Friday, February 22, 2008

AWNM: Meaning Period 5

Fishbowl with Live Blogging
February 22, 2008
12:14-1:12 pm
Judy O’Connell:Judy writes, speaks, and consults on school technology and library issues. She is an educator and information professional. Currently, Judy is the Head of Library and Information Services at St. Joseph’s College in Hunters Hill in Sydney, New South Wales, Australia.

Scott Murphy:
Scott is Superintendent of Littleton Public Schools.

Christian Long:
Christian is a high school English teacher and coach working at a college-prep, preK-12, independent school in Ft. Worth, TX. In addition to working in schools as a teacher and coach for over ten years (prior to his return in the fall of 07), he spent several years working with architects/planners, educational and technology leaders, policy makers, and communities to design and build schools from pre-K through the university level. This work took place throughout the United States and around the world.

Lucy Gray:
Lucy Gray is the Lead Technology Coach at the Center for Urban School Improvement at the University of Chicago. In her current role, she is responsible for the development of a technology professional development program on three University of Chicago Charter School campuses. Lucy also supports technology integration efforts at the North Kenwood/Oakland Charter School. She is also an Apple Distinguished Educator.

Andy Kerr:
Andy is the Representative for House District 26 in the Colorado Legislature.


211 comments:

1 – 200 of 211   Newer›   Newest»
Lucy Gray said...

Hi Fifth Period Students -

I'm so thrilled to be a part of your conversation tomorrow! I'm online right now, making sure I have the right time and materials ready. I just found a podcast in iTunes discussing Pink's book and there's a recent episode on meaning. I'll listen to it tonight, and will pass on the url tomorrow if I think it's worth a listen.

The timing of this could not come at a better time. Daniel Pink is speaking at my former school, where my children still attend, on Monday night. A friend just heard him speak at a conference in Tampa, and said he was a terrific speaker.

Anyway, see you online tomorrow!!

Judy O'Connell said...

Good morning everyone!! It's 6.00 am here in Sydney and I just wanted to let you know that I will need to leave a little early as I am catching a plane to be with my dad today - he is turning 95!! Really looking forward to your conversations.

Karl Fisch said...

We'll start in a few minutes.

Lucy Gray said...

I'm here!

Karl Fisch said...

Are the audio and video coming through okay on MeBeam?

Karl Fisch said...

Are the audio and video coming through okay on MeBeam?

beckyg said...

Hi everybody who is blogging with us! Thank you so much for taking the time to blog with us, we really appreciate it. Thanks again,
Becky

alexf said...

Hey guys, yepp, I'm sick, but I can still type :D

Anyways, here's a quick question to start the blog off with...

What do you think about the labyrinth? Do you think that it's just a dumb thing to walk around and not concentrate on anything or does it really close out the left brain and make way for the right?

How would spirituality change the workplace? (In a good way or a bad way and how/why?)

morgant said...

alexf- feel better!

Everyone who is blogging...thank you for joining us today! I can't wait.

Lucy Gray said...

Sorry, but I couldn't find where to go in MeBeam... is there a room name?

beckyg said...

Alex~

I definately didn't like the labarinth idea. I don't think walking around in a circle is going to do any good, and personally I don't think I find any MEANING in walking around in a circle.

Karl Fisch said...

@lucy - ahsawnmp5

Judy O'Connell said...

Have you all got a common understanding of 'spirituality'? How does your understanding fit with what Daniel has outlined?

stephenf said...

Walking through labrynths is good to cool off and to relax, but it does not shut down the left side of the brain.

ashleyf said...

It would be hard to have spirituality in the work place because there is a fine line between spirituality and religion which is such a touchy subject already.

mitchl. said...

Well alex, I think that a labyrinth really does close out the left side of the brain, and frees the right side. I think this because you need to focus on certain parts of the puzzle to get to the center.

morgant said...

alex- I think that the labyrinth would just let you focus on what is at hand. I think it really does make way for the right. I know when I'm just walking and looking down, I really do get lost in my thoughts. But, I have never done one before, so I'm not quite sure.

mattf said...

Alexf- I thought the labyrinth was an interesting concept. I had always thought that a labyrinth was a giant maze, but now I know it isn't. I don't really see how it would be effective, but if it works for some people, more power to them.

beckyg said...

Alex~

I also don't see how walking in a circle could remove yourself do that you can focus on your right-brain. I would find it interesting to try it though to see if it did anything.

ParkerH said...

BeckyG~ I have to agree completely with what you said about the labyrinth. For some people, that may be their "cup of tea", but for me, I would not waste my time doing that.

Judy O'Connell said...

p216 "knwoing what your highest strengths are and deploying them in the service of something larger than you are"

morganw said...

Alexf

My church sponsers a labrinth every year and I must say, it is really a great expereience. Labrinths really relax you. However, for it to work, you have to have some meaning or activity you're doing when you walk through it. And you don't really zone-out during a labrinth, you are concentrating, just in a different way. It really is a uniquely right-brained experience.

morgant said...

What did you guys think of the book Pink mentioned: Man's Search for Meaning? I thought that Frankl was quite extraordinary for finding meaning in the holocaust.

Is it possible to find meaning in even the darkest times in your life? Sometimes people feel like there is no point in living anymore, but is there still meaning in a situation like that?

stephenf said...

Judy-

I have spent a lot of time in prayer lately and I really turned around and went back to my faith to strengthen my spriritaulity. I think Daniel outlined Meaning in a way that provides us with a good idea but doesn't show us any bias or perspective.

