Brian's Ramblings

My thoughts in text, photo, and video form

Sunday, August 19, 2012

The End of Summer

The end of summer is only hours away.  As I look back over the past few months, I can't help but think, "where did summer go?!"

Summer flew by because I chose to keep myself busy.  I chose to say yes to teaching my sixth class of SPED 480 - Technologies for Children with Disabilities.  I chose to provide substantial feedback to students on projects, rather than issuing a grade or a point total with no explanation.  I chose to meet with my students weekly via Blackboard Collaborate, so we could all learn through each other.  I chose to immerse myself in work, rather than allowing myself to relax and bask in the beautiful Hawaiian sun.

Could I have made different choices?  Yes, of course, no one forced me to do any of the above.  If I had to do it over, would I do things differently?  Certainly, as I made many blunders and mistakes.  But through it all, I gained the respect of 26 future educators.  THEY made my summer full and worthwhile.

If I chose differently, I would have cheated the students out of learning as much as possible in the span of 12 weeks about empowering ALL children with the appropriate tools of support.  Further, I would have cheated myself out of maximizing my ability to learn and grow from this great opportunity.

Teaching at a University is a privilege; not many get an opportunity.  I am beyond grateful to all who supported me and continue to support me to this very day.  From Dr. Jim Skouge, who has been an excellent mentor and friend, to Eric Arveson who has seen me grow up from the time I was just 2 months old at Easter Seals Hawaii into the person I am today, to Dr. Kavita Rao, who is such a great friend and colleague that endlessly shares all of her knowledge so I can learn just as much, and yes, my mom, Grace, who has been the quintessential rock in my life.  My mom has been nothing but a  source of encouragement and unwavering support.  She's the one who sacrifices her time and energy so her son can stay up late into the night working on preparation for a class or grading many, many assignments.

This summer also brought some sadness, as another friend from my Fort Shafter Wheelchair Bowling League passed away unexpectedly.  His passing was a great reminder that we need to cherish every moment we have on Earth, but more importantly cherish the people around us while they're living.  Many times we get caught up in the busy-ness of life that we don't take the time to really appreciate individuals that God has purposefully placed in our lives.

And then another great loss occurred with the passing of  Dr. Richard Radtke, an esteemed oceanographer and a champion for disability awareness.  His legacy can only live on if we ALL do our small part to make our worlds that much greater by promoting disability awareness and empowering ALL children to become all they wish to be.

So, as I look back upon this summer, I know where it went, but it sure went by quickly.  I'm excited by all of the potential that this fall semester holds.  I won't be teaching any courses, which is disappointing, but things happen for a reason.  I KNOW I'll manage to keep myself busy and will be better able to cultivate friendships that have been neglected for much too long.  And I also look forward to forging new friendships with the greater freedom with my schedule.

Yes, I do know I still have a LOT to get done for school, as I continue on my path to earn my PhD in Exceptionalities (Special Education).  Whether I finish this journey or not is still left to be determined, but for now while I'm still in it, I need to commit my entire being to this process.  Without such a commitment, my efforts would be futile and I'd be wasting the time of those who support me and continue to support me in this endeavor.

It's been a while since Ive posted any entries on this blog.  For those of you who still check in every now and again, I apologize that I've neglected this.  I hope to carve out time weekly to post a simple entry sharing my random thoughts as I navigate my way on this magical journey called life.

Have a great Fall semester/season!

Until next time........

Monday, March 24, 2008

The Loss of a Friend

(In respect to the family, I won't mention the name of my friend, until such time I feel it is appropriate)

You never realize the impact that someone has on your life until that person is gone. Tonight, learning of the passing of a friend caused me to take a step back to reflect.

Friends help to shape who we are. They're always there, we expect them to be there, and they can count on us being there for them.

The friend who has passed on leaves such a great contribution that no one probably has thought of before.

It is because of my friend, the Wheelchair Bowling League has been such a vital part of my life for over 14 years.

It is because of my friend, that his family dedicated so much time and energy into ensuring that persons with disabilities had an outlet for fun every Saturday.

It is because of my friend, many persons with disabilities got to enjoy life outside of their respective homes for a few hours, enjoying fellowship with one another.

It is because of my friend, many young people had the opportunity to interact with persons with disabilities, by volunteering each week to help with the bowling league.

It is because of my friend, people are more aware that persons with disabilities ARE capable and love to have fun just like anyone else.

It is because of my friend, I am inspired to help others. I don't want any fanfare, I just want to help others....just like my friend and his family have done for so many years.

I'll miss my friend....it won't be the same at the Ft. Shafter Wheelchair Bowling League...but it WILL continue. I promise.

Thanks my friend, thanks.

-Brian

Saturday, November 24, 2007

2007 Outright WAC Champs

How sweet it feels to be able to type those very words: 2007 WAC Champs!

I am so very grateful to be a small part of the Warrior Football team/ohana. From day one, we believed that we would become a very special team! The players made it happen.

