Category: Creative


锁定目标

今天准备教材的当儿,找到了2008年为学生们准备的可爱玩意儿!

锁定目标

当年舅舅给了我一批被退回来的塑料锁。我好不舍得看着它们被扔掉,就想,我可以怎么使用它们呢?结果我当时年头在学校教书时,就让同学们在纸片上写下了他们2008年的目标。我说,这是一个塑料锁。我要鼓励你们锁定目标。到了年尾,你们可以打开来看自己是不是达到了你们自己立下的目标。

So excited to stumble across my old stash today. My uncle had given me a bag of rejected industrial plastic locks in 2008. I didn’t want to throw them away, so I thought of a way to make use of them. It came to me that I could encourage my class to set goals for the year. I asked my 16-year-old students at that time to write down their goal for the year on a piece of paper, and to “lock it up” – for reflection at the end of the year. I wonder if any of them remember. (If you do, drop me a note, I’d love to hear about how you’re doing now.)

我还找到我为学生制作的小卡片, 鼓励学生要像邮票一样陪着着信件一直到目的地,坚持不放弃!:

想起来我都觉得好可爱。

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This morning on ABC Classic FM Emma Ayres spoke about an autistic child who enjoys classical music during his Sound Therapy sessions. It reminded me of a moving story by SA music therapist Matthew Huckel I read in a Life News newsletter early last year.

In 2011 Mark Leigep, a man who had been in a Persistent Vegetative State for 6 years following severe brain injury from a motor vehicle accident was referred for music therapy to see if music could elicit some form of contact with Mark.

Music therapy is a clinical profession in neurology where music is used as a therapeutic tool to establish non-verbal forms of communication and also to help elicit emotional expression in patients with severe disability.

In 11 months of regular weekly therapy, video evidence collected over that period showed clearly that Mark could track objects and people, look towards sources of sounds, raise his thumb to verbal commands, and make changes in respiration to musical stimuli. The exciting findings from his therapy were to be presented to staff and family where it was hoped that further therapies could be applied to assess his communication.

However in August 2012, news arrived that Mark’s family had been successful in arranging a meeting with doctors to discuss the option of removing of fluids and nutrition to end his life. 

Frantically the evidence from music therapy and a detailed report was prepared for that meeting, in the hope that the findings would persuade the family and doctors from going ahead with their plans.

The findings in the report created huge anxiety for professional staff involved in Mark’s care. No one at all liked the idea of starving a patient, but also no one wanted to think about that being applied to someone who may have potential to communicate and show evidence of awareness.

In his last therapy session, Matthew played Matt Redman’s Father’s Song for Mark. His response is precious:

As the music began, Mark’s face changed and breathing increased, showing a heightened arousal. The sounds of Mark’s breathing integrated beautifully with the chords and melody of the song. Mark’s life, his breath was being sounded in music and this was woven into the sounds from the Father symbolically enacted through the song. It was a profound moment, and a celebration of Mark’s life, and acknowledgement of his personhood.

Fluids and nutrition were officially withdrawn at the beginning of September, and it took nearly 4 weeks for Mark to die. In 6 years, Mark had received little therapeutic intervention to explore his awareness. Labelled as a man with no personhood, death (euthanasia) by starvation was considered to be the only right choice.

I appreciated how Matthew Huckel concluded his essay:

I believe PVS patients are able to image God, and we ought to image God ourselves by responding with grace to people that are not able to respond. God responds to us and sustains us unconditionally despite the fact that we do not respond to Him. In our daily lives we can enact the persistent vegetative state where our efforts to respond are so minimal compared to the enormous and un-relenting attempts from God to reach us and make contact with us.

Let me know if you’d like to read the full story – I have it in print. More by Matthew Huckel here.

Symphony No 8

I’ve taken to listening to ABC Classic FM on my way to work – on the mornings where I decide to take a stroll and enjoy the fresh air (and the beautiful scent of flowers!) instead of my riding my bike.

This morning, the presenter talked about Beethoven’s Symphony No 8 – and the intrigue behind its lack of popularity.

When asked by his pupil Carl Czerny why the Eighth was less popular than the Seventh, Beethoven is said to have replied:

because the Eighth is so much better.

Bryan Townsend has an interesting post on Symphony No 8 here.

Music is a higher revelation than all wisdom and philosophy – Ludwig van Beethoven

The memory of 98

She is sitting on the toilet bowl, naked and crying.

Mummy is about to help her take a bath, but mummy is angry and upset.

She scored 98 on her math test – her first less than perfect score – and all is not right in her little world. All is simply not right in her seven year old mind.

She is upset that mummy is upset. Mummy is worried, and worry frightens her. Maybe mummy is worried not doing well in school will cost her her future. She made a careless mistake she shouldn’t have made, and sometimes in life there is no room for mistakes.

The tears are falling fast. Her hands swipe at them clumsily in between sobs. She wants to curl up in a corner. She is utterly terrified and shaking her head.

But someone is there. His name is Jesus.

He seems to be reaching out a hand.

Who is this man? Is He trustworthy? How can I trust that He will not hurt me?

The girl curls back, even further, hugging herself. The head shaking intensifies.

NO! DON’T COME NEAR! She wants to scream. NO! NO! NO! NO! NOOOOOO!

But the man is there, his hand still outstretched.

He is saying something that sounds like "Come over here. You’ll be safe here."

Really? She asks.

Really.

Really really? Or fake really?

Really forever really? Or really change-your-mind-when-bad-things-happen really?

Really no-matter-what-I-find-out really? Or really until I find out you’ve been a naughty girl?

Really?

Really?

She asks the question over and over and over, over and over and over.

Over. And over. And over.

He waits. He seems to carry with him a real peace. No…not seems. He does. He carries a real peace, she decides.

She starts to relax.

Still eyeing the man suspiciously though.

She reaches out, slowly and he takes her hand.

He tries to hold her. She sits in his lap and he puts his arms around –

SHE SPRINGS UP AND RUNS!!!! A split second change of mind: trust is too terrifying.

But she wants to trust. She does not and cannot escape from that desire.

The man is still there, and she inches back toward him tentatively.

The waiting game goes on forever, but so does his patience, it seems.

His patience is gonna run out any minute now, she thinks. Any minute now. Oh no. This trust thing isn’t gonna work for me.

But he confirms what her heart suspects to be true: there is someone in this world who is trustworthy. It is the person who created trust.

After what seems like hours, her ears begin to tune in to the gentle whispers.

Making mistakes is OK. Is that true, really?

There is no need for anyone to be angry or upset. Oh, oh, oh…she begins to see. Making mistakes is OK. 98 is OK.

BUT HOW ABOUT FAILING? WHAT IF I FAIL? WHAT ABOUT 48 MARKS?

He tells the seven-year old, hush…it is all OK.

The truth is, nothing terrible happened and mummy doesn’t need to be distressed, And neither does she. Nobody needs to be sad or frightened or distressed in that moment.

It comes as a revelation and her eyes grow large. Oh my goodness, it is true. Things are OK. She didn’t add up the numbers properly, that’s all. Mummy still loves her, and the sky is not about to fall.

And she has a Better Daddy, who doesn’t get flustered. Better Daddy doesn’t get frightened or frustrated. He’s not about to lose control, he doesn’t lose control, and he doesn’t need her to worry about him losing it.

Hold me, Jesus. Hold me tight, and don’t let me go.

You will know the truth, and the truth will set you free. John 8:32

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