Blog Archives

Kingdom of the Sun and Christopher Columbus

photo 3

Hi Everyone,

Yesterday, I had the honor and joy of being a guest poster on Miss Ananda’s blog in a post titled Kingdom of the Sun, 10/14, and Education. In that post I discuss the very interesting relation between my book, Kingdom of the Sun and Columbus Day (10/14). I guarantee it’s a great read! Please check it out at the second link or select this one.

Peace and Love,

Ariffa

Kingdom of the Sun’s First Review

My book, Kingdom of the Sun. Now available.

My book, Kingdom of the Sun. Now available.

Hi Everyone!

If you’ve ever wanted a different viewpoint of Kingdom of the Sun from someone other than myself, I invite you to read my book’s first review by author, self-publisher, and independent artist, Cristian Mihai. And if you like his review, I suggest you check out his blog and books well. Cristian is also in the process of raising funds to keep his dream and blog alive; a worthy cause, I believe. So, feel free to check that out as well.

 

You can read Kingdom of the Sun’s first review here.

For more information on where to purchase Kingdom of the Sun, please see the previous blog post or select this link.

Peace and Love,

Ariffa

Light Up the Darkness: Kingdom of the Sun Now Available

Kingdom of the Sun-5Dear Readers,

There is an unverified quote by Bob Marley in which he states to “light up the darkness.” Whether he actually said this or not, I believe this statement to be powerful. And it is with that that I would like to announce Kingdom of the Sun as finally being available to the public in eBook and print formats.

My goal in writing Kingdom of the Sun was to indeed reveal and question things that are normally hidden in the dark as well as bring things to light that should no longer be hidden. This fictional novella will incorporate many of the topics discussed on this blog (such as issues in education and what it means to see a person’s soul) and much more.

When you take a look at the “You and the Characters of Kingdom of the Sun” post, I hope that you will be able to not only relate these characters to your own lives but see the light and darkness that each one possesses. There are many who represent darkness and many who represent light. What’s more, are those of us who are darkness masked in light.

It has brought me immense joy and freedom to write this book, and I hope that you feel the same when you read it. I hope it captures you, invigorates you, and inspires you as well. Most of all, I hope that it is able to shed lights of happiness, enlightenment, and joy in your lives.

For more information on Kingdom of the Sun and where it can be purchased, please see below or follow this link.

Summary

Apple ($2.99)

Amazon Print ($6.64)

Amazon Kindle ($2.99)

Sony Kobo  ($2.99)

Barnes and Nobel Nook ($2.99)

PDF ($2.99)

RTF ($2.99)

Facebook.com/AuthorAriffaBevin

Peace and Love,

Ariffa

Light on the Way: Kingdom of the Sun Available on 10/14/13

Kingdom of the Sun's Back Cover. It will also available in ebook for the nook, Apple products, Kindle, and more.

Click to Enlarge: Kingdom of the Sun’s Back Cover. It will also available in ebook for the nook, Apple products, Kindle, and more.

Dear Readers,

It brings me great honor and happiness to announce that Kingdom of the Sun will be released in print and eBook editions on 10/14/12! It’s been a long time coming since I was blessed with the inspiration to write it several years ago, and I thank each of my followers for sticking with me along the way. And, this was the best part of writing the book: having the desire and will to inspire and make a change through my words.  This was also the hardest: although I knew what I wanted to say, I had to create and craft characters that could not only reflect such but relate to you (the readers) as well.

If you would like an idea of what Kingdom of the Sun will be about, please select the links below:

 Book Summary

You and the Characters of Kingdom of the Sun

I created my book’s characters so that they can be as relatable as possible. This makes their situations and difficulties more realistic and understandable.

Kingdom of the Sun Theme: History

This post discusses history in terms of it being a tool for propaganda and control.

Kingdom of the Sun Theme: Education- The Love of Teaching

I talk about the significance and power of love in teaching.

Kingdom of the Sun Theme: Seeing

In this post, I question what it means to truly see someone for who they are. I also talk about something called the Role Theory.

Kingdom of the Sun Theme: Change…Will You Make It, Take It, or Question It?

Change happens in our lives everyday. Sometimes we are making it. Sometimes it is made for us. What matters most is how we react to it.

Kingdom of the Sun Theme: Education…It Starts at Home

It can easily be agreed that education is extremely important. The question of what it means to be educated is something I often talk about. This post tackles the unfortunately forgotten and misunderstood fact that education starts at home.

