How to Survive the First Month of School

first-day-of-school

Is your first day of school coming up? Are you wondering what your new teacher is going to be like? What pair of nikes you are going to use to sway new friends? What parties and exams are you going to skip or make a priority? What sport teams are you going to watch or try out for? How close is the nearest grocery store, and can I make it in my slippers?

It is about that time of the year again, back to school! For me, that means new kids, new parents, and new desire to inspire young minds to believe in themselves and be nice to one another. The summer is gone, and it is back to the grind in the classroom for many of us around the world.

 

Let’s talk about September

What are the main concerns of an elementary student? 1. Is my teacher going to be nice 2. What do I have for recess? When I was little, every year I would wonder if my teacher was going to be nice, or if I had to watch out for the Big Bad Wolf, or did mom pack my Dunkaroos, or will I have to trade my sandwich with another classmate. As we get older, these thoughts continue to run through our heads, only in slightly different context. 1. Will I meet new friends or like my boss/or professor 2. I should have ate breakfast today/I need to pack a lunch.

September is crucial to your survival in your new setting. The first month will separate the men from the boys. The women from the girls. Your idea and perception of your new setting and experience will be fresh. Your ears will be alert and your mind and body will be focused on the task at hand. But for how long? Some of us will be entering a new school. Some of us will be going back to a similar setting after the summer holidays. Either way, September is the start of the “new” year. How do you have a great start?

 

The First Impression is Key

Don’t show up to school in hammy down’s aka hand me down’s. I am not saying go out and buy the most expensive pair of shoes or t-shirt, I am saying take care of your self and look presentable. Carol Goman writes, “that moment that stranger sees you, his or her brain makes thousands of computations: Are you someone to approach or to avoid? Are you friend or foe? Do you have status and authority? Are your trustworthy, competent, likeable, confident?

 The decision of others and whether or not they will like or even deal with you are made quickly (7 seconds). Leave a great impression and you are well  on your way to an excellent week during the first month of school. Say hello to your collages. Shake the hand of your professor or teacher. Really mean what you say when talking to new people. Do the little things that count. Put in the work early and everything else is smooth sailing!

 Keep smiling

monkey_smiling

Being a teacher, I understand what it feels like to be exhausted from smiling and shaking hands with people you typically have nothing in common with or have know desire to be long-time friends with (sounds cruel but it is true). You can’t be best friends with everyone BUT you can be a great acquaintance. People can love to be around you even though they never see you.  Just keep smiling, just keep smiling, just keep smiling, smiling, smiling. Know one said you had to be everyone’s bestie on the first day. Smile, be polite and shake hands with everyone (use sanitizer often). This again, goes with your first impression. People will always remember your first encounter. This will set you up for easier interactions down the road.

Stay ahead of the Game

In my first year of university (for lack of better word) I sucked! I flat-out didn’t know what was doing, decided to watch sports instead of study, went for walks instead of reading and ate cereal to distract me from assignments. To often we allow ourselves to fall behind. We overlook what is ahead of us, and hope that it will magically complete itself the night before

Surviving September is about Staying a head of the Game. Sure, your friends will want to party. Your boyfriend will want to cuddle. Your friends will want to hangout and chat it up, talk about stuff you necessarily do not want to talk about anyway. Than don’t do it! When you are given an assignment, start it. You don’t have to finish it, but at least look and see what you have to do to complete it. A lesson plan, prepare for the week. Heck, prepare for the month if you have the time. A project to fulfill, do the research. Get the resources and be ready to produce some quality work.

Make a list of priorities and “at least”get started before the week that they are due. We all know what it feels like when Wednesday comes along, and you have a 4000 word essay due on Auscultation and Bromhidrosis by Thursday. Yeah, I don’t know what they mean either.

Don’t allow yourself to get in this position. Force yourself to make a list of up and coming due dates, and get started right away. The best feeling in the world is knowing that you are done something, when everyone else is scratching to make a deadline.

