Monday, August 27, 2007

Wear Sunscreen

Thanks for sending this Turkey! I did enjoy it but I don't believe you when you said "there is no hidden agenda"...

It appeared in the Chicago Tribune but wasn't an actual commencement speech...though it should have been.

Wear sunscreen.If I could offer you only one tip for the future, sunscreen would be it. The long-term benefits of sunscreen have been proved by scientists, whereas the rest of my advice has no basis more reliable than my own meandering experience. I will dispense this advice now.

Enjoy the power and beauty of your youth. Oh, never mind. You will not understand the power and beauty of your youth until they've faded. But trust me, in 20 years, you'll look back at photos of yourself and recall in a way you can't grasp now how much possibility lay before you and how fabulous you really looked. You are not as fat as you imagine.

Don't worry about the future. Or worry, but know that worrying is as effective as trying to solve an algebra equation by chewing bubble gum. The real troubles in your life are apt to be things that never crossed your worried mind, the kind that blindside you at 4 p.m. on some idle Tuesday.

Do one thing every day that scares you.


Don't be reckless with other people's hearts. Don't put up with people who are reckless with yours.


Don't waste your time on jealousy.

Sometimes you're ahead, sometimes you're behind. The race is long and, in the end, it's only with yourself.

Remember compliments you receive. Forget the insults. If you succeed in doing this, tell me how.

Keep your old love letters. Throw away your old bank statements.


Don't feel guilty if you don't know what you want to do with your life. The most interesting people I know didn't know at 22 what they wanted to do with their lives. Some of the most interesting 40-year-olds I know still don't.

Get plenty of calcium. Be kind to your knees. You'll miss them when they're gone.

Maybe you'll marry, maybe you won't. Maybe you'll have children, maybe you won't. Maybe you'll divorce at 40, maybe you'll dance the funky chicken on your 75th wedding anniversary. Whatever you do, don't congratulate yourself too much, or berate yourself either. Your choices are half chance. So are everybody else's.

Enjoy your body. Use it every way you can. Don't be afraid of it or of what other people think of it. It's the greatest instrument you'll ever own.

Dance, even if you have nowhere to do it but your living room.

Read the directions, even if you don't follow them.

Do not read beauty magazines. They will only make you feel ugly.

Get to know your parents. You never know when they'll be gone for good.

Be nice to your siblings. They're your best link to your past and the people most likely to stick with you in the future.

Understand that friends come and go, but with a precious few you should hold on.

Work hard to bridge the gaps in geography and lifestyle, because the older you get, the more you need the people who knew you when you were young.

Live in New York City once, but leave before it makes you hard. Live in Northern California once, but leave before it makes you soft.


Accept certain inalienable truths: Prices will rise. Politicians will philander. You, too, will get old. And when you do, you'll fantasize that when you were young, prices were reasonable, politicians were noble and children respected their elders.

Respect your elders.

Don't expect anyone else to support you. Maybe you have a trust fund. Maybe you'll have a wealthy spouse. But you never know when either one might run out.

Don't mess too much with your hair or by the time you're 40 it will look 85.

Be careful whose advice you buy, but be patient with those who supply it. Advice is a form of nostalgia. Dispensing it is a way of fishing the past from the disposal, wiping it off, painting over the ugly parts and recycling it for more than it's worth.

But trust me on the sunscreen.

Saturday, August 18, 2007

Nature's beauty at risk

After an exciting “go places, do things you’ve never done before” summer, my days spun in a much different direction. Sentimental moments and working took place. I haven’t felt that spirit I possessed those past two months (aside from the recent dancing, sunset, and wine).
Although yesterday was unexpected, I attended the Coral Reef presentation by Angelo Villagomez and Bree Reynolds, whom by the way are both “Taya Talent” players. It wasn’t like the usual Professional Development Day workshops I’ve been in the past years. After a session of facts and some brutal information about what’s happening to our island we headed out to Managaha and Kagman for a real-life connection.

