"Schools in the US are substandard. The teachers aren't doing their jobs. As far as education is concerned, America is going down the tubes!" These complaints are common. But how valid are they?
In spite of taking the day off from snowboarding yesterday, I was still exhausted, so I cut my slope time short. It turned out to be worth it; this evening proved to be SPECIAL.
The previous year at summer camp, Raven ventured farther into adventure than she'd planned. She promised God she'd never do it again - only to forget that promise a few hours later. Results...
Raven Quincy is a 10-year-old Christian. She wants more than anything to escape the ghetto and live a life of adventure. Here, she learns to be careful what you pray for; you just might get it...
Today, I took a day off from snowboarding and went whitewater rafting. It was my first time - HIGHLY unnerving! It was yet another opportunity for me to face fear.
Does slavery go on today? Yes! It happens in every US state, including Hawaii. In fact, it occurs worldwide. Most vulnerable are kids who use drugs, and adults who struggle to make ends meet.
Today - for the first time in 5 years - I attempt the ROPE TOW (I didn't have the courage to try in 2010).
This excerpt from a novel I've been working on for ages is about an eclectic community that lives in California's Lost Coast; a haunting tale of unrequited love.
"Wage Peace Between the Sexes" is a facts-of-life book I wrote for teens. It describes how to meet people, good dating ideas, STDs and birth control. This is Chapter 3, in its entirety.
This is an excerpt from a book I have written and self-published. It describes how to awaken old romantic relationships that have gone stale.
In this 5 part story, I address the sensitive topics of Christian marriage and racial identity. It takes more than a church blessing to make a marriage work, and all nationalities face similar issues.
Raven is SHATTERED! A Christian friend she's known half her life has suddenly turned nasty, for no reason. What could she have possibly done to bring this on? Is something seriously wrong with her?
In this final part of my series on the ten major world religions, I describe the combined practices of Sikhism and Baha'ism.
Here I describe the major religions of far-east Asia: Shinto and Confucianism.
In my previous hub, I describe the characteristics of Christian cults. How much of those characteristics apply to the religion itself?
In this section, I will explore Hinduism and its two major offshoots; Jainism and Buddhism.
It's one thing to rebel against your religion. It's quite another to calmly consider there may be more than one way to think. This hub explores Abrahamic religions; Judaism, Christianity, and Islam.
I am finally a published author! I started off with 1 book; now it's 3! Two are facts of life books for youth; the 3rd is for adults. All describe how to enjoy healthy and wholesome relationships.
In spite of breaking one of my rules, my snowboarding improved today - so maybe I can do away with that rule. This evening during the kickball game, I had an opportunity for character development.
My first real day snowboarding in four years. This is how it went.
After 4 long years, I finally get to return to my beloved High Cascade Snowboard Camp! During that time, I remained in shape and did my best to conquer my fears. What will be the payoff?
A quasar is the oldest known object in space. I chose this title because of the likelihood I'll be the oldest camper at High Cascade Snowboard Camp. No problem; I've discovered the Fountain of Youth!
Most of the time, I ignore Valentine’s Day, but the Thanksgiving I broke loose rewarded me 3 months later by making this one special. I wound up dating John Denver! (Not the real one, but close.)
Twenty years after Dr. Martin Luther King's assassination, I took part in a Freedom March. This account tells of my experience.
This final chapter comes to a Grand Finale. It's the best New Year's Eve I've ever had!
In this chapter, Tim Windell mourns his birthday. I encourage him, and he wound up being my coach!
Finally, I'm at Windell's Holiday Ski & Snowboard Camp! It promises to be the best vacation ever! I have 2 roommates. One of them is a major whiner; in this chapter you find out what becomes of her.
Thanksgiving is my favorite holiday, not because of personal memories, but because of wonderful stories I read in books. Here, I tell how I took the courage to create memories of my own.
After dreaming and scheming for eons, I finally made it to Windell’s Holiday Camp! Based at Mt. Hood Oregon, it is the only ski / snowboard camp between Christmas and New Year's. I had a BLAST!!!
