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Monday, September 04, 2017

10 Months, 4 Seasons, Countless Life’s Lessons


Autumn
The memory was still vivid like it happened not eons ago-  multi-colored works of arts, a riot of colors mostly shades of yellow, red and orange, and views from above with objects that glistened like lilac hue. It was autumn and the scenery was painted distinctly on my mind since it was my first time in United States. 

The smell of ripe earth and the feel of mellow, golden sun on my skin left that taste of nostalgic reminiscences of so many firsts as soon as the plane landed on the airport. The joy was immeasurable when I saw the ‘Michigan’ sign. The first few days were days of tears as my husband and I would stare at each other still in disbelief that we were finally together.

Winter
The frigidity of winter rain came so fast as soon as I had my first ever celebration of Thanksgiving. Not surprisingly, it was also marked by another first- my first taste of turkey. 

Soon, I watched my boots over the frozen sidewalk. Not long after, my first glimpse of the white snow flakes as they fell from the sky. My husband watched me as my eyes grew huge in bewilderment, and like a child, I jumped up and down trying to catch the soft pieces but they ended in my mouth instead.

My first Christmas with my husband couldn’t be more perfect- carols playing softly, his arms around me, and miles and miles of trees blanketed in snow.

Spring 

Just as I thought it couldn’t get any colder, the snow melted away. From the once barren brown trees sprang new signs of life. The air was scented with flowers blooming. The air was warmer and the cold breeze finally became gentler and breathed new life to once desolate landscape. 

Again, my first glimpse of the magical fairy tale where brilliant rays of new life emerged. It was also my first birthday here marked by another first with a ten-mile-walk at Pictured Rocks and an eight-mile-bike at Mackinaw Island- two of the top destinations in Michigan.

Summer
The old adage hit me with reality again. Time indeed flies so fast. As I basked at the scorching heat and the ball of fire in the sky blazed a brilliant amber, there was this dawn of realization that summer completed my four seasons. Though the word ‘firsts’ probably capped off everything, I could not deny the fact that my new life here is also a collection of new learning experiences.
Countless Lessons
Yes, there were myriads of lessons. Cleaning the table after eating at fast-food restaurants would be on top of the list. Then the rest could just be summed up with the seasons- raking leaves during fall, plowing snow during winter, and mowing grass during spring and summer. Yes, starting anew was a bit scary and definitely was not easy but so long as you fill your hearts with faith, hope and love, then life is worth basking in the beauty of the four seasons. Officially celebrating my ten months here in the U.S.A., four seasons, and countless life's lessons. 

"This life is an enduring and complex journey, but finally I have reached the point in my story where I am appreciative of where I've been, proud of where I am, and excited about where I have yet to go.” 

Monday, March 27, 2017

The Miracle of Five Minutes

On average, a teacher spends about 45 minutes with the students every day.  However, with the aim of completing the required lesson plans and the overwhelming number of students in each class, teachers are usually guilty of failing to make a REAL teacher-student connection.

Several studies have shown that a teacher has great impact in the trajectory of students and a constructive relationship can build a strong connection for learning. Specific lessons are easily forgotten but a student does not forget how a teacher makes a difference in his life.

Recently, I noticed my students interrupting me at the middle of discussion so eager to share about variety of things. Sometimes, they are totally off the topic and it has something to do more with their struggles and exciting news they have for the day. That’s when I thought of giving them five minutes before the start of the lesson to write everything they want to share. The result was amazing. Writing for five minutes gives them a moment to be quiet and think about their day. In the same way, it also enlightens me about what they are going through. The next day, I usually give them encouraging short notes which is related to what they wrote the previous class.

The activity obviously makes them feel more important and their class participation is a lot better. Kids want to feel that they are not only noticed because they have done something wrong but because a teacher cares. I am sure that they will treasure more the five minutes I gave them than the rest of the time I discussed the lesson. Remember, "Students do not care how much you know until they know how much you care".

