A New-Old Teacher, Vote! ...and something to OM about.


Oh my gosh-- Greg Brittenham, the former Knicks coach who has had a place here for a while, is the new PE teacher at the Haines School for grades K-12. I will let his bio from the school web site speak for itself:
Having recently resigned from his position as Director of Player Performance for Men and Women’s basketball at Wake Forest University. Greg and Luann Brittenham can finally make the permanent move to Haines. Something that they had been talking about doing since first arriving in Alaska in 1993 to help with the Klukwan Heritage Foundation Camp of Champs summer basketball camp. Prior to Wake Forest, Brittenham spent the previous 20 seasons with the New York Knicks as an assistant coach for player development.
Greg and Luann have recently established the foundation “I Did. You Can.” whose mission is to address important issues facing the young people of Southeast Alaska. Addressed are matters of substance abuse, self-confidence/self-esteem, gender equity concerns, leadership skills, and generally promote healthy lifestyle choices – all within the constructs of basketball.
Well, this good news should help keep families with other options here in the winter, and maybe even attract a few more. Lucky us. (School starts tomorrow! So of course it has quit raining and is supposed to be in the 70s.) Also, be sure to vote today. I'm voting Yes on prop. 1. I mean, if Alaskans could write in Lisa and make sure she won against all odds, I think we can see through the 12 million-plus dollars the oil companies have spent trying to get us to vote No on appealing their 2 billion dollar oil tax cut, right? 
Here's something I want to share that I learned at a weekend yoga retreat. You don't have to light a candle and have the perfect pillow and silent mediation hut to practice a new habit of the mind. This morning instead of checking my email first thing, and then zinging around with my responses (good, bad, medium, urgent, silly-- all requiring something from me) I made my coffee thoughtfully (it smelled really good) and then sat in a chair by the window and sipped it, looking at the leaves and the wind and the water and the waves. I said a little silent prayer of gratitude. Then I read a poem. I know cue the woo-woo music, but I don't care if you tease me. Creating that stillness, that pause before the day takes off, helped. A lot. I feel better, calmer, saner. It's as if I've found something I hadn't realized I'd lost. And all that happened in the little time it took to drink my first cup of coffee.  Our yoga teacher said that if we practice something for 90 days in a row we create a new skill and habit. (I bet coach Brittanham would agree with that, too.) I began my 90 day change for the better today by taking my morning coffee with a prayer and a  poem rather than an iPhone and an email.  


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