Goodbye and thank you, 2011! Hello 2012!

Ho Chi Minh, Vietnam, July 2011

What was 2011 for me?

Before I answer that question, I cannot help but think back and reflect on what happened in 2010. 2010 was characterized by major upheavals, changes and life-changing decisions. It was more of a rollercoaster ride and taking leaps of faith.

But 2011…it was more like a gentle, quiet and continuous breeze…of settling down and calming down after a storm. There were exciting and challenging events this year but the general feeling was that of contentment.

2011 was a year

of blessing,

of inspiration,

of enjoying and living the moment, and

of smiling and laughing heartily.

 

But it was also a year

of challenging myself to be better,

of continuously striving to achieve excellence,

of staying the course and not giving an inch, and

of constantly believing that there is a reason to HOPE.

 

I am grateful for 2011. It was awesome, fun, wonderful, and love!

Welcome 2012!

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Remembering Tita Cory (1933-2009)

Today marks the first death anniversary of the so-called “Icon of Democracy,” President Corazon C. Aquino or most fondly called “Tita Cory.” I remember so many things last year – the media frenzy when she was still at the hospital; the outpouring of prayers from all over the country for her healing and recovery and the round the clock news bulletins updating the Filipinos of her condition. I also remember that when she finally left us and joined our Creator, the wave of nostalgia, melancholy and yes, thanksgiving which swept the country was so overwhelming.

I was one of the hundreds of thousands who flocked to La Salle Greenhills and waited patiently for about four hours to pay my last respects to one great lady who thought highly of the Filipinos until the end. I remember Viel’s children, Kiko Dee and his sister, coming down from their vehicle to thank all of us who lined up along Ortigas Avenue and apologized that we have to wait for a couple of hours just to see a glimpse of their Lola (grandmother). I reflected that four hours is just too short a time compared to all the sacrifices made by Tita Cory for the country.

What was remarkable during that time was the discipline and patience demonstrated by the Filipinos while waiting in line. It certainly showed that, indeed, Filipinos can be disciplined if they want to. And so, it brings to mind, some of the last words that Tita Cory shared in one TV interview with Jessica Soho last September 3, 2008 :

“Ako’y nagpapasalamat sa inyong lahat at lalong-lalo na sa Panginoong Diyos, na ginawa niya akong isang Pilipino. Talagang karangalan ko iyon, na maging katulad niyo at maraming salamat sa lahat ng tulong na ibinigay niyo sa akin.” – Corazon C. Aquino (1933 – 2009)

When I first heard her statement, I couldn’t help but cry. Because here I am, losing hope in our country and our people. I really was so ashamed and embarrassed that I lost hope in our country and our people. Tita Cory saw so much potential in the Filipinos and she believed that we are a great people. She believed that in time, we will finally get to where we truly belong and realize our own place. And so, I keep her words as a mantra and a reminder that there is still hope in each of us and that we are still learning to be the best that we can be.

Thank you, Tita Cory, for believing in us.

Thank you for making me believe again.

Missing my Korean Language class

image from expats-lifestyle-in-korea.com

I woke up this Saturday morning feeling a bit different. I realized that today I won’t be going to Palma Hall at UP to attend my Korean Language lessons. You see, for the past two months (April-June), I’ve been attending Module 1 of Korean or Hangul Language lessons. Last Saturday was our last meeting. I was feeling a bit nostalgic, I guess. Plus the fact the Module 2 also starts today. As I earlier wrote, I don’t have the luxury to attend the 2nd module because of other priorities. I hope that the department will offer it either November this year or summer next year.

Oh, did I mention that I placed 4th highest in our final exam? And I was awarded Most Active Student and the 2nd Best Student? *grins* I wasn’t expecting such recognition but I’m thankful that my efforts reaped results. I hope that what I learned, I ‘d be able to remember and apply when it’s time.

I miss my classmates in the class. I miss having lunch with my girlfriends who were also my classmates. I miss the fun.

Learning Korean: Session 10

Yes! I passed the Korean Language Exam. Which means that I passed the Basic Korean Language Course. I am really happy that I got to enroll and eventually learn Hangul. It gives me great pleasure that I know now the basics of at least one foreign language.Module 1 (which I took) is followed immediately by Module 2 which will start in July. I’m feel kind of sad because I will not be able to continue with it because I have other priorities. Plus the fact that I might be traveling soon.

After the short review session, the class had lunch in Woorijib, a Korean restaurant in Kalayaan Avenue in Quezon City. Seonsaengnim also gave our certificates of completion and also he gave some special awards. Pictures to be posted on my next entry.

Overall, I’m really happy with the outcome of the Korean language sessions. I would love to continue learning Hangul, if time permits. Moreover, I would also love to learn Chinese and Japanese. 🙂

Aja!