Lucy Gray said...

I thought of Google when thinking of spirtuality in the workplace. And I'm not talking about religious spirituality.

mattf said...

Walking around in circles generally means there is no point or you don't know what to do. If you're running in circles, you aren't making any progress. I think labyrinths are the same.

alexf said...

To all

I can kind of see how walking around and not focusing on one particular thing shuts off the left side and turns on the right side, but why would we want to use only one side? Don't we want to use a WHOLE new mind, and not just a HALF of a mind? It's kind of contradicting Pink's title

Judy O'Connell said...

Work is one concept - what about the angle of adversity that Pink tells us about when he shares the Frankl's story?

catem said...

Alex: I think that that walking around in a labyrith gives someone time to reflect on just themselves and what is going on in your life. I don't necessarily think that walking in a labyrith will suddenly give someone meaning to their life, but I think that it can really help them examine their inner being.

melissaz said...

Alexf- I think incorperating spirituality into the workplace would be very hard with the place the world is at today. It seems that for much of the time businesses focus on keeping a clear seperation between the work and outside life. Spirituality is a very personal thing, unique for each individual. Incorperating with so much diversity will take a lot of time to really even have that be Ok.

Lucy Gray said...

There are many elements in their corporate culture that help employees maintain spirituality and a sense of play. I'm thinking about the attention paid to benefits such as free meals, daycare, massages and even ski trips!

ryanm said...

I think that with spirituality, comes happiness. When you have something to look foward to, or something or someone to believe in, you become more whole. then, you can be happier than someone with no spirit.

maddisonm said...

page 218, "{People}have enough to live, but nothing to kive for, they have means but no meaning" (Pink). do you agree with what Pink is saying?

beckyg said...

Morgant~

I agree, walking around concentrating on your thoughts is important, but it reminds me of something from The Last of the Really Great Whangdoodles. This very smart professor never looks down when he walks because he thinks then you don't see what is going on around you. You need to look at your own thoughts, but you also need to see what is going on around you.

beckyg said...

Morgant~

I agree, walking around concentrating on your thoughts is important, but it reminds me of something from The Last of the Really Great Whangdoodles. This very smart professor never looks down when he walks because he thinks then you don't see what is going on around you. You need to look at your own thoughts, but you also need to see what is going on around you.

Judy O'Connell said...

The focus on "meaning" is powerful. That's an important comment to share and build on.

morganw said...

Morgant - Sometimes finding meaning in your life can only happen once you've gone through the darkest times. It often takes a serious reality check to change how we think and figure out what life really does mean.

ParkerH said...

Personally, I don't really like discussing spirituality in schools, and when I get a job, I would not like to discuss in more than a one-one basis. Like what Ashley said, it is a very touchy subject. In my personal experience, and in religion especially, people are stubborn with their beliefs and will not budge whatsoever. People also often end up angry and unhappy after the conversation, or arguement if it is more of an arguement.

mattf said...

@alexf

Shutting off the left side of our brain would allow for the greater development of the right side of our brain. It would work on building up the right side so they could be evenly balanced during normal situations.

Yes, it is contradictory.

maddisonm said...

From my earlier comment, I meant to say nothing to live for, not kive for :)

morgant said...

Beckyg- That is a good point. You do need to see what is going on. But, walking in a labyrinth I think just relaxes you and gets you to think what you really are doing, if that makes any sense.

Judy O'Connell said...

The point of the labyrinth is also the refocussing of the mind on another space - releasing peace in a way by allowing different thought processes. It's more than about walking in circles.

alexf said...

In regards to the spirituality in the work place~

I would actually LOVE for there to be more spirituality in the work place (or in our case, school), but honestly, with everything being "politically incorrect" or socially wrong, how could we achieve this goal of spirituality in the work place? Any ideas?

ryanm said...

You can only achieve your full potential when you have meaning in your life. If you have no meaning, you are an empty body floating through life with no purpose other than to be there.

stephenf said...

I think I don't completely understand why spirituality is so important in the work place. Do you guys wonder why state and Churh are seperated? If you strive for something but you don't get to it how do you cope with that?

catem said...

Morgan: I think that it is possible to find spirituality and happiness in life in the darkest times of someone's life. I mean Frankl saw one of the darkest moments in humanity's history and still found meaning in life, if he could do that, anyone would.

Ryad said...

I agree with Hannah and Mac in the inner circle. It does not always have to be religious spirituality. I think that just having a passion for something can give meaning to your life. I may not be a big religious person but other things make up for it in my life and make me happy.
What to you think? Does it have to be religous?

Lucy Gray said...

The Last of the Really Great Whangdoodles was one of my favorite books growing up! :)

stephenf said...

Is the journey more important then the goal or finish at the end.

lesliel said...

I think that Daniel Pink did not explain well enough in this chapter what spirituality is. I think that he should have given more example of spirituality, because I feel that he was talking a lot about religion.

melissaz said...

@Judy- I think that Daniel does a very good job of outlining spirituality, for anyone. Spirituality I feel is so important, wether in religion or just being able to go deeper a feel a sense of purpose. Spirituality brings a true meaning to many people. And without meaning, where are we going?

Judy O'Connell said...

@parkerh I can understand your feelings about 'sprituality' in the workplace - but I'm wondering if you are thinking of it in a Pink way, or the way that society uses spirituality to group people and create tensions?

beckyg said...

