What to do with my life…

Nope, no idea.  I really haven’t any idea.  I mean, sure, I have loads of ideas all day long.  But I open up the page – that dreadful, white, blank page – and it all just seems to melt away.  It almost feels as though none of it ever existed in the first place.  It isn’t that I have a block.  It is that I have an empty slate.  And being able to create anything for this nothing is not only amazing, but mind-blowing.  I always look for direction, instruction, guidance…, and yet, does that direction, instruction, guidance, even if ever so slightly, take away from the me of it?  Does that not remove the me from the creation, and put at least a part of the result under the specifications of another, when it could have been all generated from me?  It could have been purely me, but I wanted outside direction.  But I want me and I want the blank slate… sort of.  I want the slate however it may be, but perhaps I would like to paint it first, and then begin to work (although the painting would be beginning already), because blank and solid and white is just not me.  Yes, yes… perhaps I just need to paint, and then create further and further from that initial coat.

Post-a-day 2018

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I am from…

Recently, in my cleaning out, I’ve come across loads of papers and files and folders and binders from almost all of my years of schooling.  While, I’ve found things from that same school year (lots of them today, actually), I have yet to find the original I am from poem that I wrote about myself in seventh grade.  When I find it, I will share it, followed by the one I wrote about myself during college, as well as the two(three?) that my friends wrote about me from their own perspectives during, I believe, high school together.

For now, though, I share the one I wrote during college about myself.  If you do not know, an I am from poem is essentially a work where one inputs pieces of information related to certain topics.  For example, the format could be as follows:

[First Name]
I am from [three traits you like about yourself]
[three traits you want to improve about yourself]
lover of [two things you love]
believer in [two things in which you believe]
who fears [two things you fear]
who hopes for [two things for which you hope]
brother/sister to [list your siblings]
daughter/son to [list your parents’ names]
resident of [the street where you grew up living]
[your city and state]
[your country]
[Last Name]

The original one I did was longer than that, but the point was just to explain the general format, so I’ll leave it at that.  The following, as mentioned already, is the version I wrote in college, which was following a rather free format that did not have distinct criteria other than being about ourselves (so far as I currently remember, anyway).

……………………………

4 Sept 2011 ED351

Hannah
I am from gentle, caring, lovable, wonderful
I am from sisterhood and subtle observations
from Music and Dance and Poetry
I am from contentedness with what one is given, blissfulness when around music, and the desire to do good
I am from hugs, laughs, and love, and recycling it all back
I am from giving harmony to life, consideration to call, and cheerfulness to one’s surroundings
I am from confidence: one so strong I fear only a loss of things or people whom I love and with whom I share my life
I am from Grace, in name and in action
I am from “How do you say ‘How do you say?'” in as many languages as possible
I am from connectedness and communication: be honest, be clear, be concise, lift up others with what you say, and mean it every time
I am from clarity: now inhale deeply and be with what is and what isn’t – identify the story and render it powerless in what happened
I am from when you’re on it, get off it; when you’re incomplete, get complete with yourself and with all those involved; and when you’re being inauthentic, be authentic about your being inauthentic
I am from live in the moment and remember what’s possible
AND
I am from the long time sun, may it always shine upon you
I am from love, may it always surround you
I am from Woman, the greatest power, and from the one pure light within us
I am from a world to be treated with care
I am from mother: Earth and the human
I am from understanding, consciousness, choices, and freedom of self-expression
I am from mother, all-encompassing, all-loving, and ever-present
I am from God, the World, and the stars
I am from Mother

…………………………..

Post-a-day 2018

Floor Hockey Rockstars

I had forgotten until recently that I used to play street hockey with one of my brothers.  We just would rollerblade together and pass the ball or puck to each other, or practice rollerblading with the sticks as fast as we could and then with the sticks and ball/puck.  It was fun.  And, you see, I remembered this, because I was trying to figure out how I had been so good at floor hockey in gym class in ninth grade, even though I had never done it in school before then.  And I thought of that memory, because I saw at the YMCA the other girl in that freshman gym/health class who was really good at floor hockey (and definitely more intense about it than anyone else), which had been our first sport of the school year.  Her name is Kristina.  It was really good having someone else in that class who enjoyed sports for the sport of them, and who was naturally good at most sports, and who didn’t get an attitude about any of it.  We didn’t really become friends outside of that class, but she’s always held a little sweet space in my heart and memory because of our initial floor hockey awesomeness bond.  😛