For me, I make a monthly schedule, of what I want to accomplish, by priority. I take 15-20 index cards, put a hole in each  one of them, and tie a string to hold them tight. I often check my dates and make sure I am on schedule. I see priority and needs and attack those ideas first. Life is a party, you will always have time for that. Friends will understand if they are true friends. Everyone else doesn’t matter.

Conclusion

September is the start of a new year. It is not quite, champagne and balloons yet, but it represents a new beginning. Every September students and professionals go back to the grind. Don’t be that person who, talks about doing things and never get’s it done. We all talk about this person and often fall in the same category at times. Put your words into action and do what it takes to be a head. What are you going to do to make this “new”year better than any other year?

As years go by, you will slowly understand the preparation, both mentally and physically to start fresh, and get off to a good start. The only people I know that can start poorly and still win are Usain Bolt, Michael Phelps, Michael Jordan, Wayne Gretzky and Muhammad Ali. I guess and a few others. Once you get on their laugh, you’ll have nothing to worry about 😉

Start the grind early!

In the mean time, continue to #BeAwesome

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4 Things I’ve Learned From Rocky

BeAwesome: #332 4 Things I’ve Learned From Rocky

MrT&TheRock

MrT&TheRock

Cause if you’re willing to go through all the battling you got to go through to get where you want to get, who’s got the right to stop you? I mean maybe some of you guys got something you never finished, something you really want to do, something you never said to someone, something… and you’re told no, even after you paid your dues? Who’s got the right to tell you that, who? Nobody! It’s your right to listen to your gut, it ain’t nobody’s right to say no after you earned the right to be where you want to be and do what you want to do!… You know, the older I get the more things I gotta leave behind, that’s life.

I am not a huge fan of movies. I try to catch a flick if the buzz is worthy. I try to look in on what the public is saying about a film. I also try to think for my overall interest and self when deciding what to watch or pay for. Ideally, I could care less about movies. But I do appreciate a good film that is well produced and directed.

Recently I’ve taken a time capsule into the 80’s-90’s, and found some of my all time favorite fighting movies. Now don’t get me wrong, I am far from a violent person, but do enjoy a good action film once in a while. I have to tell you the 80’s-90s are full of great films and actors.

Without any debate, I decided to watch Rocky II, which turned into Rocky III, which turned into Rocky IV (Sylvester Stallone). I was easily interested at the very beginning of Rocky II. The theme music and words of inspiration automatically hit my eyes and ears at first glance. I forgot about the hidden messages about love, heart ache and pain, the inspiration in following your dreams, working hard and being motivated. I forgot about a great film and production.

As I watched Rocky II, I started to think about the conversations he (Rocky) would have with the other co-stars during the film: Apollo Creed (Friend/Champion), Adrian (Girlfriend) & Mickey Goldmill (Trainer). These were individuals Rocky would always talk to/or about. If you really take in on the conversations and feelings that were played out during the film, you could start to think of the lessons to be learned from watching the film. I took in 3 Rocky films and this is what I learned from each relationship:

Creed&Rock

Creed&Rock

Rocky & Apollo Creed:

Rocky III: Nobody owes nobody nothin’. You owe yourself.

Besides from being the Undisputed Heavyweight Champion of the World and given nicknames such as, The King of Sting, The Master of Disaster, The Prince of Punch, Mr. Creed played a vital role in Rocky’s success as a character (physically & mentally). If you watched the early years of Rocky, you know the underlining of these two characters. In short: Apollo beats Rocky in a spilt decision in Rocky I, and in Rocky II, Rocky win’s in knockout fashion. Through the two films (Particularly Rocky II) you start to see a sense of respect from each fighter. The hard work and dedication between two professional athletes show as they embrace in a fight that means so much more than a belt or a status.

Apollo retired from boxing after the fight, and credited Rocky for his work ethic and hard-fought battles. Balboa and Creed instantly became friends, and Creed decided to help Rocky win in Rocky III.

Friendships should never be taken for granted. You may fight with each other. You may knock each other down. You may even make each other bleed and feel really bad about one another, but even if these things happen, you must understand that friendships are built and created through fight and struggle. Friends hold together because of these experiences. Never lose a friend because of a silly fight. Always remember that the person, the human, the individual is more important.

