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Archive for the ‘Laughter’ Category

Today’s guest post is written by Ken Wenglewski, Manager of the Neighborhood Revitalization Program.  Last month, Ken had a chance to see firsthand the challenges and rewards of running a public school.  We thought his experience was a great way to show how people can create and maintain links between schools and the neighborhoods.    

TPSOn April 5th, I had the wonderful opportunity to participate in Tulsa Public Schools’ “Principal for a Day” at Rogers High School, under the leadership of Stacey Vernon. Stacey was awarded Principle of the Year so it was an honor to shadow her work.

Coming to Rogers was a bit surreal. My wife attended Rogers so walking the halls was very nostalgic.

My day started by working with the Assistant Principal Kendra Bremlett. We talked about her role as support for Stacey. We also spoke of the exciting things that will be happening this Fall with the implementation of College Summit; one of our department’s educational partners.

Later, Stacy took over and we met with April Dalto, a science teacher who had her class cook hotdogs with natural sunlight. The class was energetic, engaged and very creative.

Back in Stacy’s office, I was offered the opportunity to communicate through an Auto-dialer system called School Connects. I read a script out loud, on the phone, telling parents to show up at a bowling event. I had a blast sounding like a DJ for a radio station!

There was another memorable moment back at Stacey’s office. She has a pinball machine in the back office that she likes to use when she isn’t buried in instructional leadership duties. Needless to say, it isn’t used very often.

To that point, the most amazing thing that I observed with Stacey was her ability to know all of the students by name. (more…)

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Almost seems like an oxymoron, doesn’t it?  Apparently, the gov’t has caught on to the esteemed ranks of blogging. Yesterday’s  Slate had an article about TSA’s blog. Check the article out at http://www.slate.com/id/2215822/. Oh, and the USDA National Agriculture Library blog: Infofarm is awesome. Seriously.

The best government blogs actually sound like blogs, too. InfoFarm, the Department of Agriculture’s blog, may be the first-ever instance of government-sponsored snark. Peter Orszag’s blog for the Office of Management and Budget (as well as his former CBO blog) is on-message but goofy. TSA’s Burns once wrote a post consisting entirely of poultry puns. And LoC blogger Matt Raymond recently took the opportunity to embed a video of boxing cats, solemnly dubbed “a presentation of the Library of Congress.”

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When we’re not blogging or seriously contemplating the human condition and all aspects of intergenerational poverty in America, we on occasion take a moment to chuckle. Below is a brief correspondence I had with Micah over email today. It specifically highlights a news story that splashed Tulsa on the national news today. I will leave names out to protect the innocent. (more…)

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The Power of Laughter

Today I attended Day 2 of the Third Annual Prevention Health Conference, organized by our good friends over at the Tulsa Health Department.  The topics were interesting, but fairly standard for such a conference.  Except for one – the lunch speaker, Dr. Brad Neider of Devner, gave a talk called “Finding Humor.”  Now I’ll admit, the write-up of the session, and the brief bio of Dr. Neider, which referred to him as the “Healthy Humorist“, that was in the conference announcement, had already caught my eye.  Who doesn’t like humor, right?  But humor at a health conference?  What if it was cheesy and terrible?  There I’d be, stuck for two hours.  But the thing was, it wasn’t.  Dr. Neider was hilarious, and everybody laughed a lot.  I even thought the guy next to me was going to fall out of his chair!  And I took away two important lessons.  One, Dr. Neider said in his research on the medical benefits of humor, he learned that pre-schoolers laugh up to 400 times a day.  And adults?  We laugh maybe 10 times a day.  It sure feels good to laugh; so why don’t we do it more?  And if laughing has positive health benefits, what might laughter do for our creative and innovative juices?   Two, the Health Department deserves some real kudos for taking the risk of scheduling such a session.  Everyone’s so busy, and a conference is usually a place to pick up a lot of new information in a short time, and maybe catch up with people we haven’t seen in awhile.  We don’t really expect to spend a significant amount of time laughing.  But it was a terrific innovation to a traditional format, and one that was very well received indeed.

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