Friday, November 18, 2011

Christmas Meltaway Mints

So my family and I went to Cracker Barrel the other day, and we saw Christmas meltaway mints. We had to buy them. It was necessary. It was the right thing to do.

Since we are firm believers in not putting out anything Christmas-y until after Thanksgiving, we put them in an autumn leaf bowl in the kitchen.

Me: I cannot stop eating these. Why did we buy them?

Mom: *Laughing* Do you have to get a handful every time you go by?

Me: *Head lowering, and laughing* No! I get up and leave everything I am doing specifically to get some!

Sad isn't it?

Thursday, November 10, 2011

More Products that Help Heal and Cure Lupus, Fibromyalgia, Sjogren's Syndrome, etc.

I'll never forget the paper my mom thrust in front of me at my desk. "Fibromyalgia Cured" was across the top of the page in circa 1998 word art, the yellow kind with black dots and a blue outline in impact font. Since it was 2008, the circa 1998 word art made me the most skeptical.

"Are you for real?" I think were my exact words. You must realize, at this time, I had very little hope of ever feeling well again. Going anywhere for any length of time was a struggle. After I got home from anywhere, I was exhausted and in extreme pain. And I wouldn't stop trying to teach. I was subbing on a very regular basis. I would lay down as soon as I got home, and I would stare at a plate of food in front of me for a long time before lifting the fork. I was too tired to lift it. Hunger usually made me lift the fork.

The document was written by two consultants for a company called Mannatech, Richard and Ruth Webster. I don't remember what the document said, and for the life of me, I cannot find anywhere on the Internet, now. I do remember that you could put in your phone number and they would call you. They lived in Tasmania, and they paid the long distance bill for the call.

My mom gave them my number, and they gave us a number that we could call in the states to listen to an explanation of how Mannatech's system works to cure many ailments. They called back and asked if we wanted to try Mannatech. I let my mom make that decision since I was making very little money.

They set up a system that they thought would best work for me which included ambrotose, phytaloe, phytomatrix, and plus. Ambrotose is designed to help your body heal itself, phytaloe contains all kinds of incredible nutrients from various vegetables (in fact, the ingredients are vegetables), phytomatrix was a multivitamin (I think), and I do not remember what in the world plus was.

Over the next several weeks, they told me how to increase my doses gradually to help my body repair itself, and then they helped me back the doses back down to the smallest doses that would work for me. The whole process took about three months.

After the awful effects of detox, I started feeling better. I started coming home and actually doing stuff instead of laying super still in bed. I started cooking, grading papers, playing with the dog, etc! The whole process Yet again, I tried to quit taking some and all of these pills at some point. I found that without ambrotose and/or phytaloe, I felt terrible within two days.

Like the Rice N Shine (aka Nanacea aka 24/7), it did not cure me. Heck, I have at least three autoimmune disorders for cryin' out loud! But, it did give me my life back. I no longer take the ambrotose because I take something that is even better that I will write about very soon, but I do still take the Phytaloe. I personally take two capsules in the morning and two capsules at night. And yes, I continue to eat the Rice N Shine (aka Nanacea aka 24/7), also.

There are some people out there that Mannatech products have cured. There are some incredible stories of some that have been cured beyond their imaginations. I, however, am just someone they helped a whole lot.

Like I've said before, as with all new treatments, try it for at least six weeks. Actually with this one, try it at least three months. You may feel worse before you feel better if your body begins to rid itself of toxins by taking this stuff. After three months, if you feel better, great! Keep taking it. If you do not feel better after three months, quit taking it. If you quit taking it because you don't think it is making a difference (like I did) only to have your muscles threaten to leave you for mistreating them a few days later, start taking it again.

Although I no longer have a way to get in touch with Ruth and Richard Webster, the website for Mannatech is http://us.mannatech.com.