Sunday, March 26, 2017

Are you a Korean?

More than a month of teaching here and I am already collecting unforgettable memories. My students range from 1st to 6th graders and they are so adorable! Here are some of my memorable and sometimes hilarious experience with them.

Scene 1 (With the 6th Graders):
Student 1: Ms. Nina, are you a Korean?
Student 2: No, she’s not. She’s a Japanese.
Student 3: No. She’s Chinese.
Student 4: No. She’s an immigrant.
Student 5: So, you don’t like Trump?
Me: (Poker face) Let’s continue answering page…

Scene 2 (With the 1st graders):
Student 1: Ms. Nina, where are you from?
Student 2: Are you from Korea?
Me: From the Philippines.
Student 1: Where is that?
Student 2: Do you have TV there? Do you have electricity? Do the people speak English?
Student 1: Is that in China?

Scene 3 (With 6th Graders):
Student 1: Ms. Nina, do you know that I can tell the future?
Me: Oh, really? So, you can see my future?
Student 2: I know what I want to be in the future.
Us: What?
Student 2: A teacher because I want to help kids learn like what you are doing to us.

Saturday, March 25, 2017

Asian Store in Muskegon

David and I were eating lunch at Subway early this month when a friend told us where to buy lumpia wrapper right here at Muskegon. That made me so excited since I’ve been dying to have it.

The store was beyond my expectation. They sell not only lumpia wrapper but many Filipino and other Asian products as well. I lived in Jakarta for almost four years and the only time I got Filipino stuff was during my visit to Singapore. Thousand miles away from the Philippines, my favorite foods are just right here in my new home. There are pancit canton, siomai, dumplings, shanghai rolls, tocino, longanisa, bangus and even galunggong for sale!

However, my excitement is not just because of it. The owner, Ms. Swan, is just so kind that even my husband enjoys going back there. She gives discount to us whenever we visit and even requests to hug me. Yesterday during our last visit, she gave me a box of famous chocolate candy from the Philippines. 

Meeting Ms. Swan is a reminder that whatever is your nationality, wherever you are from, it is a beautiful experience to show nothing but kindness!

Friday, March 24, 2017

Real People Amassing Fortune Online


There’s fortune in online work. It may seem like a scam but that’s the reality. Here are the people who are making a wave online while amassing thousands/ millions of dollars in online work. 




1. PewDiePie. He made a big name in YouTube with over 54 million subscribers in just seven years. The Sweden born YouTuber created a channel out of boredom back in 2010. It is hard to believe that he gave up University and worked in a Hotdog stand just to fund his videos. Since then, his success is unstoppable. His videos range from commentaries, comedy and vlogs. He got involved in several controversies but his fame continued to soar. Due to his success, he was named as one of the 100 Most Influential People in the World and his monthly earning is estimated around 1 million dollars.

2. ItsjudytimeIf you want an inspiration to start an online work, Judy Travis and family might be the best choice. They are ordinary family doing nothing but traveling and enjoying life. Judy and Benji are both successful vloggers who have millions of followers. Though their number is not as high as PewDiePie, their channel is an example that showing even an ordinary life can make you successful in YouTube. Their latest achievement was being able to raise more than 500,000 dollars in less than one month for charity. What makes their videos extraordinary? Nothing, really. Judy is a beauty guru and uploads make-up tutorials but it is the videos of every day activities of her family which lure viewers and entice sponsors. Judy has several channels but it is ‘Itsjudytime’ which is raking a lot of money- an estimated 3,700- 59,000 dollars a month!

3. MarkDawson. Money online is not just from YouTube videos. Take for instance the success of this self-published entrepreneur. Amazon pays him 450,000 dollars a year and his success is mainly attributed to his book series about an assassin called John Milton. Most of the best sellers in Amazon are actually self-published.  

