Eclipse: a journey of in between

The last solar eclipse I totally remember was when I was a senior in high school. I was a science geek and I still am despite my battles with mathematics.  So teaching at high school (some years later…) and my class begged me in ASL to go outside. Naturally, we outside and I did some classwork jingling. It was also nice because I could informally introduce one lesson.


Anyhow back to point…the experience back in high school, I was able to share with my students such as the leaves on ground changing shapes (thicker trees are a bit more difficult to see through). My colander didn’t work too well…shucks!

Some classes came in and out and we were able to borrow the eclipse glasses to take some pictures. Then the clouds could filter the eclipse through.

Then of course, the temperature and wind changes. You can feel that change not only from outside but from within. That sense of a shift and how people behave.  A friend of mine said it is like during full moon. Enjoy the photos. There’s no superstition for eclipses, again we feel that shift in us, don’t we?

Safe Space

What do you think of once you see the title ‘Safe Space’?

A safe space is safe as long as people within that space respects those who are within that space. Whether they agree to disagree, ask for better understanding or acknowledge that there is difference in who we are.

My classroom, I have noticed, is often a safe space for students. I tend to have different kinds of people; whether they be people of color, LGBT, a person with disability or bilingual. I attended a professional development presentation on campus where I realized that I tend to not send students of color outside of my classroom for the slightest thing.

While my classroom is a safe space for students, it is not one for me. How can a classroom not be a safe space for someone like me?


Created by me…

I teach American Sign Language and I am deaf. Naturally, I do struggle with students speaking in the classroom where I practice 90% or more use of target language with pictorial and written English supplemental information. One thing that has been constant, students thinking that I cannot tell if they are speaking (there are some exceptions…) or I am faking my own deafness (vibrations!).

I deal with a wide range of people who hear on a daily basis, approximately 80% of my time. It can get tiring and frustrating, at the same time excited, especially when someone tries to sign back or efficient communication.

I consider my classroom my own personal safe space where I can teach students about ASL, Deaf culture and the people who live within this community. Yet one thing that could make a personal difference within this space that can be transferred out to the real world…is the consistent use of spoken English.

This includes signing and speaking at the same time, which is deteremental to the ability to understand ASL, especially when it is signed. Like learning any language and I can share this from my personal experience learning French, it is not enough just knowing vocabulary and grammar, it is the ability to be able to converse in the language one is learning – at any level.

When a simple policy of not speaking English but signing or using other communication method is established, there is a reason for that – language wise; human wise or for real world application.  Is it a wonder that my safe space is also threatened?  How can I encourage consistent safe space for my students?

I wonder if it is the same for those who are like a fish out of water – marginalized and minority people teaching in majority population locations.



Life without technology or global communications would be as complicated as it is now.  Dying one day without knowing why allows us to revere the natural world and our part in it, as well as resepcting the inclusion of our species within its circle of life.

why am I being fatalistic today?  The ways of the world for a long time has weighed heavily on my mind and my soul.  I fear nothing but death. Death, why? I do not like missing out on anything, thanks to my experience and an aspect of myself – curiousity.

April’s National Geographic covered the topic of future of humans, climate change, degradation of natural resources (due to climate change, human practices and behaviors).

Changes have been coming and they still will be coming. Genetic change? Here. Bionic implants are already here. Superiority, thanks to Darwin, already been here for a thousand years thanks to European “civilization”. Thank you, Charles Darwin and the scientists whom have followed afterwards.

Most of the time I wish Darwin never got anywhere.  The survival of the fittest doesn’t mean humans should go willy nilly on making changes on a genetic level that will impact our species and the world in so few generations.  Well, that’s already happening despite what Congress or the climate change naysayers are telling us.

Being deaf is a way of life just as being a short lady with curly hair and blue eyes. Despite the gains that we bring to the world, we still will be eradicated.  Someone who is colorblind appreciates what life has to offer until an implant allows them to ‘see’ beyond.  The gap will continue widen between people as they have done today with wealth and intelligence.  The next gap is between those who choose the natural path and those who choose bionics.

Bionics are just tools that will take the human extreme of ‘survival of the fittest’ to a level where ethics will ignored, be damned the human species.

With what we are doing to the world, ourselves with technology and war, has not life become meaningless?  Am I raising my children to value life, only to have it turned back on me just because I happened to be different from them? Am I teaching children to value the world more than technology only to have them make the decision to support linguicide as well as genocide?

I will continue to live…when death comes at my door, I welcome it.  No longer shall I look to the future with such curiousity.


Drawing by my soon to be 8 year old. 

via Daily Prompt: Meaningless

Daily Prompt: Tree


Snapped on iPhone6 and edited/posted to Instagram a month ago. Trees have always fascinated me because of their strength and ability to encompass different parts of the physical world such as roots for underground, branches and leaves reaching to the sky and the trunk being the balance between both. Trees among many are our lifeblood to the world. Without them, we would not exist.

via Daily Prompt: Tree

a Tear or a Smile?

