Friday, March 16, 2018

"So remember to look up at the stars and not down at your feet." Stephen Hawking

Stephen Hawking died on the 30th anniversary of the celebration of Pi day, March 14, 2018, which curiously, is Albert Einstein's birthday.  By the way, Stephen's birthday happened on another star-crossed day,  300 years  after Galileo's death day. It's all about time, right?

Have you ever known anyone with Lou Gehrig's disease, also known as ALS? I have known several people who were diagnosed with the "death sentence" disease, and they died within the prescribed time limit of two years.  Stephen Hawking astounded the world by living with and defying the disease for over 50 years, and he also astounded the world with his thinking. 

Here is a huge understatement - Stephen Hawking was a brilliant man.  Forced to be an observer and confined to a wheelchair, he became even more of a thinker and examiner, looking at the world as no man ever had.  His brilliance, however, did not preclude him from the ability to explain ideas. He simplified "particles in the Universe" quantum theory and black holes in such a way that even those of us with no science or math propensities could grasp the basic concepts. Making the difficult fathomable and palatable is a gift;  indeed, Stephen Hawking was a truly talented teacher.  Can you think of anyone other than Stephen Hawking who could write a book about explaining the universe -  and keep it on the bestseller list for 237 weeks?  The book to which I am referring was written in 1988, A Brief History of Time.  (Such a catchy title for a scientific bestseller.)  There is no other book to compare ; Stephen Hawking made us want to learn about science and mysteries of the Universe. 

Beyond his amazing mind, his theories, and his contributions to the world of science, the man was also a great philosopher and optimist.  Can you think about being confined to a wheelchair at the age of 21, and losing the ability to speak?  I am sure that many of the people I know would suffer from great depression, and give up.   Instead of allowing his health to defeat him, he pressed on, expanding his mind and theories. Stephen looked at the bright side, even when he seemed to be surrounded by darkness.  The picture quote above is one of my favorite inspirational quotations, although so many more inspiring quotes are attributed to him. .

Thank you, Stephen Hawking.  That you for sharing your knowledge, your original mind and brilliant thoughts and theories, as well as your positive outlook.  You were a great teacher to millions of people around the world, and also a constant source of inspiration. You even made us laugh, with your biting sense of humor, with your appearances on The Simpsons and The Big Bang Theory, and so many people appreciate you, including me.  

Just like a wonderful teacher, you touched so many lives, and you made a difference.  

As always, I welcome your comments and suggestions. 

Rittman Publishing, LLC ®

Please invite Grady Gets Glasses (and me) into your school.  if you are not in the Pittsburgh area, we do virtual field trips with a group called Field Trip Zoom.  GRADY GETS GLASSES was the winner of Best New Children's Book 2016 from The Authors' Zone. For more information about The Authors' Zone, please visit  

Visit Dede's webpage for complete details on her award-winning book, STUDENT TEACHING: THE INSIDE SCOOP FROM A MASTER TEACHER. Many colleges have made the book required readingSigned copies are available Dede is also a national speaker on The Three C's for Classroom success: Confidence, communication, and Creativity; Avoiding Teacher burnout; and many other inspirational topics. 

I LOVE writing. And I love writing children's books- my newest passion. Although it will be a ton of work, I am looking forward to selling my books.  Since I was a secondary teacher, I know that I have much to learn about elementary students, and I will have to follow my own advice and be my genuine self.  However, I also know that I am passionate about helping kids who have to wear glasses, and that GRADY GETS GLASSES sends a positive message. I am willing to work hard and do all the things that also made me a successful teacher for 37 years. I remain inspired! 

Elementary teachers in Western Pennsylvania and beyond - I am willing to come into your classroom in person or as a virtual field trip through a group called Field Trip Zoom.  Check them out! 

Teacher friends- let me know if you want me to read GRADY GETS GLASSES at your school. I am willing to come in to discuss the creative writing process, why writing is important, and personal fulfillment through writing, along with reading my book.  I would appreciate the exposure, and I would make signed copies available for purchase in your classrooms following the reading.  Please email me at  The website now has plush Grady bunnies for sale!

Please like Dede's new page Grady Gets Glasses for updates about her children's book. 

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