quaint little rutted bucket

Friday, December 23, 2005

Spring (christmas?) cleaning

Hah. I love the holiday season.

No. Not because of the gifts, nor because of the mad rush in the malls (The sheer amount of people in the malls shopping actually rival that of a midnight madness sale, at least in Ayala! And people are actually buying stuff! How... unusual. All on weekdays! Heheh. I just hope that all that buying is for local goods, since if those were for imported things, expect our country's dollar balance/reserves to dwindle back to pre-holiday levels. On a somewhat related note, I think the BSP should consider getting itself a stack of renminbi/yuans instead, since virtually every consumer good available locally is made in China. Heh. Its crazy, but practical.)

Now, where was I?

Oh yes. Spring cleaning. Its that time of the year again when I get to rummage across everything I worked on since the start of the school year. The amount of school mess that I have lying around has become staggering and alarming lately, even rivalling that of my computer equipment stack. This has prompted my Almighty Mum to threaten me again of finally kicking me out of the house. I argued that I would call Bantay Bata, but then, she reminded me that I'm no longer a minor. Tough luck. Oh, my mum. So lovely when trying to get me to do something. Hahaha. (That reminds me, I haven't ever written about her. Maybe I'll try my hand at it one day.)

So, grudgingly, I was forced to face reality: do the annual review of the things I have, sort them into two: to archive and to throw them away.

You see, this spring cleaning thing, although as advanced as it may seem (its not yet spring), has been actually overdue for an entire term. I dunno why I didn't get around to doing it, but I love doing it. Rummaging through older junk may seem boring, but I discover lots of things about the recent past and all the crazy things a wandering mind like me occasionally do in class. Like scribble random thoughts on paper. Or write a one-liner. I don't really doodle, but I might just do that next time. ;)

Here's one of the better things I found. I actually thought I lost this, but I found this poem written on the back of a sheet of scratch yellow paper yesterday, and I remembered writing it last September. Don't ask why in the world I wrote it; I was inspired to write poetry at that time. It would be a waste to just throw away this one, as its one of my few handful of attempts at poetry.

I call this one "Hopes and Wishes".

There is a distant star
That I must reach
A dream that I must touch
The thought of reaching it
Frightens me and yet
I know I must,

For in it lies
The whole of me and
Something more than that,
And yet I'm afraid that
If I touch it
It will disappear

And take along with it
My heart.



Wednesday, December 21, 2005

Words & Music: Amos Lee
©2004 Burning Harp Music
Released under Blue Note Records

Yesterday I got lost in the circus
Felling like such a mess
Now I’m down I’m just hanging on the corner
I can’t help but reminisce
When you’re gone all the colors fade
When you’re gone no New Year’s Day parade
You’re gone
Colors seem to fade

Your mama called she said that you’re down stairs crying
Feeling like such a mess
Yeah I hear you you’re in the background bawling
What happened to your sweet summertime dress

I know we all, we all got our faults
We get locked in our vaults and we stay
But when you’re gone all the colors fade
When you’re gone no New Year’s Day parade
You’re gone
Colors seem to fade
Colors seem to fade

Tuesday, December 20, 2005

Term post mortem

In its entirety, I can say that I've performed more or less the same as with my performance last term: pretty dismal grades for math-leaning subjects, some fair, some high grades for my majors. Oh. Every subject I had this term were majors.

  • I got a 1.5 in EDUSTAT. I'm not entirely sure if its due to the cliche-ish "spirit of the holiday season" factor, but I'll take this one over a 0.0 anyday. I passed! I passed!
  • Got a 4.0 in LACUSOC. I dunno about that crazy subject. While I certainly have developed an affinity for discussing language and its implications to modern society (bwahaha! language policy, anyone? Or would you rather have a discussion of gender differences in communication?), I'm not exactly certain I deserved that grade. Meh.
  • 3.5 for TINTECH! Weeeeeeeeee. I love teaching! A course on classroom management, and I got 3.5! Enough said. I actually *do* have a future as a fairly good teacher, based on the comments I got last December 7, when I did my demo teaching. Heck, my prof even offered to write me an endorsement letter to be part of the DEAL faculty then and there! Oh noes. Am I actually going to end up as a college prof, perhaps teaching ENGLONE or any other English GE course after I graduate? Scary. Hahaha.
  • 3.0 for LISPEAK. Another course on pedagogy, this one focused more on the nitty-gritty of practical application of linguistic theories and concepts to teaching listening and speaking. I missed my midterm task requirement for this one, so that must account for the .5 that is apparently missing from my final grade. Anyway, 3.0 is decent enough, so can't complain.
  • 8am classes are love-hate things. Especially majors classes. Its so easy to be late for them, or just avoid attending altogether. With that said, I actually did a lot of the latter. :D PSYLERN was one, and my absences cost me an entire 1.0 to be shaved off my projected grade. (I missed five quizzes in all! My prof was considerate enough to give me three of them as retakes. Goody goody. But I may not be as fortunate next time, especially when you consider that my average RELSTRI grade last term was due to a missed exam.) Anyway, 2.5 is good, though I still hate the grind of commuting. :/
  • Props goes out to FOUNED1. There wasn't any trace of our prof, or any grade for that matter. Not even on MLS. If that thing doesn't show up by the 22nd, we're screwed.
So, it was a fairly good term. I was able to salvage what I could from the spillover of November and get some of things in my academic house back in order.

