Navigating the Unexpected

I have written about my long time client and family friends, Ian and his parents.  It was not a hard sell to convince me to come out to Seattle for a visit and a RPM workshop – especially when I could work in a little summer vacation in the process! (This East Coast gal is awed by the natural splendor of the Pacific Northwest.)

bigtree

The workshop was a great success – lots of learning, spelling, breakthroughs, epiphanies, and joyful tears! The chance to do what I love in a new setting and share my passion for kids, families and RPM was a treat. I think Ian’s comments in the final session of the workshop sum up this experience perfectly!

CHRISTOPHER COLUMBUS…a case study in unexpected events! 

Christopher Columbus was born in 1451 in Genoa, Italy. Genoa was a thriving seaport. Columbus grew up to be a sailor, mapmaker and geographer. When Columbus set sail in 1492, his intention was to find a new trade route to the East Indies. Until then there was only one known route from Asia to Europe. Sailors traveled eastward across the Mediterranean Sea, then by caravan through deserts and mountains. Columbus was determined to find a better route by sailing west. King Ferdinand and Queen Isabella, rulers of the Spanish kingdoms Castile and Aragon, agreed to finance three ships to support this journey. Upon acquisition of new lands, Columbus was promised the position or status of Governor. Upon acquisition of new wealth, Columbus was promised 10% of the monetary profit.

What industry was Genoa, Italy known for? SHIPPING

Name one of Columbus’ occupations. MAPMAKER

What does a governor do? GOVERNS A REGION

Why would King Ferdinand and Queen Isabella want to find new trade routes or discover new lands? TO INCREASE REVENUE.

Nice word! So we are clear, what does revenue mean? MONEY

New trade routes had not been established because sailors feared losing sight of land. Sailors who believed the world was flat thought that sailing west would result in “falling off the edge” of the world. This fear illustrates the power of myth. As early as the sixth century B.C., Greek philosopher Pythagoras had written that the Earth was a sphere, or round. Several books were published between 1200 and 1500 that discussed the Earth’s shape, including “The Sphere.” Historians believe that educated citizens of Columbus’ day knew that the Earth was round.

Why had sailors failed to establish new trade routes? WANTED TO KEEP LAND IN SIGHT.

What indication did citizens of the renaissance have that the earth was round, not flat? BOOKS HAD BEEN WRITTEN ON IT.

As it turned out, the issue for Columbus was not the shape of the Earth, but the size of the ocean. While it was agreed that Asia lay to the west, no one knew how far.  Columbus estimated Japan to be approximately 2,500 miles west of the Canary Islands. Japan was instead more than 10,000 miles away from the Canary Islands. His miscalculation was a result of an assumption that the earth was smaller than it really was. However, this miscalculation did not land him in “America” as we know it.

How many miles away from the Canary Islands was Japan?10000 MILES

What caused Columbus to miscalculate the distance of Japan from the Canary Islands? UNDERESTIMATED THE SIZE OF THE EARTH.

On October 12, 1492, Columbus landed on various Caribbean islands that are now known as the Bahamas. He also explored the Central and South American coasts, but he did not reach North America.

If Columbus did not reach north America why do we celebrate Columbus day? TO CELEBRATE HIS GOOD TRY

The first Columbus Day celebration was held on October 12, 1972 to honor Italian-American Heritage. The Bahamas observe “Discovery Day” to celebrate Columbus. Miscalculations and mythical tales do not dampen the accomplishments of Christopher Columbus. As a result of his risk taking and navigational skills, he found the best travel route across the ocean to the Americas and best eastern route back to Europe. These routes are still used hundreds of years later.

Where did Columbus land on October 12, 1492? BAHAMAS

Name a lasting effect of Christopher Columbus westward voyages? DISCOVERED TRADE ROUTES TO THE EAST

Creative Writing:

Describe an event when things did not go according to plan. What did you do to navigate unexpected changes in plan? How did the event turn out?

I HAVE BEEN A VICTIM OF UNEXPECTED OBSTACLES. NO ONE EXPECTS TO BE BORN WITH AUTISM.  I AM SURE IT WAS NOT WHAT MY PARENTS EXPECTED EITHER. I AM VERY HAPPY TO BE WHO I AM.  I WOULD NOT WANT MY LIFE TO BE ANY DIFFERENT THAN IT HAS BEEN WITH ONE EXCEPTION.  I WISH THAT I COULD TALK! I THINK THAT MY AUTISM HAS MADE ME AN INTERESTING PERSON.  I THINK AND PERCEIVE THE WORLD DIFFERENTLY THAN YOU NON AUTISTICS. THAT DOES NOT MEAN THAT I DO NOT THINK AT ALL.  WHILE YOU ARE BUSY TALKING I AM LISTENING, THINKING, AND LEARNING. THIS IS A GIFT NOT A TRAGEDY.  SOMETIMES I FEEL SORRY FOR YOU.  YOU ARE CAUGHT UP IN A WORLD OF WORDS AND TRYING TO PROVE YOURSELF.  IN THE MEANTIME I HAVE BEEN FLYING UNDER THE RADAR FREE TO LEARN, OBSERVE AND LISTEN WHEN YOU DID NOT THINK I WAS LISTENING AT ALL. BIG MISTAKE!  I KNOW ALL YOUR SECRETS! DON’T WORRY I CAN’T TALK SO YOUR SECRETS ARE SAFE WITH ME.  I LOVE YOU ALL THANKS FOR LISTENING TO ME.

Wow! Just wow! It was a spectacular week. An added unexpected gift, my daughter, Andi, a teacher of 10 years who lives in Seattle, joined us for the workshop so she could learn RPM! You know what they say, the family that RPMs together……  ~Elizabeth

Andi, Ian, me and Rosaleen (Ian's Mom). A bunch of crazy people with letter boards!

Andi, Ian, me and Rosaleen (Ian’s Mom). A bunch of crazy people with letter boards!

Advertisements

3 thoughts on “Navigating the Unexpected

  1. What a blessing you are to so many – thanks for sharing this event with us. And thanks to Ian for sharing his thoughts and feelings with us. We are learning a lot from you!

    • Thank you Sue! You hit the nail on the head – we are learning so much from Ian and the other kids who have been sharing their thoughts and ideas through RPM! They have turned my world and everything I *thought* I knew about autism upside down!!!! Thanks for reading! ~Elizabeth

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s