Veterans' Day Lesson

Today is the day before Veterans' Day - the day I always taught my favorite lesson when I was still teaching. I didn't want the kids to think of Veterans' Day as just a day off. I wanted them to know why it is such a special day, and if they saw people in uniform, I wanted them to show those people respect and even thank those people for their service if given the chance.

Days like today just fill my heart with sadness and longing. I long to sit in front of a group of wide-eyed children as I tell them the story of Veterans' Day, of the red poppies, of America's White Table, of the little old men and women in uniform I used to watch cry every year as Taps was played in my high school's gymnasium...
I think I will be just as sad on Monday - the first school day after Veterans' Day this year. That day usually was full of stories and journal entries of the veterans that the kids saw in various places - from Walmart, to Applebees, to special ceremonies, to grandma or grandpa's house - and how the children thanked them, listened to their stories, watched them shed a tear when the children offered their thanks, received a poppy, served them, or just stared in awe at the differences in uniforms. Sometimes a  grandma, grandpa, great uncle, or family friend with Alzheimer's or dementia had the first inkling of being able to remember again when they put on their special uniforms once again; their stories were told with accuracy, confidence, pride, and emotion.

If you get a chance, read America's White Table to your kids - whether they are your own or the classroom ones that feel like your own for seven hours on weekdays. Thank a veteran. Go to the many places that honor veterans on Veterans' Day. Last year, I saw a ton of veterans when I went to Applebees. Applebees is the chain resteraunt who honors veterans the best in my opinion. Some resteraunts are offering free drinks or deserts - are you kidding me?! Give them a meal! Applebees does, and those veterans respond.

An old family friend came into Applebees while we were there last year. He was wearing his WWII hat and bomber jacket, and he told us stories that he had not told in years. It is special to see all of those veterans in one place sharing their lives as the resteraunt shares their meals.

After seeing Mr. French, I went through our bookshelf at home and found the book When Duty Called.. by Jerry Barksdale. It is a book of war stories from veterans in my hometown, well really my home county of Limestone. Mr. French's amazing story is in there, and I thought the kids would like to hear it. I read his story to the kids the next school day. I stopped half way through, and the kids said, "Don't stop now!" :) They needed to know what happened! (I won't tell the story here, because it will take away from the book, but it is completely amazing.) So, we spent all of our history time and our read aloud time to his story.

I won't be there to encourage students to thank veterans and to show them the utmost respect, but the students who I have talked to about this subject before will certainly carry on that tradition. For that reason, I feel that my lesson will go on without a hitch even without me there - which is one of the most rewarding aspects of teaching. With that thought, I am filled with happy thoughts again, and I wish you all a very Happy Veterans' Day! 

Sunday, November 6, 2011

All Natural Healing Product for Fibromyalgia, Lupus, and Sjogren's Syndrome

So, this stuff is the first of many all natural remedies that really helped me heal.

I know I sound like I live a relatively normal life which may make you think that I cannot relate to all of you out there who are suffering with intense amounts of daily pain whether you have Fibromyalgia, Lupus, Sjogren's Syndrome, a combination of these, and/or similar illnesses. You would be half right. I do live a relatively normal life now.

I did at one time, though, lay in the fetal position for many hours of every day. I would cry during breaks at work (when I was working) because I hurt so much. I would cry after work, on the way home, when I got home, or a combination of these. I even would turn down going out to eat - my favorite thing in the whole wide world - to lay curled in a ball on the couch.

Been there, done that.

This stuff is the first of many natural remedies that really helped me heal. I call it "this stuff" because I am not just real sure what this stuff really is!

Did this stuff completely cure me? Absolutely not. Did this stuff help me tremendously? Absolutely. In fact, if I miss more than two days of this stuff, I regret not eating it. My muscles beg for it. It is amazing, spectacular, miracle-making stuff.

This stuff goes by many names. It was originally called Rice N Shine, and then it was called Nanacea. Now, it is called 24/7.

