RSS Feed

Tag Archives: USA

About connection and about shootings.


This is an article that needs to be repeated:
Every Friday afternoon Chase’s teacher asks her students to take out a piece of paper and write down the names of four children with whom they’d like to sit the following week. The children know that these requests may or may not be honored. She also asks the students to nominate one student whom they believe has been an exceptional classroom citizen that week. All ballots are privately submitted to her.

And every single Friday afternoon, after the students go home, Chase’s teacher takes out those slips of paper, places them in front of her and studies them. She looks for patterns.

Who is not getting requested by anyone else?
Who doesn’t even know who to request?
Who never gets noticed enough to be nominated?
Who had a million friends last week and none this week?

You see, Chase’s teacher is not looking for a new seating chart or “exceptional citizens.” Chase’s teacher is looking for lonely children. She’s looking for children who are struggling to connect with other children. She’s identifying the little ones who are falling through the cracks of the class’s social life. She is discovering whose gifts are going unnoticed by their peers. And she’s pinning down- right away- who’s being bullied and who is doing the bullying.

As a teacher, parent, and lover of all children – I think that this is the most brilliant Love Ninja strategy I have ever encountered. It’s like taking an X-ray of a classroom to see beneath the surface of things and into the hearts of students. It is like mining for gold – the gold being those little ones who need a little help – who need adults to step in and TEACH them how to make friends, how to ask others to play, how to join a group, or how to share their gifts with others. And it’s a bully deterrent because every teacher knows that bullying usually happens outside of her eyeshot – and that often kids being bullied are too intimidated to share. But as she said – the truth comes out on those safe, private, little sheets of paper.

As Chase’s teacher explained this simple, ingenious idea – I stared at her with my mouth hanging open. “How long have you been using this system?” I said.
Ever since Columbine, she said. Every single Friday afternoon since Columbine.

Good Lord.

This brilliant woman watched Columbine knowing that ALL VIOLENCE BEGINS WITH DISCONNECTION. All outward violence begins as inner loneliness. She watched that tragedy KNOWING that children who aren’t being noticed will eventually resort to being noticed by any means necessary.

And so she decided to start fighting violence early and often, and with the world within her reach. What Chase’s teacher is doing when she sits in her empty classroom studying those lists written with shaky 11 year old hands – is SAVING LIVES. I am convinced of it. She is saving lives.

And what this mathematician has learned while using this system is something she really already knew: that everything – even love, even belonging – has a pattern to it. And she finds those patterns through those lists – she breaks the codes of disconnection. And then she gets lonely kids the help they need. It’s math to her. It’s MATH.

All is love- even math. Amazing.

Chase’s teacher retires this year – after decades of saving lives. What a way to spend a life: looking for patterns of love and loneliness. Stepping in, every single day- and altering the trajectory of our world.

TEACH ON, WARRIORS. You are the first responders, the front line, the disconnection detectives, and the best and ONLY hope we’ve got for a better world. What you do in those classrooms when no one is watching- it’s our best hope.


More about guns in US.




Getting shot
– at work
– at school
– at the movies
Isn’t something people in other developed countries worry about.

and finally


This story keeps disappearing.

I read a story shared by Michael Moore this morning about a Dutch writer who was thrown off a train on his way to New York by customs/border control for being, in Michael’s words, “Suspiciously foreign”.

I shared the link, as had Michael, but it mysteriously disappeared.  Thankfully, the story appears elsewhere, as it’s not one to miss.

So, here is the story, as blogged by Mr




Never forget.

Never forget that whilst you get on with your life, whilst you deal with life ups and downs and petty problems, 21 families are still stumbling through each day mourning the loss of their children.


Newtown Shooting

And then it was upon them, the worst hour of the day, from 7:30 to 8:30 a.m., when Daniel had been alone with them in the house waiting for his bus. They had tried many ways of passing that hour: out to breakfast, back in bed, walking or hiring a trainer to meet them at the gym. A few times they had decided to wait for Daniel’s bus themselves, standing at the end of the driveway and climbing the four steps to hug Mr. Wheeler, the longtime bus driver who had loved Daniel and delivered a eulogy about how the boy raced his school bus, running sideways and backward in the grass, tripping and tumbling with his green backpack.









How does a supposedly civilised country, in the 21st Century continue to allow this to happen to it’s young and do nothing, change nothing.

How does a supposedly civilised country, one who makes judgments on many other cultures, not look at itself and ask itself what have we become.

 How does this supposedly civilised country dare to stand up as a world leader.

When will this supposedly great country stop meddling in the affairs of others and turn inward and meddle with their ancient rules and rituals that don’t belong in a civilised society.