Sunday, December 13, 2015

What does S.A.I.L.S. mean to me?

The next blog will consist of a multiple week project.  Our class is going to take the S.A.I.L.S. acronym and represent what each means to us.  We will do a letter per week.  When the overall project is done, we will have each player's feelings on what S.A.I.L.S. means to them.  The students will also have to answer what the acronym letters mean to our school and to our A5 program.  This can be a writing, art or combination piece.  Students will be encouraged to use Photo shop, Pixlr or Prezi to represent their answers to what S.A.I.L.S. means to them.  We will view different representations of each WORD during the beginning stages of the class.   I also would like to add, we as an A5 class will try and watch the film, "Pay It Forward."  This movie displays all parts of S.A.I.L.S.  We will watch the film, when the 5 week period is over for our S.A.I.L.S. assignment.  Here is the IMDB link for that film:
Pay It Forward


Week 1: What does Service mean to you?  How do you represent or demonstrate this for yourself?  How do you see it represented in our school and in our A5 program?  We watched the video on Service:

We also watched this video:

Mr. Epple:

I am going to put my spin on what Service means to me.  I believe Service is demonstrated by any act of kindness towards others.  This can be done through a major or minor act.  We don't have to spend a large deal of time on one act, to make a life lasting impression on others.  It can be a smile, a gesture or anything that is born out of kindness towards others.  The interesting thing is, when we act in kindness, there is an immediate, positive feeling within us.  One cannot feel regret, if we act in kindness.  We could also view Service, as a representation of the "Pay It Forward" movement.  One act of kindness will produce another act of kindness, which will spread.  Who knows how far it will go.  Service starts with us.  Each person can change the world for the better and it is not hard to do.

Week 2:  What does Acceptance mean to you?  How do you represent or demonstrate this for yourself?  How do you see it represented in our school and in our A5 program? 
We watched this video:

And this video:

And this video:

Mr. Epple:

What does Acceptance mean to me?  Not putting labels on people.  Looking at us a one human family.  We define ourselves as black, white, catholic, agnostic, religious, non-religious, rich, poor, smart, dumb, lazy, motivated.  We are people.  We need each other.  We need to belong to something, hopefully positive.  We are more a like than we want admit.  We are a human family, that needs to work together for the common good of ALL on this planet.  We need to accept each other as our fellow humans, rather than separate ourselves with labels.  As Morrie Schwartz (Tuesday with Morrie)  once said, quoting the poet W. H. Auden, "Love is the only rational act," and "Love each other or die."  Great quotes and great ideas from some great people.

Week 3: What does Integrity mean to you?  How do you represent or demonstrate this for yourself?  How do you see it represented in our school and in our A5 program? 

We started the class by looking at the definition of Integrity:

the quality of being honest and having strong moral principles; moral uprightness.

Synonyms for Integrity: honesty, virtue, straightforwardness, sincerity, goodness, wholeness, purity, (the inability to be corrupted)

Students could ask questions about integrity and give examples of when they have done it or where they have seen it.

We then watched the following video clips on Integrity:
A Life of Integrity:

Do what you say you will do (Abraham Lincoln Story):

Animation about Integrity:

Integrity gets you Everything (Motivational Video):

Mr. Epple

Integrity.  What is it?  How do we know if we do it?  Is it a part of us?  Do we have to try and live life with Integrity?  Ask yourself.  If you know you are someone who doesn't tell the truth, you are not living with Integrity.  If you do what is easy, rather than what is right, you are not living with Integrity.  If you need someone to watch over you, in order to do the right thing, you are not living with Integrity.  Look in the mirror.  What do you see?  If you see an honest, hard working, motivated, pure (will not be swayed by others) and straightforward person, then you are the definition of Integrity.  Your word should be your word.  A handshake counts, as your word.  You don't tell others what you think they need to here.  You tell others the truth, no matter the consequence.  You don't "yes" people, you are honest with people.  In the midst of criticism, negativity and anger, you do what is right.  You do not shy away from what is right because of difficulties.  If you are not living with Integrity, ask yourself why?  Why am I not living with Integrity?  This can not be taught.  We can see examples of Integrity, but it needs to come from within.  Integrity starts here........ with us.

Week 4: What does Leadership mean to you? How do you represent or demonstrate this for yourself?  How do you see it represented in our school and in our A5 program?  Please also answer what qualities you think a good leader should posses?  You can either list them out or write them in sentence form.

Definition of Leadership:  The action of leading a group of people or an organization

What should a good leader be like (what qualities do they posses?):

Please click on the link below to see the website for the upcoming article:

Profiles International: Top 10 Qualities of Great Leadership. Do you have what it takes?

