Friday, August 26, 2011

SC + TTT + Late = Too busy to Blog

When Jen said the spin topic this week was language, possible spins wove through my head all week.

Should I write about my love for foul language, (more so in writing than speech) and how newly invented words like Jan's Fuck-ton make my day and inspire me to write?

How about the doctoral student in my graduate rhetoric class, with her salt and pepper bob and grannie glasses, thrilling me to no end when she dryly gave a filibuster in class one day on the origin of the word fuck and how the upper-class British back in the day relegated the word into something bad and dirty to keep the classes distinct?

Should I write about how much I loved the book Bee Season and the whole idea of a mystical experience coming from the sounds that syllables make?

And, then. There is the enormous topic of home language versus Standard English and the place (or not) of home dialects in a classroom. This is a huge conversation in Hawaii, where pidgin English is the home language for most of its children.

It is inappropriate to tell children that their home language is "low" or "stupid," as in doing so it is equivalent to telling them that their parents and grandparents, their aunties and uncles - that all the people they love are stupid.


If Standard English is not taught to these same kids, if they do not learn how to become bi-dialectical, how to code switch, how to discern where and when each language is appropriate; if pidgin is allowed to be the only language in the classroom, then the teacher is allowing a gate to be shut. Teaching them Standard English while respecting their home language allows them to pass through this gate into other worlds. It would not be fair to send these kids off to college and life thinking they will never need Standard English.

I could go on and on with this subject. It's a huge deal here. I could give examples of both ends of this debate or argue for my middle ground philosophy.

But I found this on YouTube and this girl says it so much better.

I hope you watched it all the way to the end, but if you did not, take this line with you today:

"Isn't that the meaning of life (or language) to understand one another

'mo bettah?"

For more spins, head on over to Jen at Sprite's Keeper.

If you wanted to link a travel post yesterday and noticed I wasn't around, go ahead and link up today!

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

TTT: Where ya going?

Back in the day, as in my day, meaning the 1970’s (not the 1600’s as my students seem to think as when I was playing classical music while they worked one day I had a student who asked me if the music was from my “era…”).

Where was I?

Oh, yeah. Back in the day we used to say this:

Where you going?

Crazy. Wanna come with?


Today. Was. Surreal.

Incident number one.

Waiting for my daughter to pick me up from work and drop me at an appointment. She is late. I decide to take deep breaths and relax versus worry or get edgy. I am sitting on a bench under a gorgeous, humongous tree and starting to notice the little things. A bird, A breeze. A cloud floating by.

BAM!!! A fucking black bumble bee kamakazies like a rocket into my forehead. Not just anywhere on my forehead, but smack dab bull’s eye center on my third eye.

How not zen is that?

So then I’m sitting there wondering if the Universe is sending me a message to pay attention and stop zoning out. Perhaps it is a sign that my daughter is late because she’s been in an accident.

I see myself spinning off into a world of worry and pull myself in. It’s just a stupid fucking idiot bee.

So I go back into relax mode.

Incident number two.

I’m almost relaxed when I see a car slowing down. But it’s not the cute little car of Daughter’s. It’s a bright metallic SUV with dark tinted windows. The passenger window rolls down and a full out tita barks out the window, “You fucking getting in the car or what? I haven’t got all fucking day asshole.”


As far as I can see, I am the only one outside and part of my mind wonders if there is any way in hell my daughter sent scary ghetto woman to pick me up.

Maybe I should have been nicer to Daughter of late.

Then I hear someone behind me, “HEY! I had to go to the bathroom.”

A big blalah of a guy comes from two buildings behind me. Not sure what he is doing on campus at 3 PM, but he’s the type who pulls his white T-shirt up over his beer belly to cool it off.


Incident number 3.

Daughter drops me off at my appointment. With my therapist. Which I started a few months ago when I thought the unbloggable was sure to overwhelm.

But since I don’t write about the unbloggable I guess I haven’t mentioned my therapist.

