How to raise a happy child

Friday morning, Julia and I wake up on a sunny yet chilly day, since it’s winter time down here. We begin going about our business, me making coffee and Julia drawing on her green rubber play mat. We’re listening to some delightfully inspiring music by my new favorite band. I finished doing the little bit of dishes which had been left dirty from the day before. I got my cup of coffee ready. I turn around to observe what Julia was doing. I grabbed my phone and began taking pictures. She was busily playing with some colored patches of fabric from a toy she has, spreading them out, piling them up, folding them up into one single colorful roll of cloth, and starting all over again. At that instant, I heightened my senses to observe the ambiance in which this was happening. There was beautiful music playing, mom taking coffee, and no TV background noise. Julia was experimenting with free play, letting her imagination fly. I thought to myself how wonderful it is to allow free play to happen.

As I was taking some more pictures of her, I realized that there might be a Make on the make. I decided to put together a Flipagram, starting out with those photos of that Friday morning, and using a whole bunch of other photos I had in my camera roll, something I’d been meaning to do since I stumbled upon Flipagram. So as Julia played freely with her little unusual toys, I played with mine, my Iphone. I wasn’t sure what the name of that Make might be. I waited until it was ready to decide, like I so often do with my blog posts. I chose a beautiful song by brazilian singer/songwriter Caetano Veloso to be the soundtrack of my Make. It suited it perfectly.

Once I was finished, I watched it a couple of times, and a few times more. I felt a warmth in my heart and soul. I showed it to Julia. She asked to watch it again and again. Only then did I realize that this little Make of ours, Julia’s and mine, was a snapshot of our lives, mother and daughter, living together, finding happiness together every day in the little things, moment by moment. I felt somewhat proud of myself as a mom. Kind of like I was actually succeeding at propitiating the elements of a happy childhood to my beloved little girl. That’s how the title of my Make and this blog post came to be. It is not my intention, though, to sound as if we don’t have bad days, or face difficulties. Parenting is no easy thing. Yet, it is mornings like that one that may give us a real measure of how truly happy we are.

The following poster goes together with the Flipagram. I dedicate this Make / post to my beloved daughter, Julia, who makes me a better person every single day.

Untitled design (4)

CLMOOC Make Log #1

ImageEver since Rhizomatic Learning or Rhizo14 came to an “end” (those of you in rhizo14 will get the inverted commas around end there), I have been moving on to the next thing in my life. So it appears that my next cmooc thing is shaping up to be CLMOOC, aka Making Learning Connected. I blame it on Rhizo14 anyway, since it was Terry Elliot, a fellow rhizoer, who sprayed in a bit of clmooc scent inside our rhizomatic zombie asylum on FB (yet another rabbit taking me down yet another rabbit hole. Cool!) I must confess, though, that I am approaching CLMOOC in a rather suspicious manner, as if I were about to make my best friend jealous by hanging out with a new friend who seems to be just as cool. (ok, ok, almost as cool!)  Anyway, inbued with a communal spirit, I decided to accept Anna Smith‘s invitation to participate in CLMOOC’s first hangout of its 2014 edition and give this new friend of mine a fair chance of winning me over.

I guess it worked.

I had been mulling over the theme for Make Cycle 1, browsing other participants’ makes on the G+ CLMOOC community (which hasn’t begun growing in me as of yet. I mean G+, not the community.), Twitter and FB. Even so, connecting with the group of CLMOOCers on the hangout yesterday was so meaningful, and that got me thinking about what ticks me as a learner. It’s important for me to feel that I am connecting with people, real people. And having a hangout like the one we had yesterday does give me a feel of being welcome within the community. Which takes me back to my experience in Rhizo14, and the very reason why it has become such an important thing for me. It’s all about the human connections, after all. Also, I guess that having a sense of audience, which was something that came up during yesterday’s hangout, knowing that there are people out there who are just as interested in being creative and learning together as you are.

CLMOOC officially launched on June 16th, with the release of the 1st make cycle, so it has been, what, four days? Just for kicks, here’s a short list of what I’ve have already learned so far:

  1. Terry Elliot shared a Spotify playing list with me on Twitter. I had never heard of Spotify. As a matter of fact, they have just launched here in Brazil, and I love it. I’m totally hooked. Thanks, Terry!
  2. Simon Ensor shared WordFoto with us. I’d seen those cool photos but never asked how to make them. Dowloaded the app. Playing with it. Love it. Thanks, Simon!
  3. My new friend Sheri Edwards came to the rescue when I cried out that I hated Google+ on the FB group. She taught me what that +1 button thingy do, and I finally got it! Yey! Not a big fan of G+ just yet, though. Let’s see if CLMOOC will change that. Thanks, Sheri!
  4. My new friend Christopher Butts shared his on-the-make make #1 with us yesterday in the hangout, showing us Thinglink. Had never heard of it. Looks really cool. Thanks, Christopher!
  5. My new friend Michael Buist mentioned during the hangout yesterday that he finds it hard to differentiate the types of Creative Commons licenses (so do I, Michael!), so another new friend Michelle Stein shared an a-w-e-s-o-m-e video tutorial, which I had never seen, and I have looked for something like that, I swear. Thanks, Michael for asking and Michelle for answering!
  6. Just this afternoon, during lunch with my cohort and dear friend Claudio Fleury, I briefed him about my latest cmooc adventures with CLMOOC, and he was kind enough to share stumble upon with me. Absolutely fabulous! Thanks, Claudinho!
  7. And I learned how to paragraph in FB comments. Ha! Thanks again, Terry! *Duh moment* 😉

…and it has only been four days? Okay. Quite promising, indeed.

Sooo, after yesterday’s hangout and my babbling about being all over the place with my mind and my need for silencing the noise from time to time, the Twitters began tweeting and I was suddenly hashtagged #mindfulness. Okay. There’s a thought. I have decided I will make a How to boost your mindfulness guide for make cycle #1. It’s still a bit jumbled up in my mind (as it should, right?), but it’s gradually shaping up into… a blog post, most certainly, and… imagery? Maybe… I will certainly explore some of the tools fellow CLMOOCers have been using and playing with. We’ll see. That’s cool. And I know that if I need some help, all I have to do is shout!

Oh, and Rhizo14 (jealously watching from a corner of the room)? Of course I will concoct a CLMOOC Make just for you. Because you’re so special. Rhizo14 risotto, anyone?


a design for CLMOOC by Clarissa Bezerra (made with