Thursday, February 28, 2013

How Times Have Changed - Teacher's Edition

I wasn't planning to do a post today but while I was reading Brook's blog I suddenly found myself wanting to write my own version of How Times Have Changed - Teacher's Edition.

20th Century 

Private school teachers were often able to leave school at 5 pm.

21st Century

Private school teachers often stay in school till 7, 8, or sometimes even past 12 midnight to finish work.

20th Century

Private school teachers could come up with a decent  lesson plan in less than two hours.

21st Century

Private school teachers have to spend a minimum of 6 hours to come up with a decent lesson plan.  
(If you're wondering why, this is because of the complicated format)  This does not include the time spent in editing the lesson plan after submission.

20th Century 

Private school teachers could go to sleep without being interrupted by their superiors or parents.

21st Century

Private school teachers have to answer text messages or calls from parents in the middle of the night or they are told by superiors to send sms messages to the parents to give announcements or reminders.

20th Century

Private school teachers could do their work without needing a  big amount of money.

21st Century

Private school teachers need to spend their own money on laptops and printers.

These are just a few observations on how times have changed for teachers.  It is based on my mom's life (she is a retired teacher) and my life as a teacher today.

A big thank you to Brook for inspiring this post but unlike how she obviously feels, I can't say I'm happy that I'm a 21st century teacher.

Monday, February 25, 2013

This weekend, I...v. 11

Here's another link-up with Syndal and Sar for a recap of my weekend.  

This weekend, I had the opportunity of seeing our students interact and play with some public school students (these are students who come from poor communities, who go to school often without snacks, without shoes, without paper and pencil) in our yearly outreach.  Some may actually think that this is a great and noble activity but honestly, I don't know what to think. I am inclined to think that the private school children are the ones who benefit so much from this activity rather than the supposed beneficiaries.  For some reason, I think that the public school children upon being exposed to the school of the ones far richer than they are would somehow come out of the experience with a lower self-esteem.

This weekend, Ruel and I went to our photographer to check the layout of our wedding album. We are going to make some minor changes so it would take probably a month before we could get the final product.

This weekend, Ruel, my son and I went to Mall of Asia for the 4th Pyromusical Competition.  There was heavy traffic the whole time we were on the road and it took us around two hours to get there!  Apparently, all the cars who were with us on the road were all going to the show too!

The mall was crowded and the venue for the display was packed with families and couples on a date.  The minute the show started, I realized that we should have gotten the VIP tickets.  Our silver tickets did not allow us to see what was happening on the water.  All we could see was what was going on up in the sky.  Oh, well...maybe next time.

The competition last Saturday was between Spain and Taiwan.  I have captured a little of Spain's display on video.  I hope you enjoy it. Just click on it below.  The last few seconds of this video is really nice.

I totally enjoyed the show.  Had it not been for the traffic going to the venue and the big crowd at the venue itself, I'd plan to go every Saturday until all the participating countries had presented.

We had a quiet, uncomfortable dinner after the show.  The pizza and the puttanesca we had were delightful but somehow we didn't enjoy it. Don't ask me why.

Sunday was uneventful  and just the way I wanted it to be, except for the fact that Ruel was in Bulacan and Toots and I were here in Manila. I love relaxing Sundays.

My Thoughts on EDSA

It's a Monday, it's 3pm and I am typing this post in the privacy of my own read that right -- I am at home! We are celebrating the 27th anniversary of the People Power Revolution which means no classes for students (and no work for teachers like me!)

Before I go to the recap of the weekend, let me just express my thoughts on the anniversary.  I was   in 5th grade when the bloodless revolution happened.  At that point, I have been aware of the things happening in the country.

Senator Ninoy Aquino, the father of our present president was assassinated when I was in 3rd grade.  I remember talking about it over lunch with my best friend, Luisa, trying  to come up with our own assumptions on why he was assassinated   Young as we were, we were aware of the things around us and politics fascinated us.

The years following the assassination was crucial. I remember the  Snap Presidential Elections of 1986.  I remember it was February 7, the only election date I remember.  We followed it closely, with my dad listening to the radio the whole day and the whole night, listing down the number of votes for Cory Aquino (mother of our present president) and her opponent, the president at that time, Ferdinand Marcos.

To this day, I remember the paper where my dad was listing the numbers down.  It was a yellow pad, which he folded in the middle horizontally.   I remember watching the news and seeing all these people whose job was to count the election returns walk out from their posts because of what they believed was massive cheating.  I remember having no classes for a week because of the revolution.  I remember being afraid and praying.  I remember waking up in the middle of the night to see Cory Aquino on TV,  looking relieved that the Marcoses had fled, the dictatorship has ended and the revolution over.  I was young and yet I cried with pride as artists sang, Handog ng Pilipino sa Mundo. I remember feeling proud that I was a Filipino, proud of our bloodless revolution, proud that we fought with only our prayers and rosary beads as weapons, that our faith in God had given our people the courage to fight for truth, for freedom and for democracy.  I felt proud that we, as a people, stood up against dictatorship for a better life and a better future.

