Tag Archives: student

Officer Empowers Student to Independence

For many, their job is what happens between the hours of 9-5.
Their hearts sit on the sideline while their heads navigate a schedule of activities, expectations and stressors. But this isn’t the case for everyone.

Our Intent staff enjoyed getting to hear one man’s story from his proud sister! Beesley is the Student Resource Officer at Oberon Junior High School in Arvada, CO. What began as a result of a shared interest in bikes with an outgoing middle schooler named Micah Petersen became a story of independence and friendship despite the presence of a cognitive disability. Continue reading

Eric Garner and the Goal of Meditation

This week I met with a number of teachers and administrators at a school in Los Angeles to talk about mindfulness for students. I had reached out to the school after seeing a presentation that said stress was the number one concern of students, parents and teachers. Sadly this didn’t surprise me as I know it to be the case for many students, at many schools, and in fact for many parents (myself included). Continue reading

Student Eloquently Points Out What’s Wrong with Education System in Five Minutes

It seems you can’t go five minutes without hearing about how apathetic today’s youth is about education – that they only care about getting famous or doing things that make them happy rather than learning. We are consistently bombarded with statistics about lower test scores, op-eds on why today’s college students aren’t ready for the demanding rigor of the current work force and the reminder that the United States is constantly slipping in rank when it comes to world education.

One Knox County, Tennessee student is going to tell you why. And you know what? It’s not because of apathetic students or lazy teachers. In five short minutes he breaks down the history of the “common core” and why it is failing America’s students, its teachers and the overall system. He explains the problem with treating education like a fortune 500 business and how a student’s success and quality of learning can’t be accessed by the percentage score of a scantron test. He stands up for his peers, their desire to learn, and for the hard working teachers that try to give them that opportunity to do so against seemingly impossible odds.

I come from a family of teachers. My mother just retired from teaching second grade. My father has been teaching at a community college for over 15 years and this fall my brother started his first year as a fourth grade teacher. When I go home for the holidays I will spend most of my time listening to conversations about lesson plans, parent teacher conferences and a rundown of all of the tedious paperwork that has to be filled out just to get a student diagnosed with ADD. When my mother was teaching she would often be at the school until 6pm, and when she came home she would be up until 10 or 11 grading papers, tweaking lesson plans or responding to parent e-mails. Every child of a teacher knows that it is a 24/7 job and that as the years go on it becomes more and more impossible. As the video points out, our teachers today are graded by percentage points on quarterly standardized tests rather than the desire to learn they inspire in their students. It doesn’t measure the important things like the amount of time spent helping struggling students or thinking outside the box. For the sake of their own jobs teachers today are forced to teach their students how to think like a multiple choice question rather than creating their own original ideas.

If we fail our students in learning how to think for themselves, how do we ever expect them to succeed in life?

If you know a teacher that could use this video as encouragement, share it with them to show your support! Or tell us what you think about this student’s speech in the comments below.

Video of the Day: A Teenager Brings His Class to Tears with a Few Words

Today Upworthy shared yet another hear-warming gut-wrenching story of what happens when love, kindness and patience mix with ingenuity. Musharaf “Mushy” Asghar had faced school years filled with bullying and isolation due to a speech impediment but with a little help from the movies, he is able to give a goodbye speech that brings everyone in the room to tears.

It just goes to show the power of educators and the spirit of children who want to learn! Be kind. Inspire.

What do you think of the video? Share with us in the comments below! 

Your Words



Your words. Your own words.

I remember the first time I tried to formulate this sense, this feeling, this awareness. I needed no words to express it to myself, but then there was my friend telling me how insufficient, how inadequate she felt as a student. She told me of her failures and shortcomings and I struggled with this thought, this sense, this feeling I had that would not be shaped and fitted properly into language.

I found it hard, maybe harder than I would if our teacher did not stand beside us listening in on the conversation. If he hadn’t listen to me trying to say that it is infinitely more important to be a good “you”, than to be a good student, I might have found it easier to find the words.

But this was exactly what I was trying to say.

That being you, that succeeding at being you, that being good at being you, is far more important than being a good student, a good person, a good human. That fulfilling your own potential is far more important than satisfying the ideas of others, of any “others”.

I blurted out a bundle of words to my friend that day. They might have communicated my thoughts, likely they didn’t. We moved on to another subject, our teacher drifted away. Did he mind? Did he mind me saying than my being me, than my friend being her, is of far greater importance than us being good students of his?

I did not believe he minded that at all.

Because he knew that too.

Elephant in the Room: Choosing Between Passion and Security After College

graduateDear Cora,

I will graduate from college soon and like many of my classmates I am worried about finding a job after I graduate. I interned for a few places as an undergrad, including an artist management company that I really clicked with. They even said that they’d never bothered with interns before but after hiring me they didn’t know how the office would run without me there. It’s been six months since then, and I still keep in contact with the guys from the office, hoping it will turn into a full-time gig after I graduate. They recently told me they aren’t sure they have the funds to hire me as a full-time employee, but that I could come work for them part-time and sign the bands I really love – they’ll teach me the ropes and I’ll get commission once those bands start making money. However, I’d need another full-time job to be able to pay my bills and survive.

