Posts Tagged ‘mothers’

“And Now… The Rest of the Story…” – Paul Harvey

“What if you are smarter than you think?”

                   J. Collins Meek, Ph.D. (Doc Meek)
                   Your Trusted Learning-Teaching Guide

Why is Doc Meek so enthusiastic?

You may recall the radio personality, Paul Harvey, from many years ago now? He would do an intriguing “setup” or introductory preamble that would grab your attention, and then he would invite his rapt audience to hear “the rest of the story” after the station break.

Then he would come back on the air with enthusiasm and say, “And now… the rest of the story!” 🙂

And so… readers have asked me to tell the more about why I am so enthusiastic about rescuing children from the emotional turmoil of their learning disabilities, or as I prefer to say:

Helping children triumph over their emotional pain, and have fun overcoming their learning difficulties or learning differences.

After all, it is much easier to workaround a learning difficulty or a learning difference, then it is to struggle endlessly with a seemingly fixed learning disability.


There is much more hope in playing with a learning difficulty or a learning difference.

Up the Ladder of “Success”

As I worked on my education degrees, I also worked at becoming an all around educator.

I was a special education teacher, a cross-cultural teacher, a regular school teacher, a school principal, a superintendent of schools, a provincial department of education consultant.

One day, when I was working on a policy statement for a senior official in the provincial department of education, I thought, “Where are the children?”

I had “signed up” to teach children and here I was in the administrative world of education–great work–and where was the direct work with children?

Besides, as I went up through the ranks I could not escape noticing that so many children were suffering in anguish because they either could not learn to read in grade one, or were struggling somewhere along in the grades.

Going “Backwards” into Private Practice

So I made a decision to go into private practice to help kids (and adults) overcome learning difficulties. I was terrified to “go it alone” like this, as I was used to “a regular monthly paycheck.”

It worked out just fine.

I respected the teachers who were trying so hard to help all the kids. And I especially honored the mothers who wanted success for their kids in school with all their hearts and souls.

The mothers “carried the freight” alright and I wanted to help lighten that burden if I could!

I never looked back!

I showed kids face-to-face that they were smarter than they thought!

I also showed teachers and parents how to help their students and children how to use not only their brains, but to remember that we need all of the “4-H’s” to make studying easier and remembering longer:

HEAD/HEART/HANDS/HOPE need connecting for true learning to occur.

Doc Meek, Sherwood Park, Alberta, Canada, Sat, Dec 6, 2014



Salute to fathers everywhere! – Doc Meek

Sunday, June 16, 2010, South Jordan, Utah, USA. Today I am full of gratitude for great fathers who are present to nourish and sustain great mothers the world over! – Doc Meek

happy fathers day photo: Happy Father's Day Papa ver13_zpsf4e927c5.jpg

Image from:


Father’s who are present both physically and emotionally are a great asset for mothers everywhere.

Such fathers make it easier for women everywhere to thrive and do what they do best, which is–

ahem… men… make the world work, as we all know. 😮






Doc Meek, Learning Specialist

Salute to mothers everywhere! – Doc Meek

Saturday, June 15, 2013 @ South Jordan, Utah, USA.

Today I am full of gratitude for mothers all over the world who teach and treasure their young. – Doc Meek

For all the wonderful mothers all over the world!!

 piper mackayShared publicly  –  May 8, 2013
Thank you, Piper Mackay! I’ve been helping children and adults overcome learning
difficulties of all kinds for more than 30 years now. The one thing I learned very
early on is that it is the mothers that are the anchor, mothers that carry the freight,
mothers that make a difference in the lives of their children and their families.
– Doc Meek,

“Every time a child is born… ” – Interfaith Video

1 of 4

“Every time a child is born… So is a Mother. ” – Interfaith Video

Sunday, May 12, 2013 (Mothers’ Day): Today my heart is filled with gratitude for all mothers, and my own mother. – Doc Meek

Thank you,, for bringing us this vibrant view of Mothers everywhere.

