Tuesday, October 30, 2012

On the Emergence of Screen Time As an Issue of Concern: What is best for baby brains

Valuable screen time for junior youth
Valuable junior youth screen time

When I was a little kid the only screens I knew of were those over a window. Screen time was looking through one.

Then we got TV, although we were the last on the block. TVs have screens. I've spent a lot of time in front of a TV screen.

Then I started watching football and I began to hear of screen plays. At one point I was watching WAY too much football and, by percentage, way too many screen plays.

Then computers came along. Computers have screens. I'm looking at a screen right now. I would be scared to know how much time I spend looking at PC screens at work and at home. No wonder my eyes are going.
Then cell phones were invented with screens that started small but have gotten bigger. I got the small kind of screen still, I'm not smart enough or willing to pay for getting a phone with a bigger screen.

So today we live in a world filled with screens. If we are raising children, we are asked to monitor screen time, especially with young children. Watch TV with your children and interpret along the way -- provide "scaffolding" for them to understand what it is they are watching. That is best for brains, because their experience with the screen is in the context of their relationship with you. as this brief snippet from the recent symposium in Mukileteo on infant mental health suggests -gw

Monday, October 29, 2012

On Tigers Football Season Over: Core activities pick up

It's official. The Tigers football season is over. The 7th grade team achieved their goal of getting into the playoffs, but couldn't advance. It will feel strange to not be going to games on Saturdays, but Matt, Michelle, Rick and I worked out a new schedule for the Tigers/Invaders core activities. We'll be having our Baha'i study circle at 1 p.m. and our junior youth group at 4 p.,m. on Saturdays now, moving our devotional to Thursday evenings. The beat goes on. -gw

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On Remembering Norm Nault: He was always devoted to Indian progress

Prayers were chanted in several Northwest Native American languages, and in Arabic and English for the funeral of Norm Nault, a member of our Baha'i community. -gw

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Sunday, October 28, 2012

On Animator Gives Up Video Gaming: Inspired by the opportunities of greater service

My son has informed the world via Facebook and the friends gathered for the Baha'i expansion phase that he is giving up video games. It's a big deal. He's been gaming for half his life. He decided it was a problem. He got inspired by the stories of other young adults involved in the institute process whose lives have the kind of focus that he wants for himself. So he went cold turkey. He removed game histories from his many and sundry devices and gave it all upto his roommate, Poor roommate. Hope he flushes the stuff down the toilet so he won't be tempted. -gw

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On Expansion of the Baha'i Core Activities in Tacoma: It's a children's crusade

The coordinators are in their early 20s. There is a sprinkling of older souls to help out as well. But the mass of the army of teachers to expand the core activities on Tacoma's Eastside are teenagers or younger. It's a chiildren's crusade. -gw

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Saturday, October 27, 2012

On Into the Neighborhood: In reliance on the Word of God

Two 12-year-olds and a 40-something year-old from the neighborhood together with the secretary of the Regional Baha'i Council head out to see whom they can find. -gw

“Victories will be won in the next five years by youth and adults, men and women, who may at present be wholly unaware of Bahá'u'lláh’s coming.”

Let us gain...

“a fuller appreciation of the dynamics that underlie [the institute process]—the spirit of fellowship it creates, the participatory approach it adopts, the depth of understanding it fosters, the acts of service it recommends, and, above all, its reliance on the Word of God.”
The Universal House of Justice in its message of Jan. 1, 2011

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Wednesday, October 24, 2012

On My Top 40: Most viewed Flickr photos & videos

It's been a while since I have updated my Flickr Top Forty, the pics and vids with the most hits.on Baha'i Views / Flitzy Phoebie -gw
40.. Smiles -  Another photo of lovely youth in Salishan being served by the Institute Process underway in that neighborhood. 

39. Illahee Reserve hiking 020 - A particularly beautiful picture of the forest just across the street from where I work.

38. Jaya was there - Gwen & Joe's baby was there at ... was it her first Feast? 

37. The social part of Feast - A photo from a magical Salishan Baha'i Feast held outside just before dusk.

36. Songs as an inspiration to others - A snippet from a Paul Parrish music website. 

35. Coach Sharp's smile - Taken before study circle at Michelle's home on the Eastside.

34. Encouraging words by Coach Sharp -  Get back in the game.

33, As tutors we are asked to make friendships to serve humanity - Comments by Helen at at Baha'i study circle reflection meeting.

32. Strive that your actions day by day may be a beautiful prayer - A photo of the lyrics of this great Baha'i favorite song much sung in our cluster.

31. Treasures lay hid in the innermost chambers of our club - Harri Peltola said it on the Baha'i-inspired Music Listeners Club Facebook page.

30. Bismillah Al-Rahman Al-Rahim, Topkopi Palace, Istanbul - Not my photo. Original uploaded on November 2, 2005 by cfarivar on flickr, I just edited it using Picasa..

