Tag Archive | education

Meet my blogger friend Joe Cosme.

I connected with Joe in this space many months ago and not only has he been supportive, I find his articles inspiring. I never visit his blog and come away empty handed. Today, he has agreed to share more personal details about himself with us.

Thank you, Joe for obliging my nosy inquisition. My regards and best wishes in your endeavours.

  1. Tell us about Joe. Your background, short biography and general outlook towards life.

I am originally from the Bronx, New York and of Puerto Rican and Scottish descent.  My Puerto Rican heritage dominated my life. Yet, I do not speak fluent Spanish. I know nothing about my Scottish heritage.

Me as a baby.

Me as a baby.

I currently live in Florida with my husband of seven years and our two fur babies Maddy and Lotis.

A dysfunctional family life and living in the Bronx helped to make me one of the statistics.  I was a dropout from the school system by the age of 16.

I later returned to school to get my High School Equivalency diploma and went on to college to study Culinary Arts.

I subsequently changed my major to Psychology.  I made this decision because I started studying metaphysics and saw a correlation between the two.  In my opinion, Cognitive behavioural therapy is very similar to using affirmative self-talk.

I never completed my studies but continued to explore these subjects independently.  To this day these are two things that interest me very much.

I love understanding how the mind works… what makes people tick… how habitual thought patterns can be changed.

I love taking a recipe and making it my own… cooking for others and seeing their faces when they are enjoying the meal I created.

My other likes besides cooking and psychology is gardening.

These are some of my plants in my garden.

Some of my crystal collection.

Photography: Some of my shots below.

For my singing, you can check out this post for that.

Pollyanna

Nobody is perfect.  But, for the most part, I am a very optimistic person.

I have a strong faith in the goodness of my Creator and I believe that there is a reason for everything, because of this, I tend to look for the silver lining in every situation, even in the midst of hard times I look for the reason and try to adjust my attitude to not resist what is going on. Some might call this being a Pollyanna, but I like to think it’s just having faith that I am always where I’m supposed to be in life.

Transitions

Like all people, I have experienced some events in my life that have changed the direction my life was going.

Miracle On 42nd Street

One such incident happened in the year 1990.

It was the day after Christmas that my life changed as a New York City bus jumped the kerb in Manhattan.  I only remember seeing the bus coming toward me.  The next thing I remember was being on the corner of 42nd street and Lexington Avenue.

The next day I saw myself pictured on some of the major New York newspapers.  There I was, laid out on the corner of the streets of Manhattan.  The headline read, Miracle On 42nd Street.  I survived this accident only by the pure Grace of God.

I have the belief that things happen for a reason and that this accident was to help prepare me for what was to happen next in my life.

Instant Family

Two months after my accident, my mother was diagnosed with lung cancer and she lasted only 8 months after finding out about her condition. This resulted into my inheriting the responsibility of raising my two younger brothers.

I wrote a little about this here if you’d like to read about it.

Oops! I Did It Again

After raising my brothers, I eventually ended up working with special needs people as an education coordinator, coach, and trainer. However, my work with this community ended on  October 9, 2013, when I experienced another accident.

I bet you thought I was going to say something about Britney Spears 🙂 I won’t go into what happened with this accident, but if you want, you can read about it here.

This latest transition in my life leads to the next question.

  1. Tell us about your blog and your purpose for starting it. Did you have any set goals in mind when you were setting up your blog? What do you think about the blogging phenomenon itself?

My Blog is called What I Gotta Say About It

After having my last accident my self-image and everything I thought I was changed. I was physically unable to do most of the things I once did. Being physically unable to live as I once had affected me emotionally as well.  I soon found myself in depression. The only outlet I had was my journal. One day while writing in my journal I got the inspiration to share my writing and so, “What I Gotta Say About It” was born. However, there’s more to the story.

