Sheldon’s Quest

It may have “all started with a Big Bang”, but after 12 seasons, the Big Bang Theory writers gave their loyal viewers a well-written and heartfelt ending ~  which included closure to story lines, a “finally” repaired elevator and scenes that were so moving that they did not require the live studio audience to break out in laughter.

For those of you who may not be familiar with the premise of this show, it becomes apparent within the first few episodes that the main character, Dr. Sheldon Cooper has only quest in life and that is to win the Nobel Peace Prize ~  any cost. It would be interesting to do a word search and see how many times, within the 279 episodes, the writers included a reference to the Nobel Peace Prize.

Like so many quests, the hero’s journey is greatly enriched by the detours, the challenges and the times when all hope is lost. In the case of Sheldon, the writers brilliantly created a cast of characters who accompanied our hero on his quest.  They provided comic relief, encouragement and on several occasions, reminders to re-evaluate the cost of being so singularly focused.

Throughout each season, we watched as Sheldon allowed himself to experience deep friendships, love and even marriage.  But all the while the quest was still there, lurking below the surface ~ to the point that on his wedding day, with the help of his bride, the magic formula suddenly made sense.  The hero had finally achieved a major milestone, which made the quest attainable (with significant help from his wife).

As the final season draws to a conclusion, Sheldon learns that he and his wife, Amy, will be indeed honoured with the Nobel Peace Prize and he begins to craft his acceptance speech.  We see the hero revert to his former, self-absorbed self and write 90 minutes worth of his own accomplishments and in the process alienate himself from his “band of brothers”.

With minutes to spare, our hero has a change of heart and instead of regaling the audience with his speech, he turns their attention to his friends and acknowledges their role in his quest.  It turns out that those relationships, those challenges, those detours and those times when all faith was lost were the true prize.

As we near the end of this school year and we begin to reflect on the goals that we set in September, (our quest) is it important that we reached that pinnacle?  Or is it the learning, the challenges that we overcame and the relationships that were forged or deepened throughout our journey, that we will remember?

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Life at the Lake

For those readers who have faithfully been reading my “Post a day for the month of May”, my apologies for the short break.  As you may have gathered from Day 17, I headed up to our cottage for the Victoria Day weekend and although the view of the water, the peaceful surroundings (except for the invasion of the black flies) and lots of physical labour combined with fresh air were conducive to prime writing inspiration,  the unreliability of the Internet created some frustration when it came time to publish the posts.

Here is my Day 18 post!

Life at the Lake.

I did not grow up “on the lake”, nor did our family own a cottage when I was growing up. Hence, I do not have rich, detailed stories passed down from generation to generation about the ever-changing water levels, families of animals returning year after year and trees surviving extreme winters.

For one week each summer, we would venture to a fishing camp and rent a cottage. We still created wonderful memories with rich, detailed stories, which continue to be shared ~ but the natural surroundings never played a central role.

When our own children were young, we continued the tradition of renting a cottage for a week each summer.  We loved the outdoors and appreciated the beauty that Mother Nature gifted us with, but to be honest, we did not pay much attention to how best to sustain that beauty.

Five years ago, we finally took the leap and invested in our own cottage on the Trent Severn.  It is a modest, rustic cabin, with an accompanying bunkie for our now grown children and visitors.  Bru-Ski Bay (as we have renamed our lot on Lost Channel), nestled among tall strong pines, is surrounded by water on three sides. Each side offers a different entry experience. On one side, you can dive off the dock into deep water.  One side is located on the scenic point, with a gradual walk into the water (although, as a prime fishing spot ~ there is not a lot of swimming happening there). The third side is a haven for frogs and lily pads (marshy and moist).

As relatively new cottage owners, we have learned that the inaugural trip in the spring involves a great deal of stewardship for the natural resources, so that we will be able to enjoy their beauty year after year.  Trees damaged by the winter winds needed to be trimmed in order to not compromise other trees and plants, fallen branches needed to be removed from the water’s edge and the hummingbird feeder needed to be refilled.  

Stewardship of our Earth is one of those life skills that we can sometimes overlook in our quest to meet the multitude of curriculum expectations.  My heart sang with joy, when late last week, I looked out of my office window to see our grade one classes taking it upon themselves to weed and tidy our gardens.  It was so evident that they were taking pride in our school.   As a new school, we often remind our students to take care of their furniture and equipment ~ as we want it to last for years and years.

One does not have to be in a new school to feel that sense of pride and stewardship.   As you look towards the upcoming week, what can you do to demonstrate stewardship of resources (natural or other) in your school?

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