Mickey&Rock

Mickey&Rock

Rocky & Mickey Goldmill

Rocky IV: Going in one more round when you don’t think you can – that’s what makes all the difference in your life.

Mickey managed a gym. Rocky was a regular face in his open space at the time at a local boxing club. From the very beginning, when know one thought Rocky would be anything, Mickey knew all along. He eventually, approached Rocky about being his manager. From day one, Mickey was Rocky’s number one supporter. Motivating him when he never thought he could do something. Pushing him to levels everyone else in the world thought he would never reach.

In Rocky III, Mickey becomes ill from a fall. Rocky loses a fight, and loses his mentor and father figure in Mickey. Later Rocky defeats his former opponent in respects to Mickey’s death.

The importance of having a mentor or someone who can guide/help you through life is important. You may think you are super (man or woman) but you are not. Even those with who have the greatest talent need guidance and help with their craft or journey. The art of listening to others and allowing others to speak is becoming non-existent. We think we can do it all by ourselves. Listening to others and taking criticism is a part of life. It is how we learn and become better people.  Having a mentor or someone you can talk to does not make you less of a person. It simply means you are open-minded and able to listen and apply suggestions from others.

Adrian&Rock

Adrian&Rock

Rocky & Adrian

Rocky IV: I guess what I’m trying to say is, if I can change, and you can change, everybody can change.

Adrian was a close friend of Rocky who simply worked at a pet shop. In Rocky II, Adrian and Rocky would tie the knot and marry. They had a son name Rocky Jr. Over the course of their relationship, they manage to overcome struggles together; Adrian’s pregnancy, Rocky’s fights and lavish life and many other decisions made together between the two.

In Rocky IV, Adrian became a source of stability for Rocky though she never enjoyed the act of fighting. She continued to support and encourage him to do well during each and every fight.

A relationship can mean a lot to an individual. It does not have to be intimate to be a successful relationship. Throughout life we need individuals to keep us grounded. Individuals who will tell us the things our friends and family are scared to say. Everyone needs a boy they can talk to. Everyone needs a girl they can speak with. Relationships are what you make them into. You have the power to make all relationships successful. Having people you can sincerely trust and rely on is important. It gives the person a sense of comfort when speaking or exploring ideas. A good friend is something everyone needs. If you want one, you should start by being one.

Rocky is about facing your fears and pushing yourself to the limit. Creating long-lasting relationships and understanding what it takes to be successful.

Inspiration from the #Rock:

-BeAwesome

BeAwesome: #316 Schedule (Tips on how to make a successful Schedule)

BEAWESOME: #316 Schedule (Tips on how to make a successful Schedule)

WhatComesFirst

WhatComesFirst

Scheduling (for me is great) it is something I use daily to keep track of what I want to complete and what I want to start the following day. A lot of us hate to make schedules because they are reminders of the things we technically “ do not “want to do. It does not have to be this way. Create a schedule of things you like. And look forward to as well. But never put things on the back burner that are important.

Do you need a schedule?

It depends how busy you are. And rightfully so, do you want to start it. Anyone can create a schedule, but not everyone is going to follow through now are they. Schedules depend on life and responsibilities, priorities, interest and commitments. You may not need a schedule. Some people simply have no matter worth keeping track of.  They like to do what ever they like when they like and it often never affects anyone.

Benefits:

Those who are successful (often/not all the time) use schedules. Why? When using a schedule you are able to organize a variety of things at once. It helps you coordinate a variety of activities with the rest of your life. For starters, remember to write down important dates. When you see important dates, you are reminded of how much time you have before this date will arrive, and what you can do in between before this date finally comes.

 What really matters vs what kind of matters

A schedule takes away the surprise of forgetting and remembering (followed by panic or hyperventilating) It gives you time, or and outlook on what you need to do in this amount of time.

When creating a schedule you often run into conflict or trouble. Things do not always go perfectly. The good thing is, you’ve already thought about this conflict 10-20 days before it has happened (if you created the schedule). The juggling, mixing and matching, the perfect order is tough to manage and put together but it works when done correctly. The fact of the matter is, sometimes you cannot do everything you want. Sometimes you forget and spend too much time on something that should only take a few minutes. Creating a balanced schedule is not easy.

