Extra Serving of Angry Flakes

I am not a celiac. I have not been tested, but I know that I have a gluten or wheat sensitivity. I have periodically restricted my intake of wheat and saw a considerable difference in my sight, complexion, blood sugar, and my moods. I am more agitated or less patient when I have too much wheat. I also will suffer from headaches, and the usual array of stomach or digestion problems thanks to this sensitivity. I feel less resilient when I’ve had too much wheat and I know that this might sound silly. I joked with a friend that it’s like I had an extra serving of angry flakes for breakfast. 

I’ve has this sensitivity all of my life, and only realized it about twelve years ago. This does not mean that I am always careful. Recently, I was traveling and had a full day’s worth of wheat and suffered. The next day all the usual things were there–what I call the wheat star on my cheek and the blood sugar consequences. I don’t think I could take ingesting wheat for two weeks in order to be tested. I’m quite sympathetic to people with Celiac disease, IBS or other issues. I’ve added a photo that I took of Cowichan Bay. 

Reminder: Breathe

Mid-terms are about to begin and I’ve been struck with a few things. I can announce things in class, send messages via our on-line learning platform, hold office hours, and attempt to hold G+ Hangout office hours. But, there are those moments when students just do not pay attention. It’s not yet important, as the assignment or exam is weeks away. Then, snap, suddenly everyone needs me. I had to remind myself of a few things in the last week.

1. Keep the hockey schedule in mind. Some of my students are avid hockey fans and my office hours cannot conflict with the game.

2. Remember that instructors need to remind students. They are taking three to five other courses and have multiple deadlines and are juggling so much. The majority will need the reminder. Move on.

3. Be more patient around this time of the term. Students will appreciate the patience and the last thing they want is for you to chastise them. Really–do I need to put any emotional energy in chastising students? No. I have other places to expend my energy.

4. Related to the previous point, I need to also be more available the week of the mid-term. I am also juggling multiple projects, but my first job is teaching and I know that this week my students need me.

This short  post really serves as a reminder to me–patience, compassion, and support. These are the three things that I must have this week. Wishing all students good luck on their mid-terms. And, sending an extra deep cleansing breath to other instructors, mentors, and ancillary staff who work with students. Ommmm!

These post its work for this week!

These post its work for this week!

It’s OK to Talk About Mental Health

Airdrie Miller @airdrie_miller Public School Teacher http://www.talkingtoair.com
It’s OK to Talk About Mental Health #Breatheyyj

Miller is sharing her experience with panic attacks in university. At first she kept quiet about her experience, but later sought help from the university mental health services. She has a 1998 baby, too. Awwww. “Nowadays we’re not putting pictures in albums–we’re putting them online.” She stopped her therapy and later had another baby. Then, postpartum depression hit. This is so common for many women.

She realized that she suffering from depression and resumed therapy. She got better and then resumed work after nine months. Oh, I love the Wonder Woman slide. She was doing it all…you know where this is going to go. Love her slide of the WHO’s definition of Mental Health. It’s telling and we need to stop and assess. Are we healthy? Are we pushing ourselves to attempt to be perfect?

Miller notes that mental illness does not discriminate! Twenty percent of Canadians will suffer from mental health issues in their life. This number is important to think about, as we all know many who are living with mental illness. Miller shares that she began to have serious thoughts about self-harm. She then quit her job and became what she calls a Desperate Housewife, but still suffering from depression.

She was very brave and ultimately was placed in the psych ward. This turn of events changed her life. Her experience with the outpatient therapy was positive. She went back to work part-time and tried to keep balance in her life. Then, her dear husband contracts colon cancer. Sigh. Derek Miller. After four years he succumbed to cancer. I’m so glad I heard her share her truths. She ends noting: It’s OK to not talk about it. Do what is right for you–so true.