29. Trejon is #9 this year - This Kim & Charles' son Trejon, who was wearing my favorite #9 at the beginning of the season but is now wearing #34.
28. Chris Cornell's "Can't Change Me" - Album cover and songs on it as viewed on my computer. 
27. Become a source of social good - Lisa reading Abdu'l-Baha during devotions at Matt & Christy's.
26. The First National Bank of Jimi Hendrix - Taken in Port Townsend WA.
25. A coyote evening chorus - Taken while canoeing the natural flowing lower Columbia.
24. Russ Salton & Friends at Mandolin Cafe 011 - The Mandolin Cafe is no more. Does this make this pic more valuable?
23. Love Colors by the Pretenders - Stop the car! My impromptu music video shot on the way to Feast at Jim & Kay's.
22. Rumaki 004 - Bacon is beautiful, especially with a little styling help from Bonita.
21. Sonic Youth - The Eternal - A picture of the CD? I don't get it.
20. One of his favorite groups is the Protomen - Taken after Feast at Jim & Kay's.

19.  "...and my soul's gotta have somewhere to stay" - The 2nd part of a song sung by Gwen in our living room.
18. Prayer books, basket & boy - Taken at the Tigers/Invaders devotional at Matt & Christy's.
17. Man down - Another football photo -- and he's wearing my favoirte number.
16. "This earthly house will soon decay" - Gwen singing 1st part of call-and-response song.
15. Football legs - Pretty darn artful, if I do say so myself.
14. Coach Rambo, his daughters & players - There really is a Coach Rambo and his daughters show up at every game.
13. Players kids - I've seen 'em at just about every Invaders game.
12. The Mendiola boys at devotions - I think Corey's family in the Mariana Islands have run the count up on this one.
11. Are you ready to get started? The Tigers cheerleaders make it to the 11 spot. That makes me happy!
10. Invaders pass for 1st down at the 3 - Star-quality football player used Twitter to get the word out on his catch.
9.  Expansion in Tacoma: All day everyday for 3 weeks - Gwen's encapsulation at Feast of a recent intensive campaign.
8. Summer Zucchini - Bonita sliced them a different way.
7. Reaching the spiritual age of maturity - From Gwen's overview of how all the pieces of the Institute Process fit together.
6. Roots - Oh, the color of this root grown in Bonita's garden!
5. Sprouted Fenugreek - Popular because the photo was used by a well-known online newspaper in India.
4, SAD STATUE Lyrics - SYSTEM OF A DOWN - Penetrating lyrics by my favorite rageful rock band.
3. Touchdown Invaders - Big number because the player featured in this clip has reposted the link on his Twitter site A LOT.
2..Radiant yuut - Presumably popular in Yuut country up in Alaska.
1. Basa Swai Fillets with Veggies - One of Bonita's food styling classics.

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Monday, October 22, 2012

On Still United After All These Years

The song fits. We Baha'is who have been Baha'is all of our adults lives can say proudly are still united after all these years. That soul who came to his first Baha'i gathering in 12 years by attending our Cluster 19 WA Reflection Meeting, 

was quickly brought up to speed by the friends describing current approaches to growth. He said, "Once you become a Baha'i you're always a Baha'i" -- basically, you can't get it out of your head or heart. Even though your journey may seem at times to take you away, there is always a path back. 

Yes, that's Tommy Kavelin in the middle with Anne and David. -gw

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On After the Game: An opportunity to visit

After the game a bunch of us lingered at the First Creek field. The last game of the season for the Tigers was the first day of our intensive, so many of the friends came over for the chance to visit with junior youth and their families. 

The camera was running when Shadi and Sean were talking after the Utya Tigers game yesterday. There are so many people associated with the team who care about people and the world we live in, so many who want to make things better. -gw

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Make This Youth Radiant: It's not a hula

Coach Matt said the Utya Tigers players staying over at his place Friday night got a laugh at what they called his "dance" learned during Ruhi Book 5 study earlier in the day. Here is his reprise with a little help from Ida & Pegah. -gw

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On Being on High Alert: The reality of the dangers of vicariious trauma for clinicians

Vicarious trauma, or compassion fatigue, was a subject that came up at our last consultation group meeting Friday. A backdrop of Halloween decorations hardly lighted the serious tone. I must say, our participants are very compassionate people. There is a impact that hearing the stories of others can have on clinicians. -gw 

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On Sky Above & Water Below: God provides the inspiration to pray to ferry commuters

Baha'u'llah says we should read the Writings morning and evening. If I had the opportunity to commute to work via ferry, as many people living in the Puget Sound do, I imagine that it would be easy to follow His injunction. A ferry provides all kinds of nooks and crannies for prayer and reflection. The sky above and water below provide the inspiration. -gw

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From Anticipation to First Days Reflection: Tacoma's intensive is underway

It is amazing how effectively the Area Teaching Committee and the cluster agencies consult together these days. Such expertise that has been acquired, especially over the last several 3 month cycles of growth. The pace quickens. -gw

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Saturday, October 20, 2012

On Taking Notes: For immediate application in the neighborhood

Thinking about community-building on the Eastside... Notes taken listening to Counselor Borna. Have conversations with older siblings of junior youth, junior youth group graduates, and parents of participants.