It has been an unbelievable experience to be around the team each and every day. Being around the coaching staff has been very special as well. Each week, Coach Mack prepares the defense to defend our opponents as best we can. We know that our job is to get the ball back to the offense, the greatest offense in the nation, led be Coach Jones and company. Colt Brennan IS the best quarterback in the nation, hands down.

From Coach Miano, Coach Lee, Coach Lumpkin, and Coach Reinebold, I've witnessed the dedication and attention to detail that has enabled the players to be as prepared as possible with each game.

Coach Terrence Duffield, otherwise known as Duff, has been a true pleasure to work with. There we are each day, side by side, sharing a small office. We are polar opposites of each other, but we get along VERY well. He cracks me up, and I crack him up....it's a great relationship that we share. He's done SO much for this team, sacrificing a LOT to be here in Hawaii as a Graduate Assistant. Without Coach Duff, we wouldn't be nearly as good of a defense as we are today!

Together, Duff and I put together the weekly scouting report. He has far more experience and knowledge when it comes to x's and o's, so he does the bulk of the report. I do the best that I can on what I CAN do.

There's no doubt in my mind that Duff will become an excellent coach at the D1-A level. If it's not Hawaii, it'll be somewhere else. But his dedication and passion to do things right will get him to where he wants to be, wherever/whatever that may be.

I am so proud to be able to call myself a Warrior! I've never won any championship before, nor have I won anything this big in life. I finally can say, I'm a winner. I look forward to the day that we receive our WAC Championship rings. I'll cherish that ring until the day I die, and will wear it proudly!

Thank you to all of the many, many fans who supported the Warriors throughout the year, not just this year but from years past as well. YOU make us what we are today!

Again, I want to thank Coach Jones, Coach Reinebold, and Coach Mack who enabled this kid from Hawaii, who loved UH football all of his life, to have a role in such a great program. I will NEVER forget this experience and will cherish it always. I look forward to continuing to be a part of this program, as I feel that this is where I belong.

School and the PhD program in Special Education will always be there, but this is MY time to live out the dream of being a Warrior! But we'll see what happens when that time comes and decisions need to be made.

We still have another game next Saturday, against a big time foe from the PAC-10, the University of Washington Huskies. Despite their record, they will pose a BIG challenge to us, literally and figuratively! They're a very big and physical team, who will just pound and pound on you, hoping that you cave in.

But we ARE the Warriors! We will rise up to the challenge yet again and fight until we can't fight no more. We BELIEVE! What more could you ask for?!

A Warrior for life,
Brian Kajiyama

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Thursday, November 22, 2007

CSTV Video

Here's a video produced by CSTV. I take great pride in being a Warrior!

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Sunday, August 12, 2007

GRADUATION 2007

I have a masters of education! I never thought I would even utter such words, coming out of high school. My intentions were to simply earn a bachelor's degree and go and make the bling bling, maybe in the field of computers.

My journey through my masters in education from counseling and guidance was not a smooth road, which ice skaters could simply glide through. The path was made more of terrain than a 4-runner might enjoy navigating, full with bumps and dips and hurdles along the way. It's a good thing that I had good shock absorbers, in the form of my family, friends, and mentors.

I post this blog exhausted, but VERY proud of where I am in life. I will not sit and bask in the glory, however. It is time to tackle new horizons, open up new opportunities, and continue to strive for excellence! My new journey will be 4-years, and will entail the pursuit of a PhD in Exceptionalities from the Special Education department at the University of Hawaii at Manoa.

Another exciting venture will take the form of being a Graduate Assistant with the UH Warrior football team this season. We're in the midst of fall camp, a time when you get tested mentally and physically, in order to prepare for the season ahead.

We WILL be a great team, I have no doubt in my mind. People will KNOW Hawaii has a football program. We ARE the Warriors.

Until next time,
Brian Kajiyama, M.Ed.

Wednesday, June 20, 2007

Right place, right time
(Reposted from WarriorsHaka.com, 6/18/2007)

I had just completed my Statement of Objectives for the PhD program in Exceptionalities from the Department of Special Education. What a long and draining process that was...And I was expecting a break after completing my M.Ed. in Guidance and Counseling?! Who was I kidding?!

I felt bad not being around the football office. After all, I was given the chance of a lifetime. I will be a Graduate Assistant for the Warriors this season! It still seems surreal just to say that! In any case, I hadn't been in that office for a good week, as I focused on getting my application in by June 15. I knew it had to be good. I WILL get into the program.

I took the 5 minute stroll down to lower campus after receiving a friendly message from Coach Jeff Reinebold, asking me where the heck I was?!

"Do you still love football?" Jeff asked me.

"Jeff, you know I love football! I was busy getting my application in to the PhD program."

"B, you know you're gonna get in, don't even worry about it! Just get your ass down here so we can get better!"

