Smorgasbord Posts from Your Archives – #Potluck – The Day in the Life of a Child (2018) Anne Copeland

This is the first post from the archives of Anne Copeland, writer of nonfiction articles, books, and poetry, as well as a mixed media and fiber artist. I have selected this post as I found it profoundly moving and inspiring.

The Day in the Life of a Child (2018) Anne Copeland

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Image courtesy of Pixels

The life of a child is magical. It is almost unbelievable that something that starts with an egg and a sperm can grow into something so complex and full of so much potential. They are sacred.

I have worked with children for more than 15 years as a substitute paraeducator, instructional aide, and teacher in various California districts. These days have been some of the best days of my life. Every time I get a new child or a classroom full of children I feel as though life is giving me the best gifts a person can receive. My children have been all ages of special needs – physically, developmentally or emotionally challenged, or a combination of any of those things. But I use the word “challenged” instead of disabled because disabled suggest that a person is unable to do things, which is far from true, even in the most severe cases. With consistent assistance, the children CAN learn at some level.

In one of my classrooms as a paraeducator, I served as a one-on-one for a little boy who was autistic and nonverbal, and he had braces on his ankles and feet. He also had to have special liquid frequently to help with his digestion. Although he had these challenges, he was generally cheerful and seemed to have a good sense of his own abilities. The only area that was a challenge was when the children went outside for their exercise.

The braces made it difficult for him to walk very fast at all, and running seemed out of the question when the aides would play a sort of baseball with a big rubber ball and “bases” leading to the home plate. They would throw the ball and the children would run from base to base, trying to get a home run. The little boy I had charge of seemed to see this as a time to “watch” as the other children ran. When his turn came up, he would stand watching, but not try to move forward. This day I took his hand, held it tight, and encouraged him to keep going. We managed to get through all the bases, and at last made a home run. We had two more turns, and each time I held his hand tightly, encouraging him all the way.

Soon we were sitting in the grass resting as the game was over. I turned to him and told him “Wow! We made three home runs!” Suddenly he grabbed me around the neck with both arms and began to hug me until we both fell over. I knew it meant he was so happy because he sensed his victory.

I will never forget that day. As he got into the car and his dad began to drive him home, he reached out with both arms and threw kisses at me. I will always have a smile in my heart when I think of that child.

©Anne Copeland 2018

About the book

This book contains a collection of beautiful art, plus the personal stories of the 23 multi-talented contributors. The common thread through their lives is that each woman has overcome physical and other challenges to become a successful artist in the textile medium.

Many of these women have websites and sell their work through the Internet sites, while others sell in galleries, exhibits, or through their teaching. Some create to speak to political and other social issues, while others use their quilts to educate the public about their physical challenges. If you have dreamed of expressing your own creativity, this book will provide the inspiration you need

One of the reviews for the book

Leonore H. Dvorkin 5.0 out of 5 stars Beautiful, moving, and inspiring September 13, 2017

This is a beautiful, moving, and very inspiring book. Prior to reading it, I had little knowledge of this branch of art. Thus it was quite interesting to read about the methods the artists use, as well as to see some lovely examples of their art. Most meaningful to me, though, were the artists’ extremely moving and inspiring stories of all the (mainly) physical difficulties they have faced and still have to cope with. It certainly puts more minor physical difficulties and frustrations into perspective! I hope the book will reach the wide audience that it deserves. It would surely make a fine gift for anyone in your life with an interest in arts and crafts of any kind.

Read the reviews and buy the book: https://www.amazon.com/Artful-Alchemy-Physically-Challenged-Creating-ebook-dp-B074YFM51K/dp/B074YFM51K

And Amazon UK: https://www.amazon.co.uk/Artful-Alchemy-Physically-Challenged-Creating-ebook/dp/B074YFM51K/

Read more about Anne and her books on Smashwords: https://www.smashwords.com/profile/view/Anne1218

About Anne Copeland

Anne Copeland was born in Fort Jay, New York, in 1941. She has lived with her significant other in Yucaipa, California since 2014. She holds two degrees, one in archeology and one in criminal justice. She is a professional writer of nonfiction articles, books, and poetry, as well as a mixed media and fiber artist.

