Thursday, October 26, 2017

When I find you. I always knew.

I wrote "When I Find You" circa 2005. I wrote looking into the future with hope. In 2012 I met my wife. We've been married for 5 years now. A couple of years ago I stumbled upon "I Always Knew" When I read it to my wife the present, the past and the future became one thanks to the love that brought us together. Enjoy.

When I Find You

When I find you...

I am going to make you a necklace with my whispers

I am going to write you a poem with my dreams

I am going to hold your hand with my hopes

I am going to embrace you with my shadow

Together we will discover a new world

A world where the sky is green and the grass is blue

A world where everything is possible

A world where problems are lessons

A world where waking up is the best time of the day

because a new day is a new opportunity

to laugh, to forgive,

to grow, to smile, to love

To walk barefoot on the grass

To enjoy our favorite ice cream

To watch children play

To listen to our favorite band

To learn from an old person

To smell a jasmine

To drink a sunset

To say a prayer

To thank our parents

for bringing us into this amazing world

To praise God our Father for this adventure we call life

this is the world that I want to explore with you

A world where going to sleep

is more than resting

because sleeping is a new opportunity

                                               to dream

to dream of the day I meet you

to dream of the day that I finally find you

because when I find you...

I am going to make you a necklace with my whispers

I am going to write you a poem with my dreams

I am going to embrace you with my shadow

I am going to make you a necklace with my whispers

Mario Arana

I Always Knew

I always knew

that you would find me,

no clock needed to remind

me that it would happen.

I planned on it, worked it out

hid in plain sight every day

knowing you would pass,

that way or this, come along,

go by, pause in moving to

here or somewhere; near or

far it did not matter. You

              would arrive.

It kept the heart

alive and thriving in the clatter

of times' travel to know

that you would turn and see me

then not turn away. You here

or coming, unraveling the puzzle,

kept me whole and safe

and driving on toward this day.

When the evenings, like forever,

started fleeting, going fast

I could see you at some distance

disappearing in the mist.

In the mass of fondled faces

one imagines in a lifetime

yours was there just out of grasp.

As you fluttered in my future,

fled throughout my lifelong past

I expected every spring to bring you

to my arms, to my side. When

the autumns started coming thick

and firm and fast, I never once

gave up believing you'd arrive

with winters passing, you would

be here as the moon fell.

As the sun rose we would clasp

hands at first, then bodies closing

up that awful gap that life without

a life long partner leaves between

the noon and night line. Did I

falter in my faith? Once or twice

perhaps, but never long enough

to leave you languishing in some

dream that wasn't mine. Because

I always knew that you would

find me, I never sent out distress

signals, never tapped out SOS.

I was blessed

with growing knowledge, something

whispered do not worry, it will

happen, it's been planned. Nothing

here is happenstance. Do not hurry.

Do not pause to catch your breath.

So it was I always knew

Now and then I leapt to heaven

on another's stroke or kiss, lent

to me to keep me going in this

sure direction. Afterward the same

affection that I saved, assigned to you

only grew. I always knew that you

would find me and so I did not

bother scrawling each and every

new address on cloud or curb stone.

Why? I was waiting, you knew the rest.

A nocturne for The King of Naples,

A serenade or two for those who

got me through some fearful midnights.

Sonatas for some faces time erases but

does not forget. A double wind concerto

for the wind itself; it could have blown

me anywhere, but wouldn't, didn't. I

dropped some songs along the way in

laps of strangers, even laps I knew. But

this music you see spread around you

these notes and half notes, planted long

ago, that grew and grew was/were saved,

because I always knew that you would

find me and help me with the harvest.

The strongholds, the havens that

proved weak and wanting, lessons

learned, prizes earned, not always

given. Paths I paved, paths unpaved.

The rest of what I have to offer, little

things this life's amassed; for you,

for you, it was for you I saved

                               the best for last.

