Here are some ideas to arrange a play date with some safety tips in mind:
It’s early morning June 3rd. Outside of the Altria Theater cars are pulling up to drop off the two hundred students that will soon fill the LIVE ART stage, while the teachers are throwing a dance party. This is the kind of love and excitement that is cultivated every day in SPARC’s LIVE ART program, an inclusive performing and visual arts program for youths with and without disabilities. While rehearsing their performances, they build relationships and understanding of one another using SPARC’s unique curriculum based on acceptance, compassion, and empathy.
Ready to help a child learn to ride on two wheels? They are in need of volunteers for this amazing camp, August 13th-17th held at the University of Richmond. Contact info is in image above, please contact them for more details.
With Summer here, we know many of our kids will want to be on the computer, it doesn’t all have to be “just fun”, we can use many websites that allow for an educational component too. Most of these sites have a free component, many will ask that you register and there are some that offer an added paid component. Although some may appear to be for younger children, I find that my 15 year old son can benefit from a little that all of them offer.
Summer is in full swing and if you are looking for a great activity for you son or daughter to participate in; try River City Inclusive Gymnasatics (RCIG). Specializing in group gymnastics and fitness classes for people with special needs, and with classes for preschoolers all the way to adults, RCIG offers something for everyone. River City offers a free trial class to anyone that is interested and classes are once a week for an hour. Please visit River City Inclusive Gymnastics at www.rcig.org or Facebook/rcig.org for more details. You can also call the gym at (804) 784-1990 to reserve your spot in class.
It is Summer, and kids are home more, have more downtime and we need to to keep our goals simple. We deserve to have a little less to do and enjoy what we can. Here is a list of some ideas that offer easy options to make some memories and have some fun.
July’s here! That means Summer is moving way too fast and soon school supplies will be in the aisle’s! Graduation has come and gone in our home. This week, our oldest signed a lease and is moving out a few weeks before our middle daughter heads to college , and our middle daughter started her Summer job after being at College orientation this week. WHAT? HOW? All great stuff, but it is a little overwhelming. Marky started his Summer School Program this week too, so my Summer is very different than in years past. I will have lots of adjusting to do.
During my childhood, I was very malleable. Someone could tell me anything, and I would believe it wholeheartedly. This state of mind, of course, was not abnormal for my age – most children are susceptible to lies, which is why society has a responsibility to teach them properly. However, I also grew up alongside the Internet, where ideas of all caliber spread and mutate like bacterial cultures. Every computer and every mobile device that I used served as a vector for the ideas to enter my mind, and my mental “immune system” was still too weak to distinguish realistic information from nonsense.
In this vulnerable state, I discovered a video titled “Spirit Science 6 ~ The Flower of Life”. Therein, a blue patchwork animated character described the titular “Flower of Life”, a geometrical pattern created by drawing circles centered at the intersections of other circles, as well as the symbols this pattern could construct (including 2-D representations of all 5 Platonic solids). This subject would be fine alone, but the video also claimed that the Platonic solids had elemental powers and that the Flower was the universe’s progenitor. In short, it combined mathematics – my personal favorite subject – with mysticism.
Soon after watching this video, I binge-watched the others in its series, drawing myself ever further into the world of Spirit Science. The character explained, among other details, that well-being was based on the state of “chakras” within the body; that humans possessed psychic abilities; and that we once lived as enlightened beings on the lost continent of Lemuria before emotionless Martians imprisoned us in our current reality.
Though I no longer believe these things, my faith in these videos from the Internet had substantial impact on my life at the time. I took a field trip to Morefield Mine in the 4th grade because I believed that the crystals there would align my chakras. For the same reason, I purchased an overpriced Kyanite necklace (said to balance all chakras at once) from a local jeweler. I also tried to communicate telepathically with my cat, to its annoyance.
I mainly believed because I liked the fantastical element of the videos. The view of reality they presented seemed far more beautiful than reality itself. But more importantly, I saw little harm in believing. The videos were unrealistic, but they weren’t hateful, and they told me I was “free to believe or reject” what they told me. I didn’t think my incautiousness was dangerous. But then I discovered online conspiracy theories.
These theories told their own narrative – a hopeless, terrifying narrative wherein indomitable enemies plotted the destruction of everything I cared about. Because I read them from multiple sources, they often contradicted one another; some stated that the evil forces were human in nature, while others claimed they were the Martians described by Spirit Science. Since I was new to critical thinking, I never fully discounted them as “possibilities”, instead worrying about them constantly and hating myself for not “doing something.” I couldn’t live like this – it would destroy my mind.
So I made a decision to protect my own mind. Certainly, the videos and conspiracy theories could be correct, but I had no evidence besides Internet videos to prove them either way, and believing them all was hurting me. Therefore, I decided, it would be better to assume these ideas false if they weren’t defensible in some way, rather than to assume them correct immediately. Whatever I believed had to hold up to scrutiny, or it wasn’t worth believing.
I no longer believe in Spirit Science or conspiracy theories. I respect those who do, and I try to consider some of their ideas carefully, but I will never subscribe fully to any one worldview ever again. All ideas, even if deeply held, should be questioned – that’s how one grows.