Please check out the following Leadership video clips:
Middle School Speech:
Famous Failures:
Kid President: Leadership and Teamwork:
Abbot Middle School Leadership:

Mr. Epple

In creating this week's blog about leadership, I spent quite a long time putting it together.  Reason being, I couldn't stop.  I researched and found more and more information on Leadership, leadership qualities and video examples.  I wanted to include more, but was worried it might be too lengthy for the readers and I don't want to lose interest in any of our topics.  Everything I put into this week's blog are my feelings on leadership.  I don't want to restate what the blog has already said.  Without leaders we would be in trouble.  We need strong leaders, with integrity, who commit themselves to service,  for the common good.  These leaders need to be transparent.  They need to gain their followers through respect, not fear.  They need to lead by example.  Inspire us!  Lead us!  Treat others with kindness and respect.  Be honest.  Clearly communicate.  Doing this, will make others WANT to follow them.  As a teacher, father, man and just plain old human being, I try and live my life this way.  Being a leader is not easy, but it is necessary to accomplish greater things.  I hope you all have great leaders in your life.  By the way, everyone has the potential to be a great leader.  Find it in yourself.........

I would like to end this blog by giving you some examples of leaders that have changed my life for the better.  Thank you for reading.

William B. Epple, founder of Harmony animal hospital, veterinary doctor, farmer, loves Joe Montana, inspiration, a great son, down to earth, man whom I want to be like, man whom I want to impress, My father

Ruth G. Epple, co-founder of Harmony animal hospital, hard worker, friend, inspiration, major life influence, a great daughter, always positive, women I want to impress,  My mother

Lauren N.F. Epple, Independent soul, inspiration, artist, my partner in life, women I want to impress, best friend, soulmate, My wife

Jeffrey Destino, fellow teacher and inspirational leader

Eric Passeriello, high school best friend

Barry Jo Milenuc (Wambold), childhood best friend

Mitch Albom, author (Tuesday with Morrie, For One More Day, Magic Strings of Frankie Presto)

Dave Mustaine, lead singer, guitarist and creator of band: Megadeth

Guns N Roses (band), for providing the soundtrack to my life and a source of inspiration for me whether I am up or down

Abraham Lincoln, 16th US President

Red Cloud (Makhpiya Luta),  Oglala Lakota (Sioux) warrior

Crazy Horse (Thasuka Witko), Sioux warrior

Sitting Bull (Tatanka lyotake), Hunkpapa Lakota (Sioux) warrior 

Pope Francis, Pontiff of the Catholic Church

Angela Merkel, Chancellor of Germany

Lady Diana, Princess of Wales

Zakk Wylde, leader singer, guitarist and creator of band: Black Label Society

Dalai Lama, Spiritual Leader of the Tibetan people

Morrie Schwartz, Brandeis professor, inspiration and subject of book: Tuesday with Morrie

Derek Jeter, shortstop and leader of the New York Yankees

Liz Murray, inspirational person that movie: Homeless to Harvard: was made about

Chris Gardner, Stock Broker, movie: Pursuit of Happiness: was made about his life

Pete Frates,  ALS patient whose story created the Ice Bucket Challenge 

Prince EA (Richard Williams), American rapper and activist

Tupac Shakur, American rapper, actor and activist

Daniel Day Lewis, English actor

Oskar Schindler, German industrialist, spy and member of Nazi party that is credited for saving 1,200 Jewish lives during World War II (the Holocaust) 

Elie Wiesel, writer (Night), political activist, professor and Nobel Laureate, Nobel Peace Prize Awardee (1986)

Steve Jobs, co-founder, chairman and CEO of Apple, Inc.

Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.:  American Baptist Minister, activist, humanitarian,  and leader of the African-American Civil Rights Movement

John Lennon, co-creator of The Beatles, guitarist, poet and humanitarian

Bill Coutney, American football coach (documentary: undefeated) and CEO of Classic American Hardwoods

David and Tina Long, parents of Tyler Long (character that was mercilessly bullied and committed suicide in the documentary: Bully, They are also leaders in fighting to make schools a safer place for all students

Carson Palmer, Arizona Cardinals Quarterback

Walter Payton, Chicago Bears Running Back

Tom Brady, New England Patriots Quarterback

Stephen Curry, Golden State Warriors Point Guard

Kevin Garnett,  Minnesota Timberwolves/ Boston Celtics/ Brooklyn Nets power forward/ center

Week 5: What does Success mean to you?  How do you represent or demonstrate this for yourself?  How do you see it represented in our school and in our A5 program?
  What is success?  
According to the dictionary....
the accomplishment of an aim or purpose (goal)

Sounds great to me, but what does it mean to me?  People can be successful in their careers, personal life, financially, spiritually, etc.  I believe success means different things to different people.  I will not put someone down who looks at riches as success; or being the president of a company as success, or being an athlete that goes pro as success.  Great examples.

My understanding of success is summed up in a few things.  I believe if one does their best, each day, at living a positive, learning from their mistakes type, hard working, responsible, respectful and thoughtful life: then they are successful.  If you look at what each letter of the S.A.I.L.S. stands for, I believe living your life with a focus on those standards is success:

S is for Service
A is for Acceptance
I is for Integrity
L is for leadership
These will eventually lead to Success.

I try and do my best everyday at my job,at being a good father, good husband, respectful person, responsible person, kind person, understanding person and thoughtful person.  When I look myself in the mirror every night, if I can do that and feel I accomplished the prior, than that was a successful day, which leads to successful weeks, which leads to successful months, years and eventually a lifetime.

That is my definition of Success.

Success (Motivational Video)

Sacrifice to Succeed

1 comment:

  1. I will post student work as the assignments get completed. Thank you for checking out our blog.