My Intentions

When I first started my blog, I was really interested in informing people about things they might not have known about. Things like the NSA and our privacy, whistleblowers, our civil liberties being taken away, and the like. I also wanted to discuss spirituality and self-improvement. As time went on I realised I like writing about these things but I needed to focus on something concrete. So, I decided to focus on helping people to realise their highest potential but, I also want to take it a step further.

Building A Community

Joe 31I have had an awesome experience interacting with the blogging community. So much so, that I created another site in the form of a social network. It is my hope that I will build a community where everyone can share their knowledge and resources with each other. I’m also researching how to create online courses and would like to offer that. It’s not completely finished yet, but soon enough hopefully.

  1. Take us with you on a typical day spent with you. Show us a bit of your World and yes we love photos of your pets if you’ve got any.

My Daily Quagmire

My typical day consists of

  • Looking for a job.

I was released to go back to work.  However, I have limitations.  So, this has been quite challenging.

  • Educating myself.

I am currently taking a course at Live You Legend.

I am also researching options for wigsai.com.

I’m contemplating studying to be a life coach.  I think some sort of credential would help me on my mission to help other people.

  • Taking Care of Maddy & Lotis

Maddy is our dog who is 15 years old.  She has random seizures and is prone to getting attacked by Lotis. Lotis is our brand new puppy, who is a handful.  We recently lost one of our fur babies (read about that here) and added Lotis to the mix.  He is only 3 months old.

Thank you for the opportunity for the interview Jacqueline.


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P.S.: Would you like to grant an interview or guest posting? You can send an email to me at JacquelineObyIkocha@gmail.com

Getting to know the beautiful, delightful, smart and prolific writer; Amanda Eifert.

It’s an honour for Mandi to accept to do such a personal interview with me. Ever since I started blogging Mandi has been a staunch and heartwarming friendly support. Mandi, I wish you all the best in your endeavours and appreciate your hand of fellowship.

  • Introduce yourself, a bit about your background, your likes, dislikes and general outlook towards life.

Hi, my name is Amanda or Mandi as some of you know me. I am from Edmonton, Alberta, Canada and have lived here all my life. I live by two gorgeous parks and off-leash trails for dogs. I enjoy walking the off leash trails. I miss my old dog and enjoy the other dogs on the trail. I also love how peaceful it is on those paths.image1.JPG