I know I’m lucky I at least have one offer when many of my peers are struggling to get interviews – and it really is my dream job, but should I take it if I know I won’t be getting paid? Yesterday I attended a graduation ceremony for my major where we were told it’s not the best time to be entering this market and that we should “cast a wide net” in hopes we can at least get jobs in a related field. Would it be smarter to apply for more a more practical position, where I’ll go in at entry level but at least have a steady pay check or the less stable dream job? I’m torn between following my passion and making the more economical decision.

Practically Passionate


Dear Practically Passionate,

Oh, college graduation! While you may not feel it right now, especially with the stress you’re under, this is one of the greatest times in your life – it just takes a little perspective to see it. It is exactly what your letter describes, a time of choice and discovery and taking risks.

I understand the two factions you are torn between rather well. I grew up with a strict and logical father. Over two decades in the military has a way of training someone to think in very efficient means, and my father advised his children in the same way. Imagine his surprise when his youngest decided she wanted to forgo law school (and following in his footsteps) to try more artistic pursuits in Hollywood. I was optimistic and naïve, thinking it’d be no problem for me to roll into town knowing no one and just get a job as someone’s assistant or just show up in the writer’s room of “General Hospital” (you may laugh, but I’ll have you know soap operas have jump-started the careers several successful actors and writers alike) and get to work.

Of course it didn’t work out like that. I spent months trying to find a job – over qualified for retail or restaurants and not enough experience to land a position at a
full-time company. It didn’t take too long for the depression to set in, which wasn’t helped by the constant emails from my father saying there was still time to apply to graduate school or better yet, “You were always good at math. Can’t you get a job in insurance? There’s always jobs in insurance.” But I was selfish, in a way that only privileged 20-somethings can be, and kept applying. I managed to grab a temporary position at fruit bouquet design store, which bought me some more time before I’d have to return home and forsake my dreams for something more practical, as you put it. I got lucky and landed a job at a new company that allowed me to use the marketing skills I had picked up in school and had flexible hours so I could take writing classes to continue on towards my dream. It wasn’t the glamorous situation, or paycheck, I had imagined when first leaving school but it set me in the right direction so I was only too eager to take it. And it was the first step on the path that lead me to writing this to you.

“I know I’m lucky” – do you, Practically? Do you really? It’s about more than you having a tentative job offer; you’re lucky to have this problem at all. You are in a unique position where you have to decide what will make you happy when so many in this world wake up every day deciding what they have to do to survive. I don’t say that to belittle you, but to remind you exactly of the privileged position you are in and make sure you don’t forget it. Many would kill to be in your shoes, so don’t waste the opportunity you’ve been given.

I’m advising you to be selfish. This is one of the few times in life where that’s an acceptable trait to have because as you get further into adulthood the happy choices
will more and more frequently be replaced by the survival ones. I feel like in your gut you already know that you want the “less stable” dream job but just are afraid of the risk. That’s not weird – every time you turn on the news you see a bleaker and bleaker picture of college graduate job prospects. However, what I’ve learned is that dream jobs hardly ever come for free or in the shiny packages we imagine they should come in. They require work and sacrifice to actually pay off into the dream we’ve imagined. So you may have to get an extra job waiting tables or making coffee at Starbucks but that’s such a small price to pay for the chance you’ve been given, deary. People have had to do far worse for much less.

I think you owe it to yourself, and for all of those who aren’t as lucky as you, to take the risk, to follow your heart, to follow your dreams because you don’t know if you’ll have the chance to be this lucky again.

Best wishes,

* * *

avatar-NO-BKCGRNDSubmit your questions, troubles, and predicaments to Cora via editor [at] intent [dot] com or in the comments section below. The Elephant in the Room advice column will be published every Friday – a blend of humor, compassion, and wisdom specially tailored for our Intent audience.

You Are Both A Student Of Life And A Teacher

 Tuesday, August 16th


"You are both a student of life and a teacher.  Both roles are in continuous motion – sometimes outside of your awareness.  You learn as you experience and respond to life.  You teach others through example – sometimes intentionally and other times in more subtle ways.  Approach both roles with awareness and love and you become a very bright light for the world." — Selacia, The Council of 12

Steve Farrell

Humanity’s Team World Wide Coordinating Director


The Independent Thinker

I am drawn to Sri Aurobindo because he was an independent thinker and did most of his spiritual work on his own. On my spiritual journey I have been a bit of a loner, always sidestepping teachers who told me what to do or how to think. It is not that I do not want instruction, but I have never wanted any teacher to try to fit me into a mold. In other words, I do not like a cookie-cutter approach to teaching. I have always sought out teachers who would not try to make me accept their way of thinking, but instead would support me as I struggled to find my own spiritual values. While learning from teachers has been very important to me, it has been my direct experience of the Divine that has been my greatest teacher.

