Tuesday, August 21, 2012

International Journey, Africa

Day II -- Africa

Today was considered the official kick-off day, which featured welcome addresses from various Prime Ministers of Africa and Former and Present Political Leaders of Africa as well.  The welcome addresses provided each stakeholder's vision, agenda and perspectives ... and because I prefer to stay as objective as I possible can in my own blog, I will not identify who was who,  but I will discuss my views on what was disclosed.  My reason(s) for doing this is not because I do or do not believe in what they are campaigning for, I just want to ensure my readers are afforded the ability to authentically communicate their views without having a predisposed bias about an individual they've heard about before.  

Malabo, Equatorial Guinea is well-documented as being a gloomy country that's underdeveloped despite there being an oil industry that has consistently flourished in recent years.  Speaking to  my latter acknowledgement this was brought up numerous times throughout the opening orations ... and if I tap into my economics (minute, but sufficient enough to believe there's validity) I would have to say that having access to oil is synonymous with having $$$.  Therefore, when I hear verbiage that speaks about wealth and ensuring progress for people and the country, but there are displaced tangible resemblance in the streets, roads and homes I've witnessed as I've traveled to immaculate constructed buildings that are tightly secured even after driving through a check point where the passengers are required to walk 15 feet to be manually checked while the vehicle goes through a security sensor, I'm simply perplexed.  

Yes, I know and believe that success is a process, especially when one is referring to restructuring a country ... however, can success be attainable when there is spoken language that hears  "If you don't like what we're doing ... This is how we do things ..."?  Upon hearing these statements and giving the respect that because there's an obvious foundational element in that there's the expectation one understanding of the needs are far deeper than my own analysis, I still miss heard diplomacy.  Therefore, I'm conflicted on whether or not capitalism is the priority and the well-being of the direct stakeholders and beneficiaries are subsequent.   

In closing, there's the reality that  what we're facing in today's world is that we all need each other in some form or fashion.  Not to say that we're all handicapped by one another, I'm simply  indicating that one's country inability is another country's ability.  To this end, I'm challenged to think of the handicaps I possess during the reconstruction of my desires to improve my own abilities to professionally and socially positively impact my community, society, and those individuals I encounter.

Malabo, Equatorial Guinea 5:50 pm  (+5 hours EST). 

"As Always, Stay Inspired..."  

Monday, August 20, 2012

The International Experience I

Day I - Africa

So far so good considering the various logistical occurrences that have happened.  For starters, my initial perspective revolves around the access to water, the mere notion that as an American, I have not taken the opportunity to become fluent in another language and my first exposure to how some individuals here are living.  

 "I am humbled" about how water is highly revered here and to think how we/I take for granted that the water we use to simply brush our teeth is safe to use.  Here, the water is considered unsafe and could be detrimental to one's health.  Thus far, I have gone through the day asking myself "how will I get enough water to drink and use today that will be sufficient enough to serve my various needs"?  My one solution has been to heat my water up in the coffee pot in my room and reuse one of my recycled water bottles,  by refilling the container with the hot water, so that by the time I needed to use the water, the water would at least be at room temp.  While this is a hurdle that can be slightly curtailed, my inability to effectively and efficiently communicate with the countrymen is troublesome to me.  

The common language spoken here is Spanish while French is another tongue that is secondarily used.  In short, if there are individuals who speak various languages and I only speak one, how can I really compete and be effective in an interdependent world that is constantly evolving?  

Lastly, I'm Staying at the Hilton Hotel which is located a few meters (1/4 mile) away from the country's International Airport (an airport that's measurably small) is nicely built and quite charming with fairly good security.  However, right across the street from the hotel there's a two-story home/hut/shack where the occupants are constantly seen outside in an unemotional stare that could be considered dire, hopeless, and institutionalized.  The occupants provision have various windows on the first floor, where the inside is visibly hallow and from a distance feels cold.  The second floor is covered from atop, but is surrounded by the country's climate and is accessed by a 10-foot ladder that is housed outside.  To bare witness to this, is... (speechless).  