I have been on disability for over eight years now. I used to be an admin assistant in construction for a commercial development company. I became ill, not realizing what was happening to me because I had never experienced mental illness before December 2008. I left work my last day emotionally distraught, embarrassed, and not realizing I was hearing echoes after certain people talked. I would hear what someone usually said, then hear an echo of their voice which would comment and say something mean.
On December 24, 2008, I waited in the emergency with my Dad. We discovered I was experiencing a psychotic episode. I went into the hospital in January. Once I started a certain antipsychotic, I stopped hearing things. For some reason my now doctor told me when you hear things, it’s always the worst things you can think of. After, the psychosis I had a mini depression.
I have never had another psychotic episode since 2008 but now experience depression and severe fatigue. Severe fatigue meaning, I cannot mentally or physically do things for a long enough period to work or do many activities in life.
After trying countless medications and developing insomnia along with my depression, I went into the hospital to overhaul my cocktail of medications in July 2015. I’m finally, on a helpful and tolerable med called Clozapine.
It acts as an antidepressant, antipsychotic, and causes me to sleep through the night. Before Clozapine, not being able to sleep and becoming so used to sleep medications that they stopped working was miserable. Now, I have more freedom in everyday life as well and can do some exercise and concentrate better.
I’m a determined writer and I’ve been working on improving my writing for years. I have a BA in English Literature, a certificate in Residential Design, and am pursuing an online MFA at UBC for May 2017. I love being creative and imaginative in my writing; I enjoy drawing and acrylic painting at times; and I adore dogs, hanging with my friends, Netflix, scrapbooking, and yoga. I’m told I’m intuitive and thoughtful.
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I don’t like it when people push me into a corner and force me to decide something, I need time to weigh matters for significant decisions. Because of my illness, I need a bit more control over my life than some people realize. I have to plan down-time to relax and can’t do activities out of the house every day. I hate it when people are discriminative of people with mental illness or disabilities of any kind. I regret that because of my disabilities, I missed a lot of time with my best friends and are not as close to them as I would like. But maybe that’s life and it happens as a person grows older.
I’m extremely close to my family and I’m drawn to people who are close to their family too, including pets. I’m a proud Christian and would not have made it through what I have, if not for God’s grace and the love of my family and friends.
  • Tell us about your blog and your purpose for starting it. Did you have any set goals in mind when you were setting up your blog? What do you think about the blogging phenomenon itself? What has your blogging experience being? Here, you can share some links of your top posts or blog posts that you particularly like with us.
I mentioned earlier, I have been working on my writing for years now. After my mini depressive episode, I couldn’t read books such as Harry Potter and it was hard for me to even write. Daily, I increased my ability reading, starting with easier books such as the Twilight books and other Young Adult books, eventually, moving into more difficult reads such as the books I read in university English classes.
My goal with writing was to bring my writing to the point it was at in university, but I hope I’ve surpassed that goal. I had read some of my friends blogs and had a friend who blogged on WordPress. I signed up and started blogging.
In the beginning, my blog was a place to share about my mental illness and my daily life, the disappointment I felt at not being able to live and be like a normal girl of my age back then, and the classes I was taking. I also started writing for a young woman’s magazine and I enjoyed writing about these current events twenty-somethings would be interested in.
I also started taking some editing course through Simon Fraser University online. Quickly, I discovered I would never be perfectionist enough to be an editor, but I loved to write so I focused on creatively explore writing. It has always been my passion and I’ve been writing poems since I was eleven or so as stress relief and because it always felt right to me.
The editing courses were useful and I did learn when editing others work, to leave it as their own work and not completely change it as my editor for the young women’s magazine had done to my articles often. But I did need to work on my spelling and grammar and my blog and the editing courses aided me there.
At the same time, I was working on a Residential Design certificate. It was good knowledge to know had I been able to return to work, but it wasn’t my passion. I signed up for a few creative writing courses, and participated in many versions of the WordPress online courses. I started writing posts for my blog everyday. Gradually, I fell head over heals in love with writing fiction and especially, poetry.