We took a ferry with lots of food to BBQ, snorkeling gear and our free yellow pads. Of course Diana got lost and missed the boat. She did manage to hop on one of the tourist boats with Tony by offering half-eaten food. Anyhoo, we took a walk around the small 10-acre island, saw the Shearwater habitat (nocturnal birds that build their nests underground that also sound like babies crying), talked about the positive and negative effects of tourism, and observed the geographical change the island has gone through over the years. I even picked up sand dollars; about 7 of them in one area, after Angelo said “take nothing and leave nothing but footprints.” I was gonna sneak it out but I felt guilty and showed one to him before we were about to leave, to my surprise he pointed out that it wasn’t sand dollars but sea urchins -bummer!

The best part though was snorkeling! The others went ahead while Diana, Tony, Asap and I stayed to complete the paper work. As soon as we were ready, we got our gears on and for some reason Diana couldn’t get the snorkel stuck to her face and ended up with water in her goggles half the time (special Diana moments, hilarious!). Our mission was to see the corals and everything that goes with it so our initial thought was to go far beyond the buoy where less damage has been done. You see, I’ve only done this a couple times before, and both times with experienced divers. Diana and Tony are from Randolph, MA (Boston), so you fill in the blanks. Asap, who canoes, was basically our only chance of survival against the strong currents. The struggle was absolutely worth it. We saw at least five different species we could name. The others, we made names for, until Bree shared her amazing knowledge on what they were. Swimming with all those fish was an absolute stress reliever!

When we got back we headed out to a protected area where volunteers have planted trees a year ago. It was an awesome hike with a great view. More information was said but the one that stuck to me was “whatever we do to our land greatly affects our ocean.” It’s depressing how we, humans, are the biggest reason why nature’s beauty is at risk.

Not only did I meet new friends, and survived the swim and hike with battle wounds, I am now more aware and know that it is essential that we should try to make a difference.

Friday, August 17, 2007

Head Over Heart

Once I played the role of Aphrodite. I would never forget Ms. Jenny (my 6th grade drama teacher) jokingly saying “it s fitting since you look like someone who’s doomed to break hearts. I didn’t want to be that, other people might enjoy that lifestyle but it’s not someone I wanted to be. Whether I lived it or not is not really for me to say. Although over the years I’ve known people fight through heartaches and deceptions. I’ve met martyrs, my biological mom for one, always suffering for a good cause: to keep her family together, my good friend “Flip Flop”, now a single mother who was with her boyfriend for more or less a decade, a close personal friend, whose been through four long distance relationships and still ends up being oceans away from someone. Despite the pain we have shared and lived through, I still end up falling. Who doesn’t? The feeling of having someone you can share walks, good music and moonlit nights with somehow overpowers the notion of being hurt, and like many, being hurt over again. But is love really enough to go through confusion and inflicted agony? Do you really have to work as hard to make things work? Maybe time itself will tell, maybe its one of those passing thoughts.

Who knows?

I can still hear my dad telling me “The big guy placed your head above your heart for a reason” I guess he already knew I was vulnerable when it came to such things.

Thursday, August 16, 2007

Learn from them

In less than thirty minutes I will be trying out for the Women’s All Star Team. I figured this would be the perfect time to write before I severely injure myself and loose the ability to remember my favorite quotes of the week.

Have you ever felt your knees weaken Ms. Kathy? I’m so nervous my knees wont stop shaking.
– Iza playing a game of steal the bacon.

Me: Repeat after me, say pin
Student: Oh, Ive done this before!
Me: Great, this should be easy, say pin.
Student: pin
Me: Now say it without the 'p', what’s left?
Student: p… p… p… pencil!
- Phil, trying to impress my teacher.

You're forgiven, just dont think about doing it again.
-Bri, conflict resolution

Every time I write I have this funny feeling inside and that’s where I get all my words and emotions from – Iza, future writer

Teaching. Well it's its own reward.

Sunday, August 12, 2007

Where's his teacher?!