Doc Meek, Sun, May 12, 2013 (Mothers’ Day), Sherewood Park, Alberta, Canada

“What if you’re smarter than you think?” – Doc Meek

Thursday, May 10, 2012. Today, I am grateful for parents, teachers & students who endure.  – Doc Meek

Do You or Your Student or Your Child Have Reading Difficulties or Learning Difficulties? 

What if you are smarter than you think?

Einstein had overwhelming learning difficulties at school, and look at the creativity and accomplishment he brought to his life.


Click for image of Einstein:

A series of articles to help mothers, teachers & students with reading problems is at:

Doc Meek, Thurs, May 10, 2012, Sherwood Park, Alberta, CANADA

“What if you are smarter than you think?”

J. Collins Meek, Ph.D. (Doc Meek)
Neurological Learning Specialist/Facilitator
[“Everyone” says: “He’s fun to work with.”]


CANADA: Dr. Meek (587) 400-4707, Edmonton, AB

TONGA: Mele Taumoepeau, P.O. Box 81, Nuku’alofa

USA: Dr. Meek (801) 738-3763, South Jordan, Utah

For optimum brain health, ensure your heart health:

More on heart health:

USA: Jeannette (801) 971-1812; South Jordan, Utah

CANADA: Jeannette (587) 333-6923, Calgary, Alberta

CANADA: P.O. Box 3105, Sherwood Park, AB T8H 2T1




Autism: “A hair-dryer kid in a toaster-brained world” (Part I of III)

Bud’s Grade 5 class, in disguise; photo from: …………………………………………………………………………………………….

I am grateful for this guest article I borrowed today, Wed, July 21, 2010. This is Part I of a 3-Part series about Bud, a 10-year-old with learning differences.

Bud, who has been labeled autistic, has been placed in a regular Grade 5 classroom. His Mom’s brilliant interactive discussion with the kids in his class (with Bud absent of course) is detailed here.

This is the best description of autism I have read anywhere

Thanks Mom! We are grateful for your creativity, your courage, and your willingness to share!

What is autism? (Part I of III)

Bud’s Mom is interacting with Bud’s classmates at school (with Bud absent):

“Now, we all know that your brain is a machine that’s made of tissue and neurons and nerve cells. But let’s pretend it was a more simple machine. Let’s pretend your brain wasn’t made of tissue and neurons and nerve cells, but instead, it was made of metal and plastic and electrical wires. And let’s pretend that when you put that metal and plastic and electrical wire together, it turned into a toaster.”

Here, the class laughed – the good kind of laughter. I carried on. They were with me.

“And let’s pretend that MOST of us had toaster brains. Some of us might make white toast and some wheat toast or rye toast, and some of us might make light toast and some of us dark toast. Some of us might only toast bagels, and sometimes we might even burn the toast, but for the most part, all of our brains would be able to do the same thing: make toast.

“Now, think about the pretend world that we have just created. In our world, MOST people have toaster brains. So, when we make the rules for our world and decide how we want to spend our time, what do you think we’ll decide is the MOST important thing a person can do?”

Nora raised her hand. “Always try hard and do our very best?”

“Yes!” I said. “And WHEN we do our very best, we will be doing a great job making…”

“Toast!” they responded in unison.

“Yes! Because we have brains that are really GOOD at making toast – so we will want to have a world where it’s REALLY important and REALLY valuable to make toast. Right?”

Heads nodded around the room.

“Now let’s pretend that Bud’s brain is ALSO made of metal and plastic and electrical wires, just like our brains, except that when HIS metal and plastic and electrical wires get put together, they turn into a totally different kind of machine. Instead of being a TOASTER, Bud’s metal and plastic and electrical wires turn into a HAIR DRYER.”

I swear, I heard gasps.

“Now, there’s nothing WRONG with a hair dryer, right? Hair dryers are great! There are some things that hair dryers are really good for. There are some things that a hair dryer can do even BETTER than a toaster. But it is REALLY, REALLY hard to make toast with a hair dryer.”