I have made it my goal to visit www.shadowpoetry.com and learn to write using as many poetry types as I can master. Poetry always comes out the easiest for me, usually in free verse. Fiction requires more thought. Through Flashfiction challenges, through writing my own novel, and learning the whole process behind developing a novel, my writing has improved substantially, since I began blogging nearly five-years ago.
As a writer, I realize a blog is a necessary part of sharing your work with the public, by commenting, participating in prompt challenges with other bloggers, and sharing your work over social media. I never realized even a few years ago, how all these social media accounts add to a writer’s audience.
Twitter is a big one. I have many followers on there and quite a few new ones every day. I write some poetry only on Twitter and have found places to publish my poetry through Twitter. Mainly, www.spillwords.com. I also love the WordPress community. It’s so supportive and I love brightening someone’s day by telling them how wonderful their writing piece is or what it makes me think about. Critiquing is so helpful as long as it is done in a helpful and kind manner and I try to do this when I comment. I would rather in my own work, have someone be honest with me if it doesn’t sound right (etc.) than tell me it’s fantastic and lie. But not everybody likes such honesty.
  • Take us with you on a typical day spent with you. Show us a bit of your World and yes we love photos of  your pets if you’ve got any.
Honestly, my average day is not interesting. I set out with a list of tasks to accomplish and try my best. Sometimes, it’s a bad day, and I end up staying mostly in bed and sleeping. Other days, I do chores I need to around the house, make healthy meals, do twenty to thirty minutes yoga or walking, clean, comment on other blogs and read blog posts, catch up on writing for different prompts, read books or magazines, or work on editing my novel in second draft. I research a lot online, try to stay up on current events, and watch Netflix or TV at times.
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A day out, I plan ahead. I go to a festival in Edmonton in the summer; go to the mall for necessities and sometimes clothes shopping; I go for coffee and meet a friend or sometimes on my own for a change of environment; I go for a longer walk in the river valley; go to a farmer’s market on a Saturday; get my hair or nails done; attend an appointment or go to a movie; and whatever else I want to do or need to do. I can only go out every couple of days usually, but sometimes I manage two-days out at a time. I’m limited to about four-hours out at a time, unless I’m simply sitting, such as for a movie. After a while, an extremely noisy or loud place is difficult to remain in on certain days.
On weekends, I often do something with my Mom in the day. I’m pretty constantly texting friends or messaging them and connected to the online world throughout my week, but sometimes even I need a break.
  • What’s the next pit-stop for your blog’s outreach and publishing?  Any plans in the offing? You can also share some of your published works here.
Well, like you, I’ve started doing interviews of other poets and Bloggers. It’s fascinating to learn about other writers, their writing processes, how they publish their work, and to find their unique take on life and writing in general. It’s been a success for me on my blog. I was extremely pleased to have you as my first interview. Now, I’ve got a whole list of interviewees until October at least. The interviews are informative for readers such as blog followers, as well as myself.
I’ve had poetry published in www.spillwords.com and www.sicklitmagazine.com since June 2016. I continue to send out my poetry to literary magazines and journals, as well as websites which publish poetry and fiction. My goal is to have a short story in fiction published.
Fiction is harder for me as I said, but I love it. Rejection makes me all the hungrier to have it published. Even when I receive rejection emails, I’m happy a publisher/magazine took the time to reject me and often tell me what I need to work on.
I want to eventually publish my novel which is a paranormal romance. I’m working on rearranging and polishing the second draft of my manuscript. Then, I need to look at editors because as it is my first novel, I need an editor to read through the whole piece and tell me what works and what doesn’t. I think I’m going to try querying for an agent after, but I will see. There are advantages to self-publishing, but given my health, it may be better for me to have a publisher take care of editing the manuscript, doing the cover, the marketing etc.
Thanks for interviewing me, Jacqueline. I appreciate your generosity.
Here are some current links to some of my work and some photographs:
5. Interview With Marquessa Matthews – Nonfiction –https://mandibelle16.wordpress.com/2016/07/18/interview-with-marquessa-matthews/
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This is Nikki. My long-passed on pet, but as I said I miss her 🙂

