Pau. Aloha.

Last thoughts on my Journey through Walden University:

I’m gonna throw in a little Hawai’ian here in my last Walden blog post. “Pau.” That means, “done.” Whew! As long as I didn’t drive my Capstone assignment too far off the trail – I’m “pau.” But there’s another word in Hawai’ian – “Aloha.” Aloha means both hello and goodbye. So, while we say goodbye as classmates, perhaps we will also say hello – as colleagues, as associates, as leaders, as advocates, as dare I say, agitators for a better world for children and families.
Wow. Two years, non-stop… Trying to keep my issues in check, harness my attitude and meet my expectations for myself… Meeting new colleagues, here and oversees… facing technology and grudgingly embracing it… I didn’t want to be here… didn’t want to do the Master’s Degree thing… I didn’t want to be colonized. And I certainly didn’t expect to feel this sentimental right now (for me, this is way sentimental).
I resisted much. I won’t say that I learned a lot of stuff. It wasn’t about learning stuff for me. I know plenty of stuff. It was about participating in a learning community. It was about sharing and listening. I need to remark about vocabulary. It’s the word “deeply”. As I prepare to address my “deeply felt learnings” – I must say – the words “deeply” and “felt” do not ever stand beside one another in my vocabulary. My intrapersonal skills don’t permit it. I would chuckle whenever I would see the words here at Walden – and I saw them quite a bit. My wife uses those words a lot. She’s in tune with her self. I don’t know that any of the fellas I know uses those words much either – unless it’s to describe the pain “deeply felt” in a sprained joint, a broken bone, or some other never-positive association with pain.
But here goes – my deeply felt learnings:
1. My irascible temperament has a place – even in higher learning. My iconoclast tendencies can provoke thought. Really, that’s what I learned. My professors and classmates were supportive and professional and encouraging – even when I was afraid I’d gone off completely sideways. Thank you, all of you, for that. Sometimes people that I have a great deal of respect for will take me aside and say, Greg, people will hear what you’re trying to say a lot better if you just tone down the attitude. I tell them, I’m not talking so that people will listen to me. I’m talking so that they will listen to you.
2. The United States is behind the curve in implementing initiatives to recruit, retain, develop and support men in the field of early care and education. I learned that the European Union, in particular, has tackled gender equity for both women and men. This is a source of tremendous irritation to me – just what I need to kick start the next part of my anti-bias education journey.
3. Even in progressive institutions and professional associations – the matter of gender equity for men in early care and education remains beneath the radar. Can we please do something about that at Walden? I really feel very deeply that the Walden early childhood studies diversity curriculum will benefit by devoting a week or two to men in ECE.

What can I do about that?
1. Just today, after the panel presentation for ECE students at Santa Monica College at which I was a panelist, one of the professors pulled me aside. We had a brief conversation about doing something about the lack of men in early care and education. She said (paraphrasing), “We always end up telling ourselves that we know men are important, but that there isn’t anything we can do about it. I want to do something about it.” We discussed exploring the establishment of a cohort group or course for and about men. One of my long term goals will be to see that to fruition.
2. My second long term goal is to see the percentage of men in early care and education double by 2030.

* * * *

Two quotes to take wit’ ya to remember me:

“Our solution – mind revolution.
Mind over matter – mouth in motion.
Corners don’t sell it – no you can’t buy it.
Can’t defy it ‘cause I’ll never be quiet.
Let’s start this right.”
Public Enemy. 1987. Rightstarter (Message to a Black Man). Def Jam Music, Inc.

A terror is more certain than all the rare desirable popular songs I know, than even now when all my myths have become…, & walk around in black shiny galoshes & carry dirty laundry to and fro, & read great books & don’t know criminals intimately, & publish fat books of the month… & never realize how bad my writing is because I am poor & symbolize myself.”
Bob Kaufman. 1996. excerpted from a terror is more certain. Cranial guitar, selected poems of Bob Kaufman. Coffee House Press. Minneapolis.

* * * *
Greg at Delta Head Start
gregoryuba@gmail.com
Men In Child Care Facebook Group – https://www.facebook.com/groups/195109553871100/
Blog: https://gregoryuba.wordpress.com

There it is.
Pau. Aloha.

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11 thoughts on “Pau. Aloha.

  1. Caroline Statler says:

    Something tells me that though most of us that traveled through Walden together live far apart, we have certainly not heard the last from you, Gregory Uba. Your “irascible temper” will indeed provoke people to thought and action 🙂 And I feel confident that you will take this message in the positive way I intend it!

  2. Rachel Abel says:

    Well said! I enjoyed your straightforward writing! Best wishes to you!
    Rachel

  3. Leslie says:

    Gregory, you are a wonderful man. If I could take anyone I wish on a journey, it would be you. It doesn’t matter where we would go, you and your family, me and my family. And I truelu believe we can start an amazing new world. znow i’m getting ushy. Thanks for all your support. Stay in touch: leslieturner205745@att.net

  4. Michele says:

    Gregory,
    Keep using those iconoclast tendencies to challenge the status quo…. it is the only way to affect change. It is often a difficult role to have, but one that I relish.

  5. mrscee123 says:

    Greg,
    I, for one, appreciated your irascible temperment during our last course. I enjoy being challenged, and you certainly challenged me in many ways. You helped me to refine my Capstone project and to look for “out of the box” solutions. You also helped me to become much more sensitive concerning men in ECE. While I knew this was a problem, I have heard so little about it from ECE advocates. I hope this changes in the years to come and that you exceed your goal of doubling the number of men in ECE by 2030. I will be looking for your name to come up in regard to this issue. Keep on keeping on and good luck!!!

  6. Keep up the great work! Best Wishes!

  7. Sally Brooks says:

    Hi Gregory,

    “It wasn’t about learning stuff for me. I know plenty of stuff. It was about participating in a learning community”. As you usual, you know exactly what to say. I want to thank you for your many thought provoking messages. You have given me reason to rethink the issues facing men in the early childhood field. That is good. I appreciate it when those who are in the know because they experience it share with others.

    Good luck in all you do!

    Aloha Nui Loa,
    Sally

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