Melissa~

I agree it would be kind of hard, but I think incorporating religion in the workplace would be really good for it. I have noticed that when people are thinking about God and about spirituality they are more at peace and they are more polite towards other people. I think it would be very good for the workplace to be influenced by spirtuality.

ParkerH said...

AlexF-this may sound bad, but I think political correctness can fly out the window. I could also say that a lot worse. I think that as a society, we need to rethink how we feel and think about things like this, and the current "polical correctness" needs to leave.

Lucy Gray said...

I don't think spirituality is about religion at all. It's about finding meaning and purpose in some form.

I'm assuming that many of you have spent time in the mountains of Colorado... don't you find mountains to provide a spiritual refuge? When I was about your age, I went to camp in Jackson Hold and my experiences there were very spiritual and had nothing to do with religion.

mattf said...

@stephenf

Church and state are separated to protect the minorities in power. If you look in the middle east, the countries are dominated by Islam. In Saudi Arabia, the Koran and other strict Islam laws control the country. If you are a minority in that country, you would be discriminated.

Judy O'Connell said...

@melissaz you've hit the nail on the head. spirituality has to be about our actual feeling of self and purpose don't you think? people need 'heart and soul' as one of the group says.

morgant said...

Has anybody noticed that spirituality and accomplishments are very much related? With many religions, it is based on how many good deeds you can do to have a good afterlife...that also incorporates play. You have to act on what you think is right. Am I making sense?

alexf said...

StephenF~
I do wonder a lot why church and state are separated. Why should we live two lives when they are all actually connected? It’s kind of like saying when we go to school we should only use our left brain and when we get home we should only use our right brain. This is exactly what pink is saying when he says that we need the WHOLE mind. So, would using the whole mind have to mean that church and state CANNOT be separated??

maddisonm said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Ryad said...

I think being able to have spirituality in the work place the only trouble is that there are so many different kinds of spirit that it might start to many arguments. Do you think that people can get around their differences in order to bring spirituality into their workplace?

ryanm said...

alexf-AMEN! being politically correct is clouding our vision and our meaning as a country, as a state, and as a community. We can not do anything if it hurts one persons feelings. Honestly, there is nothing wrong with sharing your faith and what you think your purpose is. That way, if someone is lost (meaning spiritually or meaningfully) you can help them uncloud their thoughts.

morganw said...

Alexf - thank you so much for bringing that up! Pink does contradict himself by saying that we should do only right-brained activities. However, it does sense. I mean, if people are so concentrated on left-brained activities, what they need might be to learn what its like to not use the left brain at all. I, personally, don't follow the whole "left-brain" "right-brain" thing. I think it’s wrong to divide the brain and thinking up into two halves using pseudoscience.

ashleyf said...

beckyg- beacuse i never walked a labyrinth, i don't know how much meaning it would give me, though i belive it would. So with that mind set, it would probably create meanign for me, just taking time to walk and concentrate on the task at hand. And it would be opposite for you. I think that meaning has to do with a person's attitude. If someone wants meaning, find it in whatever they can

stephenf said...

Lucy-
I love the mountains. I go camping almost ounce a month every month. Camping provides me with a way to let go and get away from all the clashing and problems of daily life.

Lucy Gray said...

Someone just posted a comment about spirituality in school. How does a school environment achieve spirtuality in the non-religious sense? Is this the same thing as "community"?

morgant said...

Stephen- I think that the journey is more important. Along the way you find more and more meaning that makes you want to get to the finish line. You learn life lessons and such. Those are my two cents.

Judy O'Connell said...

@ryad I don't think Pink is saying it has to be religious...he is saying that religion is one of the many ways the people find focus and strength to be who they are to the best they can. The labyrinth is another way that helps people refocus their minds.

beckyg said...

Ms. Gray~

I have found a "spirituality" when I am in the mountains. I am very at peace and I find not having technology is a really calming thing.

ParkerH said...

Judy- I'm thinking mostly about the sociatal view, but some of the Pink way. Often, spirituality can lead to the religion conflict. It is extremely sad that we group people because of beliefs and discriminate because of them. If we can bring in a Pink version of spirtuality to the workplace and not force people to participate, I well be perfectly fine with that.

alexf said...

parker

I think that political correctness should also "fly out the window" :D

kristinah said...

ryad- well spirituality is a very personal thing and many get defensive over it. Some turn and get grudges against people because of how they express their spirit.

morganw said...

@beckyg - have you ever been through a labarinth? Or have you and you think that its just pointless?

catem said...

Lucy Gray: I agree with what you are saying. I think that too often people confuse religion with spirituality. People can find a spiritual state from religion, but that is not the only way to "find a meaning and purpose".

ryanm said...

ryad- I think people absolutey NEED to get over their differences and learn to compromise. You can't compromise your beliefs though. You just need to be willing to accept different religions (or lack there of) and then, Church and State can become blurred and we can come together and achieve more as a community and country.

ryanm said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
melissaz said...

@Lucy- I think that for some people religion is about spirituality but for many it isn't. It depends on the person. I think you could say their are 2 sides of spirituality, 2 roads. The religon side that seems to be what many think of when they think of spirituality, but then the other side where you find a meaning and a purpose.

kristinah said...

off of inner circle- I think that struggle can definitely form meaning in ones life. It is something that can bring about new things to people lifes and make people stronger.

Judy O'Connell said...

@kristinah how right you are! some people's form of spirituality can annoy another person. That's when it is transposed into a particular religious zeal. Meaning is not the same as religious zeal :-)

Selenam said...