Underwater Zoo – Echoes of My Neighbourhood 28.

On Thursday’s, I share pictures about ‘Echos of my Neighbourhood.

I would like to invite you to participate. The challenge is quite simple and you can find out more about it through this link.

 

Part of my effort to balance Summer break with cheap fun stuff to do, academic exercises, cooking and so on is also to seek out occasional fun stuff that equally imparts some knowledge on the children, though they might cost a bit of money to achieve.

Our quest took us to the Underwater zoo located at The Dubai Mall. A worthwhile experience.

Pamela took us on a nature walk and we got some weekly smiles at Lady Lee’s corner. Louise’s was just at the right place to catch and take snapshots of Stalwart Chinook helicopters from the RAF airbase around her. I love such happenstances 🙂

So, when do we get to visit you? Now, don’t be shy and invite us over😉

Jacqueline


Below is my first just published Poetry Book “Out of the silent breath” which is available on Amazon and Smashwords.

When you buy my book, you support me in an invaluable manner.

Stars, Five Stars, Logo, Icon, Symbol, Five, Rating

Jacqueline writes from her heart on passion, pain, suffering, loss and LIFE. I have been incredibly moved by her poetry and I know I will return to “Out of the Silent Breath” again and again.

Out of the silent breath

If you enjoy my works and would like to do so, you can fuel my creativity with a slice of cake or coffee😉

It’s all in my mind…

Train[1]

Each day in my life is an adventure and that’s how I truly see it. I don’t have to climb Everest or Himalayas to experience the exhilaration that I get from a roaming mind.

I find out that one could get to Macchu Picchu and still feel empty when their mind is not in it or open enough to absorb the beauty of the experience. A once in a lifetime travel experience with a cantankerous friend who found fault in everything around her is one that I’m not in a haste to repeat.

Reading a highly stimulating book is the beginning of an adventure for me. Connecting with fantastic bloggers is an enriching adventure. Writing is an adventurous medium for me.

Ditching my car and taking a bus or train ride around town is an adventure that allows me to roam about parts of town that I would probably not pay attention to if I’m driving. I always end up chatting with total strangers and coming away feeling as if I just received a present.

In my younger days, I thought that to have an adventure only meant going away on an exotic trip, but having had the opportunity to travel quite a bit, I must admit that adventure starts with giving one’s mind the freedom to expand in scope, to appreciate the beauty and culture that surrounds you and to let your imagination magnify in multi-dimensions.

I realised that years long before now when I rode the jam-packed, rusty buses in Lagos with passengers practically seated on each other’s laps I was having an adventure and even now at UAE Exchange, as I listen to the conductor announce the various train stops, I watch wide-eyed as people from all walks of life step off the platform into the train and grab the overhead hanging strap before the train trundles along.

Saying hello to the tall lady beside me, I learn that she’s Irish. She’s on vacation and was just coming from Indonesia.

Adventure, Discover challenge

© Jacqueline Oby-Ikocha


Below is my first just published Poetry Book “Out of the silent breath” which is available on Amazon and Smashwords.

When you buy my book, you support me in an invaluable manner.

Out of the silent breath

My learning curves…personal

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At each point in my life, I have found myself spending it on the acquisition of knowledge or a certain skill.

Some were reluctantly assimilated when my parents threw me inside pre-school in my diapers and then primary school for formal education when I would probably have preferred to stay home and play in the red-coloured sandy area of my childhood haunts.

Now I thank them for gritting their teeth as painful as it might have been and not paying heed to my wheedling cry to escape learning my alphabets.

Imbibing knowledge is second nature to man. Learning is both formal and informally through social interactions and in my opinion, learning for me is ad infinitum.

You are never too old to learn new stuff and yours truly here has a lengthy quest to pursue, but now I’m doing my pursuits with some pragmatic sense and not running after every learning fad that catches my fancy like my younger days.

Ruling out the different fancy classes my mother enrolled me in, in a bid to make a lady out of her formerly gangly daughter; piano classes, dressmaking, crocheting, knitting, music lessons – not that I could carry a good tune or play the violin but I managed to play the flute decently – to baking, cooking and whatever was in vogue, thankfully we didn’t have ballet back in my town otherwise I probably would have been made to stand on my toes and possibly break them in the process, I’ve pursued quite some learning routes myself.

Some of them turned out successful and some were almost a disaster for me and the tutor.

I’m bilingual. After spending close to five years learning French, I fancied myself becoming a Polyglot so I embarked on learning German and Spanish.

I doubt if I ever crossed the threshold of ‘Guten Morgen‘ to the German teacher’s dismay and the dismay of my pocket. I think my tongue was not thick enough for the language and it didn’t quite sound as romantic as the nasal French which seemed to suit my tongue far better.

My Spanish has been sporadic in learning but I managed to progress beyond ‘Cómo estás to ‘me llamo Jacqueline‘ and at least I had the good sense not to spend too much just in case the desire died a quick death.

I fancied finding myself becoming a Taekwondo Maestro or is it Maestra, and I can’t tell you it ended well.

I nearly succeeded in killing the instructor and myself and that put paid to such ambition. I nursed my painful thighs for weeks and I guess he nursed some part of his bruised parts that was inadvertently caught in my not too stellar attempts.