I am an artist, and I don’t just like to create mixed media and fiber arts and interactive art; I love to read and write about it, and this is what I have pretty much done. Life should never be a bunch of apologies for what we wish we could have, would have, should have done. I am feeling very happy that I have done so many things in my lifetime and my writing has been the base for most all of it.

I am the Editor of a book filled with the writings of the lives of 23 physically challenged fiber artists: Artful Alchemy: Physically Challenged Fiber Artists Creating, and another called Pumpkin, Pumpkin: Folklore, History, Planting Care, and Good Eating

Connect to Anne

Website: https://allinadaysbreath.wordpress.com
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=523501505
Twitter: https://twitter.com/anneappraiser1

My thanks to Anne for allowing me to share posts from her archives and I hope you will head over to her blog to explore more recent posts. thanks Sally.

 

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42 thoughts on “Smorgasbord Posts from Your Archives – #Potluck – The Day in the Life of a Child (2018) Anne Copeland

  1. Pingback: AUTHOR’S CORNER: Smorgasbord Posts from Your Archives – #Potluck – The Day in the Life of a Child (2018) Anne Copeland #Children#Childhood#Education#Teacher | Campbells World

    • It is so rewarding and makes me feel so happy to read your comments Ally. If I never received a word of thanks or “good job!” from another person in this world, the work itself would be the reward. I think every living being on this earth, no matter what level of capabilities, is a value to this world. Some grow up to be monsters, but monsters don’t come out of our wombs that way. Thank you for your contribution to the lives of those children. I hope that some of them have been able as adults to live full and happy lives, whatever they have been able to accomplish in life.

      Liked by 2 people

      • Thank you for your message Anne. The hospital where I worked was closed down. I believe the children started living in houses in the community. I moved to another city and lost contact. I am hoping they were treated well and given the opportunity to live a full and happy life.

        Liked by 2 people

    • You are, I am sure, a totally inspirational person too. It takes a good person to appreciate those who are trying to do good things in this world. I have not been totally conscious of what others are doing right now as I am pretty much a full-time advocate/caregiver for my significant other, Richard these days, but when I do hear of something where I can try to help someone, even if just for a short time, I am there to at least encourage and support them. I got my degree in Criminal Justice so that I could become a mentor/advocate for juvenile delinquents, and I have done that work before as a substitute paraeducator in high schools. Who could have known I would get cancer that same year and require surgery to fix it?

      But that has not totally stopped me even though I tire easily these days. I became a volunteer for CASA (Court-appointed Special Advocate) for foster children in San Bernardino County; we currently have more than 6,500 in this county alone, and the Social Workers are overburdened, each having between 40 – 60 children to check on, and things can go unnoticed and result in tragedies in such circumstances and they have. I don’t have an assignment at the moment, but I might have one again one day when I am a bit better. I remember how it was in my own childhood, not having anyone but my Grandmother, who was barely able to offer much significant help for me. So it is more important than we can imagine to be there as someone who sees the good, or the potential good, or helps to create good in children especially. Thank you so kindly for your good words. This is a big world, and there is a need for all of us to do whatever we can to help it today more than ever.

      Liked by 2 people

  2. I appreciate you, Sally, so much, for bringing the different authors to the foreground with readers. I have not at all intentionally been absent. My energy level today since the cancer is not what it has been in the past. I have good days for sure and I am so thrilled to have those. And I will be there until the end for my significant other I am currently acting as advocate/caregiver thru his challenges. He is a good man, and a simple man, the kind that often gets overlooked by everyone in this life. But I saw him and fell in love with the things that are not visible.