Doea Aloe Vera truly heal? Or is it just a bunch of hocus-pocus? I address this issue in the following hub, including my own experience with it.
It is Raven's fantasy friends who help her get over cruel rejection from Merci, someone she's known half her life. In the process, she experiences a pleasant surprise; a celebrity vacation!
Raven Quincy spent half her life envying Merci, who has everything; a loving family, easy access to Salt Shaker Christians, and a great career. When Merci gets married, Raven faces a rude awakening.
"It was a perfectly pleasant conversation. It left me completely unprepared for what followed." Raven is in for the shock of her life; she begins a hard lesson about quality of character.
Want a good deep conditioner for your hair? Skip the expensive salon treatments, and create one in your own home!
This is the final bittersweet chapter of my 40 day European tour. Here I go over what I learned from the experience, what I did right, and what I would do differently if I could do it over again.
Merrie Olde England - the land of the Queen, the Rolling Stones, Led Zepplin, and punk rock. Definitely an interesting mixture! A great note on which to end our European tour.
Gay Paree - la cite des lumieres! (Gay Paris - the city of lights!) Need I say more?
And now - the moment I've been waiting for! I finally get to see Switzerland which, before this tour, was my favorite European country. Here I met a friend with whom I corresponded for over 20 years!
Now onward to the world-class playground of royalty and the rich and famous...
Florence marked the end of the inexpensive part of our tour. However, lots of wealth was there. You can tell by the genuine gold leaf overlaid on this church door.
Rome - the city all roads lead to, which wasn't built in a day, and where you do as they do when you're there. Here, we steeped in ancient history.
Next, we viewed the natural wonders of Pompeii, and the man-made ones of the Tivoli Gardens.
Now we're off to the birthplace of Sophia Loren! Plenty of beauty to be found here. Plenty of romance too - but things aren't always what they seem...
Here, we got to relax on ISE's own Greek island. We did the typical luxurious fun stuff of sailing catamarans and the plate-smashing dance.
Onward to the Oracle of Delphi and Athens, the City of Wisdom. Numerous highs and lows of our trip were experienced here.
"Be glad some modernity has reached Meteora and you no longer have to be hauled up in a net." That's what the brochure said. Gayla's reality turned out to be not much better...
Ah yes, Venice - the city to which all others are compared to. Everything you've heard is true. If I were independently wealthy, I'd contribute to saving it.
Once again, we ventured behind the Iron Curtain into Hungary. This trip was far more unnerving; we really got a taste of what Soviet life was like. We also visited Yugoslavia, which no longer exists.
Vienna is famous for its coffee houses, universities, and grand elaborate Parliament buildings. It even has its own brand of waltz!
We were supposed to ride on the Orient Express, but there were problems with visas, so we sailed the Danube instead. Personally, I'm glad; this proved to be the high point of the trip.
Salzburg is my favorite city in Europe, possibly in the world. The gorgeous artwork and architecture set against spectacular mountain scenery makes it to me the epitome of romance.
Why bother getting a 4 year degree? With so many people getting in trouble as a result of attempting, is it worth it? Only you can decide that. If you choose to do so, this is how to be successful.
Out of all the places we visited, I found Berlin the creepiest. But it was a major education. A few days after we left was the 4th of July; Danny cried when he realized the freedoms Americans enjoy.
I was very impressed with Munich! Unfortunately, our stay there was all too brief...
I absolutely LOVED Denmark! Though the weather was absolutely miserable - it poured rain the whole time we were there - I had the time of my life. I don't know how the others felt, but who cares...
Sweden - land of the blonds. Though I was there for only a little while, and it was at a rather quiet time of day, I got a sample of how it feels to be exotic.
Warning - this hub is not for the weak. It is about visiting the concentration camp Dachau.
Few cults are as extreme as the People's Temple or Branch Dividians. That's how they are able to recruit members. They invade people's minds in the most insidious way.
Unlike most of the others, I flew from Los Angeles to New York to London to Holland. Our first stay was in wild and crazy Amsterdam. We experienced some disappointment - but many more delights.
Leaving wild and crazy Amsterdam, we briefly passed through North Germany. Our most hair raising moments were when we were entering it.