In an expansion effort don't overwhelm with a lot from outside the neighborhood. -gw

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On What Will We Need To See: To reach the goal of 100s serving 1000s

It's hammer time. And we are all carpenters. -gw

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On a Chanted Prayer: And the sound of a child

The prayer offered in Persian is exquisite. So is the child. - gw

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On Getting the Hang Of It: Baha'i Views photo featured in a music video

It's great to have a photo I have taken (out of more than 50,000 on Flickr) featured in a music video. The photo is a locker room scene of Coach Matthew Salevao with members of the Tacoma Invaders semi-pro football team. -gw

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On Prayer: Like climbing a ladder

At the University of Illinios Baha'i Club Reunion Ramin shared this wonderful reflection at the conclusion of our gathering. -gw

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Monday, October 15, 2012

On Sockpuppets for Baha'i Teachers:

My question...
Dan in Vietnam has just posted this of a training for Baha'i children's class teachers (or are these for animators of junior youth?)

Dan's answer... 
Prospective children's class teachers  This was at a training session for youth that covered children's classes and JY groups; I was working with the children's class teachers. We shared strategies and spent a lot of time learning how to present the different activities that make up the classes. This segment combined crafts and drama; I posted another video a while ago of the "games" segment 

Tt's all one work, isn't it -- this divine institute process -- whether in Ho Chi Minh or Tacoma. -gw

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Friday, October 12, 2012

On A Good Sad Song: See the future in the tragic present

Elliott Smith has written a lot of sad songs
Baha'is are not afraid of sadness. In fact, they are invited to "see the future in the tragic present." Emotions happen, including sadness. Therapies are built around helping suffering souls to "make friends with their shadow side," and manage sadness, without fleeing from it, staring sadness straight in the eye. A good sad song does wonders sometimes for one's overall emotional state.. -gw
It is the right and privilege of organised humanity to hear of the Faith and the Plan of Bahá’u’lláh in these days, and in this holy duty to their fellow men the Bahá’ís must not fail whatever may be the sadness of their personal plight, for they alone can truly see the future in the tragic present, and possess hope and strength to go on with the spiritual battle for the victory of the New Day.

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Thursday, October 11, 2012

On Kids Building Community: The power of service

This video evokes the spirit of the Eastisde Tacoma project, even though it chronicles activites on the other side of the country.

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Tuesday, October 09, 2012

On Dancing at District Convention: Clap, snap & thump

Our Baha'i District Convention was made festive, not only through lots of songs sung, such as the Clap Snap Thump song, but through music offered as ambiance-creator. Some of the friends couldn't help dancing. Video proof... -gw

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Friday, October 05, 2012

On the Power of Song: Mauricio at children's class

The power of songs to teach was brought home to me while witnessing this Baha'i children's class. -gw

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On a Magical Baha'i Children's Class: Sean's introduction to Baha'i community building

It was fun last Friday taking Sean to see Baha'i core activities on Tacoma's Eastside. It was his first exposure to what Baha'i are doing to build community. Most of our time we spent in the very apartment complex where he lived as a child. It was like a pilgrimage, he said. He got to visit with juinor youth Jessica about the children's class she teaches every week. He saw Joe and Maedeh gather together junior youth for group. He witnessed a magical Baha'i children's class given in Spanish. He saw the very best that Baha'i have to offer. He was moved. So was I. -gw

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Wednesday, October 03, 2012

On the Sun of Reality is One Sun: But it has different dawning places

October has arrived, but the sunshine belies the season. What to do on a Sunday? Get in an alpine hike before the snow starts falling up in the mountains, or go paddling on the Sound. We chose the latter. -gw
The Sun of Reality is one Sun, but it has different dawning places, just as the phenomenal sun is one although it appears at various points of the horizon. During the time of summer the luminary of the physical world rises far to the north of the equinoctial, in spring and fall it dawns midway, and in winter it appears in the most southerly point of its zodiacal journey.

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On Victories Being Won: On the field and through the Institute Process

Karen, Gilmar and Kim at the game
The UTYA Tigers football teams are having a steller year, especially the 7th graders. They're winning games, but more than than, they are building character and acquiring viurtues. Everywhere you look, on the field or off, you see participants in the Baha'i-inspired Junior Youth Spiritual Empowerment Programs among the players, cheerleaders, and family members there to cheer on the team. It is so heartening to the see the progress that has been made through the Institute Proceess here in Tacoma. -gw
Jaylen (providing water)
Dante (on the right), age 13, who with Tigers cheerleader Jessica, aged 14, conducts a children's class every Monday in the Salishan neighborhood

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