Twenty-seven long years have gone by.   I see a country drunk with democracy and freedom.  I see a country far from the one I imagined there'd be.  I see more beggars and more squatters, high unemployment and underemployment rates and high taxes.     Most adults, though college graduates, live a hand-to-mouth existence.   The prices of basic commodities continue to go up, while the salaries of the middle and lower classes stay the same.  The computation for the amount of money needed in a day is based on a diet of instant noodles and pandesal.  What kind of human resource do we expect to have with that kind of diet?  What kind of children do we raise? Malnourished children....and yet we say that they are the future.

While ordinary Filipinos rent tiny apartments (most of them, mice infested) for twenty years, or for their whole lifetime, politicians live in posh neighborhoods, go around in their expensive cars, and travel to the States and to Europe whenever they want.  Their kids study in expensive schools abroad.  How can they do all these when their salaries are supposedly smaller than my husband's?

Politicians would still do anything to get themselves in office.  They spend millions on campaign materials and advertisements.   Killings that are political in nature are still common.   I mean, would you spend millions, just so you can serve your country?  Would you spend your millions and not think of earning it all back? Would you kill your opponents just so you could be the one to serve?  Nah, I think not.  And why on earth do we elect them?!

I have rambled on and on about this, I actually have been so filled up with my passion that I forgot about the recap I told you about.  I am just going to do that in a completely different post.

Anyway, my question is, where are we 27 years after the revolution?  Is this the better life that we were all dreaming of, that our parents and grandparents were fighting for, those days when they held their ground at EDSA?  During the revolution, the Filipinos were united, with one goal.  Today, we have our own agendas, our own little goals.  To each his own.  We work for ourselves.  We forget even the the little things that we can do for our country like following traffic rules, throwing our trash in the proper place, etc.

Another question I'd like to ask  is that, why is the anniversary not a non-working holiday?  The kids don't have classes because they needed to know about what happened 27 years ago.  What about the adults?  Don't we need to remember?  Don't we need to remember how it felt when we were all one?  Don't we need to remember the spirit that drove us to EDSA?   Don't we need to remember the life, the future, the Philippines that we all dreamed and fought for?

I have honestly  begun to lose hope in us as a people but while I was watching  the reenactment of some memorable moments at EDSA on TV, a sense of nostalgia came over me.  For a moment, I felt proud once again.  I remembered everything and this remembrance has lit a flicker of hope, of resolve.

I just hope everyone, like me,  remembers.

Wednesday, February 20, 2013

What I'd Tell Myself

I made so many mistakes in my life specially when I was younger.  I always look back and wish I hadn't made them and  I always have moments when I wish I could bring back time and tell myself things I should have known but didn't. 

I've always thought of making a post about it, but somehow always forgot to until 
I read  Brook's post today and saw her post entitled, If I Knew Then....

So, inspired by Brook's If I Knew Then, here are the things I wish I could tell my younger self.

6th grade self 
You are so much more than you think you are.  

14-year-old self 
You think you can't dance but you CAN and someday you're going to enjoy being
                               on stage so much that you're going to wish you started earlier.

15-year-old self
Chin up and be proud.  If they can do it, you can too (even better!)   Don't let anyone push you around.

16-year-old self
Dream big. Aim high.  You can be anything you want to be. Just believe in yourself.

18-year-old self
Don't be in a hurry to grow up. 
Don't be sad if you haven't met a guy.  (For those who don't know I studied in an all-girls school).
They will come later.

22-year-old self
You are special and don't let anyone make you think otherwise.  One man's opinion is not necessarily the opinion of the whole male population.

23-year-old self
Ask God.  Listen to Him and Trust in Him.  
You are not yet ready for a life-long commitment.
There'll be plenty more opportunities.

25-year-old self
Babies grow up so fast. Enjoy every moment you spend with your baby.

26-year-old self
Don't make decisions when you're mad or angry.  It is difficult to find another company as great as the one you're connected with.

30-year-old self
Spend as much time as you can with your son.  Play with him, do things with him.  He's not going to be a little boy forever.

You are not as thin as you think you are. If you gain a lot of weight now, it will be so hard to lose some later.

33-year-old self
Pursue your dream to be a laywer.  Teaching is good but one day, you'll wish you pursued your dream. 

So these are just some of the things I wish I could say to my younger self.  But yesterday is gone forever.  I guess I just have to be satisfied with learning from the past. 

Monday, February 18, 2013

What I've Been Up To

I'm back!  I haven't posted anything for a week. ...thanks to the different roles I have to play.  I  am amazed at  how the other bloggers can do all the things they do.  They cook, they make crafts, take care of babies, play wife, decorate and still have time to do awesome posts.  I am honestly having a hard time trying to juggle all the roles I have to play.

But for tonight, I am back to tell you what has been happening with my life lately.