They laughed again, and nodded, and totally, completely got it.  …………………………………………………………………………………………

So did I!

I will publish the continuation of this welcome guest article in the next post (July 22, 2010);  this article is an excerpt from Bud’s Mom’s blogsite:

I posted a comment on this Mom’s blogsite:

Doc Meek said…
Does anybody know the tune for “A hairdryer kid in a toaster-brained world?” I predict that, like “Rudolph the Red-nosed Reindeer,” this Mom’s “Hair-dryer kid in a toaster-brained world,” will go down in history. I’ve been helping kids mitigate learning and attentional problems for over thirty years now, and it is an axiom with me that “Mother knows best.” This Mom makes that point sharper than a surgical needle, right? – Doc Meek, Learning Consultant, May 7, 2010, Sherwood Park, Alberta, CANADA
May 07, 2010 11:38 AM ………………………………………………………………………………………………..

Blessings, Doc Meek, Wed, July 21, 2010, at South Jordan, Utah, USA ——————————-

J. Collins Meek, Ph.D. (Doc Meek)
“What if you are smarter than you think?”
Learning Specialist

For brain health, ensure heart health (short video):
More on heart health
Ph (801) 971-1812 (Jeannette); Fax [801] 282-6026

1. CANADA: P.O. Box 3105, Sherwood Park, AB T8H 2T1
2. TONGA: Mele Taumoepeau, P.O. Box 60, Nuku’alofa
3. USA: 3688 W 9800 S, #138, South Jordan, UT 84095

(2) Learning to run our brain: Vital need for HOPE . . . always

See  full size image

See full size image; HOPE image may be subject to copyright; image from:

The vital priority of HOPE

This is the second (2nd) in a series of seven (7) articles on having fun learning how to run our very own brain, or if you like, learning how to manage our very own brain. If you missed the introduction or the first article, just click on the appropriate link below:

(Intro) Learning to run our brain: 10 minutes daily

(1) Learning to run our own brain: Fear of failure

Our brain is an incredibly wondrous part of ourselves, even when it is not working optimally. Think of how it helps you every day, minute-by-minute, second-by-second (your every breath and heartbeat, literally). 😮

Out of sight to flower bright

The point of the crocus photo above, for me, is not that every flower brings color and freshness and HOPE to each of us (which it does). Rather it is that when we look at a dark (hopeless) rotten piece of soil or other dark (hopeless) space, we have no no clue (no evidence) that out of that utter and complete darkness will spring life and color and fragrance and HOPE.

When our lives present us with dark spaces, we are tempted to give up HOPE. Indeed we may actually exercise the decision, based on the unavailable evidence before us, to actually give up HOPE.

Little do we know the huge price we may pay for that HOPE-less decision, for giving up our grip on the present, and our vital lifeline to our future.

We do need concrete reminders it seems

When I am working with clients who have given up HOPE, I ask them to develop their own meaningful image of something, or someone, that epitomizes HOPE for them, HOPE in capital letters. For some it would be a picture in their mind’s eye (their powerful visual brain) of sunshine, gentle soul-warming sunshine.

If they choose a person, I advise them to make sure the HOPE symbol person is “permanent” in some way, such as a dead hero, or dead ancestor. The problem with living HOPE symbols is that they may die, and your HOPE might die with them. Unless of course, they are permanently implanted in your brain as a living being image, or a living soul, whether they die or not.

An airplane would be my image of HOPE. Which seems unusual until you know that I love flying. When I was younger I flew little airplanes. Loved it. I still love flying in various aircraft, even when I am simply traveling on a commercial airliner.

I am always astounded when the weather is black and stormy here below, and I have lost my way mentally, so to speak, and the darkness seems total, I am able to draw on my flying experience.

The plane in storm darkness here below, as it departs the ground, and gains altitude, emerges gloriously into sunlight above. I am completely refreshed mentally, physically, and spiritually in a way not easy to describe.