If you have tried it before and did not like the texture, the texture has changed several times. (And, if, by the way, you dislike many foods based on their textures and you have Sjogren's Syndrome - that texture deal is part of it. You have no idea how relieved I and my parents were when we learned that my dislike of foods for their texture has a medical reason. Yes, parents of picky eaters, if your child has Sjogren's Syndrome and does not like foods because of their textures, it is simply nature's way of keeping your child from choking on certain foods. In my experience, if it looks like it will be difficult to swallow, it probably will be.)

When I first got this Nanacea 24/7 stuff, the directions suggested mixing it with water, juice, or smoothies. It was awful. It was like drinking sand and uncooked grits in water - which is totally not ok for Sjogren's (even though I did not know I had it back then). So, when it was still that coarse, I would actually put a big spoonful in my mouth dry, and then I would take a swig of water. The stuff would sieze up into a wad that I would swallow whole. It sounds disgusting, but I actually preferred it that way. I am so strange...

Anyway, now the texture is much finer, and it probably actually would be good in a smoothie. I, however, mix it into my oatmeal with some raw honey in the morning. I did mix it into cream of wheat with brown sugar at one time, too.

I only eat this stuff on weekdays, and I eat it for breakfast. I eat breakfast at 6am on school days, and I usually do not have lunch until noon. This 24/7 stuff mixed in oatmeal holds me up that long. I am rarely hungry before noon.

I could not even begin to tell you everything that is in this 24/7 stuff; this is the website, http://www.nanacea.com/store/, for this it, though. The website describes what it is, how it was discovered, and why it is cool.  

There is a plain kind, a vanilla kind, and a chocolate kind. I get vanilla. I have never tried the chocolate kind before. I have tried the plain kind, and it just made me want to add sugar - which is probably against the point.

You can actually get some really good deals on this 24/7 stuff on Amazon sometimes, so check there for deals. Type "Nanacea 24/7" in the search box.

24/7 is not the only product I use. It has actually cured some people of many different ailments. I am not one of those people. I wish it were a cure for me. It does, however, make a HUGE difference in my health, and I would never even dream of not taking it because it helps me so much.

As with all new treatments, try it for at least six weeks. You may feel worse before you feel better if your body begins to rid itself of toxins by eating/drinking this stuff. After six weeks, if you feel better, great! Keep eating/drinking it. If you do not feel better after six weeks, quit eating/drinking it. If you quit eating/drinking it because you don't think it is making a difference (like I did) only to have your muscles threaten to leave you for mistreating them a few days later, start eating drinking it again.

I hope it helps!

Thursday, November 3, 2011

Cheap All Natural Hand Softener

It's that time of year again. The weather is getting colder, and my hands are getting drier. Don't you hate that? Winter = Dry Hands. Since I have Sjogren's Syndrome, my hands are especially dry and sometimes even break open.

Luckily, I have an all natural hand treatment - a super cheap hand treatment - that makes my hands soft again.

You will need baby oil and regular white sugar. I like the lavendar baby oil because it smells pretty.

Mix 1 part baby oil to 4 parts white sugar. I usually mix 4 T white sugar with 1 T baby oil, but you can mix a big batch of 1 c. white sugar with 1/4 c. baby oil if you like.

Thoroughly scrub your hands with the mixture. The longer you scrub, the better those hands will feel. Rinse thoroughly, and then wipe with a soft towel. If you have any left over, you can re-use it the next day if you would like. I usually leave a bowl of this stuff by my sink. :)

Enjoy!

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

Procrastination

I would just like everyone to know that I have been the best procrastinator ever this week.

I Turn to Food

I love food. I love to eat, so I love to cook. Since losing my teaching job, I have rediscovered my love for cooking. I have been making all kinds of recipes. Cooking and eating are good for the soul. I have made all of my old favorites except one or two. I have tried recipes that I have been dying to try. I have made whatever I wanted without regard for the kinds of meals everyone else wanted.

Know what? My family members have liked all of the things I have made so much that they have even beaten me to the leftovers a couple of times (when we have actually had leftovers).

