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Saturday, March 31, 2012

"Teacher" returns and an unexpected week of surprises

Where should I begin? In writing this I have a huge smile on my face, because of how great this week turned out to be! The saying, "expect the unexpected" is definitely true. This week was truly full of nice surprises, reflection, and inspiration. I am grateful for it all.

"Teacher" returns: Remember in my blog post "A reflection and nice days" I stated there was something I wanted to share but was awaiting confirmation? Well the wait is over friends. I, Dara K. Fulton better known as "Teacher" is returning back to the ESL classroom! I signed the paperwork on Thursday and my coordinator smiled saying, "Great to have you back on board." I replied, "Thank you, it's good to be back." I am so happy and can't stop smiling. I will be teaching a level 4 intermediate class starting April 16th. How great it is to go back to doing something I love days before my 31st birthday! God is good. I look forward to a successful semester and to meet my new students. I have my smiley face stickers ready! Let the lesson planning begin.

PT improvements and hard work: I returned to the hospital to do a balancing test on Monday. I'm part of a research project of patients who had the same hip surgery I had. Since it's a new procedure, doctors want to see how effective the surgery is for patients 6 weeks and a year after the surgery. I'm a supporter of research. I had the PTs laugh by bragging how "well" I am because I can walk. Of course they know better. I can walk but I still have work to do. The balancing test I did pre-surgery was difficult. I stumbled a lot and felt embarrassed. This time I was able to balance much better. When done, I did a little dance having one of the PTs say, "You're like the happiest patients we've had in a while!" There's definitely improvement. On Thursday before seeing my coordinator, I started physical therapy and met my physical therapist. He is very nice and had me do several exercises. Some were fine but one in particular was difficult. I see my physical therapist twice a week, but have to do the exercises at home twice every day for two months. Although hard, it's worth it because it will strengthen my walking and balance. Like they say, no pain no gain right?

Friendship: I saw one of my best friends on Wednesday. I love her because she is herself and we relate to each other in many ways. I always enjoy our conversations, and love of food. We both enjoy good cuisine from a variety of places and cultures. Also, I feel comfortable sharing things with her I wouldn't with others, because I know she truly understands me. Sadly, she is going back to her home country in a week and I feel sad. I will miss her. It's rare to meet someone who is much like yourself. I told her that the next time I see her it will be in her country. I really mean that. I hope to hangout with her before she leaves.

I had the pleasure of meeting a new friend from my Facebook group, The Mocker Trail Team which is based on my friend and PIX 11 news reporter, Greg Mocker. Her name is Dawn and we met yesterday. She is very sweet and has a great sense of humor. We both love to laugh and have fun. Also, we're both coffee buffs which is great! Starbucks and Dunkin Donuts are our favorite, for their coffee and lattes of course! In my group, I call the ladies Mockettes and the guys Mockers to represent our favorite news reporter. I'm trying to get the group to meet on several occasions. I am happy I had a chance to meet a fellow Mockette, and I look forward to hanging out again with Dawn and everyone soon.


During my outings, I had a chance to reflect and spend time in the city something I haven't done in a while. I saw the Occupy Wall Street folks, some street dancers, and visited Barnes and Noble (both their book and textbook stores). I found a cool bead store and made a new friend, a fellow rock collector like me! I bought the Nook color (an early birthday gift to myself), two textbooks about social work, some jewelry, and new clothes. I haven't shopped for myself in ages and it felt good to do so this week.

Part of my reflection was to celebrate self. I feel I've come a long way as a woman. I've overcome heartbreak, health woes, layoffs, ending friendships, and depression. I haven't been happy inwardly for a long time.Presently, I feel happier and spontaneous. My attitude now is life is short and the time is now to live for self, live for the moment, and ignore all negativity. Also, I'm enjoying my friends more. I'm showing them love instead of just saying it. I like going out and plan to do more. On a personal note, I've been pondering on the dating idea. I have some reservations about it, but I'm learning to be open-minded and go with the flow. Besides, it would be nice to go out with a gentleman once in a while. Let's see what happens. I look forward to my 31st year, because I believe it will bring more surprises and newness in my life.

It's time to smile now.

Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Poetic transport

Author’s Note: This poem is inspired by MTA’s Poetry in Motion

Chillin’ on the B38
I'm left to contemplate
This poetry in motion
Definitely takes devotion
What poetic words can I say
about the infamous MTA?

Frequent train delays
Rats invade subways
Times Square station is reportedly clean
Eating off its floor has yet to be seen

Sometimes this bus I ride
Can be a pain in my side
Its overcrowding and lateness
Many say “I’m not going to take this!”
Nearby is a train called G
Not always reliable for many

Even though all service isn’t bad
Constant fare hikes make us mad
How can members say there’s no money
When new projects are created yearly?

