Skip to main content

When Breath Becomes Air - Review


A poetic piece of literature about a young man who is also a doctor who probably would have found the cure to something or at least saved thousands of lives but finds out when he is 36 he has terminal cancer and only lives to 37.

It's sad.

Like, really sad.

But it's also incredibly enlightening.

Dr. Paul Kalanithi's memoir changed my life.

Although the other day I got a little lightheaded and spiraled into a panic attack thinking this could be my last day on Earth and questioning whether or not I did it right.  Life, that is.

That's what this book will do to you.  Not the panic attack thing, that part is on me, but this book will make you take a long, hard look at how you are livin'.  Will make you question your relationships and whether or not you are giving them the attention they deserve.  It will actually make you NOT roll your eyes the next time you hear live each day like it's your last or see a Carpe Diem tattoo next to that tribal on that tanned bicep.

(Ok, you will still roll your eyes at the tat.)

It will make you love harder, feel deeper, live life fuller.  Breathe in and breathe out with a bit more gratitude.  Sweat less over the small stuff.

I couldn't recommend When Breath Becomes Air by Paul Kalanithi enough.  But I do warn you - make sure you are in the right frame of mind to read it.  His writing is so eloquent and his mind was so beautiful that you feel the pain of his journey but it's a sweet kind of pain.  A well thought out kind of pain.  A pain, that if taken in the right stride, can make you a better person.




Comments

Popular posts from this blog

Attention Seeker

As an educational leader, there are times throughout the day that I feel like if there were two or three of me, we could actually be getting some things done.  Whether it is responding to emails, attending meetings on and off campus, meeting with teachers or students and doing whatever else comes up throughout the day (I had to remove a dead cockroach from the staff bathroom last Tuesday), it becomes increasingly hard to attend to the task at hand.

Maybe it's just me as I've struggled with attention issues my whole life but I have to think there must be other educators out there who feel the same way.

You are in an ARD meeting, it's 2:00 pm and you know there's a parent phone call you HAVE to make before the bell rings and there's a teacher who needs your support with a student and the last time you checked your email, right before going to the ARD, you noticed Inbox 64, and you just got a call on your radio that there's ANOTHER cockroach in the staff restroo…

Identity First, Then Culture

First, allow me to get this outta the way, real quick like.  

I am, unabashedly, an Indiana University basketball fan to the core of my being.  I grew up in Indiana and in Indiana, if you were raised right, you were raised to be an IU fan.  Unfortunately, the vast majority of my lifetime, they haven't been that great.  I don't remember the national championship in 1987, I was only 4.  

Recently they hired Archie Miller from Dayton University who is known for defense and toughness.  A "grind it out" culture if you will.  He gave an interview  (here) and in the interview, he mentioned something about culture that struck a chord with me this morning.  


“The big thing is to create the first identity opportunity,” Miller said. “Not culture.” I stopped Miller there. Coaches love talking about culture – it might be the most popular buzzword in the profession today. What’s with the avoidance? “I think culture is earned,” he said. “You don’t start talking about culture four weeks …

Restorative Morning

Some kids come to us in the morning, not ready to learn.  Not ready to "do school".  They are upset, angry, tired, hungry, frustrated, etc.

Does that surprise you?

Probably not.

What are you doing about it?  Morning work?  Have students sit at their desks, silently, and watch morning announcements?

Do we expect the students who come to us in a state of mind not conducive to success at school to just, get it together?  I would argue the opposite of the "get it together" mindset.  We are educators and we educate more than just the academic side of our students lives.  We are also responsible for equipping our students to be socially and emotionally resilient.  Intentionally.  Like, actually TEACHING students how to be mindful of their feelings and what to do when they aren't 100%.

At the elementary school I am fortunate enough to be the Assistant Principal at, we have had some teachers put Morning Circles into place.  The first part of these circles is a sim…