Rod McKuen

Tuesday, September 19, 2017

50 Inspiring Teaching Quotes

“What we want is to see the child in pursuit of knowledge, and not knowledge in pursuit of the child." -George Bernard Shaw

“Good teaching is one-fourth preparation and three-fourths theatre." -Gail Goldwin

“A teacher is a compass that activates the magnets of curiosity, knowledge, and wisdom in the pupils." -Ever Garrison

“Before any great things are accomplished, a memorable change must be made in the system of education…to raise the lower ranks of society nearer to the higher." -John Adams

“I cannot teach anybody anything, I can only make them think." -Socrates

“If you are planning for a year, sow rice; if you are planning for a decade, plant trees; if you are planning for a lifetime, educate people." -Chinese Proverb

“What sculpture is to a block of marble, education is to a human soul." -Joseph Addison

“Education breeds confidence. Confidence breeds hope. Hope breeds peace." -Confucius

“Teach the children so it will not be necessary to teach the adults." -Abraham Lincoln

“Every child deserves a champion – an adult who will never give up on them, who understands the power of connection and insists that they become the best that they can possibly be." -Rita Pierson

“If someone is going down the wrong road, he doesn’t need motivation to speed him up. What he needs is education to turn him around." -Jim Rohn

“Tell me and I forget. Teach me and I remember. Involve me and I learn." -Benjamin Franklin

“The mediocre teacher tells. The good teacher explains. The superior teacher demonstrates. The great teacher inspires." -William A. Ward

“Education is not preparation for life; education is life itself." -John Dewey

“A mind when stretched by a new idea never regains its original dimensions." -Anonymous

“Education is not filling of a pail but the lighting of a fire." -William Butler Yeats

“The best way to predict your future is to create it." -Abraham Lincoln

“The function of education is to teach one to think intensively and to think critically. Intelligence plus character – that is the goal of true education." -Martin Luther King, Jr.

“Children must be taught how to think, not what to think." -Margaret Mead

“Teaching is more than imparting knowledge, it is inspiring change. Learning is more than absorbing facts, it is acquiring understanding." -William Arthur Ward

“The principal goal of education in the schools should be creating men and women who are capable of doing new things, not simply repeating what other generations have done." -Jean Piaget

“The secret in education lies in respecting the student.' -Ralph Waldo Emerson

“Education is what survives when what has been learned has been forgotten." -B.F. Skinner

“There is no friend as loyal as a book." -Ernest Hemingway

“Do you know the secret of the true scholar? In every man there is something wherein I may learn of him; and in that I am his pupil." -Ralph Waldo Emerson

“When you learn, teach. When you get, give." -Maya Angelou

“I am not a teacher, but an awakener." -Robert Frost

“Don’t just teach your kids to read, teach them to question what they read. Teach them to question everything!"-George Carlin

“A child mis-educated is a child lost." -John F. Kennedy

“Live as if you were to die tomorrow. Learn as if you were to live forever." -Mahatma Gandhi

“What we learn with pleasure we never forget." -Alfred Mercier

“The beautiful thing about learning is that no one can take it away from you." -B.B. King

“Better than a thousand days of diligent study is one day with a great teacher" -Japanese Proverb

“Logic will get you from A to B. Imagination will take you everywhere." -Albert Einstein

“The hardest thing to teach is how to care." -Unknown

“Education is the most powerful weapon which you can use to change the world." -Nelson Mandela

"Ask questions. Question answers." -Unknown

“Laughter is timeless. Imagination has no age. And dreams are forever." -Walt Disney

“Each of us has a fire in our hearts for something. It’s our goal in life to find it and keep it lit." -Mary Lou Retton

“Plant your own garden and decorate your own soul, instead of waiting for someone to bring you flowers." -Veronica A. Shoffstall

“The more that you read, the more things you will know, the more that you learn, the more places you’ll go." -Dr. Seuss

“You can teach a student a lesson for a day; but if you can teach him to learn by creating curiosity he will continue the learning process as long as he lives." -Clay P. Bedford

“Around here, we don’t look backwards for very long… We keep moving forward, opening up new doors and doing new things because we’re curious… and curiosity keeps leading us down new paths." -Walt Disney

“Do not confine your children to your own learning, for they were born in another time." -Chinese Proverb

“Tell me and I forget, teach me and I may remember, involve me and I learn." -Benjamin Franklin

“Once you have learned to ask questions – relevant and appropriate and substantial questions – you have learned how to learn and no one can keep you from learning whatever you want or need to know." -Neil Postman and Charles Weingartner