Malabo, Equatorial Guinea 11:10 am (+5 hours EST). 

"As Always, Stay Inspired..."  

Monday, May 7, 2012

Why Education...?

Growing up in a country where free education is available for students between the ages of 5-18, I am perplexed at the notion that in many instances education is not valued by students in America as much as schooling is valued by students in other countries. The premise of this blog stems from a few things I've observed as an Academic Professional and a few things I've observed during my current Doctoral Studies in Educational Leadership. 

"I don't need to know this...!!!  Why (are) we learning this...???  I can't see how this is going to help me in the future," are some of the responses I get when I am encouraging students to value the benefits of being educated -- especially in an era of high stakes assessment exams and the No Child Left Behind (NCLB) Act.   

There's no secret that NCLB has been the focal point of this country's K-12 educational system for the past decade ... and although I grasp and applaud the ideology associated with NCLB, I find the methodology to be faulty in some capacity ... but because I will refrain from my soap-box about the things I find troublesome about NCLB, I will note that literature has shown that NCLB has had a positive impact (depending on which lens one is looking out of) on the students this legislation was drafted for.

In noting the aforementioned while speaking from my perspective as an adjunct professor and my time in today's urban high school settings, I must say the reality of my latter sentence is quite challenging to believe, but that's for another blog.  In short I find a good portion of today's secondary educated students lacking a variety of soft skills and academic aptitude, but more importantly, I find them lacking the zeal and fervor to go beyond status quo.  Needless to say this is problematic for a number a reasons, but more or so due to the fact that without some type of post-secondary education these students will become another statistic to what society predicts for individuals who have no skill sets and aspirations of positively contributing to their community.

One of my pedagogy platforms revolves around 21st Century Learning and assuring I am concurrently socially and academically enriching students while also ensuring I am educating them as opposed to teaching them (recognize the difference between the two).  I tell my students all the time that because we are living in a world that is interdependent and constantly evolving, individual success is heavily dependent on one's mental capacity, and his ability to think critically.

In theory, the reality is if one is to ask "Why Education", I would simply say, "Knowledge is an intangible source of income that is immeasurably PROFITABLE!"

As always, stay inspired..!!

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

What Now...?

The beauty of this present moment is that you're living to whatever beat or drum that has you operating to whatever aspiration or goal you are trying to reach/accomplish. However, that's the easy part of day-to-day living. We've all been there, witnessed and/or smelled it way too many times than what we care to imagine. It's those days when we're like this day can't get any better then this!!! ... Or it's those times when you're like this day can't get any worse and ‘what now'?

For those who are in the latter state, I encourage you to read on while those who are not -- I encourage to con't reading as well.

So what is the 'what now’? Do you know? Have an idea? Do you care to find out? Is it even a concern to you? If you are still pondering, I applaud you because this basically means that you have what I like to consider a progressive approach to life and that you do not accept status quo.

For as long as I can remember, I've always been that individual who believed that there was more then one-way to reach a certain point... that there was a reason and season for everything, and most importantly that each occurrence whether it was good or bad was a monumental moment in my development as an individual.

So whenever you're having one those days when you can't fathom why this is happening and so forth. I encourage you to be optimistic, reflect and be mindful on why it is such... b/c you are not where you are @ today (educationally, professionally, socially, etc) w/o some turmoil or foundational grounding occurring.

In a previous publishing, I talked about 'The Process'. Bask in it!!!

As Always, Stay Inspired...!!!

Thursday, January 20, 2011

Time of Remberance

It's Thursday, January 20, 2011 -- another year removed from an historical moment that I am reserved to say that it will probably be the last time this world and country will ever witness. Illinois Sen. Barack Obama became the 1st Black President of the United States of America. Yes. A Black Man is leading this country as the 44th President.