My most important mediumship teacher, Brenda Lawrence, has always told me that she is not really my teacher, but that Spirit is my teacher. She has made it clear that she does not expect me to be like her; I need to be my own medium. I have had other teachers who were too bossy, and I was not able to work with them.

Sri Aurobindo did not receive his deepest spiritual teachings by studying spiritual texts. While the ancient Indian teachings are important to him and part of his spiritual education, from his writings, I perceive that it was his direct relationship with Divine Consciousness that had the greatest influence on his spiritual evolution.

He says that each man has a different spiritual journey, depending on his nature. (I wish he would say "man or woman" or "person," but then he is a product of his generation, like any of the rest of us.) When I read letters to the disciples, I see time and time again that they are not being told what to do, but are encouraged to find out what to do themselves. Sri Aurobindo says in many of his books that to do Integral Yoga, such and such is required, but that a man may follow a variety of spiritual paths and still find God. He is not saying that his yoga is the only path to God; instead, he says IntegralYoga is his path of spiritual development, and if you want to join him, he will lay out quite clearly what is expected.

Sri Aurobindo is like a good parent who teaches a child how to think, not what to think. In this excerpt from On Himself (Sri Aurobindo Ashram 1972), he tells about his spiritual education. It is important to note that Sri Aurobindo fought for the independence of India, and so before he and the Mother founded the Ashram, his life was involved with political struggles, which included some time in jail.

I began my yoga in 1904 without a Guru; in 1908 1 received important help from a Mahratta Yogi and discovered the foundations of my Sadhana; but from that time till the Mother came to India I received no spiritual help from anyone else. My Sadhana before and afterwards was not founded upon books but upon personal experiences that crowded upon me from within. But in the jail I had the Gita and the Upanishads with me, practiced the yoga of the Gita and meditated with the help of the Upanishads; these were the only books from which I found guidance; the Veda which I first began to read long afterwards in Pondicherry rather confirmed what experiences I already had than was any guide to my Sadhana.

I respond so strongly to his statement that when he began to read the Veda, what he read confirmed his experiences. For me, having a particular kind of spiritual experience and then afterwards reading something that confirms my experience is so much more powerful than reading about a particular kind of spiritual experience first and then having an experience.

Copyright © 2009 Carole Lynne, author of Book Cosmic Connection: Messages for a Better World

Hot Potato Guidance

I’m pretty uncomfortable about it at this point, and I know too that I’m doing the right thing.

As you know, I function as a Chief Spiritual Officer for several businesses. It’s hard to explain what a CSO does. The basic job is to look at business scenarios of all kinds and listen for guidance at the same time. The implication of my commitment to these concerns is that whatever I get, I share.
Ay, there’s the rub …
In one particular business, I got some guidance this week for the CEO, guidance that is out-of-the-ordinary uncomfortable. He’s making some choices in his new business that are both exhausting him, and causing difficulty within the business. He even asked me how to change his state of exhaustion. So I did what I always do, I tuned in—and voila!—guidance.
There is a second step in dealing with guidance that many of us forget. Most of us, when we get guidance, are so certain of its correctness that we feel the urge to blab it out as soon as we can. Over the many years I’ve lived as an intuitive, I’ve learned this second step the hard way. It’s a question:
Is this mine to keep … or to tell?
Not all guidance, dear one, is for sharing. I know that sounds surprising, especially in this case, because the gentleman asked me directly how to solve a problem. And solve it, I can, but … the solve will not be nearly as effective or permanent if I tell him rather than let him figure it out himself.
I know this because I applied step two: know or tell? In this case, it’s a know situation. I know, and I am not to tell. Does that seem disingenuous to you? It does to me sometimes. Here this client is paying to share what I know, and my further guidance is to say nothing—for now.
Since I got the original guidance, I’ve sat in prayer every morning (for about a week) and asked: Today? I keep getting no.
What do I do in the meantime? I show in consciousness, not tell in form.
In order to function in my own integrity, I hold the guidance and the consciousness of the man who asked me for it in juxtaposition in my heart. Guidance/Person, might be a way to say it. I know that I want him to get this, but I want to cooperate with the Divine and allow him to get it on his own, so I hold them both in my heart, and check in every day, just in case things change.
You’ll notice I wrote above: —for now. This now. And when I get to the next now, the rules and the guidance may change. Sitting with the knowing right this minute feels uncomfortable, but it would feel way more uncomfortable to push my client past his limits at this time.
With hot potato guidance, the scenario can change in an instant. That’s why I have made a habit of asking the know or tell question. When the student is ready, the teacher appears. Sometimes the teacher is ready a little early.
As the teacher shows, the student will tell.

Freedom writers!!

Are we really free? I think we are not.

We are so dominated with the problems in life that we are not enjoying the real journey of life. The real life here is to make most of the every moment. We have to free ourself for a better time in our life. For all those happy moments aroud us which we are not enjoying. See what you want to see, explore new, do new, find new. Thats the way to be the FREEDOM WRITERS. Its our life, how cant we manage it? We are the fighters of the game called life and we have to win this battle. Write your own freedom. Now.

Just watched the movie

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