Karyn Buxman

Catching Up With Karyn

Archive for November, 2011

What’s So Funny About Wednesday: Happy Thanksgiving!

Happy Thanksgiving to one and all! I’d like to wish each and every person reading these words a wonderful Thanksgiving. May your holiday be a wonderful celebration with family and friends – and of course, some great laughs!

Thanksgiving is a time for reflecting on our blessings. This year, we’ve had lots of blessings (and a few blessings-in-disguise). We’re grateful for *most* of them and for *everything* we’ve taken away from the experience. Most of all, it’s you we’re thankful for. Without such great people to work and laugh with, the world wouldn’t be such a fabulous place.

Using Humor At Thanksgiving

Are you headed for a holiday dinner where younger children will be present? Try memorizing a few silly Thanksgiving riddles. You’ll be giving the kids something to laugh about, keeping them entertained (and out of trouble!) and it may just turn out that their good mood is infectious.

(Our favorite? Why did the police arrest the turkey? They suspected it of fowl play!)

Happy Thanksgiving to one and all!

And for today’s chuckle (and to give a little comic relief to those of you who are facing down 18 pounds of frozen turkey this very minute) check out these real questions asked on the Butterball Turkey Hotline:

  1. Is it OK to baste my turkey with engine oil?
  2. Can I poke holes all over the turkey and pour a can of beer over it to keep it moist?
  3. Should I carve my turkey with a 16in Redmax or should I get out my Stihl Electric Chain Saw?
  4. How do I get my Chihuahua out of the turkey. (Her dog jumped up on the kitchen table.)
  5. Should I leave the giblets in their plastic bag during cooking?
  6. I’m a truck driver. Can I cook the turkey on the engine block of my semi while I’m driving? If I drive faster, will it cook faster?
  7. How long should I cook my turkey on the car radiator?
    50 minutes at Mach 1 should do it!

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What’s So Funny About Poop? Using Humor in Health Education

It’s no secret: I believe in the power of play.  When we set aside our serious resolve and a little bit of dignity in order to have a good time, we free our minds to absorb information in a fresh and effective way.  Play awakens the imagination and the intellect. “Humanity has advanced,” Tom Robbins said, “when it has advanced, not because it has been sober, responsible, and cautious, but because it has been playful, rebellious, and immature.”

That sense of play is on full display at the Children’s Museum of Manhattan. Check out this NY Times Article, “Where Children Discover Their Inner Child.” Eat,Sleep,Play: Building Health Every Day is an interactive exhibit that harnesses the power of play to teach children about their bodies, and what they can do to stay healthy.  The exhibit includes the Royal Flush, which uses an over-sized toilet and Mary Poppins style voice to talk about bodily functions.  As you can imagine, it’s a big hit.  Kids find poop inherently humorous. (A trait they share with more than a few health care professionals!)

Using play as a teaching tool is great for kids.  It’s also an effective strategy to connect with adults. We live incredibly busy, scheduled lives.  Our brains are working all of the time.  We wake ourselves up in the middle of the night, thinking of the six million things that need to be accomplished the next day. (Or is that just me?)

Play interrupts.  When we are playing, everything else – work, chores, errands – simply falls of the radar.  (Think back to how hard it was to ‘remember’ to do your homework in fourth grade – especially during kickball season!) Play frees our mind to be receptive and open to new information.  At the same time, play is fun.  Learning information while you’re having fun creates a positive association in the mind.  It is easier to remember things we learn while we’re having fun.

What are some of the best ways you’ve seen the power of play used in education?

Extra Reading from JNJ: Check out Shirley Trout on Humor in the Classroom!

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What’s So Funny About Wednesdays: Adding Humor To Your Daily Routine

When we talk about using humor to help more effectively manage chronic health conditions like diabetes, people often protest that they’re just not funny people. Luckily, it’s more important to be able to SEE funny than it is to actually BE funny.

Recognizing  humorous moments throughout the day gives us a chance to enjoy them —and all the positive physical and mental health benefits humor offers.  If you want to use humor to more effectively manage your diabetes, you can start by searching for humor in your environment.

We live in a funny world.  We’re surrounded by humor, both naturally occurring and man-made.  Children are experts at finding humor. They love to laugh, and will eagerly seek out experiences that they find funny.  The problem is that we get older, our lives become so very, very busy that we don’t even have the time to stop and appreciate the funny moments.  We’re so busy, in fact, that we don’t even realize we haven’t been laughing.  It’s essential to re-develop our childhood ways and actively search out humor.

Starting the Search For Humor

It’s at this point that 99 out of a hundred people reading this will say, “I’d love to add more humor to my routine.  But there’s just no time.”  Fear not! Here’s an exercise that you can use to easily incorporate the search for humor (with its potential for side-splitting results!) into your daily routine.  We all have to go to work in the morning, and that means we all have some kind of commute.  Now commuting is not always the most fun thing you can be doing, (Says the girl from Southern California!) but with this exercise you may start looking at your time behind the wheel differently.

Use your daily commute as a time when you can search for humor.  Ways to do this include: taking note of funny billboards, signs, and roadside advertising. Morning drive time radio can feature some really funny folks. Turn up the radio and laugh out loud. People watch.  Drivers will do the most amazing things, and you never know what you’re going to see.  Just this morning, I went by a tractor trailer that had a giant toy Winnie the Pooh bear riding shotgun! (We’re not saying it was the bear in the picture, but they could be twins, if you know what I’m saying!) That’s just not something you see everyday — and it’s something you’re not going to see at all if you’re not looking.

Realize that this takes time.  Some mornings, you might not see anything funny at all. Other mornings, you’ll find yourself laughing more than you’d ever imagined possible.  Life is like that.

Some people like to keep track of these moments in a humor journal. Other folks just smile and enjoy the moment of morning levity. One way to increase the power of humor in your life is to develop the habit of sharing funny sights, stories, and experiences with others.  When you tell someone a funny story, they get to laugh, and you enjoy the humorous moments again as well. And who knows? Maybe someone else saw that giant Pooh Bear too! Sharing funny stories is how bonds and relationships are built, and people with diabetes thrive when they have a strong network of positive relationships.  Give it a try! Your commute will never bet the same, I guarantee it!

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