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Education

Fun at School

Scant half a dozen scattered souls attended Ebeneezer Scrooge’s funeral. Besides being an ill-tempered, self-engrossed, long-faced creature, he had been a lifetime member of the Guild of the Sulky and an active fellow of the Academy of the Sullen.

A good teacher must travel on a diametrically opposite road to that trod by the sad Ebenezer. As the phrase reads: “Ill-temper is hazardous to your health” and to a solid interpersonal relationship too. A dash, maybe even a generous dose of good humor is an indispensable ingredient to a pleasant class.

Everyone feels more at ease in a classroom where the teacher can enjoy and laugh at a timely joke, especially if the subject of the class in dry and the Monday is gray and rainy.

Humor is one of the most contagious displays of mood.  When a class laughs together, as if by magic the psychological walls and social fences that keep students and teachers apart disappear. There are no longer masters and pupils, scholars and ignoramuses, rich and poor, men and women-only human beings having some fun together.

A teacher who injects opportune and healthy humor in his/her classes opens a slit in the spirit of his/her students whereof marvels escape: motivation, pleasure in learning, creativity, camaraderie, joy and many others. Humor exposes the myths, and schools, in general, suffer from being mythicized, remaining isolated and inaccessible. Humor opens up doors and airs dark rooms – that the self-indulgent and complacent would prefer locked and covered with dust and cobwebs. Humor ventilates the miasma of formalism, of academicism and of stuffy thinking.

There’s no solution without humor. Teacher, laugh at and with your students; your work, and theirs, will be more pleasurable and productive – no kidding. He who laughs, laughs best.

Por Edson José Cortiano

Who am I?
I don’t really know, but there are some things I can tell you about myself: my name, for instance. I’m Edson José Cortiano. I am 65 years of biological age (though I’m much younger/older spiritually) I live in the capital city Curitiba, in the state of Paraná, in the south of Brazil.

I am the proud father of a beautiful, wonderful, very bright woman called Lícia Brassac Cortiano (whom I call Lika), who’s a psychologist. When she was a teen, Lika would read Harry Potter to me, in English, making different voices for the different characters (I especially loved her Dumbledore). It was the best Harry Potter ever!

Professionally, I’m a teacher, translator, author and some people (very good friends of mine ;-) consider me an artist. I draw cartoons and comic strips, photograph, paint, illustrate books and write. I’m interested in improving myself and others physically, intellectually and spiritually. I’m into meditation, lucid dreaming, IF and moving (walking, mainly, but also wearing leg weights, bar and hand barbells).

I love nature, animals and plants, waterfalls, moonlit / starry nights, clouds, trees, grass, dogs, birds, cats – all cats, but especially my cats, Alien, Dorah and Ruby (they are my daughter’s, really) – horses ... even people ;-)

I don’t love stupidity, injustice, waste, pollution, materialism, prejudice, carnival, reality shows, people who do not clean up after their dogs, crowded places, especially supermarkets and buses and the VW van that sells donuts on my street, blaring ‘whipped cream filled donuts’, ‘crème filled donuts’ ... out of the very loud loudspeakers.

I love reading horror, poetry and comics. I write short stories, articles, plots for my comic strips (Espherozoa, The Philosopher, Chico Mate) and poems.

I love playing chess, cards and games such as the ones at Lumosity. On TV (actually, I don’t own a TV set), I only watch series and documentaries, especially on Netflix. Some of my preferences: Chasing Coral (I cried), Moving Art, Loving Vincent, The Handmaid’s Tale, Young Sheldon, Community, Modern Family, Frasier, etc.
I also love listening to podcasts. Some of my favorites are 10% Happier with Dan Harris, Lucid or Bust, Sleep Whispers, The Science of Happiness, The Intermittent Fasting Podcast, The Slowdown, Grammar Girl, and Word of the Day.

My goals in life are to be a first-class oneironaut, get 1,000 readers for my Facebook group I (heart) English, be a good companion, father, brother, son, friend, neighbor, citizen, human being, animal.

I admire smart, cultured people who are not hung up about to sex, religion, politics, who are open-minded and who appreciate good books, series, podcasts, comics, movies, songs, games, a healthy and delicious meal. You see, I’m an IF’er – one meal a day –, so you’ve got to really appreciate your food and make it count!
I also love chatting, especially live. (or, in these "beaky" times, on the phone or on Skype/Zoom/Google Hangouts...).

What I want from life?
I’ll let Clarice Lispector answer for me. “Freedom isn’t enough,” she writes. “What I want doesn’t have a name yet.”

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