Learning Korean: Session 9

It was our second to the last session. Our final exam was also scheduled this meeting. The first part of the exam was the interview. It was quite nerve-wracking because when Seonsaengnim spoke in Hangul, I was dumbstruck. I guess, I was hit by what they call mental block, eh? However, I was able to answer his questions satisfactorily, I think. 😉

The second part of the exam was the written part. It was not hard but it took me a while to get through the test. Although I can read Hangul, it still takes me awhile to read and understand the sentences. I just hope that I’d be able to pass the exam.

For our last meeting, Seonsaengnim will give us the results and we will have some enrichment lessons. We will also have lunch together as a class for our culminating activity.

Learning Korean: Session 8

It’s the 8th meeting! I went to class feeling sick. Actually, I feel that I’m going to have a cold. Anyway, I’m such a bad student because I crammed studying and doing my assignment. I woke up at 5 in the morning to finish all the stuff that I have to finish. The term photo-finish really applied in this case.

In class, we had exercises in reading and listening. However, I really had difficulty concentrating because I was not feeling well. Seonsaengnim also announced that for our 9th meeting, we will have our final exam. Good thing, it is scheduled on the 9th. We have at least 2 weeks to review for it.

But for now, I’m going to rest and drink lots of fluids. I’m sick. 😦

Learning Korean: Session 7

I went to today’s class so weary. I’ve been under tremendous stress for the past few weeks (seems I’m always stressed) and I feel so drained and tired. Anyway, for the Korean Language class, I only managed to leaf through some pages of the handbook and answered the homework on verbs and conjugations.

I wasn’t sure if I answered it right. I just answered it for the sake of accomplishing the assignment. I only had the chance to quickly review the contents of the quiz today while I was riding the jeepney going to UP. Oh well, I feel sad that I wasn’t in my element this morning but I guess my energy is zero.

Seonsaengnim asked us to do an interesting assignment. I think it would be cool but the contents will be boring. I will post the assignment before I submit it on Saturday. I’ll try to be as creative as possible. I hope I still have my creative juices.

Learning Korean: Session 6

Session 6. Again, we had a quiz. I was able to answer all questions. BUT I’m not sure whether I got them all correct. I got abit confused in writing characters in Hangul. I should pay more attention on how each character is written for a particular word.

Anyway, we had a review of the number system. How to write/say one’s birthday and one’s phone and mobile number. We were really surprised that telling the time is THAT COMPLICATED. I have written that there are two Korean number systems and each is used in a particular way. However, both Pure Korean numbers and Sino-Korean numbers are used in telling the time. For the hour, Pure Korean number is used while for the minutes, it is Sino-Korean number. It can really be confusing and complicated. Below is a Romanized table of the Sino-Korean numbers so it can be quite tricky. One might think that it is easy. But when it’s in Hangul already, it’s another story. Just click on the image to enlarge.

image from sungwh.freeserve.co.uk

Seonsaengnim also introduced how to conjugate words from their dictionary forms to informal or formal endings. We were also given an assignment on how to conjugate words. For the next few meetings, I think we will concentrate on grammar and sentence construction. Aja! Hwaiting!

Letting go…for now.

This is me giving a lecture in my Social Science class first sem 2009

One month before another school year begins, I decided not to teach this first semester of 2010. * Am I hearing shouts of hurray and high fives there?*

I love teaching. It gives me a different kind of high when I’m in the classroom and interacting with students – hearing their ideas, opinions; seeing the world through their eyes. So, it is rather sad that I’ve come to this decision. I have no choice. There are some things that I must give my full attention. I hope that this will only be for the first term but let’s just wait and see.

Are they actually listening to me? Or are they bored to death?

I will miss giving quizzes and exams and requiring students to submit papers. *snickers* It is definitely good news to those who find my subjects difficult. Heh.

Nah. I’m just joking. I will definitely miss all that intellectual stimulation.

Photos courtesy of my student, T.A.

Ramblings of an educator

April 17, 2010 was a memorable day for the batch of 2010. After several years of studying, sweating it out, sleepless nights, rushing and running to meet deadlines, they finally made it!

Twenty-seven graduates proudly marched and were conferred their respective degrees. I’m sure it was a joyous day for the graduates, their parents and their teachers. But in my heart, I was the happiest and proudest. I have seen these students mature and hurdle obstacles they encountered as they progressed through college.

As a teacher, I have taught the majority of them. I remember being disappointed and frustrated when they performed less than they should have – when they failed to submit requirements or they failed their exams. I rejoiced when they performed in class excellently and marveled when they exceeded my expectations.

Batch 2010

As a counselor, I have walked with some of them during their trials and challenges. I was only there to listen and encourage but they were still responsible in making their own decisions.

As an administrator, I became close to them when we were on the final months – pestering and reminding them to complete their requirements and to make sure that they pass their subjects. I admit it was draining, downright frustrating and oftentimes infuriating but it was all worth it. It was definitely worth it – seeing them receive their diplomas and seeing the radiant faces not only of the graduates but their parents as well.

Ah, the joys and pains of being an educator. I am once again reminded why I chose this path in the first place. Congratulations Batch 2010, wishing you all the best!