Hooray for Stress!

Did you know that seedlings will bolt unless they are stressed?  They grow too quickly and thus are not sturdy enough to withstand the rigors of life.  One of the ways you can stress them is to brush your hand across the tops when they are small.  Or turn a soft fan on them to simulate the wind.

Putting grow lights very close to them helps them develop sturdy stems as well.  Cold also helps, in small doses.

Small doses seems to be the key.  Too much brushing, too much wind, too little light and  too constant of a temperature doesn’t allow the little seedlings to develop as they should.

For the last two weeks I’ve been helping with CSAP testing.  Although the initials may differ depending on what state you live in, the A usually remains.  A is for Assessment.  And all good school children need to be assessed.

I’m not going to go into the benefits/drawbacks of the testing.  I stand on both sides of the line as a teacher and as a parent.  I do know that knowing how to take a standardized test is a skill that will come in useful sometime.  And that it does provide a level of stress.  And that maybe that stress is just enough and not too much, and is beneficial to helping our children develop sturdier stems.

Back to my seedlings.  Into every life a little stress must fall.

I notice that for myself, if things get too comfy, I get bored.  I feel like I’m stagnating.  I feel like my life is wasting away.  Too much stress, and I start feeling fried.  But just the right amount of stress is what I need. Just enough stress makes me keep putting one foot in front of the other.  And soon, when I look back, I see that I’ve made some progress.

Standardized testing is supposed to do that.  Teachers can see that they have taught something.  Parents can see that their children have learned something.  And children . . . well — no homework for two weeks? Extra recesses and snacks . . .relaxed schedules . . . and everyone fussing over all the stress they’re under — it does have its benefits . . .

 

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