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Friday, April 29, 2011

Dara on the trail of something different

For the past few months, I have been inspired to pay more attention to the MTA subway system, potholes, or anything unusual in this unpredictable city, New York City. This inspiration is from none other than PIX 11 news reporter and friend, Greg Mocker. He is on the trail of something different, and as he puts it, "I'm just a guy who asks a question." However, he is more than that. Greg Mocker is my inspiration because he strives to get answers to our (the citizens of NYC) questions, as well as, investigate matters that tend to be unaddressed. I am proud to be part of this trail, and have contributed to it by doing some investigating myself.

This week, Mocker reported about an incident where part of a ceiling at the Brooklyn College subway station in Brooklyn fell and hit a boy on his head. He had to be taken to the hospital and is expected to be okay. However, Mocker wanted to see how many more stations had these problems. He asked us to send him pictures of worst subway station conditions in our area. Mocker has made this into a contest where the person with the best "worst subway station" picture will win a custom made T-shirt with his picture and slogan "on the trail of something different."

After his report about the peeling ceilings, I started looking closely at the subway stations I take. Two of them, the DeKalb Ave. (left) and Court St. (right) stations in Brooklyn, had peeling ceilings. I snapped some pictures and sent them to Mocker. I also posted them on my Facebook group page called The Mocker Trail Team, a group dedicated to Mocker and his trail of something different.

Today, I had the pleasure of meeting Greg Mocker again! We met at the DeKalb Ave. station where I showed him those peeling ceilings, and he told me I won a Mocker T-shirt! He is so cool and incredibly kind! He is particularly proud of the Trail Team, thanked me for submitting the pictures and for staying on the trail. When he asked me what I will do with the T-shirt, I said, "I will wear it with pride!" Thank you Greg Mocker for being the great reporter you are and for being my friend.

Sunday, April 24, 2011

Happy 30th On Earth

April 22, 2011

I made 30 years on this beautiful Earth. April 22nd is also Earth Day so I celebrate both my birth and the Earth. How cool is that! I am grateful I had the chance to live 30 years, experience different things, meet a variety of people, and accomplish some of my goals. I learned a lot along this path called life and look forward to more discoveries, new experiences, and a new me. This 30th year, I want to appreciate myself more, focusing on my life's goals and accomplishing them. I believe, more now than before, that THIS is the time for me to take off my training wheels and ride steadfast on a new trail. I appreciate my family, real friends, and even my enemies, because without their negative forces, I wouldn't be motivated to do what I want...fully. Their dislike, back-stabbing, even disrespect makes me stronger. It gives me more confidence and purpose to pursue my dreams. Although I don't encourage or like people who hurt others, I welcome the haters. Each time someone says I can't, I work harder towards my dreams.

I feel blessed I had an opportunity to celebrate my birthday with my students. They are simply wonderful and so glad to be their teacher again. Their willingness to learn English, hard work, dedication, respect, and friendship is more than I can ask for. I'm honored to be their teacher. No matter what happens in the future, I will always be "Teacher Dara."

It feels good to be 30 and I can finally say I am proud to be me. 

   My trail begins now.

Sunday, April 17, 2011

visions of a little girl

a little girl
imagines a world
full of rainbows and glee
but is forced to see
hurt and despair
that doesn't compare
to the place she envisioned
where people admire
the beauty of love and desire
without being cautious
she quickly notices
with arms open wide
she is pushed aside
and left alone
only to moan
that her vision of a world
made of rainbows and glee
is not what she imagined
it to be

Sunday, April 10, 2011

Victims of circumstance

A widow and her children from Guyana are fighting to stay in this country after the untimely death of their husband/father. He was hired for a teaching position with the Department of Education, and was awaiting the approval of his green card. Due to his sudden death, the Department of Education stated they cannot offer the family a green card because "they don't qualify for employer-sponsored green cards." It's possible the widow and her children may have to move back to Guyana, missing their opportunity to live the American dream.

If I was a social worker, I would want to help this family. It's important for them to receive support, and the necessary resources that can help them obtain a green card. I believe everyone should have an opportunity to live here, and shouldn't be denied that chance because of death. Hopefully, this story will have a happy ending.

From the NY Daily News (4/5/11): Teacher dies before visa application is approved, leaving wife, sons adrift in immigration limbo

My conversation with Inspiration: the importance of standing tall

I am always on my creative path; never know where I'll end up. “Raise your voice out into the universe, raise your mind beyond the planets and the sun...spread the message everywhere."(Incognito) The role of a writer is not to say what we all can say, but what we are unable to say." (Ana├»s Nin) Being creative through writing is a great form of release of all the emotions I can't always express. "I didn't choose to be a writer. That's what I am. I'm a writer."(Harlan Ellison)
Sometimes, I close my eyes, wishing to be free, from all the nonsense, that's around me. “Don’t be discouraged. It's often the last key in the bunch that opens the lock.” (Unknown) “Always do what you are afraid to do" (Ralph Waldo Emerson). "A successful man is one who can lay a firm foundation with the bricks others have thrown at him."(David Brinkley)
Someday I hope my hard work doesn't go in vain, but instead bring people together through inspiration, love, and appreciation. "Our lives begin to end the day we become silent about things that matter." (Martin Luther King) “You cannot depend on your eyes when your imagination is out of focus." (Mark Twain)
As a teacher, I educate the world, as a writer I express my creativity, as an individual I am full of love. "Life is a long lesson in humility." (James M. Barrie) "Do not go where the path may lead, go instead where there is no path and leave a trail." (Ralph Waldo Emerson) I will continue to stay on the trail. I won't be defeated.

Saturday, April 2, 2011

Work in Vain


I fear
That someday
My work
Will go
In vain

The sacrifices
I made
Will be 
For granted

Mimicked, ridiculed
Thrown away

No one
Will understand
The purpose
The pain
The experience
Emotional journey
I’ve taken

My work
Will be

That someday
I won’t
Be alive
To witness
My work
Will do
For others

Its influence
The reassurance
Comforting confidence
It will
Give to others

I will
Look back
And wonder
If my work
Made a difference

Or was it
In vain
After all?