Saturday, November 17, 2012

Be the Change


I love hearing of people who are passionate about generating a positive change for our pacific island community, our youth & our islands! BUT its frustrating to know that SOME people who are yes, very passionate for our people, yes are ambitious to do things for our community & yes are willing to do anything to make an impact - they are also very passionate, ambitious & willing to do all those things to receive the glory FOR THEMSELVES! It's so wasteful knowing such great talented & passionate people exist but their potential to actually do the good work they intend, is hindered by their secret motives to take all the positive repercussions & often blame others or make others look bad when their work has a negative response...

Throughout history, the many pinnacle moments signifying great change was not done by ONE PERSON! No! through the help of hundreds & thousands of unsung heroes & unnamed warriors who all worked together to generate a gradual step, slowly by surely made the greatest impact of POSITIVE CHANGE that allowed generations to come & ours today to live with independent lands, freedom, rights etc. Like the great Tupua Tamasese Lealofi III, who a Leader of the Mau Movement in Samoa. He died by a NZ rifle during a peaceful march. His commitment & passion for THE MAU MOVEMENT is epitomised by the words he said on his death-bed. "My Blood has been spilt for Samoa. I am proud to give it. Do not dream of avenging it as it was spilt in maintaining peace". A simple statement that shows his fierce determination to bring peace for Samoa.. His death was a loss, but the pinnacle point to continue peaceful work that gradually turned his ambition & dream for the Mau movement, A REALITY! Samoa became an independent nation & has allowed many since then, and for future to call Samoa HOME!! It is physical evidence that great change cannot come without great people! Although Tamasese did not do it alone, and we will never forget the many people who suffered & fought for us, in Samoa & in all the pacific island nations!!

Just like many things today, to generate positive change or impact we cannot think of OURSELVES & do it alone.. Often the most successful historical moments happened thanks to the many compassionate & considerate people who did not demand recognition or light, or financial benefits or fame but did all they humanly could because simply because they cared..

So a little message to all who aspire to change the world. An advocate for positive change requires ambition, passion, commitment, determination & imagination! It requires the great courage to always embody that optimism AND the strength to stay humble & true! You as an individual might not receive direct gratitude. But your genuine heart to give without receiving, will slowly but surely make an impact, change a life & change the world! That fulfillment & confirmation knowing you helped with a whole heart is a blessing that you will always live with - you changed helped save a life, make an impact, change the world. Small help from big hearts turn into BIG SMILES from small hearts.. Your love will be felt by our generation & many more generations to come!

- - Your greatest glory won't come from working alone & receiving all the acknowledgement but generally making little progress, no. The greatest glory comes from working with other amazing people without expecting returned favours, all to be a part of something initiating a change today, to help see a greater tomorrow!!

Great people recognize the greatness in others & do great things to inspire others to do the same xx

Friday, November 9, 2012

Miracle Workers by Taylor Mali

Miracle Workers
by Taylor Mali (

Sunday nights I lie awake—
as all teachers do—
and wait for sleep to come
like the last student in my class to arrive.
My grading is done, my lesson plans are in order,
and still sleep wanders the hallways like Lower School music.
I’m a teacher. This is what I do.

Like a builder builds, or a sculptor sculpts,
a preacher preaches, and a teacher teaches.
This is what we do.
We are experts in the art of explanation:
I know the difference between questions
to answer and questions to ask.

That's an excellent question.
What do you think?

If two boys are fighting, I break it up.
But if two girls are fighting, I wait until it’s over and then drag what’s left to the nurse’s office.
I’m not your mother, or your father,
or your jailer, or your torturer,
or your biggest fan in the whole wide world
even if sometimes I am all of these things.
I know you can do these things I make you do.
That’s why I make you do them.
I’m a teacher. This is what I do.

Once in a restaurant, when the waiter asked me
if I wanted anything else, and I said,
"No, thank you, just the check, please,"
and he said, "How about a look at the dessert menu?"
I knew I had become a teacher when I said,
"What did I just say?
Please don’t make me repeat myself!"