So what does the term 'Spirituality' mean to you?

For me it's making peace with myself or being at peace with myself.

Ryad said...

@Judy I didn't mean to sound like Pink meant it could only be through religion I think he used it because it is an obvious way that many people use to find meaning in their life but I feel that he could have described other ways. He could have outlined it in different ways.

melissaz said...

@Judy- Yes, I totally agree.

stephenf said...

Alex-
I don't want to sound like someone presenting conspiracy theories. But I think what Daniel is trying to get across is that we don't need to seperate our lives into parts. We need to be whole. We need to not fear speaking about religeon, but eliminating the fear of that would be a good goal.

morgant said...

Kristinah- I agree completely. Just like Morganw was saying, sometimes meaning comes through the hardest times in your life. If your life is completely perfect, there's nothing to hope and strive for.

catem said...

On the inner circle: Do you think that there is any way to find meaning without struggle?

morganw said...

@stephenf - Yes, the journey is more important than the goal or finish. If you're goal is to raise $100 million for charity, but you steal to get the money, you haven't really done anything charitable. Even if it takes you longer than others to raise the money, but you do it honestly and because you truly want to help others, you've accomplished more in your life than the original goal.

beckyg said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Lucy Gray said...

Meaning and struggle... yes, I agree that struggle brings meaning. I think everyone at some point in their lives has a struggle that will change their lives. Sometimes I worry for my own kids (ages 9 and 5) that they won't know how to cope with struggle.

I also wonder how 14 and 15 year olds find meaning... don't you think discovering meaning is a developmental thing as well as an experienced-based thing?

ParkerH said...

AlexF- I completely and whole-heartedly believe that church and state do not need to be seperated. Look at the Founding Fathers and what they set the country up to be. All the trust in God, and all that stuff. Freedom of worship as well. It was not meant to be seperated, but later on people messed up that dream. I can't say much more, but if I had no repercussions, I would.

kristinah said...

@lucy- I feel the same way as melissaz. Some people choose not to have a religion because it has so many rules and regulation that make you feel like you could never fulfill the things that the higher power wants you to do. I often feel as if people have made up rules for religion just to make themselves feel as if what they do for that higher power has meaning. It seems as if man has trouble defining their own meaning without help from an outside thing. What do you guys think?

DawnielleN said...

Alex f~ I agree with your statement. I don't think that religion should be all about school, but I think that to some people religion adds meaning. The fact that it is discouraged in school sometimes confuses me. In literature religion is a huge aspect a lot of the time and if we want to truly find the characters meaning, it must be talked about.

mitchl. said...

Morgant,I am going to disagree with you only because I think that the journey is equally important to the goal. Without the goal, there is no journey, but without the journey, the goal would not be achieved. I do agree with you though that you would learn more from the journey, than the goal itself.

ryanm said...

selenam- I think that spirituality means to have faith in what you believe in (whether that be God(oh no! i said the word!) or our personal goals, or people.)

ryanm said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
alexf said...

RyanM~
I agree that church and state shouldn’t be separated. Sure, it may make some people feel uncomfortable, but honestly, there is ALWAYS going to be something that makes someone feel uncomfortable. I don’t think that there should be one side of someone at work and the other side of that person at home.

Actually, the separation of church and state are kind of causing some people to be two-faced. (Don’t get me wrong, not everyone is and I didn’t mean to offend anyone.)

Judy O'Connell said...

Three words that struck me as important in relation to "meaning" - gratitude, forgiveness and optimism. Do these words have particular meaning for you in understanding meaning and 'taking happiness seriously' p216

Ryad said...

I also am not a big fan of political correctness. I think it creates more problems then it solves. As kids we find simple ways to solve problems and are less insulted by words but as we get older we focus on differences so much more. Why do you think that is?

Karl Fisch said...

I think you need to define what you mean by separation of Church and state. To the best of my knowledge, you've never been prevented from speaking about religion.

Church is primarily a Christian term. Would you also argue for a blurring of the separation of Mosque and State? Or Temple and State? We need to define our terms a little bit before we take sides.

maddisonm said...

I think that spirituality plays a huge role in Meaning, at least for me, because no one knows exactly who their God is or if there is one. While we try to figure out this mysterious “thing”, when find our self, we find meaning to our life. Would you agree or disagree?

Lucy Gray said...

Wow, Becky. That's important for us adults to hear. I believe that if we take care of our students' social and emotional health, a better learning environment will happen. I think we've lost sight of this in American education.

alexf said...

StephenF
I agree!! haha, don't worry

morganw said...

@catem - Yes and no. You can't really have true meaning without struggle because you would have no basis to compare and change your perspective from.

kristinah said...

off of the inner circle- I feel as if us as 9th graders are defining the meaning of our lifes everyday through the decisions we make. I feel that the decisions we make go hand in hand with the emotions we feels and with the meaning we create in out lifes.

beckyg said...

I agree. The journey is more important than the goal. Most of the time I think getting to the goal is most of the fun. If you get something handed to you, you get your goal, but you don't feel like you have earned anything. If you earn it the journey gives you pride and happiness and the goal takes on more meaning and makes one a lot happier.

catem said...

Mitchl and Morgant: Do you think if you fail at the goal that the journey was still worthwhile?

stephenf said...

Why do you think Daniel says we should take 'happiness seriously'?

Judy O'Connell said...

