💀 🔥 🐸 Word / Toys / Essays / War / Air

Hi everyone, Happy new year! This year's word, distraction toys, essays, the understandings of peopl
Unfragile Thyself

Unfragile Thyself

January 26 · Issue #22 · View online
Brief reflections on five experiences

Hi everyone,
Happy new year!
This year’s word, distraction toys, essays, the understandings of people enmeshed in war, and dusty days – all highlighted below.
I’m glad you’re here.
~ Tod

Word 💭
Some years ago I picked a word in January and kept thinking about it all year long. I think the word was useful. I picked a different word the following January. I can’t remember it now. It might have been change. I have learned that I can forget my word, so now I write it down, reflect on it in my journal, jot it on a post-it and stick it on a wall, talk about it over dinner. Never thought a word could entertain me so much. A few weeks ago I said thank you to last year’s word, reframe, a very good word, and then picked rational for 2019. I hope you will ask me about my word next time we meet.
Design Challenge 🎱
My grade 10 design students are preparing for a possible design challenge with children at Bayt Abdullah Children’s Hospice (BACCH). Children at BACCH are life limited (the child will be expected to die within childhood of their condition) or life threatened (where they may have episodes of being very unwell but may be cured and survive e.g, cancer). The children have unique challenges. Some of them have communication challenges, some physical movement challenges, and some just want to be distracted during their medical interventions. My design students believe they can help with that last one, so we want to interview the children and their families and develop distraction toys for the children to play with when they are getting blood withdrawn or other injections. I’ll share more on this developing project as we make progress.
Fish Whistle 🖼️
During my vacation I was looking for a read very different from my current make-me-better-at-my-job book, The Laws of Human Nature. So, I opened Daniel Pinkwater’s Fish Whistle. And what a great choice that was. It’s funny! And Pinkwater shows us his love for dogs, the value of staring at things alone, and how to teach by getting out of the way. Please read this collection of short essays. As Adrian Monk said, “You will thank me later.”
The Vietnam War 🤯
Also during my vacation, I found 18 hours to watch The Vietnam War by Ken Burns and Lynn Novick. It was worth every minute. This is not a pro-America or anti-war documentary. Burns and Novick put the beliefs and perspectives of people in this war–on both sides–in front of the camera. With each episode, you start to realize that you can’t begin to understand this war–any war?–until you know the people enmeshed in it.
Breathe ☠️
A dust storm rolled into Kuwait last week.
Tatiana, Dan, and Jess head out to the grocery store.
Tatiana, Dan, and Jess head out to the grocery store.
You can’t really tell from this picture, but the air quality was very bad. It arrived during the school day and all students were ordered to stay indoors all day. Before and after the peak storm, bad air was giving people allergy problems, headaches, and a fine layer of dust over everything outside and inside. Apparently, this was just a mild storm. I’m eager to see the big one.
Thanks for reading! If you like this newsletter, feel free to share it. Just point people to todbaker.com.
Curious about Kuwait? If so, let me know. I’ll look into it and report my findings here.

Watch your bobber!

~ Tod
🛎️ Next on Unfragile Thyself, Gabo and Tati take Tod to Prince Tailors to get measured for a suit.
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