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Dear Reader,

View this page as a place where you and I can have a conversation on subjects that are meaningful to both of us. On a regular basis I plan to post a topic or question on my mind which I encourage you to respond to (see below).

On this same page you will also find some of the responses that have been sent in by those who have viewed this web site. Please feel free to submit your own questions and thoughts which I might comment on and share with other viewers. I truly look forward to hearing from you.

Sincerely,

Archive for September, 2009

WRITER’S PROMPT: Your Favorite Movie(s)

Tuesday, September 29th, 2009

When I was a kid, Saturday was movie day. My mother would give my brother and me lunch bags full of sandwiches and fruit and money to get into the matinee and we’d spend hours there. Sometimes at the end of the matinee we would hide in the bathroom until the early evening show would begin so that we could see a whole new set of movies without having to pay again. I loved the darkness of the theatre and the new worlds the movies would take me to. Those were some of the happiest afternoons of my life.
Even today my wife and I take sandwiches to the movies on weekends and have the greatest of times sitting in the dark, watching, living, enjoying, learning, laughing, crying from what we see.
What about you? How important are movies to you? Do you have some favorites or ones which had a big effect on you and changed you and the way you see the world?

WRITER’S PROMPT: Capturing a Favorite Moment

Monday, September 28th, 2009

Make believe that you had a net to catch a favorite moment in your life.  Which would it be?

Share with us.

WRITER’S PROMPT: If You Had Wings to Fly…

Wednesday, September 23rd, 2009

Make believe that you had wings to fly. Where would you go with your life?
Share with us.

WRITER’S PROMPT: Reviewing What We Have Learned This Year

Sunday, September 20th, 2009

This is an important time of year for Jewish people — for 10 days from Rosh Hashana (the Jewish new year) to Yom Kippur (the Day of Atonement) this is a period of introspection. During this time people try to examine their lives and atone for their sins of the past year.

A group called Reboot, a Jewish nonprofit organization, is posing thought-provoking questions on a web site called doyou10Q.com to help people think more deeply about their lives during the past year. Here are some questions being asked:

.Is there something that you wish you had done differently this past year? How would you have done it differently? And how can you learn from it to improve how things turn out in the future?

Perhaps you will share with us.

.Describe a significant experience that has happened in the past year. How did it affect you?

.Think about a major milestone that happened with your family in 2008. How has this affected you?

.What is one specific thing that you’d like to accomplish over the next year?

.What global event most affected you last year, and why?

.Is there a specific person, cause or idea that you want to learn more about in the coming year?

Now these are all important, big questions — with each one we could probably compose a book in our heads. But, to begin, try answering just one of them to help you think about your life, to help you see where you have been and where you might be going in the future. Whatever your religion, it is important that you take time now and then to think deeply about your journey.

WRITER’S PROMPT: Who Was the Best Teacher You Ever Had?

Wednesday, September 16th, 2009

When I was a child I had a terrible time adjusting to school and learning how to read. I was a very anxious, frightened student, afraid I think, of leaving home for fear perhaps that my home wouldn’t be there when I returned from school or that my parents would be lost. Perhaps all this was because there was so much economic and emotional upheaval in our household and I never could feel the floor steady beneath my feet.

But I definitely was too anxious to be able to learn how to read. What saved my life, what changed it, was a wonderful teacher who, recognizing my problem, would stay after school with me day after day for months giving me special coaching. What she did was to create an island of peace around us so that I could finally calm down and think more clearly and take in what she was trying to show me. She made me feel that I was capable and that I could learn to read if I would keep trying and be patient with myself. She made me feel so special and worthwhile — how could I fail?

And surely, slowly, step by tiny step, I learned how to sound out the letters and put them together as they became words that made sense to me. And, in time, I became a very good, commited reader. In fact, I couldn’t put a book down — it became my venue of escape to better, happier, more interesting worlds.
In time, too, I became the student who each year would help and coach other students who had learning difficulties. My teacher had taught me patience and to believe that everyone is capable of learning if things are carefully explained and we create a good atmosphere of acceptance for students.
I later grew up to become a newspaper editor, an author of many books, and today I teach and tutor many people of all ages who need help. Yet, I still have the image of myself as that struggling young student.

So I ask you to think about a teacher in your own life — whether it is someone you studied with at school or someone who befriended you at work or in your life and taught you some of the things which you need to know and which helped strengthen you in your life. Tell us about the person and how she or he helped you.
This is the way we pay respect to our great teachers, by remembering and honoring them. Please share your memories with us.