@alexf that's ok - you've actually hit on a topic that has occupied the human conversation since the middle ages! spirituality and its relation to every day lives and organisation of society is actually complex. So you're quite right to express you views on this because it just shows the debate is still going on :-)

melissaz said...

@Cate and Lucy- I think struggle is more so the experiences that go with it. Really, I think that with many things that you get, if you can go through the whole process without any problems, easy, there is not near as much meaning behind it. But when you come from something, push through and make experiences, good or bad, that is waht seems to form the meaning. The depth of meaning comes form the struggle and the journey.

morgant said...

Mrs. Gray-

I do think discovering meaning is a developmental thing as well as experienced based. Sometimes you need to just go for something and then along the way you discover the meaning that accomplishing that task will bring to your life.

I have been swimming since I was four years old. Many times I have wondered well, why in the world do I keep doing this? Practice every day, dealing with daily soreness, intense practices, no social life whatsoever, and meets that take time away from me. I often wonder why I do it. Well, along the way I have this sense of meaning that i have to keep doing it. Not only does swimming keep me in shape, it really helps me with my medical stuff (diabetes). That is one reason, but I love it. It is my sport. So, it is kind of developmental.

mitchl. said...

well cate, I think that it would still be worthwhile because you learn more from your mistakes.

ParkerH said...

Kristina-I agree. If you look at history, and even cross-reference the Bible, books are missing from it. I'm not making that up. Look at the end of the book of Chronicles 2, I think it is. Manipulators and bad people have destroyed that aspect of the Bible. If you are religous, it really is about "an outside thing". So yes, people have made up rules for religion, and what you said is very true in my mind.

ashleyf said...

Seleana- i really like what you think of spirituality. I think that much of the time, spirituality comes in ways it should't. It takes hard times for people to relize everything they have.

Mike H said...

@stephenf
Because there are a lot of unhappy people in the world, and the unhappy tend to ruin it for others. Happy people don't shoot people at schools. Since people don't pursue happiness, or don't take it seriously, it creates a lot of unhappy people.

Lucy Gray said...

I wrote down a few questions to ask everyone today, and one is related to a Frankl quote and a mention of bliss. What exactly is bliss to you?

DawnielleN said...

In responce to Mr. Fish, I agree that there are many religions, but let kids include that in their learning BECAUSE for some, religion is what gives them meaning.

Laurenc said...

Stephenf - I think he means that we shouldn't think happieness is just something optional and only acceptable but a part of life that is neccesary in all aspects.

ryanm said...

alexf- unfortunaley, people will always show two different sides. The environment that we are in shapes who we are. if you are at a party and you dont know anybody accept one person...do you tend to be shy? Or (if you aren't usually shy) will you go introduce yourself to everyone at the party. Either way, at the beginning you will feel uncomfortable also.

stephenf said...

Mr.Fish-
I was discussing the idea presentedin the constitution in the First Amendment. I was simply saying seperation of religous control over the government.

morganw said...

@Lucy - On how 14 and 15 year olds find meaning, I agree, finding meaning is developmental as well as experienced based. I wouldn't say that I've had an epiphany moment where I discovered the meaning of my life, but I am comfortable with my spirituality and, even though I don't know what I'm going to do with my life, I know what I love and why and I know to keep throwing myself back into life after every time I fall. A few years ago, I went through a really hard time. It took me a full year to finally get over what was happening and what had scared me, but now I am a much stronger person because of it.

kristinah said...

ryad- I agree with you also I think that the society today often creates more of a focus on differences because we always seperate things into different group. I mean look at the class we are in now. We are seperated as an honors class. I am not saying that creating groups is a bad thing because I think that it is necessary to do this.

morgant said...

catem- that is a really hard question for me. I am a perfectionist all the way. When I fail at something, I usually beat down on myself for awhile before I move on. Sometimes when I fail, I think that it was totally worthless, but on the other hand I want to do it again and get it right. I then have more meaning to accomplish that task.

Ryad said...

@Lucy- I think bliss is when you are in a state that is so content with your life that you have no worries and feel confident where you are.

ryanm said...

morganw- Did you attend church during that time? If you did, did going there give you strength and meaning?

maddisonm said...

Ryad- I personally think that as we get older we focus on differences much more because, as kids we do not know any different. We are taught to share with everyone, we are taught to play with everyone, as kids we do not know our friend’s religion, or more or less care. However as we start to get older we find our selves becoming more attached to what we care about, which is things such as religion, this then creates a more “tender spot” making words more hurtful.

kristinah said...

lucy- to me bliss is true enjoyment of something that gives you a true fulfillment and gives some meaning to your life.

alexf said...

I think that people can find meaning however they must. For some, it could be sports, or supporting their family, or their religion. To me, the meaning in/of (I’m not sure ) my life is religion But, what does MEANING REALLY mean?

Selenam said...

How do you find meaning? Do you find it through doing the things you love? Do you find it through your religion?


Is spirituality needed to find meaning? Or can you find meaning without being spiritual?

Judy O'Connell said...

@kristinah this is a powerful answer - one sentence that sums it up beautifully

Lucy Gray said...

@morgan Maybe struggle should be embraced and not feared so much.

This is making me think of a high school classmate that I recently got in touch with via Facebook, of all things. I found him there, and kiddingly dropped him a note to see if he was still wearing Polo shirts all the time. 20 years ago in college, that's all he wore and he was somewhat obsessed. Anyway, he's earned Ph.d and a M.D since then.. and now is a psychiatrist counseling trauma victims. He must have found meaning at some point in his life... between the ages of 15 and 40. It fascinates me that he's moved from the superficial to the profound. It's a process, don't you think?

ashleyf said...