Our system keeps NYC going
Allows traffic underground flowing
We are part of this poetic system
I wonder about its future outcome

Monday, March 26, 2012

Staring hypnotism

In a lounge with many around
Music plays loud in the background
Bartenders serving drinks
A glass drops breaking the jinx
There’s a sudden silence
Eyes make contact from a distance
People dancing between them
The energy is like a poem
Handsomely he stands tall
She walks towards his wall
Ceiling mirrors reflect their action
Their eyes never lose direction

Saturday, March 24, 2012

What lies beneath?

A dedication to a friend

What lies beneath
A man who is very quiet?
Only speaks when necessary
Constantly on the move
How is life for him
When no one’s around?

What lies beneath
The individual who is alone?
From criticizers making no compromise
To admirers showing love
What’s it like
To have his story told?

What lies beneath
The face so many recognize?
Eyes that captivate an audience
A smile not always seen
When standing in the distance
Seeing an image unfold
How does he feel about the reflection
that stares back at him?

Waterfront release

Watching the water ripple along the pier
She releases her thoughts into each wave
The sun beams its light onto water’s creases
Reflects the color that lies beneath its surface

Breathing in the cool air
She feels the breeze from sky’s blue
As the boats sail by
She imagines traveling on them
Having no concern where they go

Sitting on an empty bench
Tourists pass by taking pictures
Women push baby carriages
A couple walks hand in hand

She holds on to hope
That nature will pass her love to him
Looking out at city’s skyline
She wonders if her message is sent


It's cloudy here in New York City, it's quiet in my neighborhood, and there's not much to do. Usually Saturdays are days to run errands, do homework, watch TV or maybe go out to a movie. If you're a writer like me, this is a good day to let the creative juices flow and write. So here I am doing just that, and singing to my favorite songs. Since yesterday, I've been reflecting a lot on things, particularly people in my life, love, friendship, and spirituality, all the biggies! I think about my friends often. Some I think of more than others. Many of them may already know this, but just in case I will say that they are always in my thoughts. I love them all. I worry about them when they are not happy or going through something. I can sense when something is bothering them whether they tell me or not. I have a variety of friends. Some are very outgoing, outspoken, and even rebellious. Some are quiet, not as expressive when it comes to their emotions or nonchalant. Then there are my academic friends who love school just as much as I do, and enjoy discussions about education and research.

I like the variety of friends I have, because I can relate to them all on some level. I like my outspoken friends because we share that in common. We're not afraid to tell it like it is. Also, I like listening to their stories, and attitude towards dealing with certain situations. I learn from them. My quiet friends are very interesting. I love their mystery and shyness. There are a few who told me they like that I'm talkative and outgoing. I like it when they do open up to me. I appreciate that the most because they trust me to share things with me. I'm always here to listen and support them in any way I can. I enjoy my academic friends because we have the same interests. They are the ones I can freely express my love for school to, and know I won't be called a "nerd" for it. However, I don't mind being called a "geek." The word "nerd" has been my name growing up, and it was used in a negative way. I'm not a fan of it, like I'm not a fan of being called "fat." I prefer the term "plus size" or "voluptuous."

There are friends I haven't met in person yet. These are my Facebook and Twitter friends. They are also special to me, because we share things and bond like real friends. I would love to meet them all someday. One thing that's in common with everyone is I am there for my friends. I have been known to travel to see how they are, or stopping what I'm doing to talk with them about everything or anything. I like to listen, and try to be understanding to what they're going through. This is tough at times, because I may not have experienced what they're experiencing. I always strive to be as comforting as possible to whatever it is they're going through. Every person is different. There are some friends I give hugs to, some I smile at and wish them well, others I just give eye contact and remain silent. Sometimes just listening to someone is all that person needs. I respect every one's boundaries.

I love my friends. I hope they all know that, and if not I would be happy to remind them.

Friday, March 23, 2012

A reunion and nice days

There are times when I tell myself I will wait the next day to post on my blog. It's my way of sorting through the many pictures I've taken, as well as, the thoughts I want to express here. But do I listen to my own advice? Nope. That's when the writing bug hits me, and I have to go with it.