I walk into the office and go up to the receptionist’s desk to make my co-payment.

Hi. Psuedo here for 4 PM.

Ah, Dorothy?

Ah, no. Pseudo. Last Name. 4 PM

Oh, here. Christie, right?

Are you fucking kidding me? Do I look so looney tunes that I don’t even know my name?

Meanwhile, I am thinking that that is exactly what the people in the waiting room are thinking of me.

Then, it turns out I don’t have an appointment. Not for this week. The receptionist explains that she only has one week in her front desk version of all the doctor’s appointments.

I tell her to call me after she talks to my doctor and to let me know when my appointment is.

I call Daughter to come around and get me.


My phone rings and the receptionist calls me back and tells me that they are going to ask my doctor if she can’t take me since I’m there.

Now I don’t know if she said that because she made a mistake and I actually did have an appointment and she is trying to cover her ass.

Or if she thinks I need to come in…

I go every other week and although I swear it was two weeks ago that I went last, I cannot help but wonder if the last week has been such a busy hell storm that it just felt like two weeks.

I tell the receptionist I will wait for my appointed time thank-you very much. I want to go home.

Want to link up? Apparently I am being very generous with the term "travel" today.

Monday, August 15, 2011

Spin Cycle: Nature or Nurture?

When I saw Jen's Spin Cycle topic this week, I thought, "Oh, that's a fuck-ton (thank-you Jan's son for my new word) to deal with."

As a parent, I've thought about and discussed this topic endlessly with friends as we watched our children grow; we were baffled at the differences in personalities of the siblings we were rearing in our homes.

As an educator I have seen the gamut. I worked several years in a high risk youth program in the most poverty stricken part of the island and seen resilient youth rise above the most horrid of environments, while the majority succumbed to the same.

I worked many years in a middle class community with teens who had many advantages and parents who had the types of expectations and boundaries that should have sent these kids off into the right direction. Many of them chugged on down the channel while others were hell bent to swim against the current and make a mess of their lives.

I've shaken my head at fellow educators (usually the childless ones) who barked platitudes about apples and trees. Sometimes kids are on a path that has nothing to do with what they learned at home.

During the unbloggable, a friend of mine who has a graduate degree in psychology recommended a book to me. The Soul's Code: In Search of Character and Calling by James Hillman. From Amazon review:

Hillman's work on soul has fed the public imagination with the nourishing idea that we are vastly deeper and more permeable to the influences around us than we may think. Here, Hillman discusses character and calling, introducing an "acorn theory" that claims that "each life is formed by its unique image, an image that is the essence of that life and calls it to a destiny." Borrowing the language of Plato's Myth of Ur, Hillman suggests that this imaginary sense of our lives or callings drives each of us like a personal daimon or force. Drawing on extraordinary lives from Judy Garland to Coco Chanel to Hitler, he describes the movements of the daimon, showing how it can use everything in our environment, from lucky accidents to bad movies, to allow the acorn to "grow down" and express itself in the real material of our lives. Without succumbing to oversimplification or wishful thinking, Hillman challenges the reductive "parental fallacy," the contention that our early experience with our parents determines our selves and our futures.

The book made sense to me and filled in a bit of the gap between nature and nurture and added that something else. For more spins on this topic, head on over to Sprite's Keeper.

Sunday, August 14, 2011

Love and aloha going out

Sending some linky love to my daughter and this funny post she wrote. She's a keeper. Today she was off to Zumba and then the gym with her sling.

Also, my sis is the weekend recipe poster for WeYuMe and her post this week uses photos I sent her from the pineapple fields!

Thursday, August 11, 2011

TTT: Everybody's gone surfing....

Today's Travel post (yes, I'm trying to get back in the Thursday habit), takes you to Honolulu's own Ala Moana Shopping Center. We did a tour of the surf stores there this summer when we took the boy shopping for his birthday.

What? You're surprised we have surf stores here?