Post-a-day 2018

Another letter from Japan

Another letter I found regarding my early time in Japan.  I’m not so sure that I ever sent this one either.  I think they both were intended as drafts, but time kept passing and more kept happening, making me want to add even more… and so I never sent anything. 😛

………………………………

The short version (A Recount in Which I Cut Out the Complaints)
 
I live in Toride, Japan, a suburb of Tokyo, and have an apartment, with about 2/3 of what I need in it (a significant improvement from a couple days ago).
Figuring out how to sort trash took a week, but I mostly figured it out with the help of a Japanese friend I made.
I have a new phone and new bicycle (new to me, at least).  Both were killer expensive.  It’s a 45-minute ride to my main school, 10 to my secondary school.
We aren’t paid until the 21st each month, so I had to bring a boatload of cash for my apartment and initial expenses (apparently credit cards are only used in half the locations the US and Europe use them.  Also, bank cards have single-transaction price limits, so everyone always asks if I want to split my transaction when I use my card. (Not that I understand it, but someone translated it once, and I recognize the phrasing + body language now.)
I have a futon, which is a lame version of a mattress, but practical for the lifestyle here (supposed to hang it in the sun every week to kill germs on it, which is usually needed, because it’s hella-hot, and most people don’t really use A/C, even if they have it), and mine seems to be okay-ish for being able to sleep.
A new friend, Sammi, and I talk every evening/afternoon/night just to check in on one another, and to help each other out with whatever questions we’ve each developed about how to function living here (she lives on a little island and is the token white girl foreigner).  And also just to chat about whatever.  Calls are always free to receive, but dialing out costs after 5 minutes, so we go back and forth setting a timer, and hanging up and redialing every 4 minutes 45 seconds.
I have almost nothing to do at school, but my school requires me to be here.  My whole curriculum is written up for the year, and I am only an assistant in class… so my job is essentially to be present in class, and help in class.  Not spend August preparing for classes.  A drastic difference from what I used to do as a teacher!  So I spend my day working on Japanese, and finding ways not to fall asleep at my desk.  I’m not always successful.
The sun comes up around 5am.  I wake up with it, despite the curtains and my eye covering.
I’ve made four good friends who are part of my program, and one Japanese friend, who is a friend of a coworker of one of those four US friends.  The — (my program) people are Jon(athan), Katarina, Sam(uel), and Sammi.  Japanese friend is Rie (ree from reed + saying the letter “a”). Distances from me: Jon/Rie 25 minutes, Katarina 40 minutes (Tokyo), Sam 2 hours (on the beach), Sammi no clue (she’s on a far-away island).
I’m kind of sick of sushi, but that’s probably just because it’s all I had from 7/11 for several days while I had to wait for my predecessor to give me things she had for me for my apartment (fridge, dishes, etc.)
Sammi is my shopping buddy – we talk on the phone, and she helps send me pictures of things she was given, so that I can find them in the incomprehensible store (e.g. this is a photo of my dish soap, I think… look for the words…).  We both enjoy the adventure of it.
Speaking of the store, the bicycle parking area looks loads like a car parking lot.  And it’s used, too.
I experience my first earthquake last night.  It was a 4.6, and I was scared out of my whits.  I was on the phone with Sam when it happened.  I said, “Is that… I think that’s an earthquake,” and then couldn’t even talk, as I lost the ability somehow.  I was quite shocked at how I responded – I knew logically that it was a tiny earthquake, nothing to cause concern.  Yet my body and emotions went psycho-freakout on me, and I even cried when it ended 30 seconds later. Sam asked if I was okay when it stopped, and all I could say was just, “Give me a minute,” and then could finally function again after I cried.  Totally weird, but I’m glad I had that emotional support for my first one.*
*There actually was one last Wednesday night – a 5.4, I think – , but I was dead asleep in my hotel room, so didn’t notice it.  So this was my second earthquake, but the first one of which I was aware as it happened.
Okay, I think that encompasses plenty, though definitely not the whole.  Send inquiries my way.  ;P  Love you all!!
Peace
Hannah
……………………………………………
Post-a-day 2018

Hers, mine, & ours

I have been teaching during someone’s maternity leave recently, and I discovered something today – when the teacher returns, I will have been with the students more than she has.  Just now, I checked the calendar, and it seems that I have already been with them for longer than she was, due to Hurricane Harvey.  It is odd to me to consider that these kids would be more my students than her students.  It is her class, and I have always seen it that way.  So have the kids.  And so we likely will continue to live in this odd little my world within her world setup, where the kids are, indeed, mine, but we are all hers.  Something like that, anyway.

