Harry Chapin, speaking to a little boy on his first day of school.

He replies:

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Think Positive

I experienced a convergence through a couple of communications that came my way today.

 

I experienced a convergence through a few communications that came my way today.

Communication the First

The first was a newsletter in my inbox this morning from Bock’s Office

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Phases of Learning

One evening last week my 6-year-old daughter and I ran out to Dairy Queen to get treats and bring them home for everyone. It was around 6:30, and as we drove east on 17th Avenue it was still fairly light outside but the moon was already visible. It was nearly full; it was full a night or so later.

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Positively Brilliant

I’d never heard a more miserable, pitiful statement in my life, and I haven’t heard a more miserable, pitiful one since.

It came in an upper-level English literature course of some sort, when the group was chewing through a work by Dickens or some other dead Englishman. This woman raised her hand, then said, “When I wake up every morning, I tell myself, ‘This is going to be the worst day of my life.’ That way, I’m never disappointed.”

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Here to There. It’s Everywhere.

Change Happens – I’m thinking about transitions on this first day of the New Year. I’ve learned change is constant. Some changes are bigger and more impactful than others. We move on. It’s all good.

I’m thinking about transitions on this first day of the New Year.

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Bad to good, good to better, better to great. If you’re not so lucky it’s the other way around. More likely, though, you’re on an up-down-up wave like the rest of us. We’re all moving all the time. From one place to another, task to task, priority to priority. I suppose “status to status” is more applicable in these online-all-the-time days.

Three things about change and transitions are, at least in my mind, undoubtedly true.

Change is constant.

Heraclitus is commonly credited as the first to put this truth into the words. According to the peer reviewed Internet Encyclopedia of Philosophy, the Greek philosopher from the late 6thcentury saw life as “…an ongoing process governed by a law of change.”  Some sources report he expressed this as, “Change is the only constant in life.” Others claim the line was “The only constant is change.” Others have it this way: “Change alone is unchanging.” Still others:  “There is nothing permanent except change.”

Which goes to show that even axioms transition down the years and depend on who is reporting them.

Some changes are bigger than others.

In 2014 my wife left her job to pursue a new career, which meant going back to school first. I couldn’t be prouder of her, and I admire her courage. The leap has been huge for our family, in a good way.

I changed jobs. So far, no day has been the same as the one before.

My daughter dropped soccer, a sport she’s been playing since she was six. That might not sound like much, but for seven years soccer seasons and tournaments ruled our lives. She’s found a new athletic passion – volleyball – which requires less travel and won’t impact our schedules quite as much. However, our two younger kids are getting deeper into the world’s game now…

It’s all good.

We move on.

Mom died in April, and all of us have been getting used to life without her. Lately I’ve been wondering when that transition might be done, but I know it never will be. Fact is, I don’t want it to be. I go on, but I think about her every day. Dad, too. And you know what? It always makes me smile inside.

My hope on this first day of 2015 is that our up-down-ups never flat line. If every day were the same, if we slid along in a ho-hum never experiencing euphoria or anguish, life would be like a dull, grey winter sky. No thanks.

This year, I plan to be whatever change demands:  sad, happy, understanding, strong, supportive or in need of support. I’ll try to be kind in everything. Above all, I’ll do my best to embrace the transition.

I hope you do, too.

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Thanks for Being Here

Father’s Day, 2004

“Thanks for being here.”

My father, Martin C. Fredricks III, said this to me many times, usually at family gatherings. Just as often, though, he said it to people he’d just met, at one of my brother’s NDSU football games, for example, even if they had their own child playing. It always seemed an odd thing to say to people with their own reasons for being somewhere.

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Gee, Dad, You’re Such a Dork!

Photo of Martin C. Fredricks IV with his father, Martin C. Fredricks III
Photo of Martin C. Fredricks III with his son, Martin C. Fredricks IV, June 16, 2002 – Father’s Day

“Mart probably fell into the toilet, and Dad’s making a list of ways to get him out.”

That punch line, originally delivered by my older sister when we were just kids, never fails to bring a laugh at family gatherings. It’s a short story that recently took on new meaning for me.

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