Random 411: The Art of Writing

‎2/‎28/‎2013 – I’ve decided to give my mind a chance to speak. *sighs* Yes, yes. I’ve been hiding out from my mind. My inner most thoughts have caused my conscience mind to distract itself by diving into books and watching movies or my beloved TV shows. What is my conscience afraid of? It’s rare an occasion that I distract myself from writing. Journaling has always played a significant role in my life. I’ve been journaling my life story, regularly, since I was in the 6th grade. Yes, I pride myself on that because I find it rather impressive that my eleven year old self thought it was important to keep a journal. Admittedly, there was a time when I thought it not important to keep a journal and forgoed the practice for about a year or two. I’m kicking myself for it today because I think those were some important years and important events happened during that course of my timeline that I wished I recorded.

Writing in general has been a constant practice for me. In addition to journaling, I’ve written letters to everyone who wished to humor me from the moment I learned how to write a letter. I believe I seven years old when I learned to write a letter and my first, most faithful correspondent was my grandmother. I’d exchange with her drawings I did in class, updates of how my day in school went, tattle-taled on my brothers (and sometimes my parents), and just about anything that piqued the interest of a seven year old. *laughs* I think I wrote so much letters to my grandmother that my mom would throw some away when I wasn’t looking. I know it may not be true, but I really did write about everything. I know my parents humored me on most of my letters, but it would not surprise me in the least if my mom confirmed this suspicion.

I was so excited when one of my elementary classes, I can’t remember if it was in the third or fourth grade, when they introduced “The Pen Pal.” I believe at the younger ages, back in my day (I can’t believe I’m old enough to have “back in my day” stories!), they would do class exchanges. I think it wasn’t until the fifth grade where you could exchange individually, as a class, with students from another school. (Did I make any sense right there? I’m trying to think of a way to word it differently, but  . . . I got nothing. In my defense, it is 11:55 p.m.) I was so excited to write to someone other than family.

I can think of only positive experiences with pen-paling  . . . no wait, that’s a lie. I remember one experience where I felt really bad because I had no idea what I had said to offend the student, but he didn’t want to be my pen pal any more–at least, that what my teacher told me. I was in the sixth grade. My teacher didn’t want me to write an apology. He said that I shouldn’t feel too badly, that sometimes people just take things the wrong way and he was certain it was a simple misunderstanding. *shrugs*. I still feel really bad until this day, even though I can’t remember the boy’s name or even what school we were exchanging letters with.  And letter-writing is what helped me keep in touch with my grade school friends when I moved to a different island. I exchanged letters with my best friends until high school, a good three or four years before life got the better of us, and even some of my other classmates.

Other moments soon replaced that bad experience though. I’ve had the wonderful pleasures of exchanging letters with friends I made at Kamehameha School’s Computer Camp (June/July 1996)and Kulia I Ka Pono Programs (July 1997, two week program). Some of these friendships extended all the way until graduation, before email was commonplace; before MySpace or Facebook.

I kept those letters for a long time–all of it, the letters from my grade school best friends and classmates, letters from my Computer Camp friends, letters from my Kulia friends. And I’d re-read them. *sighs*, and then the Dark Ages. *laughs* That is what I call the time when I thought journaling wasn’t important. I went through a dark spell and I believe it was during those years I decided to get rid of all the letters of my pen pals. I’m still cringing over that. It brings me near tears every time I think of if. Would you believe I went desperately searching for those letters? Well, I did about six months ago. I went hunting for them in storage, desperately hoping that my “Jimney Cricket” talked me out of it at the time and I really stashed them somewhere. No such luck. They must be lost. At least I had the sense to keep my journals. Believe it or not, I do have all my journals, at least I think I do. I know I have most of my journals. I read them every now and then and it’s sometimes is more entertaining than those books, movies, and/or TV shows I watch! Of course there are some most embarrassing moments that I hope my older, future self will learn to laugh at instead of cringing (which my present self does every. time.), but we won’t get into that. =)

Reflecting back on the past–what is it, twelve years? sheesh I feel old–that I’ve been writing, I’ve realized it’s more than me just recording life events. I realized writing helps me clear my thoughts. It helps me to have a conversation with myself. It helps me to discern what’s bugging me and what’s not. I’ve written about hopes, dreams, life, death. I’ve predicted my future, reflected upon my past, and relived my present. I’ve discovered my strengths and my weaknesses, recorded my success and my failures. I am proud of the writer in me. It’s helped me take snapshots of my life and preserve them for me to ponder and reflect, and most importantly, to learn and to grow.

Honestly, I have no idea if I’ve come to a point with this soon-to-be-blog entry, but since I’ve allowed myself to write, I can’t believe I actually wrote. You see the power writing has? Words. Feelings. Thoughts. Ideas. They all come into play. I’m truly glad I just let myself write whatever came to my head. We’ll see what doors writing this entry have unlocked this time. Until next time . . .