4. Timothy Sykes. He is one of the most successful in the online world and is getting about 150,000-180,000 dollars monthly for his sideline job which is blogging. He uses his success from stock operation in creating inspiring articles about investments, finance and the like. In fact, he makes millions just teaching people how to write articles!

5. MichaelArrington. He has a monthly revenue of about 500,000-800,000 dollars for being a tech guru. Technology lovers get almost minute to minute update from his site.

If you want more inspiration to start your own online work, check this list of top earners in YouTube, Blogs, and Amazon.





If you want to know more how to start an online job and where to get revenues, subscribe and join my mailing list for the next article. Learn the steps of earning online! 

Tuesday, February 14, 2017

Filipino Wife- American Husband Dream Valentine's Day



HAPPY VALENTINES DAY BEB!      
By: David

Finally, we are together on valentine’s day. Its is now our third valentine’s day that we have been together but it’s really our first one being together physically! It is so surreal that you are here and we are not apart anymore. I remember how sad we were being apart last year it was really hard on both of us, and the video you made of us last year made me teary!


I just feel so very blessed to have u here with me beb and am happier than I have ever been. Thank you for sticking by my side through all the crazy stuff we had to endure to be with me love! Happy valentines day Nina, I love u!!!

Love, 
David

A Dream Come True
By: Nina

Three Valentine's Day thousand miles away from each other and we're so excited that finally we would be able to celebrate it together! Unexpected circumstances happened though. We were both sick since last weekend. I had body pain and high temperature (again) while my husband has terrible sore throat and stuffy nose.

However, David said that we have waited this day for so long to just simply let it go as an ordinary day. When I got in the car after my class this morning, his gift and card surprised me. Despite of not feeling so well, he ran in to Walmart while I was in school to join the queue of husbands wanting to get something for their wives. My husband defies the odds when it comes to proving his love and I can't thank him more than enough. I love you, my forever, beb. There's nothing that I can ask for because having you means having everything in life.

Happy Valentine's day!

Love,
Nina

Saturday, February 11, 2017

Homesick

It’s hard to miss someone or something when you are with the one you always dreamed of in such a beautiful place. But, I think it is inevitable to feel this way especially when I am thousands of miles away from the place I called home for many years.

It may sound cliche' but 'everybody that went away suffered a broken heart'. Thankfully, I went away with somebody I love so my heart is not really broken only terribly longing.

My husband being sensitive as always knew what I was going through. He brought me out for dinner, brushed and braided my hair, then gave me tight hugs. Somehow, I knew, it’ll be alright.

There’s no place like home and this is my home now.

Friday, February 10, 2017

Love from Afar

The first time we saw each other!

Hello, everybody. This is David, Nina’s husband. I am not much of a writer but I’d like to talk a bit about our adventure. I think our love story might be an inspiration to other couples since it is almost Valentine’s Day.

The way I see it, the person you will spend your life with should be your best friend and the time that I met Nina was the time I needed a good friend. She was there for me night and day. After a year of talking six hours a day on the phone, we decided that I should come to Indonesia and with me was a ring and I had already made up my mind that she was the one for me. It was the most terrible plane ride I could ever imagine and I never had any experience flying before so I was like a scared cat with my claws digging to the seat every time the plane experienced turbulence. But, the second I saw her when I was coming out of the airport, I knew she was the woman for me.

People say long distance relationship usually does not work out but I disagree. I feel that we know more each other because all we could do was talk. Most people jump into a relationship so fast and they don’t even have time to get to know each other. Our relationship is based on our feelings for each other not just by physical attraction but much deeper. 

I think we know each other so well and that’s what helped us through such a long process that most people would not be able to endure. Most people would have given up but I saw something amazing in Nina that I would have waited a lifetime for. God has blessed us with a love that only people can dream about. And after waiting for more than two years, we are together for our first Valentine’s Day. So, I’d better get her a good gift. Lol.


I hope I didn’t bore everybody because this is not the first time I will be writing in her blog. Lol.


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