quaint little rutted bucket

Tuesday, May 24, 2005

First impressions

This term rocks. Although I am already resigned to the fact that I'll be delayed (the real 103 BSE-ENG guys will be finishing their program by the end of this year), I take comfort in the fact that at least, I'll get to stay in school longer.

I'm not sure why as early as now (first term of my junior year), I'm already waxing lyrical about the nearing end of my studies. I haven't even done my thesis yet, nor have I undergone practicum, but as the months (days?) pass by, I already feel butterflies fluttering in my tummy whenever I think of it. Anyway, what is important is the here and now, so let's leave that for now.

Why does this term rock? Well, apart from my schedule, most (all?) of my subjects seem interesting enough to be both engrossing and inspiring. (Wow. I'm actually loving this thing called " studying." It's just so... not me. Heheheh. :-Þ
  • RELSTRI - Christian Morality for Dummies. Just kidding. Our prof on this one seems nice enough, although a bit on the control-obsessive side. Something of a cross between a college prof and a high school teacher in how he handles the class. Although I'm not so sure of your own idea of how a high school teacher should handle a class. ;-)
  • INTRECO - I'm taking this with some of the 103 English majors. Our prof is somewhat imported, and he is pretty cool. Very authoritative and intelligent. I really like his class. While economics certainly gets a bit tedious after a while, its fortunate that it only sets in near the end of the meeting. The things I've read in Fortune surely will become more relevant to me as we discuss the things this course is supposed to cover. I'm especially looking forward to developmental economics, as this is a subject that covers what has been a consistent topic in the media recently: sustainable development.
  • LITERA1 - I like how my prof handles the class on this one. She's very lively, and really gives life to the lecture/discussion. It is in my belief that her level of enthusiasm and passion for what she teaches is fitting for what the course will be covering. I think that's something to be commended this early on, given the time of this course (around lunchtime. heheh.) And the thought of learning more about our nation's rich collection of literary materials is, to be honest, exciting.
My two majors courses this term, GRAMCO2 and THECOMM, should prove to be worthwhile courses too. The former is a course on teaching grammar, while the latter takes on communication theories. Our real prof on the latter is still out, attending a conference in the States. Her substitute is equally competent, though surely not on the same level of expertise and experience as our prof. But she's nice and got lots of fresh insights that are very much welcome.

There you have it. A completely anonymous, name-free overview of the courses I'll be taking this term.

Monday, May 23, 2005

First day schmurdaze

A new academic year has just begun. New faces, a new (inter)face, a new schedule... it really does feel great to start another new year.

Problem is, I'm not getting younger. I'm actually getting older.

Walking among the froshies was like wading through high school crowds--obviously, these guys haven't nary a clue as to what they've just gotten themselves in. ::evil grin:: Seriously, there are already two batches younger than me. I feel so wise already, having experienced failure and mistakes and the eventual redemption of sorts in my studies that I can tell them a thing or two about a part of the entire DLSU college experience. I feel competent enough to be somewhat authoritative on all things La Salle. (I can even tell you a thing or two about the Founder after reading "The Work is Yours" by Luke Salm, FSC. Because I joined this.)

Really, I felt I stood out like a sore thumb along the corridors of... well, almost every building that have corridors packed with froshies. (includes LS, Miguel, Gox, SJ to name a few. We'll see how Yuchengco fares tomorrow.)

And yet, strangely, it is actually sort of refreshing to see new pretty faces around campus. (yes, i've been a naughty boy who's keeping his eyes open for... any girl that would capture this bloke's fancy.)

The desire to find somebody worthwhile has just bumped up five nothches up my charts this year. After languishing for two years as an oft-neglected thing (with the occasional high-points and false "sya na kaya" moments), it's actually become sort of a priority starting this year. Golly. This is going to be fun. Especially when you try it as a balancing act with studying.

You know you're getting older when the people around you start talking about their boyfriends/girlfriends. Even the people you least expect to hear this from: the 'studious' ones, the 'no boy/girl until graduation' ones, to name a few. Boy, it does seem like everybody's getting into serious dating and relationships. My GUICOED prof's even joined the fray by giving me wise, parting advice: "Wag ka munang pakakasal ha!" Go figure.

Oh, this'll be the last year my age will be having a "-teen" suffix. Hahah. Midlife crisis it is not. Bwahahah.

Bahala na.

Come to think of it, some of the people I know in FAST2003 are poised to finish their undergrad degree at the end of this year. As well as my batchmates in education. Heck, a lot of people are graduating at the end of this year. Sigh. It really is like a whirlwind experience. Or maybe a roller coaster one. I dunno.

I'll be adding my impressions of my classes tomorrow. Of course, sans prof names. :D


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Thursday, May 19, 2005

A beautiful afternoon

After finally selling my soul just to enroll this morning, (just kidding. I just can't accept the fact we've just become 34k poorer. Again. :) I've decided to drop by the Ayalas' purty art place beside Greenbelt: Ayala Museum.

