When was the last time you experienced pure joy?

On the road again!

On the road again!

A whole lot of my job is observation.  I watch meetings, I listen to the words that people say, and then I watch the way their body language matches those words.  I love to people watch, it was one of the best things about my childhood vacations; I could watch people from all over the world.  Those experiences taught me that people are generally the same. We react in similar ways, we have similar thoughts, and we believe similar things.

I honestly think that’s why I became a teacher.  I loved English for sure, loved literature, but honestly, I wanted to watch others as they learned to love (or at least tolerate) my very favorite thing on the planet (aside from my husband and two beautiful daughters).  Reading.  I loved to read, but watching a student learn that love, watching a whole world unfold to them was unbelievably special.  I adored that moment.  And, believe it or not, it happened often.

Through the years, I’ve studied body language and facial cues on and off.  My husband is a detective, so he shares this interest.  Sometimes we study together, sometimes he teaches me…and sometimes I teach him. (Those are the moments I like best.)  I love to go to our mall, sit on benches and just watch people.  When my youngest daughter was very young, we would go to the mall together and people watch.  Those were the days when money was far more tight for my husband and I than they are now.  We brought calculators to the grocery store, and had our budgets to the penny.  We were both still in college, but we had a four year old with an active imagination.  We couldn’t buy her the swankest toy; we just didn’t have the money. But there were other ways to spark that imagination.  I would take her to the mall, the park, any place where there were lots of people, and we would tell stories.  Elainee would pick a family, a couple, or some friends, and we would create the conversation between them.  With a four year old, dragons and wizards came into the conversations far more than I think they would in reality, but it sparked Elainee’s love of writing stories, a love that helped her through more than one class in college.

So…what does loving body language and facial cues, or teaching my daughter to people watch have to do with Aroostook Aspirations Initiative? Over the last few weeks, a whole lot.

I am the one to surprise kids and parents with the Gauvin Scholar award. Look at these selfies…look at the joy…a real smile is pretty obvious on most people, the grins should be natural, no tension in the jaw, and have “laugh” lines…you see that in each photo.

State Farm Slides.001

This award is a huge win for our Scholars.  With the scholarship comes professional mentoring, support, professional development, and someone who is always in your corner.  To me that’s priceless, but in the world of business, there is always a dollar amount attached.  So, here is ours.  For each Scholar, Aroostook Aspirations and our incredible partners, make a $7,000 investment, and with 22 Gauvin Scholars in 2015, thats a $154,000 investment in the future of Aroostook County.  We are not just talking about action, we are ACTING.

Watch people’s faces when they talk about Aroostook…not the job market or the economy, about their home, their families, about the lakes, the streams, the hills, mountains, about Aroostook and the people.  In most faces, there is a sign of love, contentment, a relaxing of the face, a brightening of the eyes.  Aroostook County is something very special, and so are the people who live here.  We are the past and present of Aroostook County…our Gauvin Scholars are the future of Aroostook County.  We have to work together to build a brighter future for our children and for their children. Want to see an example? Watch my reaction at the end of the show when Katie talks about introducing the Gauvin Scholars.  Listen to the change in my tone, that is joy. When I talk about the Scholars, I am filled with pure joy.

What does this mean for you? Why wouldn’t you get involved with an organization that can give you this much JOY? That’s what we are all about…we celebrate Aroostook, the kids, the schools, the towns, the businesses.  Our is a journey of pure joy.  We are part of the solution…we are a force of the future.  Jump on with us! Visit www.gauvinfund.org, learn a little about us, like us on Facebook, and then…please consider making a donation.  We have the potential and the capacity to do amazing things…we just need your help!

Thanks for taking this journey with us!