I am thankful to GOD for my amazing husband Craig Rivers. Not only is he an amazing professor of classical music as well as all other genres, he is a champion of love and commitment. He shows his love and support in huge ways and small ways all of the time. I am thankful for our two amazing teenagers, who excel not only academically, but also as wonderful young people :-). Thankful for equally amazing family and friends. I am thankful to and for my parents Tarraquah and Shanna Maniluwhua for raising all 7 of us to be all that we can be. My parents made sure that all 7 of us went to various Universities so that we each could get a stellar education and excel in whatever would be our fields of choice.
I am thankful that I have been able to make a smooth transition from one amazing career-retiring from the dance world with grace, to another equally fulfilling career.
Thankful for my best friends Dawn, Mia, Sharon and Nhojj.
Thankful to GOD for seeing the 'proverbial straw' and knowing before even I knew that amazing blessings were in store. Thankful to Smithsonian NMAI for seeking me out and giving me this amazing opportunity and career advancement. In the words of my friend James: "You're a teacher. Not a shop gal." LOL!!!
Thankful to Suzanne I. (Smithsonian NMAI team Research, Restoration and Duplication) for being my 'right hand' and keeping the stress level down-despite the huge undertaking, long days and details. I could not ask for a better Co-Partner! Thankful to team RRD at NMAI for the genuine welcome and for the hours of wholesomeness and fun (amidst all of the technical stuff and crazy details.) Even after all the long hours we still find time to have fun! Thankful to the amazing ladies of the "Little House" (Hours of knitting/crocheting, tea, advice, and comfort ;-) That hard apple cider thing was ridiculous! LOL!!!!!
Thankful that my work is tried and true and that it speaks for itself. Thankful for Dance Mentors Alvin Ailey, (Ms J) Judith Jamison and Arthur Mitchell. Thankful for Knitting/Crochet Mentors Shirley Paden, Arnetta Kenney and Marybeth Temple (who has officially been renamed Marybeth 'trouble maker' Temple) LOL!!!! (You know I am going to get blamed for your antics-but so what. LOL!!!!!
These people have not only been my mentors, they are family and true friends. So many people have said recently that I look stronger, even younger and healthier. Quoting one of my very best friends: 'When you are happy in all aspects of life, it totally shows."
I am thankful to all of my former Dance students-It's heartwarming to see you all go forward. I am thankful to all of my former Knitting/Crochet students (LBYS, FIT, Parsons, Cooper Union) who kept my teaching skills sharp as I repeated the same things over and over to you. Thankful to LBYS, FIT, Parsons, Cooper Union-for letting me teach at these establishments and introducing me to all of these wonderful students. Thankful that my family and true real friends know me, and despite what a small few may think they know about me, life is grand. Thankful for all of my current students. Thankful to the young lady that has commissioned me to knit/crochet her wedding dress. I have done 2 wedding dresses previously, but this one is a huge challenge! Thankful that my hands hold up to the work. Thankful that I have met (with days to spare) all work deadlines.
Thankful to a very special student (Judy G.) for letting me use the catch phrase: "Don't worry about where you have been. Just worry about where you are going." We were talking about a crochet technique and she rephrased my words. These words hold true for life and experiences also.
Thankful that I acted in good faith and fulfilled what I felt was my personal commitment to a past assignment. Even though so many people advised me against it, I felt that I had to continue with students who were expecting me to do so-even though the other teachers were absolutely perfectly capable of doing so to a high degree.
I am thankful for experiences, both pleasant and not so pleasant. There are lessons in everything