Aspiring to Write

July 7th, 2008

While on a business meeting yesterday with the staff of National Bookstore, I chanced upon a very informative, easy-to-use reference on writing. What is surprising about it is that unlike most books, it gives you really practical ways on how to reflect and create. The material was a relief for someone as inexperienced as me. The author, Viesca, expounds that “one moment of writing may enrich you, even as several years of pain and recovery have already allowed you to be the best person you can possibly be”. Amazing how the author can weave beautiful, inspiring yet profound words that it made me WANT to start writing seriously right away. Admittedly, there were plenty of times in the past when I attempted to practice but somehow the police in me would censor-and-remove-and-censor-and-remove what is supposed to be expressed. To be candid about it – I think in my lifetime I have somehow managed to put up at least eight web logs (also known as blogs). Unfortunately not only did I lack the motivation to maintain them, I also seem to lose the energy and power to answer that “nudging”, that little voice whispering me to put into words what goes on inside the mind.

Writing for me is catharsis. In the process, wounds that cut deep through the psyche are refreshed. You will taste the pain. You will stare at the ugly scars left on you. Yet in that same process you also learn to acknowledge your strength that after all the countless battles gone through, you are a survivor. Is it not liberating to look back and see how or where all of those struggles took you? Not in vain but as a better person. You realize that people are scarred but still beautiful because they become far wealthier in terms of life lessons.

Writing for me is celebrating “life”. When we write, we appreciate the good things life has to offer, has offered, and will offer us in the future. Each time we wake up with food to eat on our tables, with loved ones beside to cheer us up and to be there through the sunny and stormy days, with the little “joys’ and blessings that abound us, it is always a treat to have this things stored not just in our memory but in writing as well. When we write, we are actually being thankful for all of the most poignant experiences that have enriched us.

Writing for me is continuous education. Whether it is academic or personal, formal or informal – it always comes with learning, relearning, and unlearning. In a nutshell writing is educating.
We analyze, apply, use strategies to express and create. We may have varying styles but the point is, any form of writing, potently serves as channel of learning new things in life. Each time we polish our writing styles we also improve our capability at creating.

Actually, I am just beginning to realize these things lately. But in the next days to come I want to see myself writing more and more. Only then can I say that not only have I matured as a person I also have been more productive and enlightened.

Need I say more?

on Teaching

April 23rd, 2008

(This was written prior to my resignation in the academe not so long ago.)

Years in the academe has taught me so many life lessons that I will not trade with anything else, nor will I ever forget should I finally decide to bid CLSU goodbye. It has taught me to treasure every single moment I had inside this premiere university. Each session, whether good or bad, is an opportunity to learn. It is true that not all the time is a perfect time to teach. There will always be glitches, personal or otherwise.

Teaching is not unlike governing, says Conrado De Quiros. “The best teacher is not one who is so brilliant he is able to dazzle his students throughout his course. He is one who is so brilliant he is able to dispel his students’ awe at the end of it. The best teacher is not one who is able to keep his students in perpetual studenthood. He is one who is able to turn his students into their own teachers. The best teacher is not who makes himself as gratuitous as an act of grace.”

I believe that the best knowledge worker is not measured by the string of accomplishments he has in his CV, but one who uses such to benefit students in the best way possible. He is not one who sways his students’ opinion to affirm his very own views or beliefs but one who makes them think/decide on their own. Why, a good teacher is not one who creates a “clone” out of his students but one who makes them discover ways to assert themselves by allowing them to voice out their own perspectives. A good teacher is one who empowers. He teaches because he wants to demystify “learning” in its truest sense.

People may always have something to say about teachers and their different pedagogical approaches. One thing is for sure though. And it is that in everything, what matters is you think about students’ best interest. Oh you can be funny sometimes, strict, intellectual, or even techie – but all these must still depend on its appropriateness to the very needs of the learners. I also think that the best thing in this profession is getting to learn alongside students, not just in academic terms. Honestly, most of the realizations I had in the past five years were inspiration from my students. What I got from them is far too far compared to what I got in the office or even in the college. Maybe months from now – I will finally be working in a different setting. Be that as it may seem – all the values-slash-realizations-slash-experience-slash-lessons I have gotten from them – will always remain in my heart no matter what.

Finally, I must say how it is such a rewarding experience to become a knowledge worker who brings learning at the fore.  J

About Jasmine

February 19th, 2008

I attribute good choice to sound self-knowledge. Highly significant or otherwise, decisions are always a serious matter to bat. The choices we make define our person and our decisions either make or break us. As Lao Tzu once said: “knowing others is intelligence, knowing yourself is a true wisdom; mastering others is strength, mastering yourself is true power”. Many of us encounter unbearable failure and unspeakable pain because of inability to appreciate what dwells within ourselves. Not that I perfectly know my inner self, in fact, I’ve always believed I’m still a work in progress.

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