My Old Self vs. My New Self

Back in 2010, I committed to restore myself into my old self after the months of illness that I suffered through for most of 2010. I remembered telling myself that I will restore my attitude, my lifestyle, and my whole image.

As the time has passed. This is 2011, a new year for me. Really, it wasn’t just a new year, it is more of a revolutionary year for me.

Speaking of “revolutionary year”, I meant that I have come to a point where I decide that I do not want to go back to my old self, the self that I used to be before I got very ill in April 2010. This one, that old self.

What I meant by my old self. That means, I get back to those same clothes that I have been wearing through my college years at Gallaudet and the years I lived here up to April 2010. Also, that means I only stick to my friends and socialize with them. Hence, it was more of a deaf world that I was locked up in. I also used to think that it was nearly impossible for me to create new friendships, especially with the hearing people so I did not bother to meet and create new friendships with them. Therefore, I was more of a Deaf person.

My lifestyle before April 2010 was pretty much… ordinary. An ordinary person that I usually am. Using those Hawaiian/local T-shirts, shorts, and slippers, I did not think of such fancy clothes like Express pants, a polo shirt from Hollister Co. or Aeropostale, an awesomely nice shirt that I bought from Express, or even my look.

When I got really sick in April 2010, it was a shocking moment for me. Along with seven hospitalizations and two near-death experiences, I decided not to take my own life for granted. At the same time, I decided to pursue into a new avenue in my life. That new avenue is to create a new circle of hearing friends, thus expanding my circle of friends to include hearing people as well. It took me through many good things. The good things are that I gained a lot of hearing friends over the time and even kept in touch with them from time to time. I do not intend to lose those hearing friends or drift away from them. Time has changed and I have changed.

All of this has led me into a whole new life. A new life where I get to enjoy even more, love myself even more, and appreciate even more about what I have now. One of the highlights I have in my entire life is that I have met someone who became special to me. I never thought I would find myself loving one certain person as it was usually a hop from one to another, but this time, it has been sticking on one certain person. His name is Evan. He is a really nice person, the person with almost everything in a guy who I wanted to be with. I even find myself falling in for him, however I think it is sort of premature, but as the time has passed by almost eight months now, I know who I love and I also know what I want with him, but I am not pushing it toward the edge onto him. The most important thing is to have the time to be taken care of by itself and that I have to go with the flow. Any push on this may destroy the chances I could have.

It is hard, really. Hard enough. But I am going to give it my all and be as much supportive as I can for him. I am not going to give up on him and I also will stick with him, be friends with him, be encouraging and supportive, and will never abandon him.

Wrapped Up

Oh boy. My graduate study is officially wrapped up after yesterday when my group turned in the document we needed to complete for ETEC 643. I was grateful to have worked with both Mari and Ellie again, as I worked with Mari for a technology innovation presentation in ETEC 602 and with Ellie for a needs assessment in ETEC 600, both in the fall semester of my first year with ETEC (Department of Educational Technology).

I have to admit that it is beginning to hit me that I am actually all done with my graduate study and that there are nothing more that I have to do. Also, I do not even want to leave from the program! LOL, but of course, ETEC is and will be always part of my life. It was the best two years I spent with that department for my graduate study. During the two years with ETEC, I have immersed into the educational technology and seek for any technologies that I can help by bringing them into the deaf community here in Hawai`i, particularly at Hawai`i School for the Deaf and the Blind.

My future is not set yet, as I am still waiting for the job opportunity at Hawai`i School for the Deaf and the Blind. I have contacted with the principal there and am waiting for the opportunity to rise. But for sure, no more education for me for a while. Yes, for a while, because I am still aiming for doctorate degree in the future and I am not giving that dream up.

Meanwhile, as for the summer, I plan to enjoy it to its fullest by doing things that I have not done for a long time. That includes reading, tanning on the beach, catching up with my MacLife magazines, and enjoying the summer because I missed the whole summer last year due to my health issues.

I want to extend my mahalo to Dr. Peter Leong for his wonderful instruction in ETEC 643, 687, and 690. He is one of the wonderful professors I ever had during my years with ETEC. To be honest, the whole ETEC faculty is awesome and I am really happy that I became part of the ETEC `ohana. Also, my mahalo goes to my ETEC cohort, they were supportive. One more thing, my sign language interpreters that I had for the last two years!!

Ok… now, the next step is the graduation on this Saturday. Oh wait… maybe two course evaluations that I need to get done with, then graduation, LOL.

A hui hou.

Wrapping Up

As for ETEC 643, the final task is to turn in the final design documents to Dr. Peter Leong on May 9th. My group and I already did our presentation on the mobile learning game last Wednesday. It went very well and a lot of peers liked the prototype. I derived the prototype from the iPhone to provide a conceptual vision of our mobile learning game.

