What this young woman did brings new meaning to the term 'multitasking.' While most of us are content to devote 100 per cent of our energies to just getting through childbirth relatively unscathed (relatively being the operative word), a 21 year-old student had something important to do first.
Tommitrise Collins, a student at Middle Georgia State University, was determined not to let a pesky thing like childbirth get in the way of her writing an exam. In fact, maybe the focus she needed to concentrate on the exam actually helped distract her mind from pain in those early stages.
"It took me 4-5 hours after the opening of the test to try to put the pain to the side and do it so I wouldn't have to do it later and I could enjoy my newborn," said Collins. "She is my life now, and the way I look at it is, she will always have me to depend on, so my goals will not be put on hold."
And so, with her contractions a mere three minutes apart, Collins took - and finished - the psychology exam in under two hours. She gave birth to a baby girl following a 20-hour labour.
"I don't want to just barely make it by, I want my child to live comfortably," said Collins, whose story went viral. "And I want to show people that just because I am considered a young mother doesn't mean I have to be considered a bad mother."
Now that's determination. As for her grade on that exam? She got a B. Not too shabby even under ordinary circumstances.
In this case I'd give her an A+ just for sheer grit. With that attitude, she's well on her way to being a great mom!
Image Source: Facebook
One teacher is doing the most remarkable (and remarkably simple) thing. He starts the day by paying each of his students a compliment.
Is that it? Yes, a compliment, that's all.
But for the children in Chris Ulmer's class, hearing something positive about themselves is not the norm. These kids all have varying special needs - from brain trauma to autism - and are used to hearing society's message that they aren't worthy or acceptable as they are.
So the Florida teacher set out to challenge and confound society, one compliment at a time. For the first 10 minutes of every day, he singles out each child and delivers personal compliments.
Children learn to love or hate at an early age.I think it's time we actively work towards teaching love and acceptance.Posted by Special Books by Special Kids on Sunday, November 15, 2015
Like I recently learned, a little praise can go a long way for kids accustomed to hearing a litany of things they are doing 'wrong' (read: differently).
Not surprisingly, the students are reaping the rewards of such positivity. Not only has the daily ritual boosted self-esteem, the kids are now paying spontaneous compliments to each other.
Ulmer, or Mr Chris as he's known, has also worked tirelessly to create a website that showcases the many gifts of his 'special' students while highlighting the realities of their respective conditions.
In Special Books by Special Kids, the students - who have been working with Mr Chris for the past three years - became the authors of their own stories in a book that is currently being finalized by Ulmer.
Ulmer's approach to education is as impressive as his ambition to deliver a loving message about kids who don't fit into a perfect category is humbling.
Check out some of the amazing videos and stories on Special Books.
Every now and then it takes a child to come along and renew a grown up's faith in humanity - and not a moment too soon. One such boy is Jack Swanson, who raided his piggy bank to help a Texas mosque vandalized in the wake of the Paris attacks, which left 129 people dead.
The tragic events have forced many parents to have difficult conversations with our children, who are left confused and curious.
Jack was no exception. When he learned that the Islamic Center of Pflugerville had been targeted - torn pages of the Koran covered in feces at the entrance of the mosque - the seven year old wanted answers. He wanted to understand why would someone do such a disgusting thing.
Jack's mother, Laura, explained "about [what] churches are for and why everybody’s churches are important.”
"I think it’s really important to get kids involved and let them know what the important stuff really is."
Clearly her words resonated because the boy went on to donate his hard-earned savings - 20 dollars - to the mosque.
To mosque board member Faisal Naeem, those 20 bucks were more like 20 million.
"This gives me hope because this means it's not one versus the other," said Naeem. "If I find the [vandals] I would welcome them with open arms, to have a conversation with them. If this person wants to come and talk to us about why he did it and how we are not connected to what is happening in Paris or the Middle East."
The Islamic Center was one of many US mosques vandalized recently. Another, the only one in Peterborough, Ont., was deliberately torched a few days ago. Canadians reacted quickly. A crowdfunding site raised more than $110,000, with several contributors donating $1,000 apiece.
Sometimes it takes the youngest members of our society to remind us of our own humanity, of our capacity for kindness and compassion. And, now more than ever, we need those reminders.
Image Source: KXAN TV