Sunday, May 12, 2013

Where Has Time Gone

Last week I realized I finished my 1st year of this master's program. It has been a tremendous year of learning and meeting new friends. I have to say that realizing that I can still learn has been a true blessing to me. A bigger blessing has been meeting some great people who I now call friends.

I have juggled family life and all that comes with being a wife and mom. I continued exercising to take care of myself. I adapted to my new job as a computer teacher to all K to 6 students where I found out that I also love to help with the technology needs of the school I am at (only because I have a true love for solving problems).

I have to say that I'm glad this semester is over. This one was particularly difficult for me. I had three classes running at the same time. I had to stay organized and set priorities to make sure I got everything done. I was busy all the way up to the last days...this was a true test of perseverance for me. 

I found it is good to talk with the people you are close to when you feel overwhelmed or lost. I have to thank my friend, Sharon, for that. She takes a genuine interest in what I am doing in this program. She allows me to talk and she is an active listener. By allowing me to talk and listening to her responses, clarity has come when I was totally lost. Sharon is not only my exercise partner, she is what I would call a wonderful friend.

The time has gone but it was not wasted. I learned a whole lot about myself, and I must say I am impressed with what I am capable of doing. And, let's not forget why I'm on this journey...I also learned a whole lot about educational technology too.

Tuesday, January 8, 2013

A New Semester

I no longer have to do this blog for an assignment, but I'm choosing to continue this blog to dialogue my journey through this Master's program. With that said, I wanted to share what the beginning of a new semester brings.

It's difficult to start back up again after having three weeks off. As a teacher, I am not used to this. When I took classes to advance my pay, the class would last for a few weeks (like a semester) with assignments to complete, but when it was done, it ended. When I ended this first semester for this program, I felt the relief of it being over, but I knew it was only the beginning. I still have many more classes to take. However, I took the break off enjoying all the free time I now had.

Free time is not necessarily good for me as I found out. I sat around watching many tv shows and getting hooked on a Facebook game called, Candy Crush. I watched shows that I never knew existed. I played Candy Crush on every device that I laptop, my iPad, and my iPhone. All are different accounts so each one is different. When one game told me I ran out of "lives", I'd go to the next device and keep playing. I started to feel headaches behind my eyes and achey in my neck and shoulders. Well, the new semester officially started yesterday, and our first synchronous class was tonight. What does this mean for me now?

Well, I no longer have all the free time I had on my break. I haven't watched any tv and playing Candy Crush, well...I cannot lie. Yes, I am addicted to this game! I did play it after my class tonight but only on my Facebook account...only one device. Oh, and I don't feel the headaches or the aches and pains. It could be because I'm back to exercising too. For me, it's about getting my blood pumping.

As the semester gets into full swing, I'll have less time to do anything else. I'm taking three classes this semester all at the same time meaning I'll have assignments for all three of those classes. Organization is key and there's no room for procrastination. Luckily that describes me so I know I can to this. It will be a challenge but I think I will take a break once in awhile to play that addicting game that I so love. I may as well take breaks to crush candy instead of eating candy on my breaks. What do you think?

Welcome new semester...I look forward to new learning, new relationships, and all the new stress.

Wednesday, December 5, 2012

Merry Christmas!

I can't believe that tomorrow is our last class. I am ready to present my final project, but as the time gets closer, I know I'll be nervous. I've learned so much in this class and worked with some wonderful people. Thank you everyone! I have one more project for another class and then life will be back to normal.

I was able to take a couple hours here and there between work and school to put up Christmas decorations around my home. I love the feeling that this holiday brings especially when my home is decorated. I haven't done any shopping yet. I know, it's December 5 already.

I'll probably do some of my shopping online and then brave the malls on the weekends and after work. Thankfully, I don't have that many gifts to buy since my family does Secret Santa for the adults. At least I already ordered my family Christmas card.

I'd like to wish everyone a Merry Christmas. May you find peace and joy during this wonderful time of the year.

Sunday, November 25, 2012

Blessed & Thankful

This past week I was reminded of how blessed I am. I celebrated another birthday with my mom. I was born on her 25th birthday and we've been celebrating our special day since then. She always reminds me that I was her best birthday gift ever. As old as I am, my mom still makes me feel so special. I am thankful for my mom for all that she has done for me in making me into the person I am today.

A few days later it was Thanksgiving. Through the use of technology, we had most of our family members present at my home. My brother, who lives in Albuquerque, New Mexico, said the prayer on speaker phone. My sister on Kauai joined us at our after dinner activities when her son texted her a video showing her what we were doing. Although this day marked the 16th anniversary of my dad's passing, I could still sense how proud he would have been to see how we are carrying on the tradition of having fun as a family.