Before going home today, I spent more than hour reading a tearjerker at the North Conserv all by myself. Gee, both wings of the Conserv are fairly nice when nighttime finally arrives. Was thinking of going to Starbucks at Torre when I saw that it was full of too-chatty people. I can normally shut them out whenever I'm reading in public, but this was too much. Way too much. Decided to go back to campus to spend the dusk at the Conserv instead. When I passed halfway through the book and the clock nearly hit six, I found myself wanting to cry already. I put down the book, checked my things and eyes, and finally went for a slow, inspire-me-nostalgia walk towards PGP to offer prayers and reflect. And perhaps even let tears well in and drop from my eyes.

If there's anything I can complain about La Salle, is that it doesn't have much places for recluse and quality alone time. Really. My solution? PGP and MBS, whichever is more accessible. Although I tend to go to PGP as its closer. For longer alone-time sorties, check out vacant classrooms in the sixth floor of Yuchengco (esp. the half-sized ones) and the Museum (although the cameras are teh scarey). The University Library should be considered last resort, for some reason. :))

Sunday, December 18, 2005

A term ago now

Breakfast has come and gone, and here I am, back in my room to continue this. As I was looking out to the lake, it is only now that I realized indeed, how dear this place has become to me. “Why,” you might ask.

As the first term ended this school year, this place saw me as that starry-eyed bloke who was infatuated. Badly. And unlike in the past, I really wanted to do something about it. I figured that a girl like her would only come once in a lifetime, so I might as well take risks, not wanting to let this one go.

So, as any enterprising person would do, I started by asking questions. I posed the silliest questions to the girls in FORMDEV (“What color of flowers would I give her?”, “What kind of flowers would I give her?”, “How many?”), to the guys (“Is it worth it?”) and finally, to myself. I could vividly remember trying to sleep, amidst the thoughts, the empty stares out onto the magnificent scenery that can be seen from the deck at the rear of the Villa. Really, it was senti mode fest.

While the flowers-related questions were indeed silly, I did learn a lot about myself. Looking back, little did I know that a lot of things were in store for me from that fateful weekend.

I descended from Tagaytay knowing the answers to at least the most important questions: “Is this for real?” and “Am I going to try to make this happen?” The answers were yes, although to that end, I wasn't exactly sure as to how to go about it.

That was how it all began.

The irony of it all is that, a term after, here I am again, in the same room, looking out the same window, and the same scenery, trying to put all those behind me. Trying so hard to forget, to learn, and to move on. Its a sad thing, but I think it was still worth it—at the very least, I've learned a good deal about myself in the experience. And I had the chance to get to know a very worthwhile person, who, indirectly and most likely without her realizing it, taught me a great deal about the world and myself.


You know its going to be over when the pangs of closure start manifesting itself all over again, in a fashion similar to the ones I went through in the past. Contrary to popular notion, its not really denial that comes first. Its a real bad case of longing. A really bad case of longing. For a relative introvert like me who revels in deep thought and reflection, it is actually worse. A stare outside a window conjures much thoughts, memories, and sounds that just seem like yesterday. The things you liked so much about a person, the things that made you like her in the first place—those things.

To actually write this down all over again, to revisit thoughts was harder a couple of weeks ago. But it seems a bit easier now.

This may be my last post here at Tagaytay for today. We'll still have a quick session before taking our lunch and preparing to head back to Manila.

Good morning, sunshine!

