#5: For you, Nina.

The day breaks with birds flyin high
Still sitting on the floor
Foil in hand from previous nights
And then
I hear her, I feel her
Running through my veins
Like a river
Running free
Her voice flowers the color of acoustics
Breeds half notes and whole ones
With fervor into music
Igniting
The fire
Firing power and desire
I set foot
On the keys of the piano
While she spits her scats
With aim and precision
Crescendo!
Freedom is yours and mine Nina,
You know how I feel.

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#4: The End

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She trots across the room

with baby blue jeans and pink shoes

with bulbous brown eyes she looks up at you

with glossy lips from spoonfuls of squash

you feed her, I see it now, her lusc-

-ious kisses stain you with blush

a never ending warmth

like the first sip of tea or broth

or the first sunrise to welcome the new month

and with every sunrise, the sun sets

day after day it rests

to remind me it’s

the end

her trots

my thoughts

her gloss-

-y lips that can’t talk

her pudgy legs that won’t walk

all for reasons I cannot

comprehend or begin to explain

the anger, the rage, the frustration, the pain

it boils, it emulsifies, it defiles, it reverberates

throughout the empty, dark corners of me.

We never met you but we love you, our sweet honey bee.

Lulumahu Falls, HI

9:00 AM and I’m half asleep in the back seat of my friend’s car. We mentally prepare for a hike and a half because in order to get to the trail to the falls, we have to maneuver through a forest of bamboo trees, bushes of California grass that could play for the NBA, and 20 feet up the steepest hill ever.

After 20 minutes, the three of us make it to the top of the steep hill, which felt like hiking up a wall, hyperventilating and this is what you see…

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The views you work for on this hike are more memorable and rewarding than a sip of water in Death Valley in July.

You’ll be able to see groups of people walking to and from the starting point of the actual hike to Lulumahu Falls along the pathway. One thing I like about hiking new trails is the “follow-the-leader-formation” people make as if we were ants. It was my first time trekking this trail and I can appreciate knowing where my destination is based on trail pheromones.

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We hike through brooks and boulders passing by fellow hikers sweating and complaining to each other until we saw…

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The water is fresh and ice cold and a few minutes into our admiration, my friend says, “I wonder where all this water is coming from.” And I think I peed a little from laughing at her. But she’s great.

We swim for a bit and head back down a hike and a half. It was only lunchtime when we got back to the car so we bought some snacks and headed for Lanikai Beach…

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Hawaii will forever be where my heart is.

E lei ke aloha no na kau a kau ❤

(Aloha today, tomorrow, always)

A hui hou ❤

Certified in NY and Survived

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My fellow CELTA grads (closest to the camera) and our students (everyone behind the table)

Living in New York for a month was the best decision I ever made. Like everyone else, I explored the many pungent tunnels full of angry homo-sapiens, who I assume choose 72-hour work weeks in finance by the looks their miffed expressions and Prada bags under their eyes. But that’s just my unfiltered opinion based on a fickle observation.

The last 5 or 6 times I was in the vivacious NYC, I fell in love with different parts of her personality. One of them being the angry homo-sapiens with Prada bags and what not who took the course with me.

My CELTA course experience is one that I will never forget…mainly because it kicked me in the ass and because of the people that were there to pick me right back up. We picked each other up.

From 9:00 AM to 5:00 PM, 5 days a week, for one month was my choice. It was the fastest way to get certified before graduation and get a job. Granted, it was very expensive to do this particular program but I guarantee you, it’s well worth it. You definitely get what you pay for and more.

They bury you in handouts and guides and templates and worksheets to prepare you for teaching the next day (yes, meaning the second day of the program you teach ESL students, but only a segment of the class). It’s like someone throwing you into the water after giving you all the tools you need and quickly briefing what each tool is for. It really felt like I was drowning in front of the class. And at the end of every day, your teacher gives everyone who taught that day feedback from their observation while you were drown–I mean teaching. And everyone gives each other feedback as well, which was the best part. We fed off of each others constructive criticism and praise and learned other teaching techniques from one another.

And that’s just the first week.

By the second and third week, you’re a pro at the intermediate level. You get a hold of your timing, your techniques, your groove. And each day is filled with activities and workshops. Mind you, you are constantly creating your own tedious lesson plans. You plan the introduction, the target language, the appropriate activities corresponding to that target language, the potential error corrections and feedback to provide at the end, and so on…EVERY. OTHER. DAY. I had a couple mini breakdowns to be honest, but my good friend who sat next to me on the first day was the best. Every lunch break, we’d go have a drink or two at a bar and vent the shit out of each other.

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TWO MARGARITAS EACH to get through the day.

My CELTA course class started out with 12 and ended with 10. We lost two due to the pressure and intensity of the course. It really is an experience you have to push through and survive to reap the rewards. I definitely learned a lot from every person in that photo up top. If you are thinking about this program, I have no doubt you can do it!! It’s just a matter of if you believe you can too.

A hui hou ❤

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Certified celebration on our last day at 230 Fifth ❤

#2: Fall in Takao

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Don’t just face it,

Drown yourself in it,

Until you breathe the adulterated water,

of microscopic parasites,

Until you breathe the wreathing sandstorm

of vexatious bullets,

Until you bleed puddles and pools

of yellow weakness,

And it accepts your unwavering tenacity,

And it surrenders to your fiery vivacity,

And feeds your immunity,

like a soft, pulpy orange.

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