HOPE is knowing sunshine is always above the clouds, no matter what my circumstances are here below.

1104114Starbust-Sun-Above-Clouds-in.jpg mornin sun image by   dan-e-boy56

“Mornin Sun” from: ………………………………………………………………………………………………

Why don’t I remember the glorious sunlight when I am in the darkness on the ground!?

My mental image of an airplane does actually bring that remembrance to mind, to my brain’s visual centre, when I need it. I have to practice remembering the airplane image and the sun above, however, for this to be effective for me.

My friend says that the sun is not always shining above the clouds. At night, it is the stars that are always shining above the clouds. And, says my friend, “The stars shine out HOPE for me far brighter than the brightest sun.”

Yes! Whatever image you create especially for you, for your very own brain, right?

“Hey, guy, HOPE fades,” say some

“So does bathing,” says Zig Ziglar, “that’s why we recommend doing it every day.” 😮

We all need to develop some simple way to refresh our HOPE image daily. A picture of HOPE on the fridge at home? A HOPE picture taped to a mirror at home? A small simple symbol of HOPE hanging from the rear-view mirror in our car? A HOPE reminder on our desk at work? An HOPE image in our back pack for school, or multiple HOPE images in our main study materials? A simple HOPE ditty we sing to ourselves anytime?

HOPE is more secure if you use an image that is “permanent,” like sun, moon, stars, nature, music, poetry, prose quotation, powerful story, etc.

Perhaps we could use a baby or a child, provided we don’t know them. The generic innocence of infancy, if you like, as a symbol of HOPE. If we know the baby or child, and they die, there may be a real risk that our HOPE might die with them. Unless of course our HOPE is pinned irrevocably on them as an eternal being, as an eternal “child of God,” for example. If that is unquestionably permanent for you, then is might be solid for your HOPE image.

100_5895.jpg Beaming Sunshine image by EdU2R1

“Beaming Sunshine,” from: …………………………………………………………………………….

What is  your concrete image of HOPE?

Every person will have a different picture of what means real HOPE to them.

For some, it is not a visual image of HOPE alone; for some it is a song of HOPE, or a piece of inspiring music of HOPE.

For some it is a poem of HOPE.


Out of the night that covers me,
Black as the pit from pole to pole,
I thank whatever gods may be
For my unconquerable soul.

In the fell clutch of circumstance
I have not winced nor cried aloud.
Under the bludgeonings of chance
My head is bloody, but unbowed.

Beyond this place of wrath and tears
Looms but the Horror of the shade,
And yet the menace of the years
Finds and shall find me unafraid.

It matters not how strait the gate,
How charged with punishments the scroll,
I am the master of my fate:
I am the captain of my soul.

– William Ernest Henley, from Wikipedia:

“INVICTUS” is particularly inspiring when we remember two things:

(1) This was no “armchair” exercise for William Ernest Henley; he suffered terribly and his poem of  HOPE sustained him. Among other things he had his leg amputated below the knee. [From Wikipedia: William Ernest Henley (1849–1903).]

(2) Even though Henley doesn’t say it explicitly in the poem, we all need to keep in mind, in the reality part of our brain, that we do not need to face the horrors alone. Help is often where we least expect to find it, and even when their is no obvious source of help or HOPE, the HOPE seed is implanted within the brain and heart and soul of each of us. Our HOPE is stronger than we think.

And still, we need to nourish it constantly, like a plant, so HOPE will flourish and flower always in us.

We just simply have to hang on to HOPE for dear life, no matter what!

To hidden strengths we don’t know we have!

Doc Meek, Sun, June 27, 2010, Sherwood Park, Alberta, CANADA

“What if you are smarter than you think?”