By this time, Ate Glo and her daughter are wrapping up this hour's religious service at the parish back home. And I'm not there. :(

The bad weather has finally lifted. Last night saw the baddest winds and the strongest rains, but its nice to wake up to a cup of nice hot tea and sunlight finally breaking through the cloud cover. Yesterday's weather was so bad, visibility was down to three meters. The wind was also rocking the electricity to a point that lights were flicking on and off. Sir Caloy told us to make sure chargers and other sensitive devices were unplugged. (Unlike in Manila, I always made sure to remove my laptop's charger DC-in from the laptop itself to make sure nothing gets fried. Electricity in provinces have been known to spike and fluctuate a lot.)

Anyway, this will be our last day here at the Villa. It is only now I realized how special this place is—this is an exclusive place built initially for only the Brothers to be used in their retreats and other functions. That limitation was lifted to include senior faculty and administration members from different La Salle institutions, but not for students. We are actually one of the few who will ever set foot and spend weekends here. :)

The morning view is breathtaking. For the first time this weekend, I finally saw the lake reveal itself. The fog has lifted! Yay.

Last night was terrible. It must have been below 20 (I reckon around 15 to 18 degrees, but I'm no thermometer. :) degrees last night, as things were colder than a decent air conditioned room back in Manila. The weather's a love-hate relationship: I appreciate the cool weather as it does wonders for my hyperhydrosis, but not this cold. (Silly me forgetting to bring along a jacket or a sweater.)

Anyway, I'll be wrapping this one up. I hear breakfast coming!

Saturday, December 17, 2005

Ignorance is never bliss.

Brother Ceci arrived this morning, amidst the strong winds and light rain. I really don't have access to decent news, so its hard to tell if a storm or a typhoon's up. Pah. I found myself blindly repeating a line I heard more than a handful of times last Friday: “Ignorance is bliss.”

Brother Ceci is wonderful person. As an educator, and as a Lasallian Brother, I would admit that he is one of those persons who have reawakened in me a desire or at the very least, an interest in a life consecrated to service and faith. (translation: a priest or something else) I dunno. I know myself; I know that there's a nurturing side in me that wants to get out fast and make itself known. I am just not sure if that nurturing side will be best answered with attempting to find an intimate relationship, or in Ateneo parlance, becoming “a man for others.” So many questions, not much time to find the answers to them.

His talk for today was surprisingly very relevant to the situation I find myself in. Since this is FORMDEV and we dabble in the life of the Founder, it was fairly expected that he start with something along the lines of St. La Salle's life. His first point focused on those moments in our lives when we can't find answers to the questions we face. He went back to quote one of St. La Salle's prayers, in which the Founder, in the first three years of the founding of the Institute, was constantly praying to God in his search for certainty and stability.

As St. La Salle retired in quiet solitude and started to write his memoirs, he recalled those times when the Institute was still struggling to even ensure the future of their roots in Rheims. He told God that if he only knew what was to become of him and the Institute, he is not sure that he would have even dared to continue along that path.

Along that path. That was the key.

Oftentimes, we compare life to a journey; to a path that we have to take. But contrary to how we see our lives, it is not a path that has already been built for us to travel on. As travelers, we are the ones building our own roads. Every brick laid and every turn made is the result of the things we experience. It is not easy to travel along an unmapped road blindly, and what God asks of us—through His providence, and our faith in Him—is to trust Him enough to realize the masterplan that He has in store for all of us.

“Uncertainty is part of the human condition. There will be times in one's life that daunting questions will arise and come our way. We are never perfect. We are expected to ask questions and seek answers to them. The key is asking the right question, and looking for the right kind of answer.”

Vague, but certainly good food for thought.

Another point Brother Ceci made is that as servants and disciples, we must not only commit ourselves to our work, but more importantly, to the people we care about. That does not only give us our impetus to continue on serving, but more importantly, a sense of fulfillment in the things we do.

Commitment. A very powerful word, even in the hands of the weak. Have I been committed enough to the things and more importantly, to the people I care about?

Reflection time.

Friday, December 16, 2005

In the middle of a storm or something like it

The weather is *bad*. The rains alternate between a light drizzle and a heavy downpour, and the winds are strong enough to actually start creating some sort of howling, buzzing sound whenever strong one would pass. Like a ghost trying to scare you.

Arrived at exactly around 9PM, so that makes our travel time around an hour and a half. As always, the traffic before the Filinvest/Alabang exits is as heavy as an unmovable turd.

I see new faces, and some aren't around. Three of them are apparently Milton's friends, while the two are froshies. Brian is with us too. Unfortunately, Dane, Tin-tin, Precious, Princess, Popoy, Sir Bart and Doc Sison aren't around, so that makes the numbers around the same as with the past Tagaytay weekends we've spent here at the Villa.