WhatIsYOurGoal

WhatIsYOurGoal

How to create an AWESOME schedule:

–       Write down what is important (On your schedule-Circle/Highlight/Underline)

–       Needs vs Wants (On your schedule-Circle/Highlight/Underline)

Do you need to get this done? Or is this something you want to get done?

Understand the differences and what is important to you at the time.

–       Remember within your schedule you have to eat and sleep

(How much and how long is entirely up to you) I will be different for everyone

–       Make sure your schedule is full of things you love to do

If your schedule is created and you see that the “don’t want to do’s” out weigh the “love to do’s”, you need to really think more about your scheduling

–       If you cannot do something, say you cannot do it

A lot of people will take on too much, and find themselves in a jam by the end of the week or month. Do enough to be satisfied. But leave enough to keep you motivated.

–       Go through with it

If you create a schedule, follow through with it. It is giving you the responsibility and ownership of what goes on in your life.

– Find time for friends and family

Very important

       – Remember to be nice to people and believe in yourself

BeAwesome

ImInKuwait: Week 26 (Life and Lebanon)

ImInKuwait: Week26

Welcome2Lebanon

Welcome2Lebanon

I can’t believe it’s been 182 days (roughly) since I left the little province of Nova Scotia, Canada to experience a journey of a lifetime. For starters, I want to apologize for not updating you like I promised about this experience. Since August 2012, I’ve visited Dubai, Berlin, Barcelona and Lebanon. I’ve taught 25 kids in a classroom in Kuwait. Learned a little bit of Arabic. Made some great friends. Dreamt about hummus, tabbouleh, kebbeh and shawarma. Drove in a taxi over 50 times. Smelled 200 different kinds of perfume (anyone in Kuwait would understand). Took over 4000 pictures. Went through over 10 cases of 12 x1.5 litre bottles of water. Skyped numerous friends. Watched over 6 AUS basketball games online. Fell in love with Zara. And the list goes on and on.

So what’s been up?

Everything has been going great here in Kuwait! Enjoying my new friends a lot. Spending lots of time with the Girls JV/Varsity basketball team at ASK (Coach JV/Assist Varsity). The girls are great and I am really happy to be apart of Falcon Athletics. School of course has been very busy. Report cards went out to the students and parents about a week ago. Student led conferences are coming up and we have to prepare for that as well (should be fun). I am really interested in seeing how this type of conferencing works. I am excited to see how the kids do. I think it will be great for the students and parents to reflect on their work together. I’ve been learning lots. Taking in as much as I can, and adjusting to the environment everyday.

I recently arrived back from Lebanon. We had a break in February, and I decided to visit a friend. Before anything, I would like to express how grateful I am to have such awesome friend in Mr. Toulany. He went way beyond expectations of a host. I was able to visit a variety of places with amazing scenery. Attend a professional basketball and volleyball game. Ate in multiple restaurants. Walked and explore a village. Investigated an amazing underground cave. Got to ride in a cable car. Was able to meet various family members and friends. And so much more. #Thankyou so much!

Lebanon is a beautiful place. It is definitely a placed I would like to visit again. I totally understand why they call it the “Paris of the Middle East”. The buildings. The cars. The people. The landscape is amazing. I personally cannot describe how much I love this place. I highly recommend a visit. The images below are a summary of my trip. Enjoy:

Driving

Driving

ChickenPasta

ChickenPasta

BestSalad(Crab)

BestSalad(Crab)

#VillageLook

#VillageLook

LookFar

LookFar

EverythingIsAGreatPicture

EverythingIsAGreatPicture

ILoveThisPlace!

ILoveThisPlace! (village)

Rosey

Rosey

VillageView

VillageView

SnowMountains

SnowMountains

#HappyBdayToMe

#HappyBdayToMe

TraditionalLebFood:-)

TraditionalLebFood:-)

Yumm!

Yumm!