“I’m not afraid of storms, for I’m learning to sail my ship." -Aeschylus

Originally posted by To see how you can help out teachers and students in your area, check out

Sunday, March 5, 2017

25 Simple Ways To Develop A Growth Mindset

25 Simple Ways To Develop A Growth Mindset

1. Acknowledge and embrace imperfections.
Hiding from your weaknesses means you’ll never overcome them.
2. View challenges as opportunities.
Having a growth mindset means relishing opportunities for self-improvement.
3. Try different learning tactics.
There’s no one-size-fits-all model for learning. What works for one person may not work for you.
4. Follow the research on brain plasticity.
The brain isn’t fixed; the mind shouldn’t be either.
5. Replace the word “failing” with the word “learning.”
When you make a mistake or fall short of a goal, you haven’t failed; you’ve learned.
6. Stop seeking approval.
When you prioritize approval over learning, you sacrifice your own potential for growth.
7. Value the process over the end result.
Intelligent people enjoy the learning process, and don’t mind when it continues beyond an expected time frame.
8. Cultivate a sense of purpose.
Dweck’s research also showed that students with a growth mindset had a greater sense of purpose. Keep the big picture in mind.
9. Celebrate growth with others.
If you truly appreciate growth, you’ll want to share your progress with others.
10. Emphasize growth over speed.
Learning fast isn’t the same as learning well, and learning well sometimes requires allowing time for mistakes.

11. Reward actions, not traits.
Tell students when they’re doing something smart, not just being smart.
12. Redefine “genius.”
The myth’s been busted: genius requires hard work, not talent alone.
13. Portray criticism as positive.
You don’t have to use that hackneyed term, “constructive criticism,” but you do have to believe in the concept.
14. Disassociate improvement from failure.
Stop assuming that “room for improvement” translates into failure.
15. Provide regular opportunities for reflection.
Let students reflect on their learning at least once a day.
16. Place effort before talent.
Hard work should always be rewarded before inherent skill.
17. Highlight the relationship between learning and “brain training.”
The brain is like a muscle that needs to be worked out, just like the body.
18. Cultivate grit.
Students with that extra bit of determination will be more likely to seek approval from themselves rather than others.
19. Abandon the image.
“Naturally smart” sounds just about as believable as “spontaneous generation.” You won’t achieve the image if you’re not ready for the work.
20. Use the word “yet.”
Dweck says “not yet” has become one of her favorite phrases. Whenever you see students struggling with a task, just tell them they haven’t mastered it yet.

21. Learn from other people’s mistakes.
It’s not always wise to compare yourself to others, but it is important to realize that humans share the same weaknesses.
22. Make a new goal for every goal accomplished.
You’ll never be done learning. Just because your midterm exam is over doesn’t mean you should stop being interested in a subject. Growth-minded people know how to constantly create new goals to keep themselves stimulated.
23. Take risks in the company of others.
Stop trying to save face all the time and just let yourself goof up now and then. It will make it easier to take risks in the future.
24. Think realistically about time and effort.
It takes time to learn. Don’t expect to master every topic under the sun in one sitting.
25. Take ownership over your attitude.
Once you develop a growth mindset, own it. Acknowledge yourself as someone who possesses a growth mentality and be proud to let it guide you throughout your educational career.  
*this blog was originally published at 

Wednesday, January 11, 2017

Ode to Thanks. Oda a las Gracias.

Ode to Thanks
by Pablo Neruda

Thanks to the word that says thanks!
Thanks to thanks,
that melts
iron and snow!

The world is a threatening place
makes the rounds
from one pair of lips to another,
soft as a bright
and sweet as a petal of sugar,
filling the mouth with its sound
or else a mumbled
Life becomes human again:
it’s no longer an open window.
A bit of brightness
strikes into the forest,
and we can sing again beneath the leaves.
Thanks, you’re the medicine we take
to save us from
the bite of scorn.
Your light brightens the altar of harshness.