My favorite so far has been Creamy Chicken Enchiladas from kevinandamanda.com. I could eat them every single day. Every day. If I had the ingredients, I would make them right now...and eat all of them.

My favorite dessert so far has been Sticky Toffee Pudding from Food Network. Again, if I had the stuff, I would make it right now, and then I would hide it from my family members. It is that good.

I have wanted to try sticky toffee pudding since I first tried the sticky toffee pudding ice cream from Haagen Daz. I love that ice cream. If they still make it, it isn't sold in my area. If you are reading this and work for/have some influence with Haagen Daz, please make more sticky toffee pudding ice cream. It is necessary for the morale of America - for at least one American.

If any of you find any recipes that are as amazing as these two, please let me know! Right now, I am more or less obsessed with recipes that are comforting and that look fattening at their very sight. Any suggestions?

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Top Ten Things To Keep in Mind While Fighting Fibromyalgia, Lupus, Sjogren's Syndrome, and Such

1. Keep an open mind. There are many alternative and all-natural remedies that help and sometimes even heal autoimmune disorders. Sometimes even old wives' tales and jokes on MASH really work. If something is safe, it doesn't hurt to try it out even if it is weird. I use many alternative and all-natural remedies that help me tremendously, and of those remedies I have heard of many people having results much more miraculous than mine. Which brings me to...

2. Everybody and every body is different. You are going to hear of many people having success with many different treatments, medications, remedies, etc., and those people may even tell you that they have definitive cures. Nothing is definitive. Just because something worked for me or for your best friend's cousin's mom does not mean it will work for you. Try some things to see if they will work for you, and realize up front that they may or may not work.

3.  Things always get worse before they get better. I do not write that sentence to discourage you, but to encourage you. There is usually a fair amount of detox that your body will go through anytime a medication or remedy begins actually healing your body wholly or in part. Detox for me has lasted as little as two weeks and as long as 2 1/2 months.

As your body heals, it starts getting rid of all the "bad stuff," and I guess the mere movement of the bad stuff makes a body feel bad. Detox can have many symptoms including but not limited to sweating, bad breath, cold or flu-like symptoms, muscle aches, headaches, and more. I personally usually experience the latter three. I have been through many detoxes and have learned that they are usually a good sign.

4. Listen to your body more than others' opinions. There are going to be many people who tell you that you should be doing this, that, or the other. Some will be doctors, some nutritionists, some family, some friends, etc. who will tell you what you should be doing or that you are not feeling well because you are or are not doing something in particular. If you have tried something, allowed for detox, and still feel terrible, then that something does not work.

For example, I had a ridiculous amount of people who all told me that I would feel better if I just spent more time in the sun. I have always been super fair-skinned and have always burned very easily, so I have never really enjoyed being outside. I decided to suck it up and try to spend more time outside. Everyone was saying it was healthy, so surely it was so! After a few weeks, I gave up. I just decided that it wasn't worth it to go outside. I had to make myself go out there, and I really didn't feel any better. I usually felt worse. Wouldn't you know it? I was diagnosed with a sunlight allergy last year.

5. Never try too many things at once. Anytime I have ever been to a nutritionist, herbal supplement store consultant, alternative and prescription medicine specialist, etc., I have always noticed the same thing. They try to get you to try like five supplements and two or three changes to your lifestyle. Really and truly, I do not see anything wrong with trying a bunch of supplements at once, but I do have a problem with two to three lifestyle changes all happening at once.

Pick one lifestyle change whether it is a new exercise remedy (or in my case, one at all), a new diet, etc., and notice how it affects your health. If you try three things at one time, you do not know which one is helping, which one is hurting, or if they are canceling each other out! If the first thing helps you, great! Now, try the second to see if the two lifestyle changes together will help you even more!   

6. Get a referral to a doctor or clinic at a medical-research hospital. Because of the time in my life when I got sick, I went through all kinds of tests all over the state. Then a friend of my dad told him how much his daughter was helped by a certain clinic. Their blood-work system (and I guess everything else) is much more sensitive than most (My reaction to this fact was ?!). Go somewhere where you know that your problems are seen on a daily basis and are seen by people who are researching those problems, also.