Our mobile learning game focused on the significant events related to the `Iolani Palace and leading to the overthrow of Queen Lili`uokalani and the end of Hawaiian monarchy. At first, I was a little bit skeptical on this idea, but as we worked together in creating and developing the conceptual vision of this game, it became very interesting.

To be honest with you, I could not wait any longer to have this semester be over so I can rest. Even better, my graduation is just less than two weeks away. I will miss my cohort and the faculty at Department of Educational Technology, but it is more likely that I might go back there in later years for my doctorate degree. Just not anytime soon yet.

TCC Conference

TCC (Technology, Colleges, and Community) Conference went well. I’m glad that I went through with two online presentations in TCC Conference.

One presentation was done with my group partner and it wasn’t too bad because we took the turns with the presentation. He spoke on his part while I typed out in the chat box on my part. It was on Wednesday.

My own presentation, the 20-minute-long presentation, took the place last Thursday. I was a little nervous because my interpreters weren’t the regular ones as the Hawai`i Interpreting Services assigned two substitute interpreters for me on that evening. I had to work out with them at a short notice. Fortunately, my presentation went very well and I was very glad that I got through with it.

Giving my presentation in an online conference like this one was very interesting. It was something that I never have done during my college years at Gallaudet University. All my presentations at Gallaudet University were done in face-to-face classrooms. But this one, this was broadcasted worldwide where there may be dozens or even hundreds checking my presentation out. My presentation had 21 participants, but it was also recorded so there may be dozens more checking my session out after the TCC Conference.

I’m glad that this part is done. But what made me very happy is that my research paper was all finished. All I worry now is to focus on my e-portfolio and turning in all my materials during my entire graduate study to the department by May 1. The beginning of May is just in a couple of weeks away. What’s even more is that my graduation will be 3 weeks away from this Saturday!

Design Document on `Iolani Palace

It has been a while since my last entry in the blog. I was working with Ellie and Mari last Wednesday and everything became more concrete. Mahalo to Mari for setting up the Gagné’s nine events of instruction. I finally got the chance to help them out with the design document after my two presentations during the TCC conference last week.

So far, I helped them with the concept of using the GPS with `Iolani Palace. One thing that we did take in consideration was about the implementation of GPS in our game as one of us were concerned that the point where we check in wouldn’t be recognized at the correct position as the GPS could be shown a little off from the actual point.

For me, personally, I wasn’t concerned about that because I have been using Foursquare for a long time now. I installed it on my iPhone and I really liked this app because it gave me the amusement of competing against other friends of checking in and earning the points. But what made this app really interesting was that it will NOT allow me to check in any places if these places are way off from the GPS on my iPhone. For example, if I’m here in Pearl City and I wanted to check in at Ala Moana Center, which is approximately 10 miles away from me, Foursquare on my iPhone won’t allow me to check in that place and earn the point. It was challenging, but very fair because if this app doesn’t have that kind of rule, then a lot of users would be cheating around, checking in as many places as they want.

This game is slowly turning into a concept that I love. It would be very nice to see if our project could be implemented at `Iolani Palace!

Semi-Final Assignment

I have teamed up with Mari Zeleznik and Ellie Robins for this final assignment, which is sort of because it is split into several components that we need to get done with. First would be the proposal of our idea to submit it. It’s due today and I have a lot of things to do, yikes, LOL.

Meanwhile, am enjoying my drink at Starbucks in Sears at Ala Moana Center. For the first time, I’m going to attend the class (ETEC 690) online from a location different than my home.

The proposal would be more likely to focus on `Iolani Palace with GPS geotagging. It sounds fun and I’m always intrigued to the new ideas =) it would be more of an educational approach instead of a game, although there might be a score keeping involved. Juz wait and see how our proposal turns out later!

Scratching the Games

Ha ha, the title for this blog isn’t intended to “scratch the games”. In the class last Wednesday, I had the chance to try several PC games including Spore. I actually own the Spore game and it is really a never-ending journey because the game starts with a cell and you have to guide the cell to eat smaller cells and try to avoid from bigger cells trying to eat yours. When it becomes big enough, it will jump onto the land and continue eating what they need to eat (given that it can be herbivore, carnivore, or omnivore) to gain their knowledge until they’re smart enough to establish a colony and expand. Once they establish the colony, they have the chance to explore the other planets in the space. This is really a never-ending journey as I cannot find anything that could put an end to it unless my cell dies!

As for “scratching”, I was playing with this app that I downloaded for the class last Wednesday. It was quite interesting and to me, this looks more like an animation builder of some sort. I thought it was interesting, although I haven’t completed my project yet. I will upload that over the weekend. What made me interested with that app is that the cartoon could follow where my mouse is on the screen. Pretty neat!

As for the final design documents, I haven’t found a team to join with for this final assignment yet. Hopefully I will join with a team who is motivated to create a simple, yet small, game for this class. Looking forward to that!