Or maybe
a tapestry
to far distant peoples.
fan out
into the wilds,
and in the jungle
of strangers,
rings out
while the hustling train
changes countries,
sweeping away borders,
then spasibo
clinging to pointy
volcanoes, to fire and freezing cold,
or danke, yes! and gracias, and
the world turns into a table:
a single word has wiped it clean,
plates and glasses gleam,
silverware tinkles,
and the tablecloth is as broad as a plain.

Thank you, thanks,
for going out and returning,
for rising up
and settling down.
We know, thanks,
that you don’t fill every space-
you’re only a word-
where your little petal
the daggers of pride hide,

and smiles shiny like pennies appear.

Oda a las Gracias 
Pablo Neruda

Gracias a la palabra
que agradece,
gracias a gracias
cuanto esta palabra
derrite nieve o hierro.

El mundo parecía amenazante
hasta que suave
como pluma
o dulce como pétalo de azúcar,
de labio en labio
grandes a plena boca
o susurrantes,
apenas murmuradas,
y el ser volvió a ser hombre
y no ventana,
alguna claridad
entró en el bosque.
fue posible cantar bajo las hojas.
Gracias, eres la píldora
los óxidos cortantes del desprecio,
la luz contra el altar de la dureza.

Tal vez
también tapiz
entre los más distantes hombres
Los pasajeros
se diseminaron
en la naturaleza
y entonces
en la selva
de los desconocidos,
mientras el tren frenético
cambia de patria,
borra las fronteras,
junto a los puntiagudos
volcanes, frío y fuego,
thanks, sí, gracias, y entonces
se transforma la tierra en una mesa.
una palabra la limpió,
brillan platos y copas,
suenan los tenedores
y parecen manteles las llanuras.

Gracias, gracias,
que viajes y que vuelvas,
que subas
y que bajes.
Está entendido, no
lo llenas todo,
palabra gracias,
donde aparece
tu pétalo pequeño
se esconden los puñales del orgullo,

y aparece un centavo de sonrisa.

Thursday, September 8, 2016

The traveller's classic rites of passage

Travel: how was it for you? Did you ‘find yourself’ halfway up a mountain and come down a different person? Did you meet the love of your life in the lower bunk of a hostel dorm? Did you reach a destiny-defining decision in the back of a chicken bus?

Perhaps your experiences seem less melodramatic than this. But if you’ve spent any length of time living out of a backpack or a suitcase, there’s a fair chance you’ve chalked up one, some or perhaps many of a traveller’s classic rites of passage.

These events range from the trivial to the transcendental, the unpleasant to the wondrous. But whatever the details, they qualify you for lifetime membership of the tribe animatedly swapping notes at the crossroads – the airport lounges, the train stations, the hotel bars – where travellers often meet.

Here are a few you might recognise.

That special place
What? Just one? But you've been to dozens of special places; in fact, there's an argument to say that everywhere is special in its own way. True. But this place was different. It had nothing to do with how long you spent there either; maybe it was only a day, or just a few hours, but something about this city or wilderness or wherever got under your skin.
Moreover, it stayed there. You’ve hoarded countless pics of your adventures abroad and filled every wall, shelf and social feed with them. But this one – this special place – is the backdrop of the one in your wallet or purse or bag; a crinkled, faded image that you fish out and unfold whenever life leaves you looking for the exit sign.

And it’s the place you regularly return to in your dreams.

The captain has turned on the fasten seatbelt sign
Unless you avoid air travel as a mode of transport, you’ve probably heard this message at some point during a flight.
Technically, turbulence comes in three grades: light, moderate and severe. Light turbulence causes a plane to bob up and down by a few feet in a jet stream, but that’s enough to leave nervous passengers reaching for the barf bag. Move it up a notch and even the frequent flier brigade lose control of their lunch trays. Severe turbulence is so rare few pilots experience it during their careers, never mind passengers.
But even turbulence of that we-just-nosedived-10,000ft-in-five-seconds variety – you didn’t by the way; you dropped about a 100ft at most – represents no threat to the safety of the plane. Unless you possess Mr Spock-like levels of rationality though, the facts won’t prevent the limbic brain from taking over at the first shudder of wing.