Designed by firm founded by the late national artist, Leandro V. Locsin, the design team led by his son should certainly be commended for their recent work. Modern, sleek and comfy, the new Ayala Museum is not only nice to look at, but is also nice to be in. I feel that it is only right that a place for art should also exude the very character of the art it houses: creative, dynamic and unique.

The new Ayala Museum has two ticket categories: Regular and Discounted. Regular applies to foreigners, while the discounted rate goes for Filipinos. The rate for us Pinoys is PhP 150 for Adults, half that (PhP 75) for students, senior citizens and children. Students and senior citizens need only to present proof, usually an ID (school or senior citizen) to avail of the discounted rate.

The museum's foyer and main lobby reeks of class (in a good way) and style. With its high ceilings and modernist indoor styling, one finds him (or her) self quickly at ease and anxious to begin exploring. Marble slabs and granite wall panels adorn the stairway to the second floor. Glass has been thoughtfully and liberally used throughout the musuem to convey space and protect the art elements. Elegant pinlights illuminate the immediate area. The attention placed even to the littlest details really does much to complete the experience.

My tour began at around one in the afternoon (and ended at four!) The two entrances confused me at first: there was an entrance near the old PLDT compound (along Dela Rosa) and one facing the Museum Bar, almost along Makati Ave. Either way you prefer to go into, you'll still be welcomed with the museum's sleek lobby.

The desk people/attendants were courteous, at the very least. They greet and smile at people and were very professional in how they go about their work. That's a good thing in my book.

As soon as I got my ticket, I visited the first gallery located at the ground floor, just inside the looby and beside the attendants' desk.

The first gallery featured an exhibition called 'Crossings' that comprises of artworks from the permanent ccollection of the Singapore Art Museum. Interestingly, the collection included works from our country's best artists, such as the late Ang Kiukok, Anita Magsaysay-Ho, Carlos Francisco, Manuel Rodriguez, Victorio Edades, and Arturo Luz just to name a few. Most of the works on exhibit in the gallery were either mixed media, print, or oil/acrylic on canvas. The artworks were diverse: there were modernist, impressionist, social realist and abstract works, presented with a distinctly nationalistic theme.

Second floor contains what perhaps made the Ayala Museum famous: its intricately-made dioramas. I've already seen this before in 2001, but it still was a nice experience breezing through them. It really is like reading a quick guide to the history of our country in how it depicts notable moments in our history.

The addition of multimedia content is a nice touch, since it gives those who prefer their museums interactive a chance to relate to what is being presented. This would especially be helpful to younger people.

Two video presentations also follow the dioramas: one that tackles the rise and reign of Ferdinand Marcos' brutal regime, and the other presentation serves as a tribute to the momentous occasion that was People Power that toppled a repressive and corrupt government. The latter almost brought me to tears.

Third floor of the museum houses the Zobel, Luna and Amorsolo galleries.

The things I learned in my ARTAPRE class last term and in docent training were in full throttle by this time. I was examining the nuances of every artwork, from the brush strokes, style, elements, colors, hues, medium... even the framing. :)

For instance, one would notice Zobel's fascination with modernist-minimalist artwork. His artworks are geometric, using only lines, limited shading and even dots. Much like Luz, he favored the use of straight lines and shading for creating backgrounds and details. His works often have white or other light colored backgrounds. From there, he usually made use of intense lines or other smaller but striking touches to create emphasis. A respectable artist in his own right, I must say.

Luna's works are another fascinating lot to examine. His works hint at neo-classicist tendencies, although his write up also added that he later on began to explore other styles of painting, most popular of which were his social realist and romantic works.

Among the three artists, I must say that I like Amorsolo's works best. Most of them were impressionist-realist, but it was evident that, like most artists, his works were never confined to a single style or two. I loved the way he made use of oils. Of particular note were his breathtaking takes on the typical life in the Filipino countryside, similar to the ones we discussed in class.

The galleries on the fourth level were nice, but admittedly, not really my cup of tea. The first gallery featured period clothing from 18th and 19th century Philippines, while the other featured our country's devotion to our Catholic faith. There were a lot of religious statues, in all shapes and sizes, made from a variety of materials. I was particularly impressed with the ones made of ivory and kamagong wood, as well as those that had silver embellishments.

The way the museum also presented additional information on a gallery or a collection has to commended. It was very attractive and did much to complete the learning experience of visiting a musuem.

And now, for some nitpicks.

While I was generally impressed, I noticed two things: First were the guards-slash-museum assistants. They were helpful, but at the same time, almost paranoid in their vigilance. I was just examining an artwork closely when a guard came close to me, seemingly waiting for my next move. I dunno. Maybe I'm the one who's paranoid.

Another would be the bulbous surveillance cameras littered everywhere. They were literally everywhere. I was even thinking they were somewhat connected to a central security center where a dispatch officer of some kind would annouce to the guards that a certain so-and-so person is roaming this particular part of the museum and would keep tabs on him/her by assigning a guard or two on that person or group of people.

It is understandable that security should be this tight, given the nature of things inside (Amorsolos, Lunas and other priceless articles) but really, the feeling of Big Brother watching is creepy.