I was told countless times that there was nothing wrong with me but stress. I have Fibromyalgia, Lupus, Sjogren's Syndrome, TMJ, a sunlight allergy, and a partridge in a pear tree. Ok, so I don't have the partridge in the pear tree, but I do have everything else. I have spoken to several medical professionals who have explained how so many things can be missed, and it is crazy how easy it is for ailments, illnesses, and syndromes to go undetected.

7. If your doctor isn't listening, get a new doctor!
My third appointment with my first doctor after finding out I had Fibromyalgia
Him: So what's wrong?
Me: I am still having a lot of pain especially in my arms and legs.
Him: Are you sleeping ok?
Me: Yes.
Him: I'm going to write you a prescription for a muscle relaxer.
Me: You wrote that prescription two appointments ago.
Him: Did they work?
Me: I am sleeping better. Remember, last time you told me to increase the amount I take from one per day to two per day? But after taking two a day for a couple of days, I was too groggy to function well.
Him: Oh yes. So you are only taking one a day?
Me: Yes.
Him: Well, here is a prescription so that you can have two per day instead. A nurse will be with you in a moment so that you can make your next appointment. *Leaves room.*
Me (internally): REALLY?! What just happened?! *My jaw has dropped on the inside.*

I was too ignorant to know that this incident means get a new doctor. After talking with several people who suffer from Fibromyalgia, Lupus, or Sjogren's Syndrome, this kind of doctor consultation is common. I was ignorant and just needed someone to tell me what to do, so I am telling you what to do: get a new doctor!!

8. If your friends give you a hard time about your illness, they aren't really your friends. These disorders are physically and emotionally exhausting. You are not going to feel well enough to do all the things that your friends want you to do. Talk to your friends about this fact. If they are really your friends, they will stay with you long enough to know when you feel well, when to push you, and when to back off.

9. If you can avoid commitments, avoid them. The most frustrating thing for me is the fact that I will feel fine for a long time, and last minute I feel too awful to leave my house. It doesn't happen as much anymore, but it still happens from time to time. I am extremely Type A. I like schedules. I do not like having to plan last minute at all.

I have learned to tell people that I may be at certain places or events whenever possible instead of telling them that I will definitively be. If I show up, great for them and for me. If I do not show up, I never told anyone that I would be there in the first place. I make a lot less last minute, "Sorry that I don't feel well again," phone calls this way. After a certain point, people think, does she every feel well? Should we even ask her anymore? By not committing, I do not have to provide the excuse. I let their imaginations imagine whatever they want. :)

10. Pray daily, all day long, every day. I cannot stress this one enough. Without this one, the rest are not even worth mentioning. God made me. He made me with a plan in mind. He loves me. He wants the best for me in spite of my illnesses. Let Him make all of these tough decisions, because He is always right! 

My Many Thoughts on the State of America's Children Report 2011 Introduction

Wouldn't it be wonderful if all papers could just be blog posts? Papers would certainly be more heart-felt, gut-felt, and personal; they would have a voice. [Can you tell I am/should be working on a research paper right now?]

My assignment is to pick a topic based on the State of America's Children Report for 2011, and discuss that topic from a particular perspective. *Blank stare.* I have read most, if not all, of the report and am fascinated by the information it contains. The statistics in the report make us Americans seem like idiots and fools (yes, I realize that the two terms mean the same thing...) because those statistics are facts. Facts show us for who we really are; we can't run from 'em.

Well, I still do not know what I am going to write about. So, what do I do? I read the one section that I know I have not read yet - "Introduction."

I love the introduction. Can I say that? Can I say that I love the introduction of the State of America's Children Report for 2011? Am I a nerd? Absolutely.