The travel bug... not that one, the other one
You can exist on a diet of nothing but freshly peeled fruit, scrub up like a surgeon after every bathroom visit and refuse to touch a door handle until it’s been swabbed with an antiseptic wet wipe. But if you've spent significant time travelling (particularly in hot countries), the chances are you've already succumbed to travellers’ diarrhoea.
It starts as a gurgle in your gut, then swiftly becomes more ominous, as if an animal trapped inside your stomach has woken up, had a stretch and then gone absolutely berserk (at a bacterial level, this is accurate). Drink lots of water, switch to bland foods and see a doctor if it lasts more than a few days. Yeah, yeah; you know the drill. Other than that, you've just got to sit – add an ‘h’ for a more graphic image – it out.
Console yourself with this thought: in a few months’ time, you’ll be regaling family, friends and anyone else within earshot with the story of how the world once fell out of your bottom, as opposed to the other way round.

The overnight bus journey
If you have time, taking a bus is a great alternative to catching a plane. It’s cheaper, better for the environment and more likely to provide a good story. In some places, it’s also the only way to get from A to B. Bus-based rites of passage take many forms: babbling maniacs in the next seat, drivers with a death wish, livestock bleating in the aisles…
Crossing obscure international borders can be a lot of fun. One minute, you’re risking a herniated disc to find a comfy position; the next, a stern official is confiscating your passport without explanation. You won’t see this identity-defining document again for hours, during which time you’ll unpack your luggage for inspection three times, lug it over the border in 39C heat, then desperately try to relocate the right bus in a gigantic, dust-blown parking lot before it leaves without you.
That done, the driver will tee up a second showing of the dubbed action flick on the screen above your seat, thus banishing the prospect of any sleep whatsoever. Sixteen hours after setting off, you stumble from the bus looking like an extra from George A. Romero’s Night of the Living Dead.

My beautiful launderette
It sounds such an inconsequential thing, doesn’t it? But ask a traveller who has worn the same gear day in, day out during a long, gruelling journey, and they’ll testify to the peculiar pleasure of fresh laundry. Sometimes slap-up meals, first-class seats and penthouse suites are mere fripperies in comparison to a pile of expertly folded clothes.
So keep your Michelin-starred taster menu, your flat-bed seats and your 1000 thread Egyptian cotton sheets; for few sensory experiences on earth to rival ripping open a tumble-dryer or sun-warmed bag of clothes, shoving your head inside and taking a deep draught of a fragrance markedly better than the smell of your own armpit.

The nightmare dorm mate
Picture the scene: you’ve survived the overnight bus journey from hell, found a hostel in your final destination and the bone-deep weariness in your contorted limbs is giving way to a zen-like state as you look forward to a proper night’s sleep.
Unfortunately, the sociopath in the bunk above you has other ideas. Just as you’re making the final adjustments to your eyemask and earplugs, they burst through the door, switch on all the lights and snatch up a guitar to strum the opening chords of 'Knockin’ on Heaven’s Door'. Bob Dylan gives way to their favourite playlist on speaker, followed half an hour later by an eternity of fidgeting, then snoring and – the final insult – the sound of breaking wind.
This will seem amusing in retrospect. Honestly, it will.

Breaking up and making out
Life is more vivid when you travel. Why? Because you’re leaving the known behind, entering the realm of the uncertain and experiencing the world in a heightened state of consciousness.
That heightened state can cast a fresh light on the only familiar object left in sight: the person who usually shares the sofa at home. Previously problem-free relationships can go pear-shaped in a hurry as the stress of the new reveals a side of them you’ve never seen before. And before you know it you’re heading in different directions, figuratively and literally.
The opposite is also true, though: for every relationship that has self-combusted, another has been forged through travel. Your personal rite of passage might be platonic, a meeting of minds as you and a new BBF (Best Friend Forever) bond over a shared experience. On the other hand, you might  end up combining sleeping bags for reasons rather less high-minded…

A moment of epiphany
Epiphanies don’t have to be life-altering to count; you can come back as the same person. Your experience might last just a second or two, but the magic lingers long in the imagination.
What does it look like? It's a fireball of sun sinking below the horizon as you watch from a hammock strung between two palm trees; it's a sip of ice-cold beer after climbing a mountain with burning lungs and aching legs; it's the unbidden generosity of a stranger who doesn't even speak your language; it's the Taj Mahal at dawn, the Grand Canyon at dusk, Tower Bridge at night. It's the sudden knowledge that you don't have to go home. Not now. Not yet. Perhaps never.
Whatever form it takes for the individual, it’s the moment when you realise that the world is infinitely bigger, richer and more mysterious than you ever dared hope.

