Thursday, December 30, 2010

2 years teaching in Brooklyn:

I moved to New York City in 2008. It was a blessing to land a job as a Literacy Instructor for young adults, ages 17-24, who read below the 6th grade reading standards. I found myself working for the Brooklyn Public Library in Bushwick, Brooklyn for the 1st year and then Sunset Park, Brooklyn for the 2nd year.

I met some amazing people in this experience. I am most grateful to have worked with and became instant friends with Maisha Rodriguez. We co-taught together in Bushwick but more importantly, Maisha was the first person in New York City that accepted my crazy ways. We developed a great friendship that I look forward to building upon in the future!

How lucky have I been to work with some great students from all over the planet. Maybe that's why we call this place the Planet of Brooklyn. I'm talking about Puerto Ricans, Dominicans, African Americans, students from Guyana, Barbados, Russia, China, Bangladesh, France, Mali, Tunisia, Ireland..... Yes, my class was like the United Nations!

I learnt so much from my students that I cherish in my heart forever. It felt like our own universe in that basement classroom in Sunset Park, Brooklyn (4th Ave and 51st St.). To watch human beings fight through their own issues and push through a world that labels them failures, all in all felt so sacred to me because I was being reminded of the spirit of resiliency and the enduring nature of growth.

For 2 years I worked day in and day out to improve literacy in Brooklyn. I am forever grateful for this opportunity. But all good things must come to an end. On Dec 17th, 2010, a blessing in disguise came as I was laid off from my teaching position. Public Education in America is nothing but politics! A battleground that I am in need of time away from and self healing.

Now I take this moment as an opportunity to pursue my own artistic endeavors. Specifically, I am most excited about touring my new solo Hip Hop Theater production entitled "Universal Filipino" in 2011. I am also eager to create new and raw artistic material that represents all that I have been through in this journey to survive as a caring spirit in New York City.

I have given much and I have received much. Now its time to believe in the spirit that dwells within this body. Nothing is going to stop me now! I am armed with the blessings of all of my students from NYC to California. I take this leap of faith and work relentlessly to live up to my purpose in life, to tell stories from the bottom of my heart

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