The introduction is written by Marian Wright Edelman whom I am sure I should know, but I do not. Let me exercise some Internet ADD and look her up right quick with my beloved Google. Ok, she is the president and founder of the Children's Defense Fund, and although that is great information, it really doesn't matter who she is. She wrote a great introduction.

Here are the highlights verbatim:

"Everything our nation and all of us need to know about life can be learned from Noah's Ark...

Lesson One: Don't miss the boat...God did not make two classes of children. Every single child needs and deserves a quality education.

Lesson Two: We are all in the same boat...Many Americans may not like or think they have any self interest in assuring a fair playing field for other people's children - especially poor and minority children...[who] will constitute a majority in 2019...Our states are spending three times more on average per prisoner than per public school student. I can't think of a dumber investment policy.

Lesson Three: Plan ahead. It wasn't raining when Noah built the Ark. Tomorrow is today and children have only one childhood. They need to be healthy now. They need quality early childhood experiences now. They need first-rate schools with first-rate teachers and stimulating high quality out of school time programs now. And they need to know that there is a good-paying job after college in their future...

Lesson Four: Don't listen to the critics and naysayers. Just get on the job that needs to be done to educate our children. If you don't want to be criticized, don't say anything, do anything, or be anything...

Lesson Five: For safety's sake, travel in pairs. Better still, travel in groups able to make a ruckus loud enough to be heard...

Lesson Six: Remember that the Ark was built by amateurs; the Titanic by professionals. We must all use our citizen power, and vote to wrest the ship of state from that small group of experts and powerful corporate leaders who recklessly jeopardized all of our lives for personal gain...

Final Lesson: Build your future, build our children's future and our nation's future on high ground. Let's leave our nation and world better than we found it - more just, more hopeful, more peaceful, more productive, and more unified. This may be the first time in our history when our children and grandchildren will be worse off than their parents and grandparents."

My thoughts:
Lesson three made me think of the movie Charlie Wilson's War. Have you seen that movie? Well, here's the short version of what I remember: It is a true story of Congressman Charlie Wilson who helped the people of Afghanistan. The Afghan people were under the oppression of the Soviet Union, so Charlie Wilson made it the business of the U.S. to supply them with weapons with which to fight back. The Soviet Union retreated, and then the United States decided to leave Afghanistan.

The most profound moment of the movie for me was at the end of the movie. Charlie  pleads with the U.S. government to extend their stay in Afghanistan if for no other reason than to build schools. He says that most of the population of that country consists of children and that the children of that country will only remember the United States as people who supplied weapons and war. Schools are necessary to educate the children who will eventually run the country. The United States government does not grant Charlie's request. They pull out of Afghanistan entirely.

The movie ends with a black screen that shows this quote from Charlie, ""These things happened. They were glorious and they changed the world . . . and then we [messed] up the end game."

...and the rest, as they say, is history. Is the U.S. repeating their mistake with its own children?!

Lesson Four is the most profound part of the whole introduction to me. "If you don't want to be criticized, don't say anything, do anything, or be anything." Wow. Do we as teachers see things that are wrong with education that we can fix in our own little corners of the world but don't just to keep from being criticized? Absolutely.

To further comment on Lesson Four and to comment on Lesson Five at the same time: If enough of us teachers stood up for better instruction in which our students were taught to think instead of going along with pre-planned and scripted programs, our children would be equipped to better this world for us all. It's going to happen through them after all. Ten years is not long. In ten years some of our students could be making decisions that will change all of our lives. If we teach our students to think, this fact is not scary; it is exciting, promising, hopeful - the way children should be. We aren't called to change the whole world. We only have to change our piece; our students may do the rest for us one day.

Lesson Six: "Remember that the Ark was built by amateurs; the Titanic by professionals." I laughed as I read a chapter in my textbook for my issues class yesterday. The textbook is Current Issues and Trends in Education by Jerry Aldridge and Renitta Goldman. One of the subtitles on page 100 is "What Shall We Do with Dead, White, Western Men?" The point of that section of the book is that most of our practices as teachers are influenced by white men from long ago who never even stepped foot inside a classroom and most of whom did not believe in educating women. Why do we hold on to what they said so desparately?

