Thursday, July 29, 2010

Book Review: The Four Fold Way

Angeles Arriens, author and anthropologist, shared her insight into earth-bound cultures and key principles that are at the center of how they live and interact with one another. The four principles are:
1. Show up and choose to be present
2. Speak to what has heart and meaning
3. Tell the truth without blame or judgment
4. Be open to outcome, not attached to it
Think about how your after-school program staff and students would interact with one another if these four principles were to guide the work. Each of these principles is foundational to living one’s life responsibly and effectively, and ensuring that you are making a contribution to the world.
In her book, Arriens writes about each of these principles and then gives concrete examples of what it would look like, sound like, feel like, if these principles were being practiced as well as tips on how to accomplish acting on these principles. Check out this amazing book—it is an easy-to-read book but holds many insightful truths that can be applied to the world of after-school.

Not so usual celebration…
July 29th is National Lasagna Day. Lasagna is a wonderful layered Italian dish—loaded with pasta, cheese, marinara sauce, and sometimes meat in the sauce. Any way you slice it, lasagna is an amazing dish—unfortunately there are a lot of steps to making it. A month or so ago I was having dinner in my son’s home. His wife had prepared a delightful quasi-lasagna dish that was quick and easy to prepare and best of all—delicious. She had used frozen cheese ravioli, a prepared spaghetti sauce (she did add Morning Star “hamburger” to the sauce), and grated mozzarella cheese. What she did was layer the frozen ravioli with sauce and cheese, and then baked for about 45 minutes. Fantastic! Quick, easy, delicious and for me, a new way of making an old favorite that can take the biggest part of an afternoon to make. Needless to say, lasagna is served more often in our home now.

Activity with kids…
Take the kids on a “food” field trip of Italy and have them research different types of Italian food, and where in Italy this particular food is available. Have them create a menu for an imaginary restaurant, complete with drawings of the Italian flag, map of the country, and the gorgeous country side. Have groups of students share the “recipes” that they highlight on the menu they create with one another.

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