In the acknowledgments section of my book, I talked about my writing being inspired by a 12th century French woman named Héloïse and how she shined in a society that told her otherwise. I believe that we are all facing something of the sort, whether it is social pressure/conformities, if we are in a job that doesn’t allow our true light to shine, etc. I want Kingdom of the Sun to help you to never forget the light that you possess, and that though others may try to clothe it in darkness, it is up to you to let it shine through. So let it.

I hope that those of you who have followed me will stay tuned for Kingdom of the Sun’s launch.  And if you have yet to follow me, I hope today’s post has brought you on board on this wonderful journey.

Peace and Love,

Ariffa

What Adults Can Learn from Cartoons

Hi Everyone,

For those of you who have read my previous posts, or the “About Me” page, you will know that I enjoy watching cartoons like Spongebob Squarepants and some Disney movies. Today, I would like to discuss in list form why I do and what everyone can gain from doing so as well.

 

1) Along with praying, spending time with my husband, playing golf, and watching sports, it’s a way of allowing my mind to relax and de-stress.

2) Some of these shows/episodes and movies are actually really funny. What I particularly like about Spongebob is that it’s somewhat relatable in that most people know at least one of the following:

A) Someone who is obsessed with money

B) Someone who likes their job waaaay too much

C) Someone who hates their job and/or has a miserable personality and loves nothing more than bringing people down with them

3) The researcher in me loves to analyze these programs and movies. For example, have you ever thought about how much more sinister Disney villains were back in the 90s compared to now (remember Frollo from The Hunchback of Notre Dame)?

4) One can not only learn a lot from cartoons but be reminded of things that many adults tend to forget or not practice. This includes lessons on what it means to be a friend, and what it means to have compassion, kindness, and love for yourself and other people.

Like I mentioned in my post about the theme of history in Kingdom of the Sun, cartoons can be a reminder of how truth is often twisted as well as the power that the media has in general.

5) They sometimes have catchy songs. “Colors of the Wind” anyone?

6) They can be really nostalgic.

7) They remind me to never take life or myself too seriously. They remind me that it’s okay to laugh at things that others may not necessarily see as funny. They remind me that it’s okay to be myself. They remind me of how awesome being a kid at heart can be.

Peace and Love,

Ariffa

 

You and The Characters of Kingdom of the Sun

securedownloadHi Everyone,

In Tuesday’s blog post I discussed the similarities that many of us share in terms of situations, difficulties, and even personalities. I briefly touched on how an author’s ability to create personable and relatable characters is key to making readers emotionally and mentally connected with a book. This is something that I enjoyed doing very much with Kingdom of the Sun, and I was asked a great question by Sarah at childrencount.wordpress.com about what the characters of my book are like. So, I have decided to provide a list of the main characters of Kingdom of the Sun for you.

Because I tried to create each character to reflect experiences you’ve had or heard and/or personalities you know or have, I decided to do this list in a unique way. Instead of listing each character’s traits like prideful, witty, etc., I will describe them in accordance to the type of person they are and represent. Their specific traits and qualities are things that I want you (the readers) to decide for yourselves.

Helena: The protagonist of the story who views the situation of the kingdom and her societal position as unfavorable. She represents someone who sees themselves as having more value than how they are treated.  Helena also represents the person who harbors the desire and thirst for change.

Sadine: She is the close friend of Helena who represents a good-natured, hard-worker who wants nothing more than to please her superiors and remain in good standing with them. This desire leads to her inability to see Helena’s frustrations and the kingdom’s real issues.

Aria: The nine-year-old son of Sadine. Aria’s level of understanding and maturity makes him a very close friend and ally of Helena whom he adores.

Queen Delilah Nightfall: Successor of Queen Daisy who desires power and respect but cannot seem to gain or earn it. Queen Delilah represents the person who sees themselves above others and yet lives off of praise and acceptance. She also stands for the person who received their societal position by means other than hard work.

Queen Daisy Dimday: The predecessor of Queen Delilah who achieved her societal status by outward appearances and masks. She is someone who thrives off of attention and will do anything to maintain her masks. As Helena states in the book, “Daisy and Delilah were quite different. However they were very much the same queen.”

The Scholars of Sooryan represent who educators are and should be.

 Scholar Abel Godfrey: Scholar Godfrey represents the person who is always our greatest ally and friend when it comes to truly understanding how we think and feel. He stands for the educator and person that brings out the best that each of us has to offer.

Scholar Aiden Jenson: The assistant of the kingdom’s Royals who represents the person who does their job simply because they have to, love it or hate it—no questions asked.