This has been a nice week. I had the pleasure of taking my former supervisor out to lunch and reflect with him about everything that's happened since the lay off. I've made amends with him and for that I'm grateful. He is not only my former supervisor, he is also my friend. I also had a chance to eat some yummy Chinese food that I haven't eaten for months! When I walked up to him before heading to the restaurant, he smiled and gave me a hug. After the hug he said, "It's so good to see you without the cane Dara!" That meant so much, because he knows my journey and how much I wanted to be able to walk again. Plus his smile always make me smile. While having lunch, I shared my love for teaching and how much I missed it. He shared with me that he always saw me as a leader. I never saw myself as one. I think he was surprised to hear me say that, because he says, "You're so good at it." I admit, I tend not to see my strengths and don't take credit for what I do. I'm very modest, but appreciate the great compliment.

Afterwards, I went back to the office with him and surprised my co-workers. I say co-workers but actually they're my friends. It felt good to see them all, most of them I haven't seen since last June. We talked, laughed, and enjoyed each others company. I stayed there the rest of the afternoon. I saw a former student of mine (now friend) whom I haven't seen in almost two years! We hugged and yelled "I missed you" in the hallway. I hope we didn't disturb any one's work. We talked for a while and made plans to hangout soon. She and I instantly became friends while I was her teacher years ago. Her personality is very free-spirited and confident. I love this trait about her. Also, I was impressed by how much her English improved! She told me I was her first American teacher since living in the U.S., and that I helped build her confidence. I'm honored to know that. Later that evening, I went out with my friend where we had sushi and I tried an apple martini for the first time! It was so good, but since I don't drink it went to my head fast. Thank goodness for the sushi and water! I enjoy being in her company and always gain insight on certain things when talking to her. I appreciate the evening out, it's been awhile since I've had that. I'm now more determined to do this more. I want to go out whether it's by myself or with friends.

Today I went to Brooklyn Bridge Park which is a park and a waterfront all into one. I love going there to reflect and to write. Today I just listened to music and reflected. I also daydreamed about what's to come for me in the near future. I'm not including that in this blog post until I know everything is official. Once I get the "seal of approval" so to speak, I will update you. Let's just say I have more reasons to smile and a lot more to look forward to. The weather was beautiful, a perfect day to be outside. The sun was shining bright, the cool breeze from the water was just right, and the sky was blue with few clouds. There were a lot of photographers out, as well as, families with children, couples, and loners like me. Usually when I see couples around me I feel bad knowing I'm not in a relationship. However, today I didn't feel this way. Instead I felt confident that someday I will be involved, and hopefully it will be wonderful. How nice to share my reflection time with the man I love, and he enjoys doing the same. Company is always nice. There are a few guys I know I wouldn't mind sharing that time with. If circumstances were different, or if this was my world for a day what I would like to see happen. That's where daydreaming becomes a substitute.

A quick hip update, I will begin physical therapy (at doctor's office) this coming Monday. So far I am able to walk with no problem. There's some aching but nothing compared to two months ago. I'm still cautious of how and where I walk, but so far so good. Since walking, I'm smiling more and feeling more confident. There's still a lot for me to do. I look forward to tackling at it one step at a time.

Sunday, March 18, 2012

Transitional love (cont'd part 4)

It’s been three weeks since Makayla heard from Eric. She left voicemails and text messages but no response. Eric hasn’t returned any of Makayla’s calls. Since their disagreement at the pub, Makayla has been focused on work. Jena has been assisting Makayla in making phone calls, keeping track of sales, and buying color swabs and pattern samples from Darlene’s Fabric shop. At Makayla’s home office, she and Jena are deciding on which colors and patterns to use for the handbags. However, Jena notices Makayla is quiet and isn’t giving much input.

“So what’s up with you and Eric,” Jena asks.
Makayla sorts through the pattern samples. Jena continues to speak.
“I know you’re unhappy with the way things went down at the pub, but it’s been three weeks and still no phone call? Not even a text message? Eric is such a jerk!”
Makayla looks up at Jena slightly irritated.
 “Eric is not a jerk. He’s just upset right now.”
Jena hisses and rolls her eyes, Makayla continues.
“You don’t know Eric like I do. He counted on me to be there for him and what do I do? I get angry and tell him I’m disappointed in him. Wouldn’t you be upset?”
Jena nods her head in agreement but still disagrees with Eric’s actions.
“Yeah but come on. It’s not your fault Eric acted like an idiot! By him not calling you shows how immature he’s being. You don’t deserve that!”
Makayla responds angrily. “Eric loves me and I let him down. He has every right to be upset with me.”
Jena looks at Makayla trying to make eye contact.
“Does he love you?” Jena says in a low voice.
“Of course he does, what kind of question is that?” Makayla smirks.
“Well then, if he loves you he would call you right? What’s the hold up?”
Makayla sighs, “Just drop it will ya.”
Jena begins to walk away then turns around.
 “Do you love him Makayla?”
Makayla tosses the samples aside and looks at Jena.
“I do, I care about him.”
“That’s not answering the question Makayla; do you love him yes or no?” 
Makayla shakes her head, “Let’s get back to work.”