Stephenf- Happiness shouldn't be just something that comes and goes in a person's life. Happiness should be taken seriously because i think people need to not be happy when thier not being serious, but stop being serious to by happy. Sort of confusing, it's an oxymoron. But happiness cannot be pushed aside, it must be incorporated in everyone's life to have meaning. That's what i think the meaning of life is: Happiness.

ParkerH said...

Karl- Generally, Seperation of Church and State is the term that is used. Seperation of religion and state is not necessarily needed. Of course, it can be taken too far, but everything in moderation. We have not been restricted from talking about it, per se, but we have been frowned upon, and some people in legislature are trying to get rid of any religion in "state", whether that's school or elsewhere. By the way, we LDS people (Mormons) are Christians, no matter what anyone else says. We also have churches. So seperation of Church and Temple is slightly redundant. :)

morganw said...

@ryanm - it was church that got me through that time. I was lost for "meaning", I guess you could say, and it took alot of time and alot of help from my pastor to help me sort out my problems. It really was spirituality (not necessarily just religion either) that saved me and pulled me through that time. Therefore, I think meaning is extremely important because without some sort of meaning, religous or not, you truly are lost in your life.

Judy O'Connell said...

@selenam perhaps finding meaning is by definition a form of spirituality?

Laurenc said...

Selenam - I find meaning through music which is definatly the thing I love to do most. I don't however think spirituality is needed to find meaning because I'm not spiritual at all but I'm content and find meaning in my passion.

ryanm said...

maddisonm- I agree. I am very "tender" about my religion. I believe in what i do (I am a United Methodist(aka Christian) and i am very proud of that fact. When someone insults God or something along those lines, I'll whip out what i believe in and try to persuade them otherwise.

catem said...

Alex: I think that meaning really means :) living for something more than just the that day. As Leslie just said in the inner circle, "searching for something bigger than what is just there. Does that help at all?

stephenf said...

Ashley-
Do you feel the meaning of life is happiness or is it the pursuit of happiness that provides us with meaning and purpose.

morgant said...

alex- I think it means that inner fire that really makes you passionate about doing something. There is a reason behind it other than, "I have to." It is a way to live your life so you don't think it's a waste of time. It is really hard to put it in words.

morgant said...

Mrs. Gray- which Morgan? There are two of us. =D

melissaz said...

@Judy- I love how you are always bringing in quotes! Well I think that all 3 of those aspects are important in finding meaning. If you can't forgive someone, do you really have a care or a sense of meaning for the other person. Do you really have meaning for yourself if you can't use the Empathy and see the other side? If you cannot look at the great things in your life and realize how special they are, there is no meaning in those things; if there is not a sense of gratitude for something, there is not the respect and meaning for that aspect.In optimism, I think it is so important. There will always be times where optimism does not do much, but I feel that we need optimism to keep us going. Without happiness and pride, I think it is much harder to find a meaning.

melissaz said...

@Judy- I love how you are always bringing in quotes! Well I think that all 3 of those aspects are important in finding meaning. If you can't forgive someone, do you really have a care or a sense of meaning for the other person. Do you really have meaning for yourself if you can't use the Empathy and see the other side? If you cannot look at the great things in your life and realize how special they are, there is no meaning in those things; if there is not a sense of gratitude for something, there is not the respect and meaning for that aspect.In optimism, I think it is so important. There will always be times where optimism does not do much, but I feel that we need optimism to keep us going. Without happiness and pride, I think it is much harder to find a meaning.

mattf said...

@Alexf

Meaning, as defined by answers.com is "Something that is conveyed or signified; sense or significance". This accurately difines meaning for me, as I think meaning in life is something very significant to you.

Karl Fisch said...

@parkerh I'm sorry if it's been frowned upon by some folks, but I haven't ever seen that. Look at the conversation in this room right now. I don't know of anyone in the legislature that is proposing that - can you provide something specific.

Temple is also used in the Jewish faith, not just Mormon . . .

alexf said...

Lucy G~
I think that in some cases it can be a process, but for other cases, it also can be just a “Spark.” When I found meaning in my life it was a sort of a process, but it happened with a spark. (If you want the story, it is actually on my blog :D)I think it depends on what’s going on in your life. Must there always be a “Process?”

Selenam said...

Judy- That is true. But I think it depends on what your definition of spirituality is. It varies from person to person.

ashleyf said...

Lucy- when i think bliss, i literally tink of a summer day. In summer, there is nothing that is stressful. And when things become that way, it's so much easier to just turn away from it. It's not always the best thing ot do. But in summer, you don't have to worry about just school work, but if there is fighting within a group of friends, you can just spend time with yourself and forget about problems and become blissful

Judy O'Connell said...

p209 "technology continues its unrelenting march, deluging us with data and choking us with choices". what do you feel about the place of technology in life these days? does it effect you and make the search of meaning easier? harder? or relevant in any way?

kristinah said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
ryanm said...

morganm- I went through a really tough time awhile ago also. My church and my spirituality and my faith got me through that time. I think that people without spirituality and faith(not necessarily religion based) tend to be lost on their spiritual journey. They tend to lose their way very often(in my opinion.)

Lucy Gray said...

Here's another question for you all:

Do you agree that the search for meaning is a drive that exists in all of us?

I'm not sure myself!

maddisonm said...