MountainTop

MountainTop

#AWESOME

#AWESOME

:-)

🙂

LandscapeView

LandscapeView

Harissa

Harissa

TheSunset

TheSunset

SushiAnyone?

SushiAnyone?

OnTheHouse!

OnTheHouse!

JeittaGrotto

JeittaGrotto

ThisMakesMeSmile

ThisMakesMeSmile

TeamBejjeh #23!

TeamBejjeh #23!

VBall!

VBall!

Greatest Shawarma EVER!

Greatest Shawarma EVER!

What’s next?

I have another break at the end of March. I am still debating on what I want to do during that time. The options right now are back to Lebanon or Istanbul, Turkey. That decision will be made very shortly. But until next time. Stay safe. And stay Awesome. See pictures below of the trip!

-BeAwesome

BeAwesome: #315 Diligence (How to grow success)

BeAwesome: #315 Diligence

Diligence is the mother of good luck- Benjamin Franklin 

Growth

Growth

A special secret to success is diligence. Doing something with care and showing conscientiousness in your work every single day. 100% is not enough for you to get better or to make something great. It is about consistency. Giving and going beyond 100% and giving it that little bit extra. That is how special things/people are born. Everyone out there is doing 100% and working hard. You need to work that much harder to get over the top (110%). Think about it this way:

Growing a success plant:

You have to believe it is going to grow eventually. Start from the bottom up. You give your plant (your goals and dreams) your undivided attention. Add water (heart) and plant soil (determination). Understand if it needs to be damp or dry. Don’t over water it, check for the right consistency (work hard at it, but never over work yourself so the dream dies). Make sure you have proper lighting (Make sure you are doing what ever it takes to make your dreams come true). Select the best location for you to place your plant (Put yourself in a place that negative energy cannot affect you. Be brave enough to continue what you love to do). Add fertilizer to the soil (get help if you need it). A plant needs to eat too (Listen to others). Keep the temperature ideal. Just right. Choose a pot that is best for the plant. Some plants need larger pots so the roots will have room to grow. Check the humidity. (Give it 110%. Take pride in what you do and how you do it. It’s not about having the best plant. It is about preparing yourself to do your very best every single time)

————————————————————

When it comes down to it, you create your own success. Some people have connections or are born into successful families with more privilege, but everyone has to work hard to be truly successful. Diligence and patience is the key to this madness. Go beyond your ego, and get your hands dirty. Step outside your comfort zone and make a commitment to yourself to grow the best plant (for you) You are in competition with you. Do it the right way, and you will see your plant blossom in no time.

-BeAwesome

Champagne Birthday

Champagne Birthday

Age is an issue of mind over matter. If you don’t mind, it doesn’t matter- Mark Twain

JustAPup

JustAYoungin

I am not a big birthday person. But today is my 25th birthday. So old right?. I remember when I was small (like above), I use to love having parties and celebrating my birthday with lots of people. I really loved DQ ice cream cakes aswell. I am not really sure what happen to this idea, but I now think about birthdays in a new light. Today I want to thank a number of people for my birthday:

Mom & Dad:

Poppa

Poppa

I know I am miles and miles away but thank you for bringing me into this crazy thing we call a world. I have learned so much from you both. I remember when you use to wake me up to go to Big Moms in the morning for school. I remember being scared of my own dog (rip tanner) because he was ten times bigger than me. I remember piano lessons. And after two weeks ready to call it quits. I remember softball and hardball. Bats swinging and loud cheers from my dad. Black flies and mosquitos flying around my head, asking myself why did I get into this sport. I remember basketball games. Serious talks from my dad about life and being positive. I remember our trip to Disney land with NannaG. A parade. Seeing the other part of the border. And smiling from ear to ear. I remember university. The struggle. The commitment from two strong people to help me get through. Always putting me (and my sister) first. I remember superman (dad). Going through snowstorm after snowstorm. To pick

Momma

Momma

me up from an event at school. Mom and dad I remember everything you’ve done for me. And this day is just as much yours as it is mine. Someday I will repay you for what you’ve done for me. I thank you for being such great parents. And I wish you a happy birthday