In the Mainland, you folks probably call these flip flops or something else. While you are in Hawaii remember to call them slippers. Here Daughter is playing host to a rack of high end stuff.

If I was spending money on myself that day I might have bought these:
However, one thing I love about living over here is that it is perfectly acceptable to wear rubber slippers just about anywhere. Don't judge me that I am not a shoe person.

I took these photos especially for Captain Dumbass. I actually thought about buying him the T-shirt "zombies love nerds," but we were shopping for Teen Boy after all and we were on a teachers-got-a-pay-cut budget. Weirdly, Teen Boy would not give up a birthday T for a blogger friend of his mom's. I assumed as I actually did not ask him.

Cool art peice in the back of a store. Hubs knew who this was but I forgot already.

A better blogger would have taken a photo of each store's sign before she went in, then organized this post accordingly.

This next store is HIC, or Hawaiian Island Creations. Their board shaper is Eric Arakawa and these boards are moving around on a conveyor belt like a Disney Ride.

And the awesome longboards...

Got Travel? A favorite haunt in your neck of the woods? Link on up....

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Spin Cycle: Shut Me UP!

Sometimes I think we are here just to overcome our bad habits. The obstacles, the challenges, the suffering. It's all just a way to point us towards what we need to work on.

But that just might be me.

At any rate, Jen's spin topic this week is bad habits and I have such a wealth to choose from it's taken me a day or two to narrow it down.

I'll go with a bad habit that I actually have been working on for over 25 years.

Bad habit: interrupting others.

Goal: be a better listener.

When I first moved to Hawaii I did not realize the conversational habits that I grew up with were not the best. I come from a loud family where people interrupt each other constantly. Finishing each others' thoughts.

People in Hawaii are quieter as a rule, better listeners, more humble than the native LA crowd I grew up with...

The first time someone straight up told me I had interrupted him and it was not so much appreciated, I have to admit I was a little taken aback. Slightly offended. Did he not realize what a compliment it was that I was so excited about what he was saying, so excited that I knew where he was going, so happy to be able to not only finish his thought but add my own to it...

Yeah. I was THAT person.

When I realized it I decided I did not want to be that person.

However, it's not been easy. Bad habits are hard to work out of oneself.

So I have been working on being a better, more compassionate, listener for 25 years now.

Ironically, it irritates me to be around interrupters or conversation hoggers these days.

That's why I had to add in the compassion component.

For more Spins on bad habits, head on over to Sprite's Keeper!

Sunday, August 7, 2011

She's Awesome

And I made her....

Daughter is blogging. Apparently she's been at it for awhile, but only told me yesterday. She's eclectic, funny, and fun.

I like this post from her nanny adventures.

This post from her restaurant job.

This one where she mentions me.....

Please check her out. She's new to this! She could use a follower or two.

Tuesday, August 2, 2011

Spin Cycle: Back to School

As much as I love summer, once the students walk in the door, I realize how blessed I am to be able to do what I do. and not think of politics and pay cuts

I usually start off by having the students write me a letter telling me about themselves. That way I can get a writing sample and get to know them both. Win win.

So I'll share some randoms from their letters. Jen gave us a free spin this week on the old cycle.

My favorite subject in school is language arts...

My goal is to be smart in school, but I need to warn you Ms Pseudo, I'm not perfect...

My dream is to be a professional violinist...

I want to be a doctor to help sick people and save lives, but I also want to be a singer, and I am hoping I can do both...

My favorite thing is to go to the beach with my family because we are happy and my parents forget their worries...

Since my dad passed away I have been doing bad in school...

My favorite subject is math and my least favorite is language arts. In language arts you don't have any formulas.

My favorite thing to do this summer was to play with my cousins and roll down the hell...

As a student I guess I am alright. I have my good days, but if I am acting like a punk, just warn me on the side and I will behave...

For more free spins, head on over to Jen at Sprite's Keeper!