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Written by Lori Pankonin, The Imperial Republican   

Recess plays key roll in life . . .

Our daughter, Brooke, took our three grandkids to Lincoln over their school’s spring break to visit Aunt Celeste. Upon arriving at Celeste’s house, Austin, age 7, wanted to go see her since she wasn’t home.

Brooke told him that Celeste was in class. Well that was an easy solution. Why not just go to her school and wait for recess time? Brooke then broke the news that there is no recess in college? What???!!!!, he exclaimed. Well thanks for spoilin’ college for me!

The recall of that comment from a few weeks back still makes me laugh. His mom didn’t go on to tell him that actually there’s no recess in junior high either. On the other hand, a college class schedule works much differently and you might not have to go to school until 10 a.m. Or you might get a day off from class during the week.

Austin soon became aware of that difference when Aunt Celeste came home, then left again. Robyn, my niece, lives in the same house and did the same thing. Austin analyzed, I don’t get this college thing. Why do you guys keep coming home and then going back?

Obviously that didn’t follow the first-grade routine that he’s used to. And since his mom teaches, he’s used to staying at the after-school program at school so spends the whole day there. Recess stands out as a highlight in his day.

It’s not an uncommon response when you ask an elementary student what his favorite class is, to get “recess” for a response.

You know. Truth be known, adults need a recess just as much. And many actually get one under a different name, maybe coffee break, break time or intermission.

I recently wrote about the invigorating walk I took during work time. Taking a break can clear the mind to make one far more efficient upon returning to the task at hand. Come to think of it, I was going to work on making that a habit, but that hasn’t happened.

Wait. There’s no time like the present. I’m heading out right now to take a brisk walk. Don’t go away.

Ahhh. My heart’s pumping a bit faster, enticing me to take some refreshing deep breaths. I was greeted by a friendly dog, saw some cats comfortably perched on a window sill soaking in the sun, heard the birds sing, saw the blue sky, saw some signs of spring and got some friendly waves from people who I wouldn’t have otherwise seen. My thirst was sparked so I’ve had a glass of water. Now I’m back and I’m pumped.

Kids don’t have to be asked twice to go out for recess. They don’t even seem to mind when it’s cold out. It just means putting on a coat, stocking cap and gloves. They seem to even have the ability to ignore the wind.

Adults need that kick in the pants to take a recess. Go move. Studies show that it’s not only good for the heart but for overall well-being. The hospital offers a wellness program for seniors and I’m glad to see people taking part in an exercise program.

Austin, although we may not call it recess in college, that chance to take a break will always be there. Even if it’s 10 minutes, don’t ever give up your recess time to get up and move. And don’t forget to touch base with your grandma and remind her to do the same.

Here’s to learning from kids.