Alexf- I too find Meaning through religion, and I think that Meaning is about finding who you are, and what your purpose is in life. For me it is about finding myself through God. What do you think?

morgant said...

Mrs Gray- I think that it is in everybody to an extent. Some may have more than others, but I think that everybody has it way deep down. I can't really explain why.

catem said...

Maddison and Rya: Do you think that school trys to deminish meaning from outside of the school doors by trying not to talk about people's personal beliefs? How are we supposed to have a "whole new mind" when the schools are trying to separate the home life from school life.

ryanm said...

lucy- Yes. I believe that everyone at some point in their life. EVERYONE will look at what they are doing and whether or not that is their calling, or if thats what they are actually meant to do. Eventually, everyone in this room, everyone in this world, will look for the meaning of their life.

Judy O'Connell said...

@melissaz wow, a great paragraph - i'm going to have to get my teachers read it! the ideas you encaspulated are so important. Yes, happiness and pride really is important, and is something we teachers have to work hard at to make sure that our students have the opportunity to experience that in relation to school.

maddisonm said...

Lucy Gray-

I think that the search for meaning is a drive that exists in all of us; however I think that some more then others have a willingness to find it.

alexf said...

MaddisonM~
Haha, I definitely agree! I think that meaning is completely about finding yourself and searching for something “deeper within.” It’s something that keeps you going and encourages you through the easy and tough times. Yes, for me, that is through reliegion.

morganw said...

@ryanm - I completely agree.

@Lucy - I do agree that the search for meaning is a drive that exists in all us, whether it is consciously or unconsciously. Some people realize that they need to search for meaning, but others have not realized it yet and may never realize it; but they're still driven to continue going through life because of their hidden search for meaning.

Lucy Gray said...

I guess, Alex, for me it's been a process, but it doesn't have to be for everyone. Maybe I am a slow learner, but I had to experience a lot before I appreciated meaning. :)

mattf said...

@ Ms. Gray

I think people are walking around "blind" until they find meaning in their life. They believe that what they are doing makes them happy, but it doesn't satisfy them. Once they find what satisfies them, whether it be through switching jobs, they become much happier.

Finding meaning is a drive in all of us. A person will keep searching for meaning if they are unhappy.

ParkerH said...

OK, point takin about the Jewish/Mormon thing. On the other side, a little while back someone in a legislature somewhere was trying to get rid of the words "under God" in the Pledge. That isn't the most specific answer, but that is mostly what I'm refering to. There are probably other occasions that I'm not aware of either, but it has at least occured that one time.

Also, this is the first, or at least the first that I remember, conversation that involves religion in school. I don't mean discussing what Hinduism believes in a historical sense. I mean in a active, engaging conversation where every view-point is accepted.

alexf said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
catem said...

Thank you Morgan and Mitch for answering my question.

mitchl. said...

Ryan, I completly agree with that thought. For example in college, students are constantly changing their majors and what they want to study, which would eventually lead to what they want to do in their lives. They are tring to find out what their meaning is in life.

Lucy Gray said...

"Giving kids the opportunity to find their own meaning"

Did Ms Smith just say that? I totally agree!

Also, Daniel Pink suggested in a podcast I listened to last night that the implications for AWNM and education might be worth a book and further investigation. I wish he'd tackle that in a follow up!

melissaz said...

@Lucy- I agree because sometimes I see kids here at school that, in my eyes I wonder if they relize their potential and really have the drive to reach a point of meaning in their lives. But, I think that at some point, most people will reach a point where they want to capture their own meaning. I think people can't always take the back-seat. People at some point, I feel will realize this.

kristinah said...

To Judy: I feel that technology makes it much harder to achieve full meaning in life. It makes us see meanings of other things that we feel as if in order to meet the status quo we need to acheive that meaning. I also feel as if it keeps us seperated, but yet connected as a long distance, but it is my one of my largest pet peave when people are standing next to each other and texting. It is like it keeps us away from actually communicating with others giving us a person to person meaning. I also feel as if it keeps us inside and does not give us time to find meaning in things/life.

melissaz said...

@Judy- Thank you :)

Mike H said...

is this discussion more meaningful for you more than if the teachers was leading the discussion?

Ryad said...

Cate- I'm not sure if schools are necessarily tring to deminish meaning I personally think they are just trying to keep out one more problem. When you don't bring something up it's harder for it to become a problem. I know this sounds cynical but i think that what's easier is chosen to often over what is right.
I don't think that school is currently the best place to work on haveing a "whole new mind".

kristinah said...

At LUCY- I definitely feel that there is a drive for meaning in everyone. I think that the thing that effects people in there search for meaning is there cicumstances and how they think. Some people feel as if anything they do does not mean anything and others are over acheivers that strive to find the meaning of things and create new things. It just depends on what kind of person you are.

alexf said...

parker H
I agree. This is really the first conversation that i have had with people in school about religion where every point is accepted. That's NOT GOOD :D

morganw said...

@Mike H - Oh yes. I find it much easier to learn with my peers than being told what to think by a teacher. This form of discussion, with everybody on equal ground, teacher, student or neither, is much more effective for everybody. Having teacher, such as Ms. Smith, join in the conversaion instead of leading it is really important.

Judy O'Connell said...

@kristinah this is really interesting to 'hear' from you. One of the things that educators are tossing around it the value of social networking (online spaces and places!) and how much they are part of your lives and make education relevant. But you are showing me that communication is a social action - and that there are ways for it to be valuable and ways that it is interfering. Am I right in thinking that meaning is not about technology gimmick, but technology power? We are using technology in a very interesting way today to communicate and build understanding!

maddisonm said...

