Informational Interview...

...tomorrow morning.

I'm sifting through my old lesson plans and students' sample work and skimming through my old papers and readings. It's only been a few months since I left teaching in the Bay, but I'm having some crazy nostalgia.

The heartwarming, positive, "this is why I teach" memories are nestled somewhere deep in the recesses of my mind. I gotta find 'em again.

It's been a minute since I've been in a classroom of 25+ students, not to mention a classroom of 25+ kids. I think I miss it. I think I'd even make a better teacher now than I did a few months ago due to some personal development more so than professional development. In my humble opinion, that's all part of being a good teacher.
= = =

Every now and then, I remember one of my good friend's stories from back when we were in high school. Her dad had been bed ridden with cancer for almost as long as I had known her. Her family was at home one day when something happened with his heart or his lungs and she had to call 911. An ambulance came and paramedics rushed into her house.

My friend sat to the side, crying, panicking, and worrying over her father. One of the EMT people, rather than give medical attention to her father, sat with my friend and soothed her, telling her that they were doing everything they could do, that her father was going to be alright, that everything was going to be OK.

This story brings tears to my eyes not only because I hate to think of my friend going through that experience, but because I'm reminded of the humanity behind service professions. I'm sure that this kind stranger is trained for so much more than emotional support for family members of loved ones; such care may not have even been taught in his training. Regardless, people in ambulances rush to scenes to help people and in one way or another, he did just that.

= = =

When I teach, I certainly want my students to walk away from my class having learned something. Obviously, that is the meat of my job description. Ultimately, though, when I think about the teachers who made (and continue to make) the biggest impact on my life, I think of teachers who talked to me outside of class about normal, every day things unrelated to the class material. I think about the teachers who  lived great teachings about life; whose actions resounded for much longer than 50-minute lessons. I think about the teachers who brought an "x-factor" to the profession and who taught me more than books could ever teach me: how to be a sociable person; how to be a responsible person; how to dream big and share your dreams with others; how to overcome fears like stage fright and public speaking; how to find trends in history and current events; how to draw parallels from themes in literature to themes in my own life; how to develop and cultivate habits in reading, writing, and speaking; the list goes on.

I still want to be a good teacher. I'm still working on it. I'm young yet; finally being out in the "real world" has reminded me of that fact. For now, I'm practicing being an adult, showing up to work every day regardless of my feeling of preparedness, and taking things easy when things don't go exactly as planned.

= = =
What are some talking points I should have ready for my informational interview? Hmm...

  • I'm currently working on writing cohesive unit plans and solid learning objectives
  • My weakest point is classroom management
  • My biggest improvement is in narrowing lessons and knowing when to move the whole group along in the lesson and cover missed steps in future lessons
  • What suggestions do you have for me in connecting with local middle and high schools?
  • "      "      "     " in continuing to work on my goals?
  • In what area is your school currently hoping to improve?
  • Does your school incorporate any lessons about social justice/global citizenship into its curricula?
I'll have to sleep on it and think of more...


Hike Oahu, then Eat Real Good

One of my New Year's Resolutions was to hike Oahu every other week. It's been one of the best resolutions I've made to date. Here are photos and a few words about some of the beautiful trails of the island.

I follow each description with a post-hike lunch recommendation--these have nothing to do with my NYR... I just love to eat :)

I don't have to go very far to get away from the bustling city of Honolulu--obviously; Oahu is an island, after all. In fact, even the heart of Honolulu hosts scenic escapes from the sounds of traffic, fresh, breathtaking eyefuls of lush vegetation, and amusing, playful aerial views of the high rises of town (Waikiki) and beachfront villas.

Southeast Asia -- It's happening!

Chiang Mai, Thailand. Photo creds to my pops.
Stumbled upon this cute little article (thanks to an oh-so-personal and close Facebook acquaintance) not 5 minutes after purchasing my summer roundtrip to the motherland and thereabouts.

This summer's escapades will look something like this:


and finally,

HNL -> Somewhere in Japan

My roundtrip flight from Honolulu to Manila was embarrassingly expensive. Seriously, I'm done thinking about how much I just dropped for that flight. I didn't have a choice though; up until about two weeks ago, I didn't know where life would take me come August 2012.

Turns out, life's path is headed to Japan for at least one year, at most five. 0_0

Along the way, I'm going to make a few pit stops and loop-dee-loops about Southeast Asia by way of Manila, Cebu, Bangkok, various parts of Cambodia, Saigon (which, it turns out, goes by Ho Chi Minh City...who knew? ...Not me...), back to Manila, and back, back to Honolulu again before embarking on the next chapter (maybe mini chapter) of my life in Japan.

Anyway, despite a pricey flight to and from S.E.A., once I'm there, I anticipate about $30 in daily expenditures. In preparation, I'll probably spend about $200 on a camera, $0-50 on luggage (perhaps I'll be able to scavenge around the house or friends' houses for used luggage), $0-50 in clothing, and $50 in pasalubong for family in the Philippines.

Food will cost about $3-$6/day. Transportation will be $1-$6 per day not including a $22 roundtrip flight from Manila to Cebu and a $50-$100 by-land-and-sea trip from Bangkok to Saigon via Cambodia. You're making you're "not bad" face right now, I'll bet. I'm making it right now, too.

My goal is to buy close to nothing in souvenirs and to take really good pictures and notes. Perhaps I should bring some of my some dinky souvenirs that I bought from Cuba on this trip to serve as a reminder of the crap that I unfailingly buy while I'm on vacation.

Well, OK, I love my earrings from Cuba. And my necklace of the goddess of love -- I love that, too. I still wear those a lot. The "Che" hat was kind of dumb, though. It makes for a comfy and useful traveling hat, but I'm hesitant to wear my social propaganda in other countries. OK, so maybe I'll just buy awesome jewelry from Thailand, Cambodia, and/or Vietnam. But nothing else.

I'll probably want to go to the spa and get my hair done in the Philippines... Hmmm...

Besides pre-travel purchases and pre-travel-determined goals and expense limits, I also need to:

  • research places to visit in Thailand, Cambodia, and Vietnam
  • research cost-friendly lodging options
  • set up an account with Chase or someone who will let me access my money overseas
  • withdraw/exchange cash
  • talk to friends from T, C, and V.
  • get my immunization shots/booster shots/whatevskis
  • generally take advantage of my mother's health care insurance pre-leaving for my new life
  • learn survival phrases in Thai, Khmer, and Vietnamese
  • purchase traveller's insurance
  • research recommended modes of transportation 
  • speak Tagalog as much as possible at home so that I'll stop sounding like such a n00b (although I doubt that I'll be able to improve in two months what I haven't been able to improve in almost 24 years)
Please let me know if you have any more tips for me!