Sportsmanship Award for HSDB

I wanted to extend my congratulations to one of my alma mater, Hawai`i School for the Deaf and the Blind, for winning the Sportsmanship Award at National Deaf Academic Bowl at Gallaudet University in Washington D.C.

National Deaf Academic Bowl is an academic bowl for deaf and hard of hearing high school from all over the country. As for its 15th annual academic bowl, it hosts for over 80 schools randomly selected and for the first time, it hosts for all of these schools right in the heart of Gallaudet University in Washington D.C. Hawai`i School for the Deaf and the Blind was lucky to be selected, but there was two from Hawai`i that attended there. The other one was Pearl City High School.

I was also a former academic bowl participant in years back then — in 2002 and 2003 during my junior and senior years, respectively. It was an awesome experience as I got the chance to meet other students from other schools.

Hawai`i School for the Deaf and the Blind is the only deaf school here in Hawai`i. It opened its doors to the deaf, hard of hearing, blind, and deaf-blind keiki in Hawai`i back in 1914. In 2004, it reached its 90th anniversary and it is preparing for its 100th anniversary later in 2014. I was also a former student at that school from 1st grade to 8th grade. I also had to thank HSDB for its part in creating who I am today.

Again, congratulations to HSDB for its sportsmanship award at National Deaf Academic Bowl!

“WTFable”, Yet Scary, Dream

It was very rare for me to ever remember what my dreams were, but this dream was so striking that it actually became stuck inside my mind when I woke up.

The setting was in or around Shibuya in Japan. It was Shibuya because I recalled the sign in a subway station that said “Shibuya”, although I didn’t even know what the neighboring towns are around that area.

The year was unknown, but it was more of several years from now, probably in 2015 or 2020.

There was a warning about the massive nuclear bomb that will happen in Japan and we have to seek for a hideout well below the ground level to avoid the blast radius. The people were scrambled around in the subway stations, pushing against each other, and cars being tailgating against other cars trying to get out of Shibuya. The massive nuclear bomb was dropped into Shibuya and everything went up into flames, then back to the normal after I blinked.

The vision of flames from the massive nuclear bomb was gone instantly and the day became peaceful, like nothing did happen. I was puzzled enough to consider that it was probably a dream. Everything looked normal except the cars being stuck on streets and highways, like they didn’t move and those people were screaming inside the cars, trying to tell others to move along. Ironically, the trains were passing through the subway stations without stopping and people had to catch on the trains by jumping into the trains when they arrive at the stations.

They seemed to be little odd until I saw a little boy who accidentally cut his finger and he went, “Ow!” However, the blood didn’t trickle from his finger and I was puzzled again. Why didn’t the blood trickle out of his finger? Then I decided to check the boy’s chest just to see if his heart is still beating. Unfortunately, it wasn’t beating and I decided to check mine, believing that I’m alive. But mine wasn’t even beating at all, either. That’s when I realized that everybody in Shibuya, including myself, was dead. Nobody survived the massive nuclear bomb. The illusions of cars being stuck in the traffic were actually burnt out by the massive nuclear bomb and the people who were screaming inside the cars were actually dead. Also, the trains that kept going through the subway stations were actually kept running with nobody controlling the trains as people inside the trains were already dead, too.

That was when I realized that nobody survived the massive nuclear bomb, but I was fooled with the illusion of the peaceful day in Shibuya. Really horrifying, but at the same time, it was a “WTF-able” dream I ever had. I woke up and found myself having goosebumps from that dream. Yikes!

Effects from Wednesday Class

Oh boy! My left arm suffered the massive muscle pain, aah! LOL, but it’s still getting better as days went by. Yikes. I haven’t played a video game console for a very long time. I would say that the last time I played was… last year before I got very ill in April 2010.

Anyway, it was pretty fun to play PlayStation 3 with PlayStation Move. It was quite interesting, especially the light sphere’s color changes while I play. I’m very crazy with the lightings, especially those Christmas-like lights, LOL. But yeah, it was fun, given that I never played with PlayStation Move before. I did try the PlayStation 3 through my friends and it was fun. I even have been considering about buying one, but kept procrastinating due to budget and time! Maybe someday, I will have one.

As for Nintendo Wii, it brought me memories I have with my mom when we played Wii Fit together. We used to exercise nearly everyday, try to compete against each other. But for sure, in Hula Hoops, my mom already set the highest record ever, with more than 800 turns with more than 5 hoops at once. That is something that I knew I will never get to overcome. She’s the expert in that game and welcome yourself if you want to challenge her on that! Haha :-)

So far, I like these two game consoles, Nintendo Wii and PlayStation 3. If my iPhone counts as another “video game console”, it would be the number one because I have over 100 games on my iPhone and I kept switching back and forth between many of them, especially with Pac-Man Championship Edition, TradeNations, UNO, Tap Tap Revenge 4, Cut the Rope, and Burn the Rope, to name few. Simply said, I cannot live without my iPhone and I would scream at the top of my lungs if I ever lose one, definitely!!

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