It’s a good day to turn a year older.
There are many things on my mind
but I can’t complain.
I am in a beautiful place. (Adelaide,Australia)
Doing some of the things I love to do.
(working, talking about a program I love, collaborating, taking risks, learning, writing and taking photos)
Big picture, I am totally stoked and wouldn’t have spent my birthday any other way.
I do have to admit,
that I need some time to mull over all that has transpired these past few days.
Right now though, it’s enough that I stop for a moment and acknowledge that a year has just ended.
So here’s to the best of possibilities and what’s next.
I prefer movies.
I prefer cats.
I prefer the oaks along the Warta.
I prefer Dickens to Dostoyevsky.
I prefer myself liking people
to myself loving mankind.
I prefer keeping a needle and thread on hand, just in case.
I prefer the color green.
I prefer not to maintain
that reason is to blame for everything.
I prefer exceptions.
I prefer to leave early.
I prefer talking to doctors about something else.
I prefer the old fine-lined illustrations.
I prefer the absurdity of writing poems
to the absurdity of not writing poems.
I prefer, where love’s concerned, nonspecific anniversaries
that can be celebrated every day.
I prefer moralists
who promise me nothing.
I prefer cunning kindness to the over-trustful kind.
I prefer the earth in civvies.
I prefer conquered to conquering countries.
I prefer having some reservations.
I prefer the hell of chaos to the hell of order.
I prefer Grimms’ fairy tales to the newspapers’ front pages.
I prefer leaves without flowers to flowers without leaves.
I prefer dogs with uncropped tails.
I prefer light eyes, since mine are dark.
I prefer desk drawers.
I prefer many things that I haven’t mentioned here
to many things I’ve also left unsaid.
I prefer zeroes on the loose
to those lined up behind a cipher.
I prefer the time of insects to the time of stars.
I prefer to knock on wood.
I prefer not to ask how much longer and when.
I prefer keeping in mind even the possibility
that existence has its own reason for being.
From “Nothing Twice”, 1997
Translated by S. Baranczak & C. Cavanagh
grateful slice: the promise of possibilities
Yes, it’s true, there’s a lot to think about and decide on very soon but first thing is first. I remember there was this one terrible end of a bad day where a really good friend of mine and I were talking about the tragic state of affairs. At the end of our conversation, we made a pinky promise to always remember why we are where we are, why we love the things we do, why we are so committed, and that we would choose happiness and health over anything else. We said that it would not be enough to just not be unhappy; we said we would choose joy instead of negativity every single time. Because that we have control over. And placing ourselves as part of the solution instead of anything else, is well part of what solves, contributes and collaborates, instead of what is divisive, destructive and dysfunctional. So, today I wanted to reiterate that promise I made months ago. To choose positivity and happiness every time. To be clear about why I am here, exactly where I need to be. To be grateful, to be humble, to always seek/pursue the healthy perspective and to be a blessing instead of a burden. I will also do my best to live by and hopefully emulate the very attributes we hope our kids will imbibe as they traverse through our classrooms. And to be a friend and colleague/partner people can trust, turn to and count on. I am claiming it right now — the awesomeness of the coming school year and the success of our MYP evaluation visit. Final answer. Pentel Pen. Period. No erase.
Sooooo, hello school year 2011-2012. I know it’s still too early to greet you since you aren’t officially here yet but welcome. A part of me is really glad you are coming soon. Another part, still catching up with this thought (summer hangover). Nevertheless, I just wanted to say, please be kind. 🙂 Am looking forward to a year of learning and teaching and facing 21st century education issues and challenges (nature of the beast) and I promise to do my utmost best. Remind me to focus on what matters most always and also to take time to rest, recharge and recover so that I can stay balanced and always be at my best for G, the kids and well, anyone else who needs me. Thanks in advance. See you soon.
grateful slice: fresh start, a new school year and pinky promises I intend to keep
It’s official. Am booked and will be heading back to India in a few weeks. Ahmedabad, Gujarat and Mumbai this time around. Will fly out the day after the last day of school to first conduct a two-day in school MYP Assessment Workshop in Ahmedabad. Then I get to visit S in her new home in Mumbai until the tenth of June. It feels a little overwhelming right now with all the work that still needs to be done before the arrival of May 28 but am optimistic it will all inevitably fall into place. Like always.