Catem- I do think that schools try to diminish meaning from outside the school doors. I personally think that it is hard for students to find meaning when it is diminished from school. Not all kids are comfortable talking to their parents about such an “intense” subject. If schools could minimize the separation from the home life and school life, meaning could become a much less “intense” issue, therefore giving way to students to find meaning in there life.

ParkerH said...

Kristina- I also extremely dislike the whole texting thing that is so prevalent today. It is a great idea, and I think it has it's place. But when, like you said, people right next to each other are texting, it really is pathetic. Most people don't see it that way, but I certainly do. Human conversation that is face to face is a wonderful thing, and if we replace that, so much meaning is gone because of that. I haven't even sent a text message, ever. I may be biased in that sense, but I still don't like this whole texting thing that is going on.

ryanm said...

mike- I think that this converstation would still be meaningful even if the teacher was leading it. I think our class would still find a way to lead oursleves eventually because we know how meaningful this conversation is.

melissaz said...

@Mike- Definitally. I like having the imput of Ms. Smith and Mr. Murphy and Mr. Fisch, but I get so much more meaning from also being able to add my own sense of meaning and seeing it from my peers. I get to, as Ms. Smith and Lucy said, create my own meaning through this process.

kristinah said...

ryad- I would have to disagree on that. I definitely think that education is the first place that is should change because everyone starts in education and if we can change education than people can be raised in AWNM environment and bring it outword in future generations.

mattf said...

@Mike H

This discussion is so much more meaningful to me because we as students are taking charge. The teacher is not having us fill out a sheet of paper to answer set questions and this conversation sort of flows along. It really gets students into it and makes us search ourselves for our passion. We spend a significant amount of time with this and find meaning in it.

Selenam said...

mikeh- Yes, I think so. If the teacher led the discussion I think it would have an 'artificial' feeling that would keep some students from having a deep discussion. Since we are leading the discussion, it has a more 'authentic' feel that encourages deeper discussion.

Judy O'Connell said...

I want to say thank you to you all for sharing your thoughts and conversations with me. I have to leave now to race off to the airport, to go and visit with my dad for his birthday.

Thanks :-)

kristinah said...

@mikeh- I definitely feel this conversation is more meaningful than one driven by the teacher because we each get to input our own ideas and develop new ones and discover new things that we did not think of ourselves.

Lucy Gray said...

I know class is almost over, but I had a couple of other questions that I thought of when reviewing this chapter... hope you don't mind me throwing them out here:

What is your calling? Do you have an idea of what it might be?
What are your highest strengths and how do you deploy them in service of something larger than you are?

Karl Fisch said...

Thanks Judy. Say Happy Birthday for us!

ParkerH said...

After bad-mouthing school with regard to religion and meaning, I have to say something nice. A while back, some time in first semester, there was a prayer-club, or something of the sort. It was non-denomenational, and it seemed to me like a good idea. I didn't go, partially because I have my own religion thing before school anyways. If we can bring in things like that prayer-club, it would benefit many and help bring meaning into some lives, without bringing in the conflict of religion vs. religion.

morgant said...

Mrs. O'Connell-

Thank you for joining us! It was fun! Say happy birthday to your dad from Ms. Smith's 5th period class! =D

morganw said...

Judy,

Thank you very much for joining us today. It was a great learning experience :) Have fun with your dad!

catem said...

Maddison: Do you think that the schools could incorperate meaning from outside school better? Why do you think that we focus so much on not offending other people's beliefs, when in real life people will question your beliefs everyday? What do you think?

ryanm said...

judy- Thank you so much for joining us! Tell your dad happy birthday from a 9th grade english class!

kristinah said...

@judy- yes you are correct in your thinking, that is what i ment :-)

Ryad said...

Kristinah- I don't think that schools should be that way I think that this needs to change. Differences need to be overcome so that people can be open about their 'journy' to find meaning. I think schools are on their way to change but there is still a long way to go. Maybe future generations will be raised in an AWNM enviornment.

ParkerH said...

Thanks for coming Judy. Have a good time and thanks for your input.

alexf said...

Parker H~
Not that I completely disagree in regards to the texting conversation, because I an not the biggest fan of it either, but, right now we are having a conversation using technology, just like texting does. What is the difference between blogging and texting? I no that there is going to be some meaning lost because we aren’t talking face to face, but I think it is just a little hypocritical (and please don’t take offense!) with the conversation about texting. After all, you are sitting next to someone right now and are blogging with them! Meaning is lost, but the general point is still taken.

melissaz said...

@Kristina and Ryad- I agree. The education system should be the true start, that's where many people start their search for meaning to begin with.

catem said...

Ryad, my last question applies to you too.

Mike H said...

Thank you for your comments to my question. This has been great to watch, it's amazing to see students as young as you carrying on such a great conversation for an hour. Good job.

melissaz said...

Thank you Judy for joining us today, have fun with your dad!

kristinah said...

LUCY!!- You can always visit the blog later and hopefully they will be answered. I will revisit and try to find you questions again if we run out of time. You can always continue the conversation past this section of time.

morganw said...

@Lucy - I don't know what my calling is for sure, but I'm going to say it is helping people. I can't even really name my strengths either because right now, that's not what I feel I need to do in my life. Right now I feel as if I need to learn as much as I can and try to take as many opportunities in life as I can. I don't really need to figure that stuff out yet.

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