I’m sure he was glad when I didn’t renew the fees for another session.

Not that I’ve given up hope on being nimble and flipping in the air in a chopstick, but I’m thinking that yoga is safer for now – at least I can get to sneak in a snooze on the mat and at least use a DVD and not have to spend scarce funds for now.

However, I still have some learning ideas that I’m toying with…

After all, learning is a continuous process. It’s ad infinitum

© Jacqueline Oby-Ikocha

Learning, Discovery Challenge


Below is my first just published Poetry Book “Out of the silent breath” which is available on Amazon and Smashwords.

When you buy my book, you support me in an invaluable manner.

Out of the silent breath

Let’s go… Every day beautiful people # 22

‘The mind is not a vessel to be filled, but a fire to be kindled.’ Plutarch

‘He who opens a school door closes a prison.’ Victor Hugo

Off to school 2Off to school 1

This photo reminds me so much of the years that my dad painstakingly held my hands and took me to school.

Blessed be your spirit as you rest on.

Jacqueline

My Breakup Letter To Debt.. First Guest Post.

Yay! My very first guest post is from Pamela of ‘My money counts – money, modest living and enjoying life.’

I met Pamela in the blogosphere several months ago and I have totally enjoyed our interactions. Her posts are insightful, fact-filled and very hands on approach.

Her witty letter to Debt  is a personal relationship with being indebted and how she got out of it. I enjoyed reading it and I am sure that you will 🙂

Dear Debt,

It’s been a roller coaster ride with you, but it’s time we part ways. I don’t know how much more uncertainty I can take from you. You said you would always be there for me. I thought you had my back, but you lied to me.

There were so many secrets and lies you kept from me. How can a relationship grow that is built on lies? Like the time you said you had my back and convinced me to buy my living room furniture on credit. You told me we could afford it. You said we would be ok, so I listened. Or when you told me that you would take care of me once I was done school and encouraged me to spend the little I had and more without giving a second thought. But I am done school now and your words were just empty promises. Where is the help? Where were you when I needed you, debt?

Why am I even surprised? You were never satisfied with what I could give you. You always wanted more and more from me. The more I got for you the more you wanted. I felt like I could never do enough for you. Like the time I got us the big screen T.V and game system, but that wasn’t enough for you. You wanted the new laptop and cell phone too.

Was it ever enough for you? Did I ever make you happy? You used to make me happy. I used to get so excited to see you. We had some of the greatest times together you and I. Like the time we went on the road trip together or bought all those cool things together. You used to whisper sweet nothings in my ear. You had me wrapped around your finger. Then the trips, gifts and promises stopped coming. Then you stopped coming around. Now when I look at you, I can’t trust you anymore. You deceived me…so I am moving on.

I will just come right out and say it, I met someone else. His name is cash and he is so good to me. He never lies to me or deceives me. He always has my back and is satisfied with what I can give him. We are building new memories and going on our own adventures together cash and I.

I want to say, thank you, though because if it wasn’t for you, I would never know how great a healthy relationship could be. Cash is the love of my life and I have you to thank for it.

So long and have a good life. Please change your ways so you don’t mess up the next girl’s life. Oh and don’t forget to lose my number.

Your Ex,

Pamela

Image credit: Pixabay.com

An excerpt about Pamela in her words. She can be contacted through this link: MY MONEY COUNTS.

Hi I’m Pamela. I am 30 years old African Canadian personal finance blogger that likes to help other millennials eliminate their debts. My professional and educational background is in accounting / finance, but I was not always good with my own money. After some life lessons learned, my husband and I embarked in a journey to pay off $120k of debt in 2.5 years. We now live debt free and our building our wealth. This letter is a comical relief on my experience with debt.

If you are interested in guest posts, you can contact me through my contact page on my blog or through this email address: JacquelineObyIkocha@gmail.com