Did you know that people who drink milk and eat dairy products on a daily basis are more likely to break bones in their lifetime than people who don't? Did you know that people who drink milk on a regular basis lose more bone mass than those who don't? There are countless studies out there about this topic including those from Harvard and many medical institutes. Why isn't this fact common knowledge then? Because the nutritional information we are given is funded by those who sell the product. Cows make milk for cows, not people.

Why do we cling to teaching practices rooted in the studies of dead, white, western men and in scripted and pre-planned programs? Because the research information we are given is funded by those who sell the products. Teachers research for the benefit of teachers; companies research for the benefit of companies.

I learned the term cultural diffusion in the 8th grade when talking about the crusades. After years and years of the Dark Ages, the people of Europe were finally learning something new because they left their European bubble to fight in Asia. Although they were fighting those people, they were learning a whole lot from them, too. This learning from each other is cultural diffusion.

Back then, and really until the last century, cultural diffusion always took time. Cultural diffusion takes no time now. Textbooks and programs are outdated before they are ever published because cultural diffusion and research are going on, being refined, and changing while the programs are formatted and printed.

I can learn from the best of the best about instruction with the push of a button on my computer. Why in the world would I wait to implement the newest advances in instruction until the next program came out when I could implement them immediately?

I wouldn't want my doctor to say, "Well, we have found a cure for Lupus, but we can't use it for five more years because programs won't be published until then." I also wouldn't want my doctor to say, "Well, we have found that the medicine you have been taking will not help your condition, but you have to keep taking it until the next program comes out in five years. We need the data that shows that your condition isn't being helped, so keep taking it...and paying for it."

?!

Teachers learn from one another every day either at school, in books, or on the Internet, and if you look closely they are all saying the same thing, "Teach them to think."

Fonts and Dyslexia & Cute Fonts and Learning

I will never finish my research paper. Heck, I'll never start it! I have terrible Internet ADD which makes me an awesome resource finder, but a terrible task-finisher (and starter...*sigh*). 

So, I was writing a completely different post, when I decided to look up a word on dictionary.com. While there, I saw this ad (isn't it odd how ad and ADD are spelled almost the same? Coincidence?):


Are you kidding me?! I am a teacher deep down into my heart. How can I pass up the opportunity to read about how to help kiddos? Ok, and I really like fonts, so I really had to take a time out to read about the fonts and dyslexia.

So, apparently some guy decided to alter some letters to make them more difficult to confuse. For example, he added a curlier tail to the letter "d" than the letter "b" so that they were not mirror images of one another. The font helped! There were less errors made and less difficulty while reading.

As exciting as that article was, my Internet ADD was implemented again when I saw a link to an article about one of my favorite fonts, Comic Sans. If I had to guess, I would guess that most elementary teachers have/use/enjoy Comic Sans because it is cute, kid-like, and readily available on most computers. There are cuter fonts out there, but if others cannot see them because those fonts aren't installed on their computers then the cuteness is wasted. Comic Sans is better for wide audiences.

I clicked the Comic Sans article link with excitement and dread. I knew that the article would either give me the reasons I should or should not be using that font with students.

In the first few sentences, the article established that the font is difficult to read. Darn.

Then the good part! Studies were conducted in which students were supposed to learn given information over a given amount of time. Some students were given the information in easy-to-read fonts and some were given the information in difficult-to-read fonts (like our beloved Comic Sans).

Who scored best? Who learned more? The Comic Sans Kids, that's who! Students who took tests with the Comic Sans font even scored better than other students. Those difficult-to-read fonts make an interruption in the brain which enhances the retention of information. I suppose it is kind of like a student who takes notes. The note-taking makes the student think about the information hard enough to write it down; those thoughts interrupt the speaker's information. The interruptions enhance retention.

I love cute fonts, and I'm gonna use 'em!