Mental Gridlock

Gosh! It’s been too long since I’ve posted a blog entry and while I can make all the excuses in the world I will settle upon the excuse of life, simple as that. Aside from securing a new job and in the home stretch for the first half of the semester, nothing more can be provided to explain the length of time between blog entries.

Oh, there is a the fact that my mind has been in a gridlock since … let me think; November? … November.

Both on a conscious and sub-conscious level it’s as if my mind disappears for a spell or two, actively thinking of things but cannot secure a single thought. I believe it’s mainly due to several things experienced one after another.

The first in these series of events was The Hunger Games. I finally got around to reading the series during the week of Halloween and I have to say, no other series gripped my mind so forcefully as did this story. Well, nothing since The Harry Potter series. I ended up reading the whole story, in its entirety, a total of three times before forcing myself to focus on something else.

I believe the reason for this is the story itself. The philosophical questions it purposefully make you ask just … gripped me. I couldn’t help relate to Katniss and her cause. I couldn’t help thinking “What would I do if I lived in that type of era?” I couldn’t stop thinking of what my role would be in a community such as District 12 and in a society like Panem.

The next event would be the passing of my grandfather. I miss him dearly and think of him often. I had the honor, though I admit I was very nervous, of giving his eulogy. That was another feat! I’ve only known this wonderful man 28 years of his entire life. 🙂 I did enjoy talking with my grandmother about him–just remembering him, and all of my other relatives for that matter.

The next was ‘Wicked.’ Yes, Wicked. I had the wonderful opportunity to watch the broadway hit ‘Wicked’ this past winter and the experience tops the charts of “Jei-Nhy’s Greatest Life Moments.” Well, ok, maybe 2nd only to my wedding day, but it’s definitely in the Top 5.

“Are people born wicked? Or do they have wickedness thrust upon them?” <– Tagline from the production, in case you're wondering. And what a question! From the Panem I experienced with the Hunger Games to the untold story of the witches of Oz, can you blame my mental gridlock? What a question! (Yes, I'm saying it twice)

Then the new year, the new semester, the new job–my mind hasn't had the chance to shuffle through all these thoughts. *sighs*

I am hoping to start posting some of entires on these big occasions shortly, once I am able to make heads or tails of it all and actually organize them into coherent thoughts 🙂 .

I appreciate you bearing with the dry spells. I'll have to head back to the writer's gym. Until next time …

To Freeze a Moment

What a beautiful night! I’m sitting out in the yard, under the full moon, just enjoying the quietness of the night.

Have you ever wondered what you might do if you could freeze a moment? I think about Mitch Albom’s book, The Timekeeper, and how he could move in between moments and took a century to learn everything within a moments passing to us.

What moment would you freeze? Would you even want to freeze it? Would you rather just live in it? And what would you do after you froze it?

I have no idea what I would do with a moment. I don’t know if I would want to freeze it, or seize it. I don’t know if I would just sit still for a minute or two, letting the feelings and thoughts that come with that moment sink in or sit for hours as I reflect upon the thoughts and feelings and let it stew.

And isn’t time just a bunch of little moments rolled into one giant ball of time? You know, make-every-minute-count sorta thing?

Whenever I have time to reflect it seems my thoughts always lead back to time and what am I doing to make the most of it. I am grateful for the 24-hours I am given each day. I don’t know if I’ve been making every minute count, but I do know that I don’t regret any moment. I’m not saying I’m living a blissful life. I read a quote on the famous Facebook the other day. It said “There are no regrets, just lessons learned.” I love this philosophy and have adopted that frame of mind.

So wether I freeze the moment or dive into it, feet first, I know that moments are precious somethings and I know both reflection and action can truly make every moment count.

Education: A New Perspective

I just finished reading “Redefining Smart: Multiple Intelligence.”  It’s a reading assignment that was given in one of my classes and is the topic of my personal essay due at the end of the semester. Education is a sensitive spot for me. Personal growth and development are a couple of my top values and I appreciate that education is a huge part of that value. I appreciate all forms of education and I’m a huge advocate of it.

Reading this article has just given me a deeper appreciation of what our educators must have experienced trying to adhere to a traditional view that reason and understanding complex ideas was the basis of education when they knew that wasn’t the whole picture. Just reading that line made me realize what it must have been like, knowing that the potential to learn better for some students extended past the classroom, but having no one listen. I have only begun my research so this is my impression of this new theory as of now. I may change as I get further on in my research, but for now, I just wanted to take this moment to think about the challenges teachers may have faced.

I pictured what it must have felt like to see a book, published with valid research, telling you that “you were right” and “you are not crazy.” It just amazes me just how far education has come. I know this isn’t the end, but only a beginning as more and more research on the Theory of Multiple Intelligence continues and application of these principles increase.

I’m excited to research this topic. I can’t wait to see where this information takes me.