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........


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