Friday, August 27, 2010

Limeades for Learning

New data from the CDC show that positive changes in teens’ sexual behavior and contraceptive use have stalled. There has been essentially no change in the proportion of teens who have had sex since 2001, and condom use among sexually active teens seems to have stalled as well. Why? Complacency.  

My students are in grades 9-12. Almost half of my students are eligible for free and reduced lunch, and we are located in a rural area of Oklahoma. My students take various Family and Consumer Sciences courses including Marriage & Family Life, Parenting & Child Development, and Adult & Family Living. These courses are designed to provide knowledge of family life and factors that influence lifestyles and decisions. Attention is focused on marriage and family skills, life choices, and parenthood and family changes. They also provide basic knowledge of child development and develop skills necessary to care for children and promote children's development. Students also examine theorists, child health, first aid and nutrition.

My students need an Empathy Belly Pregnancy Simulator to allow the teenage girls AND boys to experience over 20 symptoms and effects of pregnancy. "The Empathy Belly" Pregnancy Simulator is a multi-component, weighted "garment" that will, through accurate simulation, enable female and male wearers to temporarily "experience" more than 20 of the typical symptoms and effects of pregnancy. Through this hands-on, experiential learning, wearers find out what it feels like to be pregnant, and gain a realistic understanding of the changes and demands imposed by the pregnant condition. Some of the symptoms and effects that can be felt by wearing The Empathy Belly for 10 minutes or longer include: Body weight gain of 30 or 33 pounds; continuous pressure on the abdomen and internal organs; postural changes of the back; shift in one's center of gravity; mild "fetal" kicking and stroking movements; shallow breathing capacity and shortness of breath; increase in body temperature, pulse and blood pressure; and pressure on the bladder, with increased sense of urgency and frequency of urination.

When it comes to teen sexual behavior, pregnancy, and child-bearing, the message is simple: Progress has stalled. The fact that there has been essentially no change in teens’ high school sexual and contraceptive behavior makes it clear that we all must intensify and be more creative in our efforts to prevent too-early pregnancy and parenthood. Complacency is not an option. Please help me creatively reach my students by leaving a lasting impression of pregnancy with The Empathy Belly!
My students need an Empathy Belly Pregnancy Simulator to allow the teenage girls AND boys to experience over 20 symptoms and effects of pregnancy.

Friday, May 8, 2009

Mailing bricks...

At graduation this year, we had the mayor of OKC as the speaker... and he ended up really impressing me.  He told the story of Stanley Draper, and how you should make an impact on the world around you... When Draper came to OKC, there was no air mail service, and he thought that just wouldn't do.  He inquired with the head postmaster of Oklahoma about why there wasn't service, and insisted that for Oklahoma business to flourish there MUST be air mail.  The man replied that there weren't enough people in OKC to meet the 75 lb a day requirement to keep the service running, but Draper didn't give up.  They finally decided to give OKC a chance, and to nobody's surprise, they weren't making quota.  That was, until Draper started air mailing bricks to his friends.  For months, bricks showed up on the steps of countless friends, with no explanation.  Air mail hasn't left OKC since.  Wow. Making a lasting impression on the lives of those around you is easy; all it takes is mailing a few bricks.   

"Now you son of man, get yourself a brick, place it before you and inscribe a city on it, Jerusalem."
Ezekiel 4:1

Thursday, May 7, 2009

Buyer's Remorse

After moving into the new apartment, I realized I didn't have MOST of the essentials for cooking in your home... So I went crazy and bought new everything.  I needed it, but after spending about $400 on things in the kitchen, I had a tiny panic attack.  WHAT HAD I DONE?!?! This, boys and girls, is known as buyer's remorse. They teach realtors to tell their clients it's "normal" to feel it the morning after signing a contract, to keep them from backing out.  Is buyer's remorse okay, or is it your gut telling you something is a TERRIBLE idea?  I think we all go through a bit of "buyer's remorse" from time to time, just in our everyday life.  Society teaches us that you shouldn't feel bad about some things, but isn't that just like the realtors' deception?  

2 Timothy 3:12-16 (New International Version)

12In fact, everyone who wants to live a godly life in Christ Jesus will be persecuted, 13while evil men and impostors will go from bad to worse, deceiving and being deceived. 14But as for you, continue in what you have learned and have become convinced of, because you know those from whom you learned it, 15and how from infancy you have known the holy Scriptures, which are able to make you wise for salvation through faith in Christ Jesus. 

Monday, May 4, 2009

Graduation has come and gone... Now what?

You spend so much of your life working toward that moment when they hand you your diploma (cover), and then life hits fast forward.  Do you have a job?  Where are you living?  How are you going to pay for your insurance/cell phone/rent/every other tiny detail you never imagined?  Sometimes it can be hard not to panic... and in times like those I take a step back, say a little prayer, and reassure myself that God is taking care of me.  

Charm is deceptive, and beauty is fleeting; but a woman who fears the lord is to be praised.
Proverbs 31:30