Vlog – a Tear or a Smile?

This hit me today. I have been fully aware of this quote as I go through life daily. Yet a conversation such as today brings this close to mind and heart. This is a question one needs to ask oneself periodically through out the journey of a lifetime.

So which is it? What is better?  The truth that draws a tear or the lie that draws a smile?**  Most of will agree that the truth hurts when confronted with it and with time and the chance to self-analyze the truth, acceptance and the chance to make changes, to improve, to understand and see things in a different light.

a tear


A greater pain is the lie that people just tell or let go. You wonder ‘let go’?  How is letting go a lie? It does not promote dialogue nor a pathway for change. A lie is not a simple thing, it creates conflict and dishonesty, hurting all that ‘benefit’ from this lie. A lie does not offer opportunities nor does it offer chances. It takes them away. That hurts more deeply than the truth.

I have said my piece, yet I want to bring something up. Responsibility. Many people think that it is the sole person’s responsibility for everything in life or in what they do. Unfortunately, this is not true.

I had this conversation once with my mother at a soccer game.  We were talking about stuff and she asked me why I did not use sign language at home.  I explained that it became a habit to sign at school and speak at home. She put the responsibility of signing at home at my hands, 100%.  I told her that it was also her responsibility and whomever in the house to tell me to shut up and start signing (I literally said ‘shut up’ because by nature I am a chatterbox, when the time comes). It is the both of us who are responsible for what we do, no matter how heartfelt our intentions are, equally.

Each of us may have a different type of responsibility and at different levels one time or another. No person is solely responsible for the outcome, consequences or actions that occurs. That responsibility is equal among others. This denial and placing the responsibility upon one person is a form of a lie.  When we do not stand up, then the lie continues.


Which is it? A tear or a smile?



The Land on Which I Stand

Flooded Yard with Cold Water

In response to The Daily Post’s writing prompt: “A Plot of Earth.”

Since settling on an one acre property, it is mostly left alone, with a few garden plots (flower/veggies), a small grove of trees and we don’t add chemicals to the grass (only to nurse sick trees)

Grove in Spring


This Friday is Earth Day…Let us keep practicing balance with our earth, every day.

“Treat the earth well: it was not given to you by your parents, it was loaned to you by your children. We do not inherit the Earth from our Ancestors, we borrow it from our Children.”  ~Native Indian Proverb



Many deaf and hard of hearing people often face challenges when trying to communicate with business owners and we will return to those who have made their business open and accessible to us…often. We can rely on each other to provide positive feedback about businesses that others frequent when we search for a local business to go to.

One example: Before my son was born, I asked a friend of mine which pediatrician she takes her children to. She gave me a name and I have been happy to have the pediatrician as a part of my children’s health because he prefers to have an interpreter in place during appointments, no matter how long we are there. Not only that, it is cute when he asks for signs such as MOM, DAD, or THANK-YOU. He knows that efficiency and effective communication is best between doctors and patients.

I already registered and will be providing positive reviews for a few places, especially those places who have worked with us for more than one year for events and such. Enjoy the beautiful video and John Maucere’s interviews.  #deaffriendly !


An Essential Oil A Day…

A part of an journey is trying to find what one can do in respect with personal health and the world in which we live in. I recently was introduced to doTerra, an essential oils company out of Utah. I am fascinated by the oils and how we can use them to improve our health and lives. I am still learning the ropes and so far what I have seen with the oils, continue to impress me. I have created bath salts, car fresheners, cleaning fluid and acne cream (also a moisturizer). I diffuse quite a lot too.

Today my daughter woke up with an intense ear pain in her left ear. I had to call in for a substitute at school and my son stayed home as well (I live 45-50 miles away from where I work).  A call to the doctor at 8 am netted me an appointment at 10:15 am.  My daughter was in pain so I took some drops of Melaleuca and rubbed on the surface of her ear and on her bone behind the ear. A few minutes she became calm and fell asleep.  She did wake up to tell me that her ear was better but I knew better and we headed out to the doctor. Sure enough, she has a terrible ear infection.

As anything new that comes into your life, do research.  What I have read and discussed with people tells me the nature of essential oils is valuable (as long as depletion and removal of nature’s resources are not abused, this is symbiosis that we are talking about!) and as old as the ages. How much have we modern humans in today’s age lost from the wisdom of those who have come before us?

Curious? Check out my site: 

I also created my own website which discusses essential oils in general, as well as some tips and homemade stuff.   EO With Joanna


When I go into bathrooms these days, I look for the stall with a manual flusher.

I know…crazy isn’t it?

I think the automation of so many things created a downfall in human capacity to do things…for themselves. Motor skills, critical thinking, or just making sure the “water vacuum” works.

We don’t take the time to do things as they need to be done. We just assume that it will be done, period. Do we really want to go back and see that … thing still there?

I’ll be looking for the flusher everywhere I go.