We had a simple, warm dinner of sinigang na bangus and adobo. Manang's sinigang was traditional; none of those Knorr-inspired flavors here. :) Instead, there were hints of tamarind and calamansi. The fish was tender and flaky, and its size indicates a fairly younger stock while the veggies were done just right. Perfect.

Friday, December 09, 2005

A week in hell [is finally over]

EDIT (16 dec 2005 2:49PM): I won't be around for the weekend, as we'll be having a retreat. (coolness! finally, a break. La Salle Villa ulit!) I'm really sorry. Can't it wait until next week? :)

Anyway, I'm sorry for those who haven't seen anything good on this blog for the entire month of November. I've just returned from another wayward journey, and I'm still trying to pick
myself up, so please bear with me. :D I'm planning to post a few of the ones I made, but then, don't expect everything. All of my ramblings for last month are still saved as drafts, as I have opted not to post them.

Planning to catch up with my writings for the entire break. I'll be starting this weekend, as my trusty Thinkpad is coming with me to Tagaytay. Expect a big jazz album review fest (yes, spending hours in M1/Tower has been a recent
favorite thing) as I get around to getting my writing groove back. A couple of book reviews here and there (yes...) including my take on Stephen King's "On Writing: A Memoir of the Craft". Am planning to write about the Starbucks experience too, including revealing the [in my opinion] the best Starbucks store I've found so far. :) I seriously need to get back to writing, so we'll start with those. I'll also try to finish a write-up on the fun I had with Jake last Saturday at Intramuros. :))

For now, I'm finishing my packing my luggage.

Babush. (Sino gusto ng buko pie-tarts? Hahaha.)

O yan. Guys, I have posted my sched and todo list for next week. Things will certainly get busy around here. :) If you have any questions, tanong tanong na lang. Check ko na lang blogs nyo for your scheds, ha?

Final Exam Schedule:

bwahaha. I'm done, I'm done! 4.0 FOUNED1 finals. w00t.







Dec 12






Dec 12






Dec 14






Papers and requirements due:

  • done! LISPEAK Demo Teaching Portfolio. Due 10 Dec, Ms. Mimi’s p-hole @ the DEAL Offices, William Hall.
  • done! Paper on LACUSOC, “Attracting the Modern Filipina: A Metafunctional Analysis of Philippine Billboard Advertisements”. Presentation on 12 Dec, Final exam sched @ Y506. Exam afterwards. Submission date = ???
  • done! Paper on PSYLERN, “Motivation and Second Language Acquisition among the Hearing Impaired”. Due on Wednesday, 14 Dec 2005.
  • done! (EDUSTAT) Project on Correlations (Meeting at lunchtime, Tuesday 13 Dec 2005). Due on Thursday, 15 Dec 2005. Submit at Sir Homer’s p-hole at the Psych Dept.
  • done! grant me a 4.0, oh-so-mighty-deity of elmd. (TINTECH) Slideshow Presentations; Re: Cooperative Learning, Student-Centered Learning, Integrative Approach. Due on 16 Dec 2005. Leave with the Secretary, ELMD (LS Offices)
  • early processing of results done. I swear, career mode na talaga ito. Early next year (and over the holidays): Ms. Mimi's paper! Let's run the final 10 yards: Write the intro, methods, results, et al. and of course, submission for final edits and submission. I swear, I'll make this one so good that that thing will get published on whatever journal she'll be submitting it to. Career mode na ito!
Other stuff:

  • done! it was fun. :) post to follow. UNICEF Christmas Fair at Lyceum Intramuros. 10 December 2005, 1 - 5 PM.
  • FORMDEV Retreat ulit! :) 16 - 18 December 2005. Friday PM departure from Gox, La Salle Villa Tagaytay ETA undetermined. Sunday PM departure from Tagaytay: 2:00 PM, Manila ETA 4:00 PM. Bring usual things: a good book, senti/emo music, rosary, camera, some extra batteries, chocolate bars (bwahaha), bottled water, toiletries, clothing, slippers, bathing stuff, contacts kit/glasses, medication.
  • cancelled. texted ms. lalyn, she said ok. awww. Christmas Party at The Museum, 17 December 2005, lunchtime. Bring gift for Kuya J. :) [conflict. Ugh-oh.]?
  • MDP Dawn Mass lector/commentator service schedule 19 December 2005, 4:00 AM. Uniform required.