Scholar Johnny Doane: The witty, flirty Scholar who brings smiles and still knows how to be serious when the time is right.

Scholar Mandela Lani: Scholar Lani represents the very strict educator who loves order and does not like to be challenged.

Scholar Cynthia Baxtor: The motherly figure of the story who is beautiful inside as she is outside.

Scholar Molli Martin: This Scholar represents the person who is fearful of speaking and showing their true opinion and feelings, the one who lets others do the talking for them.

Scholar Gerald Ramsey: Scholar Ramsey represents the person that always has your back. He is also a reminder of how one’s outer shell doesn’t necessarily represent who they are on the inside.

Other Scholars:

Scholar Hinatea Shaw

Scholar Leana Crossli

Scholar Jameson Radcliffe

Scholar Howie Griffin

Scholar Ken Himora

Scholar Nora Livingstone 

So, that’s about all of Kingdom of the Sun’s characters. I hope that you’ll find some of whom you can relate to or “know.” I absolutely cannot wait to have this book published! You can actually read the synopsis here. When you read the book itself, I’d love to hear your own ideas and analysis of these characters.

Thank you, Sarah, for your awesome question, and I of course welcome them to any of you who have any.

Peace and love,

Ariffa

The Superman Dilemma in Education

super_hero_flying_silhouette_116437Hi Everyone!

Four posts ago, I wrote something called The Superman Effect in Education. It discussed how teachers and students should be treated like they are super heros, meaning they should all be valued and appreciated. I received a lot of great responses on this post, and one in particular stood out:

“I always shied away from the whole “superman” analogy for teachers, because I think we shoot ourselves in the foot, when we don’t make it clear that we are only human (thus, the public’s unreasonable expectations of us).”–Bethany @ Journey to Ithaca

This is such a great comment because it reminded of something I talked about in another post called the Detachment of Education, in which I discuss the absolutely unrealistic expectations and burdens that are placed on teachers. Bethany’s comment was a reminder of that discussion and the dilemma that comes with treating teachers like super heros.  Yes, I believe that teachers are indeed super heros. However, I also believe this:

1) Teachers = Humans

NOT Teachers = Robots or Teachers = Superhumans

As I said in my “Detachment of Education” post: “I truly feel that it is a common belief that teachers are supposed to be magical robots with no feelings or emotions, and that they are placed on Earth to only teach strictly from the text to magically and easily instill knowledge on their students who all magically receive it in the same way.”

Oh, and unless they are truly robots, they cannot honestly and efficiently grade 100+ term papers in one school night.

2) Teacher ≠ Parents/Guardians

Teachers are not responsible for educating students on manners and common sense, you know, all the things that parents/guardians should do. And yet…

So, here’s a trick question: Can teachers be treated as super heros without the expectation that they literally should be?

Here’s my answer: I believe that the basis to all of this is the need for all teachers to be treated with respect and understanding. Respect what they do, understand what they do. And for the parents and students, respect and understand that you are a vital part of a successful education as well.

Peace and Love,

Ariffa

The Superman Effect in Education

Hi Everyone,

I read an article last week about something called the Superman Effect.  The term was used by a man named Aral Balkan to discuss the influence that designers have and how they are able to craft experiences.  What I liked most about this post was how its author related it to education in saying that “As teachers we have to recognise that every interaction we have with young people is an opportunity to have a positive impact upon them. Teachers are artists and lessons are our art. Being passionate about our subjects mixed with a continued desire to improve and develop our pedagogy is key to providing the ‘Superman effect’ for our students.” The author then discusses the significance of making students feel like super heros and how educators should take such into consideration.  The entire blog post can be found here.

This article spoke to me on many different levels.  First, I absolutely believe in making students, all students, feel valued, respected, and intelligent.  This is shown by how they light up when they truly understand something and when they are commended/praised.  I enjoyed seeing that when I taught ESL.  However, I was in a situation where as a student, I felt worthless.  Math was never an easy subject for me, and of course it didn’t come any easier in college.  Unfortunately for me, the professor that I had made it worse.  One of his favorite lines was “C’mon guys, this is fifth grade stuff” or “You should know this material already.”  It was awful.  And so, of course, my colleagues and I were afraid of asking questions because the material was “fifth grade stuff” and even when a question was asked, we were sometimes told that we “should know this already.”  It was so bad that when he asked,“Does anyone have any questions?” more than once, I would raise my hand and say, “Yes, can we please stop for today?”  And although my colleagues all nodded in agreement, this was, of course, to no avail.  As a result of all this, I got a D in that class, hated math more than ever, thought I was dumb for not knowing more math than I did, detested this professor, and spent most of that class fantasizing about chopping off his ponytail.