Sister:

I remember fighting with you over nothing. We use to do this all the time. I remember yelling at you because you would sing songs that I sing or rap lyrics that I rap (you still do this). I remember wanting to be like you. A great artist. Drawing and painting. Fashion designer. Smart and always liked by her peers. Willing to give anything to make others happy. Super family orientated. A singer (wink). Priorities all lined up and in order. Independent. Able to go through obstacles and conversations by yourself. And finding great solutions to solve problems on your own. I remember growing up together. A better understanding. Arguments. Disagreements. You’ve always been someone I could talk to. A secret always safe

Sis

Sis

in your arms. I know I have a funny way of showing it, but I love you and appreciate everything you’ve ever done for me. You are everything a sister should be, and again I am happy to be your brother. And I wish you a happy birthday

Nanna&Grandad(RIP)

These two individuals have influenced my life more than anyone in the entire world. They are why I am here. I am a product of them. The memories and life lessons learned from these two individuals will forever be with me, and passed down, to the next generation. I remember Nanna kicking me and my cousins out of the house. I remember carrying in wood for Granddad. Cutting the lawn. Selling Christmas reefs. I remember Granddad picking us up from school. Basketball games. Piano. I remember him always being there when I needed him (and not just because Nanna said so) I remember Nanna and her Sandwiches. Peanut butter. Jelly. Turkey. Chicken. I remember not wanting to share. Holidays. Loads of people around the table. Grandad waiting for everyone to leave. I remember him driving. Nanna asking for baking products and other grocery store items. I love my grandparents with all my heart. Losing one of them last year hurt a lot. But understanding his legacy and what he’d want me to do today, for myself and my family. Nanna I love you. And like the individuals above, this is your(s) and Granddad birthday too. I wish you a happy birthday

Happy Birthday from Lebanon Beirut 🙂

-BeAwesome

BeAwesome: #314 Excited (10 Feel Good Videos)

BeAwesome: #314 Excited (10 Feel Good Videos)

When I’m inspired, I get excited because I can’t wait to see what I’ll come up with next- Dolly Parton

FindYourExcitement

FindYourExcitement

I can’t say I get excited much. Not sure what it is, but I really never get excited about anything. Do things spark my interest? Of course! But excitement, that is something I am unable to explain. I’ve had the opportunity now to travel and visit a variety of places. And by all means, these places have been beautiful. And I am blessed to have had the opportunity to see them. But was I excited? Again, I am not too sure about it.

Recently, I’ve found a few different things that excited. One thing I kind of already knew about, and the other was a light bulb moment. The first thing is candy. Hey, I have a sweet tooth for sour and chewy things. Can’t help it. The second thing is seeing others overcome obstacles or be nice to people. Is that strange? Personally, I don’t think so. I’d like to think that the enjoyment I have in seeing this process or people succeed is a good thing. How can you not like a feel good story? (See below)

Take a look at what I am talking about below:

1.

Sometimes, a hug is all that we need. Free Hugs is the real life controversial story of Juan Mann, a man whose sole mission was to reach out and hug a stranger put a smile on their face.

2.

Shane Koyczan was bullied a lot when he was a kid. So he took that pain and made this stunning video with the help of some amazingly talented people. It’s kind of breathtaking and powerful, just a warning. Also, it has a happy ending.

3.

Young man overcomes disability through sports

4.

Young man, Sung-bong Choi steals the show at Korea’s Got Talent. He had no idea that he would win the hearts of millions all over the world!

5.

SoulPancake hits the streets to see what happens when two strangers sit in a ball pit… and talk about life’s big questions.

6.

We often head from place to place so quickly that we forget to take a break and just enjoy the moment.

7.

The amazing Zach Hodskins. Just watch and be amazed at the level of talent from this gentlemen.

8.

Watch arriving passengers be given a welcome home to remember at Heathrow Terminal 5.

9.

Guaranteed to change your life..

10.

Coke Happiness Machine In London.

When ever you are having a bad day. Watch one of these videos and feel good:-)

-BeAwesome