Gratitude Journal October 2018

To be honest, it’s feeling like a bit of a stretch to think of what I’m grateful for right now. But that’s totally a result of being lazy about counting my many, many blessings, not because I have nothing to be grateful for.

  • The idea to keep a gratitude journal. Otherwise, I simply don’t take time to think about all the stuff I have.
  • My laptop is still running strong after about 6 years. I’ve replaced the hard drive (after the old one died), given it an external WiFi adapter (what connects it to the Internet) after the internal one died, bought a new battery after the old one started to only last for 5 minutes once disconnected, and had the trackpad die. So it’s a bit of a Frankenstein computer, but it’s really still quite fast and capable.
  • On a related (nerdy) topic, I discovered a great way to run and develop WordPress code on my local computer, using a free environment called Laragon. It runs so SO much faster than my previous solution (Varying Vagrant Vagrants), which, when I’m using it all day for work, it’s really nice to have things work quickly. Otherwise, my brain gets really frustrated- there’s often just enough time between clicks that I could start thinking of something else, but not enough to finish any thought.
  • The Great Courses’ “The Art of Teaching“, lecture 7 “Dynamic Lecturing.” I found so many of those tips useful for my little class of 5 year olds at Church today. The most memorable tips were:
    • Don’t take your audience’s attention for granted; accept that you are going to need to fight to maintain it.
    • Realize that, although it’s not show business, you are essentially performing. Make it lively.
    • Ironically, the audience listens more attentively when you’re quiet.
    • Using dramatic pauses helps re-focus attention.
    • The moment you look down at your notes, you’ve immediately lost some of your audience. Memorize the basic outline of steps, and although it’s a lecture, it should feel like a conversation. Make eye contact with the entire class, and call on those who you can tell are drifting.
    • Enthusiasm for the topic is most commonly-cited as the most important factor in whether a lecturer is good or not.
  • Speaking of my Sunday School class, I’m grateful for the fun I get to have with the kids. I feel like we’ve now get it pretty well figured out. Classes are pretty smooth, fun, and rather focused. Unfortunately, I’m going to get a whole new crew next year 😭.
  • All the Church Primary Presidency, who put in a ton of work into the Ward’s annual Primary Presentation (that’s where the kids give super short sermons in front of the entire congregation). And after that, they also had to keep the kids busy for an extra two hours 😓.
  • The Halloween Train. Last night, Amanda, the girls and I, and my old grade-school friend Patrick, wife Salena and one-year-old Remi went. It was a little spooky for kids; although, mostly just Celeste, who is scared of everything. Danielle was mostly curious; Remi was totally unphased. But I appreciate it was only slightly kid-scary; it wasn’t like some of those messed up adult-oriented haunted houses I’ve heard of elsewhere.

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