Last Tuesday, the university chorale and I performed "Be Our Guest" at Robinson's Magnolia.    It's for the launching of a store opened by the students taking entrepreneur class.  The four days leading up to this event were quite stressful for me because I was requested to choreograph the whole performance, teach it to the college chorale and make sure that we could all perform it well after just a very short period of time.

I received a dozen roses from my husband last Valentine's Day.  We just had a simple dinner with my son, and my parents.  Post Valentine's Day date soon!

This Saturday was the first lazy Saturday I've had in like four months!  I just spent my time watching DVD with my boys, lying in bed, and just doing nothing.  I was soooooo happy!

Sunday was not so busy either.  I watched my son play hoops with Ruel and my brother-in-law after the morning Mass and we visited my baby nephew in the afternoon.

I wish next weekend would be like the last....but we already have things scheduled.  Oh well....maybe the week after next.

Monday, February 11, 2013

This Weekend, I... v. 10

It's another tiring Monday.  I wish the week would hurry so I could rest. It's been ages since I last stayed home for a whole day and right now, my Saturday  is still free  and I hope it stays that way.

Anyway, here's my recap of the previous week.

This weekend, Ruel, Toots and I attended a Fun Run sponsored by my son's school.  We had to wake up at 4:30 am so we could get to the venue on time.  It was held at the University of the Philippines and I was actually surprised to see  that other people who were not part of our Fun Run were also there to bike, jog or walk.  People of all ages were  there.  Some of them even brought their dogs with them. 

This weekend, Ruel, Toots and I attended Emilio's two months celebration.  My sister baked a carrot cake with lots of walnuts! Yum!  They also ordered pancit palabok, and KFC   fried chicken.

We bought Emilio his first balloon with a Lightning McQueen design.  Of course, he couldn't play with it but it was just so fun to see him with the balloon's string tied around his wrist, and to see his eyes following the red thing.

So this was how I spent my weekend.    Link up with Sar or Syndal and tell us how you spent yours.

Wednesday, February 6, 2013

A Big Disappointment

I started the day happy, looking forward to our Beauty and the Beast rehearsal.

I left school sad and disappointed.  The rehearsal was supposed to start at 5:30.  I was at the theater at   5.  The cast started to arrive at 6pm but we weren't complete till it was 6:30.  By then, the organizers of the play arrived and gathered everyone for a meeting.

A lot of us were asked about how we felt about the play.  (We just started practising two weeks ago and we only have a month before the staging.) A lot of the ones asked said they were afraid we wouldn't be able to stage a good show.

To cut the long story short, we were told that the staging was going to be postponed till August of next school year.

The problem is I am not even sure I will be staying in the same school next year.  Or if I did stay, what if I get pregnant in the next few days?

So as you can imagine I went home really sad.  I mean, I shouldn't stay in a school only because of a play, right?  There has to be a better reason than that.  And then, there's the baby issue.  I have to get pregnant really soon because I am getting old.

Oh these are just my thoughts today.  I hope you had a nicer day.

Monday, February 4, 2013

This Weekend, I... v. 9

It's been a tiring Monday.  I didn't have any break time between classes because I was buried in paperwork! We are going to have our ISO audit tomorrow so everyone was just super busy. Many of us were not able to take our lunch anymore.

I wouldn't have liked this day if not for our Beauty and the Beast rehearsal.  It's really funny what theater can do to me.  No matter how ugly a day has been, if it ends with a rehearsal, it still turns out to be a beautiful day!  

Anyway, I am here to link up with Syndal and Sar for a recap of the recent weekend.

Saturday morning, Ruel took me to school early. I had to be there at 5 am.  We were celebrating the feast of the Presentation of Our Lord with a dawn Rosary procession which was followed by a celebration of the Holy Mass at the university chapel.  Teachers, parents and students attended the celebration of the feast.

 Ruel picked me up after the Mass, and gave me his gift for our 2nd month as Mr. and Mrs.  It was an original DVD copy of the 25th anniversary concert of Les Miserables!  I've been "coveting" my sister's copy for almost two years now.  So you can just imagine how wide my smile was when I saw what was inside the gift bag.  

We went home, had breakfast, then watched the concert with my son, Toots.  I sang  throughout the whole concert.  My voice is not really of very good qualiy but Ruel sat with me and bore my singing.  How sweet right?

Right after the concert ended, I took my second bath for the day, dropped off my son at a nearby mall where he was meeting with his dad, and then hurried off to school again for our Beauty and the Beast song practice.  It made me very happy.  

a happy me during the ride to school

Here is our pianist and our Belle.  She's making faces here. She's a lot prettier in person.

Sunday was uneventful. We just went to Mass with my parents-in-law and watched the 10th anniversary concert of Les Miserables....yes, I know.  I actually watched it every day for one month when I was eight months pregnant with my son.  That was 13 years ago.

We wanted to visit my nephew but he was out "malling" with his parents.  Oh well....maybe next weekend.  

I want a baby sooooo much!