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Monday, March 31, 2014

Bow Police and the Hats We Wear

Written by Paula E. Bird, copyright 2014

In a recent group class, my students came up with the idea of making hats. One of my students was having a particularly difficult time maintaining her bow hold posture, and I tried to think of a fast way to make her more aware of the issue. In cases like this, I often ask the student who needs the reminder to act as the patrol officer for that issue. If we are focusing on bow holds, then we designate someone to be the "bow patrol" or "bow police." I have found that the student we designate to patrol us will then become hyper aware of the posture issue. Hopefully this awareness will translate to remembering to correct the student's own bow hold.

I have done this sort of thing several times before, but during our recent class, something sparked a new idea for my students. "Let's make a hat!" And so we grabbed some construction paper and quickly made hats. Most of us remember how Curious George taught us how to make hats. Some of the students opted to draw pictures of bows or police badges and write "bow police" on their hats. One student made an origami samurai hat. Then my students took turns wearing the hats they created while they took turns sharing the bow police role.

Last week I wrote about spheres and in particular about connection and community as suggested focus areas of our lives. My recent group class activity reminded me that we wear many hats in our lives; our hats represent many roles. Because we wear so many hats, I find it a good idea to take inventory now and then of the hats that I wear in order to increase my awareness of the roles I have taken on in my life. Are some of these hats still necessary or a product of a former time and no longer needed? Are some of these hats taking up too much shelf space and causing my schedule to be too crowded? Are some of these hats a bit neglected and gathering dust in the corner of a back shelf? Are there some hats that I need to add to my collection? Taking stock of what I have in my collection now may help me to clear out the storeroom of unwanted or unneeded hats and to give more time and attention to the hats in my collection that I cherish because of their importance in my life.

In exercises like these, I find it particularly helpful to write down my discoveries. In the past I have used a journal for this purpose, and my journals were as simple as 99 cent copy books. Even if I never revisit the journal, I find great comfort in knowing that the information is stored somewhere in retrievable form. Nowadays I type my journal entries rather than write in a journal, and that is because I save the wear and tear on my hands. Typing is simpler for me. I use for this purpose because I can use the program wherever I am and with whatever computer I have available. I am able to save and print out my entries if I so desire, and the website is fun with its measure of moods, distractions, and other information. Any type of written record would do though. I have typed journal entries in word processing programs, and I have used journal applications.

Journals are great places for making lists, and making a list of hats is a great way to kick off some personal reflection that may spur us on to some important personal growth issues. This week, grab whatever journal-like tool that you may have available and make a list of the hats that you wear. Then in the coming week, spend a little time each day considering the list that you made. Are your hats still in fashion? What insights have you gained about the roles in life that you play? What adjustments might you need to make?

Try making your own hat:

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