Welcome to the tribe.

by James Kay, published by

Have you survived a rite of passage on your travels? Tell us about it @lonelyplanet.

Sunday, November 22, 2015

Explore The Philippines

Philippines: An Island for Every Taste

In every family, there’s always an odd one out—and in the clan of Asia-Pacific nations, that member would be the Philippines. This nation of 7,107 islands (about 2,000 inhabited) began as a loose grouping of Indo-Malay tribes, which endured nearly 400 years of Spanish rule, then 48 years as a U.S. territory. Today the Philippines is a mix of tribal pride, Catholic fervor, American pop-culture savvy, and tropical affability.

Most visitors don’t linger in the muggy, traffic-clogged capital, Manila, but you should explore at least one of the Spanish churches in the old, walled center of Intramuros and stroll around Manila Bay at sunset.

Then head to some of the thousands of beaches, from the pink sands of Great Santa Cruz Island to the black sands of Albay. Divers off Palawan, Apo, and Siargao islands delight in hundreds of coral and fish species. On the southern isle of Mindanao, more than 1,300 land species—including the endangered Philippine eagle—reside in Mount Hamiguitan Range Wildlife Sanctuary, which recently joined northern Luzon’s rice terraces as a World Heritage site.

If the Philippines is that quirky member of the family, it also is the one that always invites you over for dinner, a uniquely Filipino fusion experience that intermingles salty, sour, and savory flavors. —Erik R. Trinidad

Travel Tips

When to Go: November to February (during dry season)

How to Get Around: Ninoy Aquino International Airport in Manila is the main international gateway. From a separate terminal, Philippine Airlines provides connections to popular tourist destinations such as Bohol, Boracay, and Cebu. The main modes of ground transportation are "jeepneys" (shared, open-air shuttles built from vintage U.S. Army jeeps), motorized tricycles, multicabs (shared minivans), and buses. The most convenient way to island hop is by ferry; Super Cat, a high-speed catamaran; or bancas, traditional outrigger boats.

Where to Stay: Play and stay in, on, and above the water at Apulit Island, one of four El Nido Resort properties in northern Palawan. Guests arrive by boat and stay in traditional Filipino cottages (50 total) set on stilts above the water. Optional activities include reef snorkeling, cave diving, kayaking, and rappelling.

What to Eat or Drink: Manila's Midnight Mercato Centrale is a Filipino foodie's dream. Every Friday and Saturday night (6 p.m. to 3 a.m.) in the BGC (Bonifacio Global City), market vendors prepare a dizzying array of street foods. Try the Filipino-style bagnet (pork belly) strips, lengua (beef tongue) burritos, and lechon liempo (slow-roasted pork belly).

What to Buy: The Igorot ethnic groups, or Cordillerans, of northern Luzon are known for their carving, brass and iron metalwork, and weaving. In the mountain resort town of Baguio, you can find carved bulul (rice gods) and woven rattan baskets and pasiking (native backpacks) in the Baguio City Public Market.

What to Read Before You Go: When the Elephants Dance by Tess Uriza Holthe (Penguin Books; reissue edition, 2003) is a simple, moving novel set in Japanese-occupied Manila near the end of World War II. It's infused with Filipino traditions, legends, and history.

Cultural Tip: The equivalent of "How are you?" in Filipino culture is "Kumain ka na ba?" (Tagalog for "Have you eaten?")

Helpful Links: Experience Philippines, It's More Fun in the Philippines, and Cultural Center of the Philippines

Fun Fact: With its green meadows and steep cliffs towering over the sea, Racuh a Payaman on Batan Island appears to have been plucked from the Scottish Highlands and plunked in the northernmost province of the Philippines. The lush grasses are communal pastureland where horses, cattle, and water buffalo roam. This home-on-the-range setting is why Racuh a Payaman often is referred to as "Marlboro country" or "the Marlboro hills."