LAFF: Star Wars And Family Secrets…..

Well kids, it seems that with the opening of the new Star Wars movie this week, this is the best time to tell you something. We’ve been keeping a secret from all of you for awhile now and it seems like the time is right to go public with our secret…….

Our cats are the evolutionary ancestors of Wookies.*

If you’ve ever seen any Star Wars movie, you will of course remember Chewbacca as the biggest of the Wookies and the little teddy-bear creatures enrobed in cloaks running around their tree village and helping to save Princess Leia and Luke Skywalker. They were experts at using lightsabers and made cute gurgling noises when they talked. Their eyes also glowed in the dark.

So, how did this evolutionary phenomenon create the furry domestic gods and goddesses we have today? Ah, young Padawan (yeah, I had to go there 😉 ) keep reading for the answers that you seek.

See, a long, long time ago in a gala… screw it-here’s what happened:

The original Wookies roamed the tree forests and fought evil with their lightsabers and stellar kung-fu moves. Later on in evolution, their lightsabers were permanently affixed to the south end of their bodies and over time they began to only be able to walk on all fours. Their ears also grew pointier. Their light saber tails were still useful, but they seemed to sway back and forth at random. Oh and they became covered with fur.

But two things remained; their fighting capabilities and their voices. Oh, and their eyeballs still glow in the dark.

At night is when things really get interesting for these Wookie relatives.  This is when they are able to hone their light saber skills without the gawking eyes of their unsuspecting adopted families. After the last human goes to bed, the cats begin their fight training. Their tails, evolving from lightsabers, start glowing and they are able to jump around the room and off the furniture faster and stealthier than they can with the lights on and humans watching.

So, why do we know this to be a fact? Well, I happened to get up late one night because I was hungry. I crept silently into the kitchen and they must not have heard me because I was able to watch them practicing with their lightsaber tails. It really was something to behold. Like a violent laser light dance. With claws.

The next morning I went back into the living room and it was like nothing extraordinary had occurred. They greeted me with indignant bored gazes and went back to licking themselves.

So now you know our deep family secret. Just don’t let on that we told you if you ever come visit. We are a little nervous what would happen if they found out. 😉

phoebe glowing eyes

Here we have more proof. I took this when she thought I was sleeping. The force is strong with this one 😉

**PS: Well this is embarrassing. I counted myself a fan of Star Wars, but apparently I confused my characters (getting old does this to you periodically). I realized this when throngs of my Facebook friends who really are die-hard fans (think full cosplay) came to my door wielding over-sized lightsabers and chanting about how Obi Wan Kenobi truly is their only hope. They informed me that I had mistaken Wookies for Ewoks. Here is a chart detailing the key difference. You are welcome. 😀


Key difference chart to educate us all appear courtesy of:

Dear School Struggler….Your Future is Brighter Than You Know

When I was a kid I swore I’d never work as a teacher because I didn’t like school all that much. The social aspect I handled just fine, but it was the work that I found to be too much at times. Especially math. I’ve struggled with math my entire life. Which is funny when you consider my dad worked as an Actuary, and my siblings were both academically advanced. I like to say that by the time I came along, all the numbers and logic genes had been taken.

Learning anything new was a challenge for me, and I felt many times that I lacked something my fellow peers had–the ability to know and understand the right answer. I also struggled with keeping myself organized, and was constantly losing papers I needed to turn in. I remember one time in 3rd grade we had an assignment to work on a small hand sewing project. This was a long-term project that we’d work on every day during story time. One day I discovered I had lost the materials–they must have landed in the same vortex as my lost homework and retainer–and panicked. Thinking that I wouldn’t be noticed, I pantomimed working on this sewing project, my hands under my desk, my head down. Of course I was caught. My memory becomes a bit fuzzy as to what happened next, but I still remember being embarrassed. My grades suffered due to my lack of organization and inability to recall facts. It wasn’t for a lack of trying though. I remember studying hard, but still coming up short.

As I grew older, my struggles continued. Mostly in math, but soon I added biology to the list. For biology I obtained the book the summer before class started and began reading. That’s the thing about struggling….eventually you figure out how to make things nominally better. And you follow through. Upon high school graduation, my grades were a tiny bit better. But the struggle remained.

I moved away to college. A place that is known for its intense academic environment. And wouldn’t you know, the darndest thing happened. I was passing all my classes. At the end of my 2nd year of college I had accomplished something I had NEVER done in all my years of school….I made the honor roll (in college they call it the deans list, which sounds even cooler 😉 ).  By the time I graduated college I had 2 deans list appearances under my belt.

So how did I suddenly accomplish academic success after years of struggling? Ah, young Padawan, your answer is in your question. If it weren’t for my struggle I wouldn’t have learned coping strategies that would help me be successful in college. Being able to tape record lectures and playing them back later–a strategy I picked up in high school–was one of my many life lines. Acknowledging my learning disability without shame was crucial to my later success. Oh, and that thing about not wanting to teach because of school struggles? I’ve worked in tutoring and child care for the last decade. See I have a useful tool for the classroom. Empathy for kids who are struggling. Kids that sit in classrooms every day and feel stupid. Just like I did all those years ago.

So, dear student, if you are struggling and have dreams of college, fear not. You are learning now the tools you’ll need later for college success. And that will put you ahead of the class.

I hope this encouraged you. Please share with anyone you know who is struggling in school.



*Peanuts image appears courtesy of google search