The door bell rings. Makayla answers the door and it’s Michelle. Michelle is Makayla’s accountant and a licensed realtor. Michelle is currently looking for rental space for Makayla’s launch of her Fall handbag collection. Makayla hopes by showcasing a preview of new handbags it will attract current and potential buyers. Michelle hugs Makayla and waves at Jena. Jena looks annoyed as she waves back at Michelle.
            “Did I come at a bad time?” Michelle says with concern.
            “No you didn’t. Do you have good news for me Michelle?
            “Where should I begin Makayla?” Michelle says confidently.
They both walk back to the office while Jena continues sorting through the color swabs.

It’s dark inside the house although it’s mid afternoon. A half bottle of whiskey sits on the floor next to the couch Eric is laying on. The TV is on showing an infomercial about new exercise equipment. As Eric rubs his eyes he mumbles, “What the hell is this?” and looks for the remote control. He sits up and didn’t realize he was laying on it. He turns off the TV. His cell phone buzzes on the table. Eric stands up, stretches his arms, and lets out a long sigh. He walks over to the table and picks up the phone. There are twenty-five new messages. Most of them are voicemails, a few are texts. Eric walks back to the couch slightly kicking the bottle of whiskey. It doesn’t fall. 

As he sits on the couch he plays the voicemails. Majority of them are from Makayla asking where he is and to call her back. One was longer than the rest.
“Eric, I know you’re mad at me right now and I do understand. I didn’t mean to upset you and I should’ve been more supportive. I haven’t heard from you in days and I’m worried. I’m sorry. Please call me back…I love you and miss you. Whatever you decide to do I’ll support you okay? Please call me.”
Eric could tell Makayla was crying. He hates to see or hear her cry. The next message was from Joy Saunders from channel 2.
Hello Eric, this is Joy Saunders from channel 2. I know we didn’t meet on the best of circumstances, but I would like to talk to you about something that may be of interest to you and your career. Call me as soon as possible, thanks.”
Another message was from Ben who asked if he was okay. Before checking his text messages, a new text came in. It’s from Makayla saying, “I’m thinking of you…” Eric tosses the phone on the couch. He leans back looking up at the ceiling. “Damn why do I love her so much?” he says to himself. After a few minutes, he grabs his phone and calls Makayla. 
            “Hello?” Makayla says.
            “Hello Kayla, it’s me” he says in a raspy voice.
            “Eric…how are you?”
            “I’m here…how are you?”
Makayla hesitates and responds, “Busy, just busy.”
“Yeah?” Eric says in a low voice.
There’s silence for a while. Eric begins to speak.
            “I’m sorry Kayla. I’m sorry for everything.”
Makayla is silent. Eric senses she is crying but doesn’t inquire.
            “Eric…” Makayla says in a low voice.
            “I need to see you. Will you come and see me?” Eric says abruptly.
            Without hesitation she says, “I’m on my way.”

 An hour passed and Makayla hasn’t showed up to Eric’s apartment yet. He showered, finished straightening up the place, and put on a playlist of soft rock from his iPod. He feels anxious. He sits on the couch and checks his phone for any messages. There aren’t any. Ten minutes later, the bell rings and its Makayla. Eric buzzes her in and opens the door. Makayla walks in and smiles at Eric. He closes the door and looks at Makayla.
            “Hi Eric, sorry I’m late.” she says in a low voice.
            “Hi Kayla.”
As Makayla begins to take off her coat, Eric grabs her arm and pulls her to him. They are closely standing face to face. Eric touches her face and Makayla stares into his eyes.
            “I love you Kayla, I love you so much.”
“I love you too Eric, I’m sorry for hurting you” Makayla says holding her head down.
Eric lifts her chin up and smiles at her. “That doesn’t matter now, I’m just glad you’re here.”

He kisses her. She wraps her arms around his broad shoulders. Eric wraps his arms around her waist and pulls her closer to him. They kiss passionately. Makayla slightly pulls away looking into Eric’s eyes, and rubs her fingers through his hair. Eric caresses her back holding her close. She leans into him and kisses him some more. He moves his hands from her waist and grabs the sides of her coat pulling her closer. She feels him become excited. Eric kisses Makayla harder and pulls off her coat. She pulls up his undershirt over his head, and tosses it to the floor. He unbuttons her blouse. Eric turns Makayla around and pins her back against the wall. Their passion lasts throughout the evening.