In the quiet hours of the dawn
I write assignment sheets and print them
without spell checking them. Because I’m a teacher,
and teachers don’t make spelling mistakes.
So yes, as a matter of fact, the new dress cod
will apply to all members of the 5th, 6th, and 78th grades;
and if you need an extension on your 55-paragraph essays
examining The Pubic Wars from an hysterical perspective
you may have only until January 331st.
I trust that won’t be a problem for anyone?

I like to lecture on love and speak on responsibility.
I hold forth on humility, compassion, eloquence, and honesty.
And when my students ask,
“Are we going to be responsible for this?”
I say, If not you, then who?
You think my generation will be responsible?
We’re the ones who got you into this mess,
now you are our only hope.
And when they say, “What we meant
was, ‘Will we be tested on this?’”
I say Every single day of your lives!

Once, I put a pencil on the desk of a student
who was digging in her backpack for a pencil.
But she didn’t see me do it, so when I walked
to the other side of the room and she raised her hand
and asked if she could borrow a pencil,
I intoned, In the name of Socrates and Jesus,
and all the gods of teaching,
I declare you already possess everything you will ever need!
“You are the weirdest teacher I have ever—”
Then she saw the pencil on her desk and screamed.
“You’re a miracle worker! How did you do that?”

I just gave you what I knew you needed
before you had to ask for it.
Education is the miracle, I’m just the worker.
But I’m a teacher.
And that’s what we do.

Thursday, November 8, 2012

Old School

Today my son asked me if he could play with my tablet. It took awhile to give an answer because I was fascinated at this 5yr old using this bizarre language.  The first time I had heard the words tablet was when I was told the story of Moses descending from Mt Sinai with two tablets in his hands, but as I grew up I got more familar with the use of pharmaceutical concoctions contained in these little lolly looking cells which we called tablets, they were meant to make me feel better from my ailment, well apparently the modern tablet is suppose to do the same. So it seems it’s come full circle and I imagine Moses holding an Ipad in each hand outliniing the ten commandments. 

The modern language with technology really does make a young buck like me (:P) feel like an old timer. I’m so old school that:
  • My iTunes was a matter of sitting in front of a protable radio/cassette player with a blank (or used) tape in the machine, my favourite radio station playing and my index and middle finger at the ready to press down the play and record button simulteanously so I could listen to the same song repetedly. OH MAN i hated it when the DJ would cut into the intro or jump in early at the end of the song!
  • Facebook would intimate the expression that you  were “Burying your face in a book”
  • Tweeting was only for birds
  •  Burning had nothing to do with transferring data onto a “Compact Disc”
  •  A lap top may have flirted with the idea that someone was referring to a private service at one of those dingy know the one?
  •  An Apple ipod was a walkman that you flipped the casette so you could listen to the ‘B’ side. 
  •  Windows were those things that my mates and me smashed when we were kicking the rugby ball around
  • Smartphones? We only had a homephone which didn’t even have buttons, we had to literally “dial” each number! I swear some of these Smartphones are smarter than their owners, and so they should, they’re charging a hefty monthly fee.

I’ve been without my smartphone for two and a half weeks. And it’s been bliss.  It’s definitely given me an insight into how many distractions demand our attention, but only because we've chosen to.
 I remember reading this book in primary school which attempted to forecast how the future would look.  It talked about phones with screens where people could call each other and see each other at the same time, you could order by placing your shopping list on a computer, the fridge would know how to measure and monitor it’s own temperature levels. My jaw dropped as a little kid thinking of how out of touch these concepts were, but now these things have come to fruition, and it doesn't 
Well I’m definitely an old schooler, I love time out without any of this technology. It’s great that it gives us convenience, but at a cost where our kids are constantly distracted by AI stimulation, where we’re trying to be in several social networking apps at the same time, and bringing and encouraging a mollycoddled generation, I like the ways of the old school. I suppose our only attempt is to take our families out of the cities for camps etc to get them back to basics and reflect on who they and who we are.
So what keeps you old school?