Category Archives: Writing

Sunday Morning Musings

This article hit home for a few reasons in particular:

Is everything you think you know about depression wrong?

1) I’ve always been confused by how reactive we are. Rather than being proactive and trying to figure out what might be contributing to our problems, we instead try to find a way to stifle/eliminate the problem (eg. “medication time”) which rarely solves the problem; it just shifts the problem somewhere else. If our culture is contributing to depression, perhaps we need to shift our culture instead.
2) From a more personal point of view, this explains what happened to me over the past two years. My meaning was very much tied to my school as not only did I attend and teach at it, many members of my family did, as well. It was a huge part of my community. When the school was eliminated so was much of my meaning, which led to a serious round of depression. Only now am I able to see this. So I have had to find meaning in other things and in other ways at my new school. I think this is probably true for many others.
3) I worry that more and more of my students are facing this same problem. We are teaching them to place meaning in things that are meaningless. Many of the things that brought meaning to my life no longer exist. And, saddest of all, we are not even talking about it.
“To them, finding an antidepressant didn’t mean finding a way to change your brain chemistry. It meant finding a way to solve the problem that was causing the depression in the first place. We can do the same. Some of these solutions are things we can do as individuals, in our private lives. Some require bigger social shifts, which we can only achieve together, as citizens. But all of them require us to change our understanding of what depression and anxiety really are…
If you are depressed and anxious, you are not a machine with malfunctioning parts. You are a human being with unmet needs. The only real way out of our epidemic of despair is for all of us, together, to begin to meet those human needs – for deep connection, to the things that really matter in life.”

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Observations from a Mall Parking Lot

Yesterday, on our way home from our field trip to the ROM, we made a stop at the Vaughan Mills mall. All went well until we tried to get back on the highway. As we sat in the left turning lane behind at least 100 vehicles, cars started pulling out of the lane behind us, flying up as far as they could in the right lane to force themselves back into the left turning lane in front of us. This meant it took more than 30 minutes to simply exit the mall parking lot.

However, it was not a complete fiasco as the students had a good opportunity to witness human behaviour from our perch in the school bus. And they made some interesting observations:

1) Overall, most of the drivers were very polite, despite it being quite stressful. We heard very few honks and most drivers considerately let people in.

2) The majority of the cars that were inconsiderate were high end vehicles (mainly Mercedes-Benz and Audi). There were also some large SUV’s.

3) One student compared what the cars were doing to budding in line in a store and wondered if these same people would push their way in front of children given the opportunity.

4) Which led to another student observing that they probably wouldn’t as being in the car gave them more anonymity.

It was very interesting listening to them. They thought carefully about what was happening and most found the behaviour of the budders inappropriate.

I must admit that I find drivers are being less and less considerate today. I wish more of the ‘adults’ would be as thoughtful about their behaviour as my students were.

Happy weekend!

Also posted in Black + White, Everyday Life, My Thoughts, Observations, School Tagged , , , , |