I am also blessed to have the time to work on my final project for this class. The four days off from work has given me the time to really concentrate on the Facilitator's Guide and the Course Website. I still have the written narrative still to tackle, but I can now see the light at the end of this MOOC.

The semester is coming to an end and I am thankful for that. It's been a challenging four months juggling home, work, and school responsibilities. I am blessed that in just a few more weeks, life will be back to normal (no work and school). Wait, can life really be normal at Christmas?

Wednesday, November 14, 2012


Last Friday, I went to a workshop that taught me how to use my interactive board. I learned that to make my own flip chart, I need to understand layering. I need to know what's on layer 1, what's on layer 2, and what's on layer 3. I need to know what layer an object is on so I know what it can do. As I was sitting there listening to the instructor, I thought to myself..."This sounds like my life right now!"

With the semester winding down, I'm busy working on final projects. Right now, this task is taking up much of my life. But, what layer is school on in my life?

Well, here's the break down...

On layer 1, you would find me.  I need to take care of myself so I can take care of everybody and everything in my life. I need to make sure I'm eating (yes, I tend to forget to eat when I'm busy). I need to exercise to keep my energy up and the stress down.

On layer 2 is my family. I need to take care of my family's needs. On a weekly bases, I cook dinner about three times a week (we eat left overs or get take out for the other days), I attend my son's soccer games about 2 to 3 times a week, I help him with homework at times, I wash/fold laundry weekly, and I tidy up the house when it bothers me.

On layer 3...well, on this layer it would have to be between my work and my school. This is the layer where I spend all my "free" time on. I look at it this way...when I'm not working, I'm working on my school assignments. If I'm not working on my school assignments, I'm at work. I now call work a distraction. A good distraction, that is. You see, my work helps me to forget about school assignments for awhile. I love that I get to work with elementary children, and I get to see the innocence in their eyes. They are wonderful reminders of what is important in life.

Even though the layers of my life are off, I know it's only temporary. I'll be back to normal in a month. The layers on my flip charts, on the other hand, are perfect. They're doing what they are supposed to be doing right now.

With that, I must say that I, too, believe that even though my layers in my life are off right now, I am doing exactly what I am supposed to be doing right now.

Saturday, November 3, 2012

Healthy Living

Anyone who knows me well, knows that health and fitness is one of my top priorities in life. I have experienced health and vitality as a result of living a healthy lifestyle. On the flip side, I have found that when I do not exercise or eat well, my life is just not the same. I wake up tired, because I tossed and turned the night before. Then I feel yucky all day. This doesn't happen for too many days for I know what I have to do to. I told my doctor the other day that I am finding that exercising for me has become an essential part of of life, not only for keeping me fit, but more importantly, to keep me sane.

That's why when I was tasked to design a MOOC (Massive Open Online Class), I chose to concentrate on Healthy Living. I see all around me how unhealthy living affects our society. It's unfortunate, but it is affecting our youth. I feel if we teach them to live healthy lives when they are young, they will grow up to be healthy adults. This would be a cycle that would be worth repeating through the generations.

Saturday, October 27, 2012

Online Communicating...Be Careful!

Last night was my school's Fun Fair. It was a long day but very fulfilling. I got to see students whom I taught many years ago. I see many of them on Facebook so when we were hugging, we commented that it was great seeing each other in person. Oh my, some even had their own children!

I posted about the Fun Fair on Facebook after I came home. Students who saw me replied that is was great seeing me (Mrs. Ahuna) too. Sometimes I forget that I have past students as friends because I block many of them and they usually do not reply to my posts. I once posted that I was frustrated with my class and that I was seriously thinking about a career change. This was an OMG time for me...those students came out of hiding and responded and responded. I did feel appreciated and loved, but I also felt embarrassed. I learned a lesson that day.

When we were introduced to Google+, I thought that this was the answer to adding students. Since it has the Circles features, I saw that I could arrange all my students into different circles. Then when I want to gripe, they do not have to see it. Unfortunately, Google+ has not reached the masses yet. It will be a great tool for me when it does take off.

Until that happens, my rule will remain. My students can only request for me to be their friend after I am not their teacher anymore. Since I've switched to being a resource teacher, I teach all grades. Some of my last year students asked me why I didn't accept their friend request. I told them...because I'm still your teacher. I get groans from them, but my rule stands. "I'm your teacher," I tell them, "not your friend."

Since I block many of my students from my wall, I do not see everything they are doing. When I have the time, I visit their individual walls to check on them. It's obvious though, that they don't block my posts from their walls. After that one post a few years ago, I know I have to be careful.