With that, I knew I had been away for too long! I missed seeing my friends, my buddies, the Warrior ohana. I immediately see Coach Dennis McKnight, exiting his office, which has a curtain made of wood stranded together.

"Hey buddy nice to see you, haven't seen you in ages!" Dennis says to me.

We shook hand and I found my way into Jeff's office. "Hey, look who's here! Boy, B I thought I would have to call the Missing Person's office to come find you!"

We exchange pleasantries and we sit and look at some video on a potential recruit. "Boy, that guy can lay some major wood," I said to Jeff.

"Yep, he's definitely a player!"

Kekoa, Jeff's son, comes in. "B! My main man. How are you doing?! I haven't seen you in ages!"

Okay, I definitely WAS away too long....

Na Koa was having a fundraiser that night. I had no plans to go, I thought I'd enjoy a quiet night at home. "Hey B, are you going to this magic show tonight?"

"No, I wasn't planning to go."

"Why don't you come along with me," Jeff says, "all the coaches are going."

"Okay, I'll make it down there!"

Right about that time, Kekoa remembers how fun my office is at upper campus, one that I share with a professor, Dr. James Skouge, in Special Education. The office looks feels like a different realm, as there are no high lights on, only simple lamps with artwork from the Pacific decorating the walls. In the office we have a gaming system, which rarely gets used, except during the summer months. Kekoa asks if he can come back to my office with me.

Approximately 30 minutes is spent with him trying to convince his dad that he would be fine if he wasn't dropped off at home before the fundraiser. Of course, Kekoa wins the battle. Children have an uncanny ability to make illogical things seem like perfect sense!

Kekoa and I spend the rest of the afternoon having a grand time being kids! I enjoy his company and he views me as a "big brother," which is cool since I've always wanted a brother but ended up with twin-sisters (who are great, by the way!).

.....................

The fundraiser was a great experience. There were so many Warrior fans there, who are so very passionate about this team, this ohana! No other program in America has the support that we, the Warrior ohana, enjoy.

During the mixer before the magic show in the Magic of Polynesia showroom by John Hirokawa, Jeff and I sit and enjoy pupus together. A young man comes up, and introduces himself as the pastor of a church in Kapolei. He mentions something to the effect of enjoying the story that was in the newspaper about Jeff, Coach Jerry Glanville, and I last December. It really impacted him to see how much of a friendship and genuine love for one another we shared, and how fortunate we both were. Jeff and I could not have agreed more.

Then the pre-show began. Coach June Jones showed a DVD that he shares with recruits that highlights the pounding we put on BYU a couple years ago. Chad Owens was truly "Mighty Mouse" on that day, Nick Rolovich could not make a bad throw, and Pisa Tinoisamoa made the BYU QB wish he hadn't set foot on Aloha Stadium's turf. The crowd cheered as they watched this video on a screen.

Chicken skin!

The video ends and Coach Jones starts introducing the next DVD, and he stops and says, "Where's Brian? Come up here, B." I make my way up to the front, weaving through the crowd, as Coach Jones introduces me, ending with "Brian will be a GA with us this year." I still haven't got used to hearing that! The audience enjoyed a little highlight video of the 2007 recruits, which I produced using highlights from each recruit. It was surreal watching this video in front of fans, who cheered as new Warriors showed what they could do this year and years to come.

Chicken skin!

The magic show was great. John Hirokawa did an amazing job in providing a wonderful variety of entertainment, combining magic with Polynesian traditions, like hula, Tahitian dance, and fire knife dancing.

After a long day, I finally got home and took time to reflect upon my day. I was at the right place, at the right time, again.

Tuesday, March 06, 2007

Who are YOU?

You think its easy for me just to live life;
You think its easy for me to just go and do;
You think I'm endlessly brave and strong;
You think I'm unemotional and unattached.

I can be all of these things;
At times I am all of these things.

But there are days when its not the case;
Do you think I'm still "cool" on such days?
It doesn't matter what YOU think
Because I live my life for me, not YOU.

Who are you?
That's a question I ask myself
Each and everyday.
I try to see who you are,
With my near-perfect vision.
But clarity never reveals itself.

Why must you be so vague?
Why must you be so tempting?
Why must you be so caring?
Why must you be so intertwined in my being?

I go to bed dreaming of you.
I go to school to reach you.
I sit outside under the sun thinking of you.
I type every paper cognizant of you.
I drink cautiously as I ponder you.

You may have a hook on me,
But I have the ultimate control.
Sure, you may get the better of me at times
But I won't remain defeated.

I will rise up and fight again;
To greater heights and beyond.

I love you.
I hate you.
I adore you.
I despise you.

Who are you?
You are
POTENTIAL.

Click here for video version:
2007 Warrior Football Recruits Highlights

Thought I would post the 2007Hawaii Warrior football highlight video on my blog, just in case people don't visit the official University of Hawaii athletics site.

This is the video....Enjoy:



Until next time,
Brian