There’s a kid playing by the drainage! Where’s his teacher?
I thought to myself as I gratifyingly ate my turkey sandwich.
His rainy day boots will slip through that opening anytime soon. I would yell but he’s too far out. What kind of teacher would leave his/ her students unsupervised anyway?
I heard Mr. S blow his whistle just in time for the expected fall. The boy ran down the miniature slope as soon as he heard the warning. I went back to watching my students who were playing at our designated area. As soon as the recess bell rang the students ran in front of their classrooms pushing and shoving to be first in line. As I waited patiently for them to settle down I saw a pair of rainy day boots standing safely in my boys line.

Monday, August 6, 2007

A wonderful part of me

I’m not an opinionated person. Some might say I keep a lot of things to myself, the reality is I mostly try to understand why things are the way they are. But if I do feel the urge to express one, I jot it down. I write to visualize intense feelings, both in joy and despair hoping that it will help me through perplexing emotions.

Today, I received a letter from you. I know you’ve sent a couple of them not too long ago. I haven’t responded to most of them, intentionally. There were a lot of sacrifices made in the past and we both knew that it was something we fought and faced together. We separated because I felt that I had to leave. Yet you held on till this very moment and this is what’s causing much anguish. More than anything you know that hurting someone I’ve loved so much is the last thing I would do.
For almost three years I didn’t think it was possible to let go of you, and then he came along. Meeting him made me content. He gives me a reason…
I’m moving on but I want you to know that you are a wonderful part of me. With all sincerity, I wish you would find the happiness and contentment I feel with Christian.

Saturday, August 4, 2007

Soccer Princess

After a trying game of soccer what do you do?
Chef Bradgelo has taken the liberty to start a fire and cook some delicious wieners on the sidelines. A free beer comes with it if your team loses and you show your poutiest face. Roxy will push you if you take one with a victory smile. These are some of the special things that happen only in Saipan.
Today the Women’s all star played a tremendous game against the men’s team from Hong Kong and Guam. Rule is: ask how the game was not what the score was. I only saw the 2nd half of the 2nd game so I got an earful of “priority speeches” from Lovelle. To make up for it I shall present this entry as a peace offering.
Lovelle, aka: ‘Lion on the field’ by Saipan soccer players and soccer fans. To me she is known as the unbearable sister who makes me look awful on the field. I’m naturally clumsy, that’s a given, but playing on the same team with the soccer pinay princess does not add points to my attempts to be coordinated. On the other hand, the slight facial similarity does give other people a reason to think that I’m good too. Congratulations today little sis you showed ‘em where you truly belong. Now all you have to do is to stop taking my ice cream after you’ve eaten yours!

Words Women Use

My friend Ellen sent this a while back.
To the men out there, learn the terminology to avoid future arguments. To all women, this will give you a good laugh, you know there's truth behind these words.
Words Women Use :
1. FINE: This is the word women use to end an argument when they are right and you need to shut up.
2. FIVE MINUTES: If she is getting dressed, this means a half an hour. Five Minutes is only five minutes if you have just been given five more minutes to watch the game before helping around the house.
3. NOTHING: This is the calm before the storm. This means something, and you should be on your toes. Arguments that begin with nothing usually end in fine.
4. GO AHEAD: This is a dare, not permission. Don't Do It!
5. LOUD SIGH: This is actually a word, but is a non-verbal statement often misunderstood by men. A loud sigh means she thinks you are an idiot and wonders why she is wasting her time standing here and arguing with you about nothing.(Refer back to #3 for the meaning of nothing.)
6. THAT'S OKAY: This is one of the most dangerous statements women can make to a man. That's okay means she wants to think long and hard before deciding how and when you will pay for your mistake.
7. THANKS: A woman is thanking you, do not question,or Faint . Just say you're welcome.
8. WHATEVER: Is a women's way of saying F@!$ YOU!
9. DON'T WORRY ABOUT IT, I GOT IT: Another dangerous statement, meaning this is something that a woman has told a man to do several times, but is now doing it herself. This will later result in a man asking "what's wrong," for the woman's response to "NOTHING"