It was the worst recession since the Great Depression, England had invaded the Falkland Islands, and The Wall was up. What a time for a single black woman to visit Europe!
Noelani has fallen in love with snowboarding. Unfortunately, she lives in Hawaii and can't visit the Mainland often. How can she ever advance beyond the klutz stage?
This is a rewrite of the original hub. I felt I could do a much better job than the previous one. It explains the process Christian cults use to recruit and hold members.
CULT conjures up images of college-aged kids leading isolated restricted lives under a harsh guru; newly independent they are easily hoodwinked. While true, it doesn't represent the entire picture.
At Pinecrest, Raven's brother Jacob took the very class she had vowed to avoid: Mountaineering. Seeing its result to her cabin mate Susie was enough to scare her away forever. But Jacob reveals it could be a way out of Oakland… "The Craven and The Crag" tells the story of Raven Quincy, an...
It's Raven's 3rd week at Pinecrest, and she finally get the charismatic artist Marsha as counselor! Since she teaches swimming, Raven take that class, hoping to overcome her block in that area. Except Wendy is also taking the class... "The Craven and The Crag" tells the story of Raven Quincy,...
At the end of the previous segment, Wendy makes friends with Raven by bashing Counselor Cathy, complaining about her cold personality. But what is Wendy's friendship worth when Cathy finds out? And who is the real bad guy here? "The Craven and The Crag" tells the story of Raven Quincy, an...
Overcoming addictions is often the most difficult thing a person can do. Is a Christian program the best approach? Considering addicts need all the help they can get, it's well worth considering.
Continuing - Raven had chosen Art Class for the week. She wasn't about to try Horsemanship, since she'd never so much as seen a live horse! But then came Rotating Activity...and Wendy's watchful eye... "The Craven and The Crag" tells the story of Raven Quincy, an African American who attends a...
"You're going to camp for 3 weeks this summer," says Mrs. DeVries, the social worker. Raven is excited! Imagine - 3 weeks of adventure, with no mean kids to deal with! But then, Wendy enters the picture... "The Craven and The Crag" tells the story of Raven Quincy, an African American who...
"The Craven and The Crag" tells the story of Raven Quincy, an African American who attends a Christian summer camp from age 9 to 12. The experience transforms her from a high-strung inner city girl into a courageous person who embraces new experiences.
Bullying is more than just something elementary school children do on the playground. It is done by people of all ages, and anywhere there is a group, including cyberspace. This article describes it, the lengths it can go to, and how to deal with it.
Money is a tool for living, so it is important to learn to respect it.
Once you’ve worked out your personal budget, you’d be surprised at what you can afford. Since it will greatly improve your quality of life, it is well worth the effort!
Who would believe you can ski / snowboard in Hawaii! But you actually can! Here are my experiences doing it.
Sixteen-year-old Amber has the most unique birthday ever!
Do people genuinely like the opposite sex? You hear so much about the battle between the sexes, but surely we were meant to get along, weren’t we? After all, men and women need each other to perpetuate the human race.
How can we combat ageism? After all, if people spoke that way about someone's race, they'd be condemned right and left. Ageism is the last form of prejudice that's accepted by society.
Shocking statement, isn’t it? With all the problems we have in the US today – high unemployment, violence in schools, global warming – how can anyone think the world is improving? Read this article, and find out.
Well, not EVERYTHING. But here are 10 ideas that are prevalent in American society regarding dating that contribute to domestic violence. They're so ingrained, many people don’t even think about it.
Few people have heard of the Green Sand Beach on the Big Island of Hawaii. Even fewer have read of the adventures you can have there. This story tells of my adventure sandboarding with Coach Killer Kyle. One unique experience!
Currently, Christian schools are getting a lot of negative press from the media. I went to a church school as a youth; it saved my life. The purpose of this article is to explain how it did this.
"Energy drinks cause weight loss and enhance athletic performance." "Energy drinks cause heart attacks." Which of these statements are true? In this article, I will discuss what comprises an energy drink, a brief history, its benefits and dangers, and my own personal experience with them.
This article tells of how I improved at skateboarding, even though it scares me.