The only place one could seek solace from the cameras are the comfort rooms. I dunno about the lifts as I haven't used them, but I'm betting they also have a camera or two installed.

Aside from that big brotherish complaint, everything's well for the new Ayala Museum. The price is just right (especially for the students/senior citizens/children, as the rate is even cheaper than a movie ticket in Ayala Center's cheapest cinemas) and it something is really worth checking out. After putting this visit off for more than a few months, I'm glad I finally did.

Edit: I should have the brochure pics ready soon. Sorry, no tour pics. Cameras *not* allowed.
Edit2: grammmar checks! dang. i hate making booboos. ;-)

Wednesday, May 18, 2005

It's raining! It's raining!

It's actually raining outside as I post this. Sigh. Finally, some respite from the copious amounts of humidity in the air. It's not really about the high summer temps I hate about summer... it's the excessive humidity. Makes you feel sticky and grimy all over.

The bad thing is, once the rain stops, evaporation ensues... giving rise to yet more humidity. Argh.

Its finally over!

Summer class. Just as when I was starting to like going to my guidance and counseling class... ::sob:: Anyway, it was fun, and even though the things we discussed in class were a bit lacking, I still discovered that I learned lots.

The final requirement was given yesterday. It wasn't all too difficult, I must say. But it still took time. Nevertheless, I think it was time well spent.

Having summer class is definitely better than bumming around the house when we're not visiting places.

Oh wait. Crap.

I never did get the chance to visit any place this summer, except for the yearly homage to the beaches of Batangas and wexy's birthday party in Laguna. The last time my folks went North, I was caught up with a project that I decided to just sit it out here in Manila--alone, while the rest of the family was away.

Maybe next year, when I won't be having classes for summer.

Hopefully. :D

Linkaroo: http://www.theonion.com/news/index.php?issue=4119&n=2

Tuesday, May 03, 2005

The responsibilities and sensibilities of blogging

I have been poring over this blog's access logs (weblog's log? weheheh. whatever.) and I see the occasional search for one of my profs' names or two. I dunno if these were my profs googling for their own names online or were just isolated cases of acquaintances looking for one another, but it still terrifies me nonetheless if they were to search for their names online and bring up cases against me for libel or something equally scandalous. The good thing is, I've written nothing scathing or something equally bad, as most of them were just plain-jane comments and praises about their teaching styles (and *not* criticisms of the person) 0:-)

Anyway, due to this, I'm making it a point to 'sanitize' my posts by not posting non-celebrity names publicly. In addition, I'll keep any potentially damaging thoughts confined within the limits of my head. You'll never know what the written word can do to you.

On the lighter side of things, since moving this thing to a more accessible URL, I've seen hits rise, most of them just plain searches for lyrics or songs or even artists, which I really don't care about much, since I placed it there basically to share it to the entire intarweb.

Basta. No more name-posting, especially prof's names. Heck, I may even drop the course codes just to keep things relatively sane. I tell you, browsing over the logs and discovering searches for prof names actually leading to my blog is stressful! And its certainly scary, since there was already an incident a prof left a comment on my blog. :D

Currently playing: Diana Krall's "Just The Way You Are"

Sunday, May 01, 2005

All in a day's work (An Inquirer 'Young Blood' op-ed piece)


I was writing a paper for my guidance and counseling class about what motivated me to enter education and I saw this while slack researching on the Web. As it turns out, here was somebody who shared essentially my views on what a career is all about.

We Filipinos seem to have this notion of having a less than prestigious job (read: either blue collar or really back breaking) are not really worth being proud of. This includes, sadly, teaching. For a profession that, at its core, deals with the future of this nation, teaching is perhaps the most misunderstood, neglected profession in this society. A lot of people try teaching because, hey, all it takes is good communication skills, right?


Lecturing != teaching.

I remember this adage that has been said by not only one of my professors in CED:
"Everybody can lecture. But not everybody can teach." What it simply tells us is that anybody can stand in front of a class and deliver a lecture. Heck, even my fifth grade brother could do that. But to expect that somebody who lectures relatively well but has no formal training in teaching be a good teacher... might be taking things a bit too far.

And besides, I want to teach. What is the point of being in a career that pays well but you don't have any inclination for? Is it something worth pursuing? In this bloke's book, that is a big not. For me, career < character. It means that a career is a facet of who you are as individual. The career you have defines who you are. It means having passion for the things you do for a living.

Personally, I could not see myself working in a cubicle for hours on end. It would be a job that would bore me to death. I got out of CS simply because I don't want a job that would largely be dealing with computers. (and computer-related work, like coding, troubleshooting, configuration, design, performance profiling, optimization, etc etc etc) I see myself reaching out to people, touching lives. I could've done that by becoming a priest or a pastor, but then, that would require me to take a vow of chastity and never have a biological family of my own. (Which is something that I don't like.)

I don't care if teaching will put me in an income bracket a notch lower than most other professionals in this God forsaken country. As the article said, we Filipinos have become so fixated on the income that we fail to realize the value of the line of work we are intending to enter. In the end, a lot of people unhappy and unmotivated with their jobs.

I don't want to be a casualty.