Why I read/write blog posts AND Connecting with Middle Schoolers – random thoughts from me
This blog post is a compilation of thoughts that have been churning for a while, so bear with me. Two posts in one.
Why I Write/Read Blog Posts
I had someone ask me recently why people read, and more importantly write, blog posts. The question was framed in reference to all of the ‘noise’ that is in the world, on the internet, in the media, and through social media.
Reading others blog work, for me, is about finding the humanity in others. I read to understand, to ponder, to connect, and to find others who speak clearly, movingly, provokingly, newly of thoughts or experiences. Many have expressed that the internet is a place where people present a ‘false’ self, but I have found quite the opposite to be true. People’s humanity shows quite clearly in their posts and is often quite refreshing. Among the pressure of academia, professionalism, life in general, to project one’s self as confident, self-assured, and knowledgeable, blog posting is the real nitty-gritty of nursing and life.
I am human. I love humor, to laugh out loud, to ponder injustices, read stories of amazing women and triumph, and to read about nursing. I also have faults and often feel that those faults cannot be clearly understood or expressed. Yet there are others out there who clearly and honestly present this type of humanity. As much as I want to be myself there are forums where this is not possible, at work I am professional nurse, at home I am busy mom, in the organizations I belong to I am what ever the particular organization calls for or needs from members… this is not to say that I have some type of facade, but that all of these parts are me (and more) and with each situation certain aspects of myself are put into action.
Yet, I still seek places of genuine feeling, opinion, and openness. For me, reading others blogs brings some aspect of this. Funny that the internet is a place I am going for genuine relationship and honesty about people.
Nurses, please continue to write… you move me, you change my thoughts, you give me perspective, you give me hope.
Connecting with Middle Schoolers
Here in the U.S. our pre and early adolescents attend ‘middle school’ for grades 6 through 8 from about the ages of 11/12 to 14. My children attend a school outside of their district and that makes me the lucky, and I mean that honestly, woman who is supervisor and executioner of our middle school carpool 3 mornings a week. I revel in the time to listen, connect, laugh, and learn from the 6 amazing kids, two of them mine, who are part of this carpool. Much of my nursing study, research, and practice has centered on adolescent development, communication, health issues, peer pressure, etc. and yet I have never felt that I truly understood them.
Carpool has been my salvation, my time to laugh, observe, be a part of an amazing community of young people. How did I connect??? Well, that part was not so easy. After experiments in conversation, jokes, and even ‘word of the day’ exercises I finally tapped into a connector — music. I have recently instituted ‘ipod thursday’ in the carpool. On this day, each kid in carpool can choose one song from his/her/friend’s ipod to share with the entire carpool. Granted, we have only done it a couple of weeks, but the results have been amazing.
During two weeks time I have heard Weird Al Yankovick, Metallica (timeless), Rick Springfield (really? the middle schoolers listen to old school?), Michael Jackson (oh and this one), Green Day, Neon Trees, B 52′s (What is a ‘rock lobster’ anyway?), Pink and so much more… I never knew I had so much in common with these amazing kids, but music has served, is serving, as the key to understanding them and for conveying that I too have had the same experiences, dreams, disappointments, as they. We also laugh, sing, share, and smile (critical to mental preparation for a great day at school and for the drive who has to go to work:). The music also provides a medium to discuss issues like bullying, perfection, war, injustice, unconventional behavior, violence, and more. I honestly get so much more from these days than the kids do! I go to work smiling and singing 80′s rock music in my head (and I sing way too loud in my office).
To those of you out there who have adolescents and are looking to connect (or perhaps you work with them and are trying to find a way to share, laugh, cry, be moved) may I boldly suggest music. Music is truly poetry in motion and it speaks to my kids, through my kids. Thank you to Michael, Al, James, Pink and the like… for pursuing your passion and art. Your music provides yet another link for connecting with my children and their friends.
More ramblings later. Keep up the faith nurses. Keep caring for your patients and keep enjoying good music.
from → Adolescent Health