I will miss these kids.  If I really think about it, …well, no I don’t do that.  Whenever I begin actually to consider it, my eyes grow hot and threaten an outpouring of tears.  I suppose I really do love the kids so much, even though they drive me frustrated so often as they do.  They know I love them, and so do I.  And it is difficult to consider that I no longer will see these people who have been part of my daily life for so long, and as we all have worked through so much together.

A teacher friend of mine sent me a message tonight, saying how we needed to do something, because she missed me.  It turns out that neither one of us has done much other than school lately.  This time in particular, even more so than other times I have taught, the students are my social interactions in life.  I call my mom in the evenings, because I am craving adult interaction.  I don’t have interaction with friends.  I just have these kids.  In a sense, they are my friends, and I have no others (whom I see, anyway).  And so I will miss them all greatly, and even some of the stupid stresses they force upon me, like throwing ice at one another in class or unknowingly rejecting a beautiful opportunity to learn and to help themselves become beautiful successes in life.  Yes, I will miss these kids who are not mine, but mine.  I love them dearly.

Post-a-day 2017

Today’s bumps, I guess

Two not-so-great things happened today at work.  1) I hid under my desk again (second time so far here).  2) I took a stupid typing test, and only got 60 words per minute.

For the desk thing, it’s just a whole new world, working here with these kids.  Education that has felt like second nature to me most of my life, is a piece of education that has somehow eluded a good chunk of these guys, thanks to stereotypes and income levels of families.  The first time I hid under my desk, I think I just wanted to be alone, after a good hour or two of kids being kids, unable to handle sitting in a classroom, even for five minutes at a time (we get up and about in the room a lot during class, excluding test and quiz days).  Today, it was a bit of that, but mostly my distaste at the unfortunate lack of capability of many of these high schoolers to do basic addition, subtraction, multiplication, and division.  I took these same classes at their same ages, and yet I flew threw most of this stuff.  Not only was I good at math, but I had friends and family to support me with it, whether I needed the help or not.  These kids just plain don’t.  So, I’m not sure if it was so much the annoyance at the kids being restless today, as it was their social and educational backgrounds that really just have me wanting to curl up and cry, and go away… but ‘out of sight, out of mind’ has never really been one of my supported phrases in life.

And, for the typing test, it was stupid.  It was for doing Aesop’s fables, including their titles and an introduction.  I didn’t have a single error in the final product, because I corrected as I went, but the flow was difficult, because it was different formatting with the titles and such.  Aren’t typing tests traditionally of paragraphs?  Perhaps my belief in that is a false one, but it makes more sense to me for a general standard test than what I had today.   Anyway, it was some free online test, so I don’t expect it to be the best standard… it was just kind of annoying.  Hopefully I am right, and my typing speed is actually faster than just 60 words per minute.  I didn’t even have a comfortable positioning of the keyboard and everything, either, so I don’t really see why I’m upset about it.  I guess I’m just tired and feeling ill today, and that’s bringing me down in more ways than one right now.

Post-a-day 2017

Today’s “ugh”

You know when people seem to ignore the question you ask, and instead answer a different one, one they assume you meant?  And you know how you asked that question on purpose, because you wanted an answer to that question, not some other question?  Yeah, I kind of want to punch people when they do this to me.

My mom and my best friend are the only ones who have a real shot at guessing whether and where I am going with an idea and questions I am asking about something, and they don’t even get it right all of the time.  And they know this, so, if they think I might be leading somewhere specific with my question, they ask if I am doing that, and still answer my question.  Other people don’t do that.  And it makes me kind of want to punch them for it.  Kind of…

Also, I can’t stand when people seem to be incapable of being straight about something.  I ask a question, because I am seeking the answer to that question (see aforementioned explanation).  Avoiding the answer or making up bull when the true answer is of actual importance is just plane crazy, and yet people like to do it a lot of the time, it seems.  Ugh!

Also, when highly educated people misuse basic points of grammar, I have a sort of desire to throw a drink in their faces (the bad-grammar users), and rush away, disgusted.  It’s dramatic, sure, but it’s a feeling that shows up somewhat often, nonetheless.

Anyway, I’ll go to sleep, now.  I’ve had an annoying time with these few thoughts today (in addition to what felt like a million others), so I guess I just wanted to get them off my chest, in a sense…

Post-a-day 2017