J. Collins Meek, Ph.D. (Doc Meek)
Trusted Learning/Teaching Guide
[“Everyone” says: “Fun to work with.”]


CANADA: Dr. Meek (587) 400-4707, Edmonton, AB

TONGA: Mele Taumoepeau, P.O. Box 81, Nuku’alofa

USA: Dr. Meek (801) 738-3763, South Jordan, Utah

For optimum brain health, ensure your heart health:

More on heart health:

USA: Jeannette (801) 971-1812; South Jordan, Utah

CANADA: Jeannette (587) 333-6923, Calgary, Alberta

CANADA: P.O. Box 3105, Sherwood Park, AB T8H 2T1


You can’t change students (children) . . . you can care about them . . .

“A teacher who is attempting to teach without inspiring the pupil with a desire to learn is hammering on cold iron.” – Horace Mann

Dr. Merrill Harmin, in his famous book, Strategies to Inspire Active Learning: Complete Handbook [for teachers], gives us the common-sense idea that if a student in the your classroom (or by analogy, a child in your home) is continually acting out of line, you can speak to them privately.

Line Drawing:Teacher lecturing student

From there on, though, his suggestions get seemingly odd.

Dr. Harmin says that the purpose of the private dialogue is just that, to have a private dialogue. Not to give them a lecture. It gets even odder. He then says that the goal of the private dialogue is not–as you might think–to get the student (child) to change his/her behavior.

What? I thought that was the whole idea. “Nope,” says my wise friend.

Guess what?

The goal of the private dialogue is to start to build a relationship between the teacher and the student (or between the parent and the child).

Amazingly, one of the key requirements is for the adult to listen, not the younger person so much. The younger person is not simply an inferior adult. They are persons in their own right, having their own life, and their own preferences about learning and their own dreams and life purposes.

If we as adults wish to actually influence younger people for good on a lifetime basis (not just get them to conform to our momentary demands), it is vital that we listen with respect, even if their performance or behavior is out of line.

The listening with respect, the building of a relationship is the basis for all change (learning).

Astute teachers and mothers know this without being told. Fathers can learn it too. 😮

Caring, Respect, and even Honor,

Doc Meek, Thursday, June 3, 2010

At Sherwood Park, Alberta, CANADA; not at South Jordan, Utah, USA

P.S. We as adults can have a lot of “fun” learning this change within ourselves: caring, respecting, honoring and listening to young people.

It is short-term so satisfying–in a perverse sort of way–to just lecture them. Our egos love it! Our lecture may change their behavior temporarily (as long as we remain present). It will not engender long-term self-responsibility and self-management in the younger person, which is, after all, ultimately the goal of all education (and all family life), right?

P.S.S. Hey this is really wacko! You mean to tell me that the purpose of  lecturing . . . uh . . . dialoguing  with . . . a younger person is to get me–me–to change (learn), not them? Yup. Real challenge isn’t it? That’s how many students (and children at home) feel about the changes (learnings) being required of them.

Parents (and teachers) may wish to explore the idea that we may be yelling at our kids too much. Copy and paste this URL in your computer’s browser line:

Of all the champions in the world, mothers are tops!

“Holy Moley,” as Captain Marvel used to exclaim in the comics of my youth.

Sunday again in Canada. How can it be Sunday again? It was just Sunday a couple of days ago, eh?

One day I showed up at a reunion event and my hair was combed straight back, instead of my usual  parted version. My hair looked like a small field of grass, swept back by a mighty wind. Everyone kept asking, “How come your hair is flying straight back?”

“Because time is flying past like you wouldn’t believe!” 😮

So, speeding or not, “believer” or “non-believer,” Sunday can be a great gift for us all. Everybody.  A philosophical Buddhist, a kind Muslim, a gentle Christian, a studious Jew, a meditative Existentialist, a thoughtful Secular Humanist, a contemplative Atheist, a generous  Hindu, a gracious Baha’, a melodious Sufi, and everybody else, betwixt and between, among and beyond, and all whom I did not write in here at this particular moment in time. Let me know if I missed you and I’ll remember to include you next time, OK? All are welcome.

Especially Mothers, eh?

All are welcome to DSD.


Do Something Different.