Students are not the only ones that should be treated like super heros.  Yes, I’m talking about teachers as well.  Teachers are the super heros that are hardly recognized or appreciated for being such.  It’s like they live their entire careers as Clark Kents.  Some teachers are literally the super heros to many of their students. I get so frustrated because many do not realize or appreciate how different society would be if teachers and educators were not available to inspire and educate.  And so, I will say it again:  Where would we be if teachers and educators were not available to inspire and educate?

Education is about super heros teaching super heros.  And this needs to recognized more than ever.

 Peace and Love,
Ariffa

My Words

My book, Kingdom of the Sun. Publishing Soon!

Dear Readers,

On many occasions I have discussed the power and influence of language and the significance of the ability to see and feel one another.  Today I would like to talk about language as it relates to my words and why I write.

With words I can create riddles that may seem simple on the surface, but mean so much more underneath.  Words like: “Education needs to be Education” and “Live Life for a Life for Life.”

I can create anything I want, in any way I want, and call it my own.

With my words, I can formulate ideas, concepts, and imagery that once read on paper, become a part of you as they enter your mind and hopefully, your heart.

I can make you see things that perhaps you have never seen.

I can make you understand something that used to perplex you.

I can make you hear me without hearing me.

I can make you feel me without touching me.

And maybe, just maybe, I can make you believe in things you had no faith in, or perhaps…remove your faith in things you once believed.

My words are power and strength.  They are joy and sadness.  They are memories and dreams.  They are filled with hope and a message.

All for you.

Peace and Love,

Ariffa

What Matsui Can Teach about Education & Community

Photo Credit: Wikipedia Commons, provided by Chris Ptacek.

Photo Credit: Wikipedia Commons, provided by Chris Ptacek.

In 2009 the Yankees won the world series against the Philadelphia Phillies…mostly because of Hideki Matsui.  Now, this is just personal opinion, but I am not the only one that feels this way.  That night, Matsui became the first Japanese-born player and full-time designated hitter in the history of MLB to win the world series MVP award.  Matsui was my favorite athlete even before this happened, so I was of course extremely upset when the Yankees did not sign him the next season.  And although Matsui played for other teams, he remained my favorite player, never forgotten by Yankees fans and non-Yankees fans.  And it was yesterday afternoon that Matsui signed a minor league contract with the Yankees, officially retiring as one.

I sat teary-eyed through the entire ceremony not because Matsui is my favorite athlete but because of what he stands for.  The best way to describe Matsui is quiet, humble strength.  You see, Matsui is the only Yankee to hit a grand slam at his first, I mean first, at bat.  He went 4-4 and 3-4 on his first two days back after returning from wrist surgery that had him out for several months.  And through it all, Matsui remained humble and a true definition of a team player.  He actually apologized for getting injured, and shies away from talking about himself.  He has stated that he felt like he didn’t deserve the MVP award, and although most players would name this as their shining moment in their career, Matsui named a victory against the Boston Red Sox as his favorite moment because the Yankees won the game in a total team effort.

The way I feel about it is that one can be a great baseball player and have awesome numbers, but if your attitude sucks and you’re all about yourself then, to me, those numbers mean absolutely nothing.  Besides his quiet strength and humility, what I like most about Matsui is that the man has a sense of humor.  He is known for playing jokes on his teammates and every once in a while you could catch him making faces at the camera.  Oh, how I miss watching him play!

So, how does this relate to education?  Well, say there was this great teacher, and you asked him or her what their best/favorite moment was in their profession.  What would you think if the teacher said, “Winning educator of the year” as opposed to “Watching my students evolve” or “Seeing my students light up when they understand something” or “One of my students telling me that I’m their role model”? Matsui represents greatness by being great through others.  One is a great player and a great teacher through the action, influence, and aid of those outside themselves.  With education being more and more about testing and numbers and treating students like they’re all the same, I know that it can be quite difficult to truly teach and help a student.

Photo Credit: Keith Allison, Flickr

Photo Credit: Keith Allison, Flickr

Matsui represents how a community should be.  A community should be, well…a community.  This simply means placing others above yourself and being there for them and actually caring.  Matsui reminds me of who I am, who I want to be, and who I have to be in order to consider myself truly successful.  I am only as great as the impact that my words and life has on others.

Thank you, Hideki Matsui.  I hope and pray that one day I can share these words with you in person.

Peace and Love,

Ariffa

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