Anyway, aside from a little healthy anxiety, there’s also the excitement and the feeling of immense gratitude coursing through my veins right now. I’ve said it before, I will say it again. I am a lucky, well-loved schmuck. To be given these many opportunities to travel, teach, share, learn, experience and visit good friends in different parts of the world, has been a real treat from G who is ever faithful, generous and constant. Thanks again for this, G. You must really love S and I. First, the 8 weeks in New York with my sister in 2009, now ten days in Mumbai! Win.
There are a lot of plans in place. A market tour. The slum tour. A missions thing. Prayer walks. Working out and running together again and visiting S’s school. G definitely has big plans. I am convinced that’s why He is making this happen. 🙂 Right now though, I need to focus on everything that needs to be done: I have the Poetry Fest on Friday, papers to mark, report card narratives to write, grades to finalize and workshop preparation to attend to. It’s going to be a wild ride this May and damn boy, am hanging on real tight! Wohoo!
grateful slice: traveling, India and awesome, humbling opportunities.
2009 has been a really memorable year. From loss to recovery to deep discovery and change, moment to moment, something was either trimmed away or newly-revealed to me; things either falling away or falling into place. So many crappy things happened — Ondoy, Maguindanao, deaths, tragedies and well, global warming. But, 2009 also did not disappoint — I’ve met some of the best people, watched loved ones mature and grow, have let go of old scripts that debilitate and have been given the opportunity to really “see” for the first time. I learned so much about what’s true and unlearned so many lies. What a phenomenal year this has been and I leave it with a grateful heart. I look toward G who made it all happen and not just focus on all the wonderful (and tragic) things that have happened. 🙂
2009 was also about closing stifling doors so that new ones could fly wide open. I have had to say goodbye to so many things and people and it was painful but by doing that, wonderful opportunities have been allowed to find me. Here’s one I’m particularly excited about, humbled by and extremely grateful for.
I was pretty stoked when my boss requested I apply to the IB to become a workshop leader last Dec 2008. Training in Singapore was really cool, but getting asked May of this year, to do my first workshop in Bangkok last Sept took the cake. I was so excited and humbled and grateful I didn’t know where each emotion began and ended. They all just bled into each other like swirls of mixed paint. I also feel so fortunate to be part of such an awesome Beacon MYP team and to be able to lead a workshop meant I was also representing them. So I prepared to death and was determined not to let G, Beacon, myself or my participants down. In the end, after I lost my luggage and found it, after recovering from several panic attacks, after all the second guessing, I met some of the nicest MYP leaders (both seasoned and virgin like me), had the most proactive and motivated participants and had a real opportunity to glorify G. It was really an amazing first time and I won’t ever forget it. I learned so much about the program; about what I did know, what I didn’t know, what I’d do differently next time and what a great opportunity it is to be able to construct meaning with an international community in this way. I knew I made friends for life and can look forward to really growing in this new role.
I am currently working on my second workshop (just four weeks away). Category 2 (so more in-depth and with more experienced MYP teachers) and this time in Adelaide, Australia. It’s a whole set of nerves and a gazillion different challenges and things to face and look forward to. My agenda has been approved and my workbook is done (just need to make sure it is uploaded properly) and am on to the nitty-gritty of the sessions and my keynote. I hope to glorify G once again and not let my peers and participants down. I pray everyday for clarity and composure and just an openness to see what the participants need to apply the program effectively and efficiently in their own schools.
So wish me luck. I can’t imagine a better way to start the new year. I feel so blessed and grateful I could burst.
Here’s to everyone’s own wonderful doors flying wide open and everyone having the gumption and fierceness to go diving through them without fear.
grateful slice: honoring the year 2009 and welcoming the entry of 2010
I want to write about this …
and this …
and of course, this …
and this ….
and there’s this …
I am especially stoked to write about them …
I need some distance
Or I will gush to death.
Words will fail, I think.
To capture what I remember.
When I begin to forget, then I will need to write.
But here’s to honoring peak experiences while they are fresh
not missing a minute of it.
In the meantime, am again off to do something quite special this coming weekend.
I get the message.
It’s been crystal for awhile actually.
grateful slice: paying attention, taking our time and enjoying the ride.