Now as I'm trying to organize my thoughts & find the right words to write. I'm still in awe with built up emotions, happiness, disbelief and most importantly motivation.

In speaking to the latter, there's no secret that majority of my culture is raised in urban communities where there are not a lot of positive male role models to observe and aspire to be in regards to positively contributing to society. A common slogan I remember hearing, is that "The Man" is holding me back from doing... blah, blah, blah!!!! Now some of this may have some validity, coupled with a variety of other things that could have contributed to the current state of young African American Boys who transition to adulthood -- and are still not being a positive member of the community. But to solely blame it on "The Man" is an excuse that I feel can no longer be used mainly b/c of the position Pres. Obama holds.

For far too long this mindset crippled the minds and doings of many -- not b/c they were unable to accomplish certain feats, but mostly b/c they were too lazy to beat the odds. The easy way out is to not experience rejection whereas a famous leader once said that "the ultimate measure of a man is not where he stands at times of comfort and convenience, but where he stands at times of challenge and controversy."

In essence, there's a lot that can be said but in sake of writing this to pay homage to past leaders such as Frederick Douglass, Sojourner Truth, Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. and Malcolm X to name a few, and for the anniversary of America's 1st Black President -- I'm just reminded that this day ignites me with the motivation to con't beating the odds of what society predicts for young African American Men.

As Always, Stay Inspired...!!!

Monday, August 3, 2009

The Right Time...?

Is today the right time? What about tomorrow? What about next week? Next month? Or better yet when is the right time? Do we ever have the answer to when is the right time to do anything in life? Unless you're blessed with powers that I believe God only has... I'd suggest that you may never know when is the right time to do something that more times or not can and/or could alter, persuade or move your life one way or the other.

For a moment just think of all the times where you said I wish or should have done this or that b/c of what the outcome or the current state you stand has revealed. If I'm not mistaken or if I can give you my hypothesis. I'd say you've done this at least a few times a month or if you're a very analytical person like myself I would assume you do this quite often.

As for me, I ponder over this realization at least once or twice a week and especially during those times when I look @ my current circumstances/situations I'm challenged to manage. I say, and sometimes beat myself up over the head with the what "if" I would have done this, that or said this and so forth... but w/o spending too much time on this notion I quickly revert back to my reality, and focus on bettering my current state.

In giving major love to my pastor and to what it seems like his opportune sermons every Sunday. In the past month or so, he's preached on everything from "Ain't Nothing Going To Turn Me Around" all the way up to "Make Up Your Mind!" From my perspective, these titles sum it all up in a nut-shell...

When it's that time to make either or decision to do or not to do. Just remember that whenever it's that time to act on something, nothing shall turn you around and when your mind is made up, do it all w/ the right intention and everything else shall fall w/ in the right time.

Your perspective, mind and thoughts are always welcomed!

Stay Inspired....

Thursday, July 23, 2009

How Am I Living...?

Am I satisfied? Happy? Content? Are we happy? Do what I do make me happy? What is happiness in my eyes and in my reality?

Now, I know you're probably stuck on this thought as you motion your head either upwards or straight ahead in a gaze trying to (1) figure out what I'm really asking here or (2) think of whether or not you're happy about about things when you look @ the daily circumstances of your life.

In keeping it in its truest essence of K.I.S.S. [Keep It Simple Stupid (no pun intended)]. These questions I pose are derived from the basic premise of "How are you living in reference to happiness?"

Without even hearing your story, I can honestly say that we all should be happy b/c with each day there's a new opportunity and possibility for you to reach a level of happiness. Just the simple fact that you woke up this morning is more than enough of a reason to be happy. Having the ability to even turn on a computer whether it is yours or your jobs and access "A Time & Place for Everything" is another reason to be happy (had to throw that in there). I can go on and on but the point I'm trying to make is whether or not we confuse happiness with what we do or don't have ... or do we confirm happiness about where we stand in our reality?

Thanks for your minds and thoughts...