DSD one day a week, not necessarily Sunday, the first day of the week. Pick any day. Your brain and your body need it.

Your brain will thank you forever if you DSD [is that Do Some Dancing? :o] once a week, and oftener throughout your workday world, just by grabbing small moments in time to give your brain the break it needs (however short) to do its best for you long-term.

Charter school champion with the light of his life: the mother of his children

Mothers are always the greatest champions in the world, wouldn’t you say?

I noticed in the  The New York Times, May 6, 2010, that David Levin, educational administrator, teacher trainer, and “workaholic” [it takes one to know one, eh?] takes some time on Sundays to DSD.

This time with his family is not only precious, it vivifies and refreshes his brain (and heart and soul).

So remember to TST to DSD. Take Some Time to Do Something Different. Every week.

Photo: Michelle V. Agins/The New York Times

David Levin with his wife, Nikki Chase-Levin; their son, Max; and their dog, Athena, in Riverside Park.

David Levin, 40, co-founder of the celebrated KIPP charter school network and superintendent of KIPP’s New York City schools, works 75 to 90 hours a week training teachers, raising money and shuttling among six schools. Even Mr. Levin’s Saturdays tend to be consumed by KIPP, which stands for Knowledge is Power Program.

Sundays, though, are reserved for his wife, Nikki Chase-Levin, 38, a marketing consultant (they met speed-dating) and their 15-month-old son, Max. The family lives on the Upper West Side.

– Excerpt from from The New York Times story by Elissa Gootman, published May 6, 2020

Work, love, spend time with your family, eh!?

Blessings, Doc Meek, May 9, 2010, at Sherwood Park, Alberta, CANADA

Listening to the experts . . . Mom

Medical problems? Relationship issues? Learning problems?

Often we seek expert advice to help us solve or mitigate these situations that are not easy for us.

This makes sense. Experts and specialists often have abundant knowledge and practical experience that makes their input very valuable.

There is a caution here though.

If we just “collapse” our own thinking and feelings and rely totally upon expert opinion, we may turn out to be unwise. We need to keep ourselves connected to the process of decision-making. We need to engage our own brains.

Connect. Consult trusted friends. Use common sense. If we are believers, ponder and pray.

Experts provide essential services in our society, and carry with them vast helpfulness.

Paradoxically, experts also carry a limited point of view, limited and narrowed by the very expertise they have labored so hard to obtain.

Whenever I was working with children with learning problems, and parents became superbly frustrated by the contrasting and sometimes conflicting advice from various learning experts and learning specialists, I made sure to remind the parents, especially the Moms:

“Yes, it can be maddening when you can’t pin down what is to be done exactly, with and for, your child.

“Remember that irrespective of what the experts say, including me, you [Mom] are the final arbiter of what will happen for your child. Who knows the child better, the newly-arrived expert on the scene, or you, who have known the child from birth?

“And before birth.

“Frustrating as it is to face, you [Mom] are the final authority, the best expert on what to do, or how to act, in relation to your child and your child’s learning problems.

“For example, even if I recommend something good, that seems to work well for other children, if it doesn’t sit right with you [Mom], it probably won’t work.

“If you [Mom] are not comfortable with the expert’s recommendation, there are two reasons why it probably won’t work well:

“(1) You are probably right, in the case of your child, irrespective of how well the advice may have worked for other children; each child is unique and a recommendation that has worked well for other children is not necessarily the answer for your child, if that’s the way you feel about it.

“(2) Even if the expert’s recommendation would, theoretically, seem workable for your child, it still probably won’t work, if you don’t feel right about it. Your thoughts and feelings will be broadcast to the child even if you don’t say a single word. Children know how their mothers feel.

“Children have really good ‘radar.’

“So, Mom, like it or not, your actual and intuitive knowledge of your child often reigns superior to what others may think.”

Moms have really good ‘radar’ too!

Happy Mothering!

Doc Meek, April 27, 2010

Sherwood Park, Alberta, CANADA; South Jordan, Utah, USA

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