    He is a mixed race, and that in and of itself produces challenges in this world we live in. His mother died when he was young, and between the ages of 7 – 11, he and his brothers and sisters lived in nine foster homes. He entered the military when he was just old enough and he served his time, but he is not a war vet. He just missed that time as his group was getting ready to leave for Vietnam, and people were told to come home. With my own brother 100% physically and emotionally challenged from that war, I realized that he had been willing to go just as my own brother had gone. And today he suffers from physical work he was doing in that time. Not all vets who are disabled or injured suffered those injuries in the war, and often those vets are not given acknowledgement for their injuries that happen every day.

    He had a son by a woman that did not love him, but he loved his child. One day she abandoned the young child with a stranger where they lived. When he got home from work, he went to find his son, and when he did, he began to take care of him, even taking him to his work every day (luckily he had a job where he could do that) and feeding and caring for him as his son grew up. He later married a woman with great physical challenges from the beginning and she had grown children of her own. But the son was raised with love, and his dad cared for the woman as she became more and more disabled, being in a wheelchair all the time. After some 20 years of marriage, she suddenly died, and he was devastated. After a good amount of time, and with his son now grown and living his own life, he met another lady and she too was greatly disabled from the beginning, but he took good care of her too, and was devastated by the loss of her when she too passed. He got no money or material wealth from either of those women; that was never something he thought of.

    He worked in the senior mobile home park where I live, and he did a lot of great work on my home, which needed the work very badly. We have been together for five years, and I could write a book about the good things he has done unselfishly for me and for others in this park. And now he is somewhat disabled from the injuries suffered in his life, and I am only too glad that I am here to care for him as he cared for others. I know this is a long reply, but I want you all to know that some of the best rainbows we ever see in life are those we create from tears and pain just as the rain creates them. Thank you kindly, and I hope all of you support Sally for all the good work she is doing for all the good authors she has featured. Sally, you are a rare treasure!

    Liked by 2 people

    • Thank you for sharing your husband’s remarkable story and your own Anne, and I am delighted to share some of your archive posts and as you can tell from the comments, everyone has been very touched by the one shared today..I wish you and your husband better health, but clearly after all the heartache and the pain you two have found the strength and contentment that comes for loving and caring for each other.. ♥

      Liked by 1 person

  3. I appreciated this beautiful remembrance of helping your student, Anne. When I was trying to figure out what to do in my life, I had a similar experience falling into my first job in education with a students who was physically and mentally challenged. He was in a special day class, and I was his one-on-one tutor. He had muscular dystrophy and wore braces. He was at the point in his condition where he needed help to get back on his feet when he fell. That’s where I came in.

    That job became my career when I went back to school and got my teaching credential. I also live in California (the redwood country in Eureka). I have great respect for paraprofessionals, and I was fortunate to work with some of the best. I’m so glad that so many students had the good fortune of having you as an educator. Thank you for your contributions to children.

    Liked by 2 people

      • It sounds like you have a fantastic career. I would love to know more about the critical inquiry courses! Are these done online, or in classrooms, and where? What is involved? You have piqued my interest. I love to learn. Thank you most kindly. Anne

        Liked by 2 people

    • Hi, Anne. I teach adult learners, who tend to be very credential (and grade!) focused, so teaching in the general education program is definitely a challenge. One of the courses I developed was a semester-long critical inquiry into the larger context for students’ fields of study and associated professions, with inductive reasoning being the primary skill being taught. These contexts included professional organizations, employment data, social media, and information resources, One thing that I very much enjoyed about the course was that it was a process course. I taught the process of critical inquiry, while the students developed the actual content of the course–which, naturally, would be different every time! The other critical inquiry course I developed was using the critical inquiry approach for developing an experiential learning portfolio to demonstrate college-level learning for credit. Here’s a link to an article I wrote about this approach: https://www.plaio.org/index.php/home/article/view/93/148. Thank you for your interest in my work!

      Liked by 1 person

  4. Pingback: Smorgasbord Blog Magazine – Weekly Round Up – Pad Thai, Book Marketing new series, Big Band Sounds and all that Jazz | Smorgasbord Blog Magazine

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