Saturday, December 26, 2015

This is It!

If I had to say what was on my heart, I would say, I am ready for this year to be over. 2015 had more lows than highs and the greatest high was the fact that I made it through. I can only thank God for that. The greatest blessing of bad years and moments is that with each bad break, rough moment, or tear dropped brings a pearl of wisdom so refreshing that it automatically makes you stronger. 

Resilience comes in many forms and mine came from my ability to resist the urge of letting my internal feelings overcome me. Everything from hair loss to dead teeth to autoimmune issues threatened to shred every single bit of sanity and happiness I ever possessed, but my resilience would not allow it. It is pointless to dwell on what has happened so I won’t. I will simply say 2016 will be phenomenally better.


  • Career movement. I made some solid strides in my writing career, created my own brand, and finalized the plan for my non hostile takeover of 2016.

  • Far Away Places. I finally laid eyes on one of the coolest places I have always wanted to go; Thailand. I stayed, ate plenty of Thai food, lived at the beach, and attempted to relax.  Such a strange and unique land will be visited again in the near future. That Bucket List keeps getting smaller and smaller. 

  • End of an Era. I finally entered the last phase of my 20’s; the year 29. It is a strange, often unimportant year, but not to me. In my eyes, it is the last year to truly live up to my 20’s full potential. I must make it count.
  • How Many of US have Them? I would venture to say I made some amazing friends this year. Honestly, some of the coolest, well rounded, and thoughtful people ever. They made one of the most trying years of my life much easier and I am so grateful for them. 
  • My House. I am moving from my casita to my very own house. As I venture into my 30’s I am taking with me good credit, a solid career, and a new home to call my own. Pray and you have what you wish. I am putting my faith in that.

  • Your Health is Your Wealth, Always Take Care of Yourself. This saying is surreal in my life. I honestly had a health wake up call. I experienced a “poo poo” platter of health concerns from weight gain, heartburn, hair loss, eye issues and sadly, so much more. In the New Year, I don’t want much, but good health. It is my only wish.
  • Heartbreak Hotel. Always unlucky in love I will be. I don’t claim this title and yet it loves me so. Hopefully I get enough positive mojo to turn this issue around permanently.
  • Masterful yet indecisive. I have yet to figure out a master program that I want to invest in and commit to. I am like “Runaway Bride” but with education. I must narrow this down and make a firm commitment….like…NOW!
  • The strain of Humanity. Some of my most precious relationships are strained and I am not sure how to fix them. I am praying for discernment to repair them.
  • Slow Down. I had a car accident and sadly I was more concerned about the car and the cost of repairing everything rather than my health. I have truly learned the importance of accidents because I have finally seen that it has very little to do with a car and everything to do with the people in them. I believe God was trying to slow me down so even though the accident was scary, it was necessary. My value is increasing in every aspect of my life.

Overall, I would rate 2015 at a 4. It was not the worst year, but it was challenging in ways I did not know existed. Thankfully, resilience is on my side and if I am lucky, God will allow me to greet 2016 in a much better, more positive mind frame. I couldn’t be more ready for this change.

Wednesday, December 9, 2015


Oriel M. Martin 
Learning Journey Timeline
EDU230 Cultural Diversity in Education
Mesa Community College

An education is an amazing thing because it does not necessarily have to begin with books or classrooms, but simply being open. Open to the possibility of change. Throughout my journey within my cultural diversity class, I learned there are hundreds of ways to skin a cat and any way is fine, so long as the cat is skinned.

Throughout my journey, I learned the true definition of culture. Culture is the various and complex knowledge, history, art, morals, law, customs, and common behaviors of a certain group of people. The major aspects of culture are deep in range, but typically include; musical stylings, language, dialect, food, and education. From what I observed, culture is hugely important to people and must be heavily involved in educational teachings thus shaping a more well rounded society.

From my readings and class lessons, I learned that multicultural education in various lesson plans developed by educators to assist teachers responding to the ever-changing demographics of a multiracial society. Some of the main goals of a multicultural education is to ensure that all students feel connected and appreciated culturally thus increasing their tenacity to learn and develop as a person. A multicultural education promotes the idea that everyone matters and that is exactly the way that children should be taught.

Multicultural education reflects responsive teaching to help meet the academic needs of a diverse student populations by including them in every aspect of their learning. As a teacher and mentor to several Native American children, I witnessed firsthand, the huge impact of children learning more about themselves and their culture. It makes a profound difference in their lives for showing them that every human being matters and every culture is special in their own way. 

Throughout my own personal development as a teacher, I learned, multicultural education affects broader social issues that impact our society in a number of ways. Minorities are the main group of people oppressed in this country and when their culture is being compromised and withdrawn from them (especially history), it relinquishes the confidence they could have in turn, keeping them from being truly invested in their futures. The wealth gap between ethnic people in the world is astounding so being educated and knowledgable on the world surrounding us greatly decreases the odds of being part of the working poor. Other issues lie in the way of minorities including; low educational expectations, achievement gaps, and professional growth which is why is it highly important for students to be exposed to a multicultural education so that they can have pride in themselves and derail the plans society may have for them. 

Some other significant insights that I gained over the course of this class include; learning how to listen and respond appropriately to children. As a teacher, I must be willing to listen to my children and hear their thoughts, opinions, or even cries for help. I must focus on constantly (and subtlety) on including multicultural facts and figures into my lesson plans. I must keep education fresh in order to keep the attention of my students. 

One of my favorite songs sung by one of my favorite singers (R.I.P.) is dedicated to all the young people in the world. Every child deserves love, happiness, and a fair chance at a great life. Never give up on yourself and never believe what society says about your culture. Learn to accept yourself, the world around you, and the people in it.