Wtf

I’m sorry but wtf was that ending to The Smile Has Left Your Eyes?!?!?!

I need something happier to watch.

Also WHY did I sacrifice my socmed for Lent? I’m not even an actively practicing Catholic anymore. The good news, I guess, is that I’ve gone back to this blog and started eking out more than a sentence or two per post.

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Random

  • Started summer break sick. On the last day got colds aggravated by the construction and general dry environment dust in school. Developed into mild fever and dry cough. Panicked a bit because woke up Sunday dawn to feel my chest so heavy. Or maybe I had sleep paralysos and I was just trying to fight it off. Idk. My entire body felt heavy but mostly my chest. Yesterday got migraine and vertigo and determined I needed new glasses. I was so out of it yesterday afternoon. Also… Started drinking lagundi leaves tea yesterday and haven’t coughed in the past… 4 hours? Will continue to drink tea until tomorrow
  • Drove my sister to the bus station today so she could get to work. Got myself new lenses for my glasses. Turns out my astigmatism got worse. Hence the dizzy spell. Did bank and grocery errands too.
  • Currently watching The Smile Has Left Your Eyes on Viu. Seo In Guk is creepily dreamy. He and Jung So Min’s dead/blank stares are a match made in Kdrama heaven. For the first time in a long gime I’m not reading the recaps to jump ahead. Last time I did this was for Goblin and Weightlifting Fairy Kim Bok Joo, roughly around 2 years ago. Then again, I hadn’t discovered recaps at that time yet.
  • Summer is getting me all antsy about being cooped up, but I don’t want to go oug and spend money.
  • I don’t know why I felt this need to write these down.

Gratitude Post 2019-03

The pioneers had a send-off dinner party last Friday for Ms Diday (retiring) and Ninglou (campus transfer), two of the first 12 teachers who joined the mission to teach in the south. We had dinner at Sabores Mexicanos in Vista Mall Sta. Rosa, and as part of the “ceremony” we took turns citing 7 things we are grateful for or ways we have changed over the course of 7 years since we opened the school.

I’d like to share what I said in better detail because my mouth tends to say a different thing than how my brain intended.

  • Ability/opportunity to open up to people without fear of being judged. As part of the pioneer group we only had each other that first trying year. We understood that we came with different experiences and backgrounds and we accepted that of each other. There are still times I find it difficult to open up–I’m naturally introverted and secretive–but I know that when I talk to them, they’ll accept me anyway.
  • Fashion. Okay this is perhaps the shallowest of the things I’m most grateful for but bear with me here. I have harbored a LOVE for fashion since I was young. I doodled dress designs at the back of my school notebooks and once attempted to create pajamas for my Barbie (I failed miserably and decided I’d stick to drawing or styling). I’m no fashion guru; I will not be able to name big or even small designers. BUT I know what looks good. I’ve had lots of misses but there are times I get it right. Moving back home with my parents had given me so much more spending money on clothes since I had no more rent to pay. And more spending money allowed me to explore fashion a bit more–all within the confines of the dress code, of course.
  • Driving. I bought a car because I was gonna lose my main carpool and I didn’t know who to ride with going to work, and I wanted to be able to bring my then-boyfriend home if he couldn’t use his car. And then I ended up wasting a year not driving it because I got into a minor accident while still learning, failed the driving test, and then just felt traumatized. Only after we broke up did I muster the courage to finally take driving lessons again and take the test. Now I drive to work regularly, laden with the burden of a car loan and paying for expensive gas. Inasmuch as I hate being in debt for something I couldn’t use for one of its original purposes, I’m glad I made that decision anyway. I’ve learned to be more mindful of my expenses and I’ve been able to pay back and pay forward the kindness of people who’ve let me ride with them all these years.
  • Eating better and more. I am a picky eater. But despite that I can say I’m able to eat more kinds of food now. I used to hate vegetables but now I can eat them (in small portions but bettter than none right?). I used to hate beef (I thought it was too tough and chewy) but now I sometimes get cravings for it. I used to hate ramen but now I go for ramen once every 2 weeks. I’ve learned to appreciate food both for the taste and nutritional value, and as a result I’ve also gained weight hahahuhu.
  • Doing different jobs. Even though I was a middle school teacher who was accepted for transfer to the high school in the other campus, I started out in XSN as an office staff. I did paperwork, cashiering, admissions, test paper printing, school tours, tax payments, errands, supplies distribution and so much more. I was eventually given a teaching load: grade2 Filipino and that was the COMPLETE opposite of what I had been doing: teach middle school English. I was fluent in the language since that’s my native tongue but teaching it required a whole set of vocabulary I wasn’t confident I had. Needless to say, it was memorable. Until now I’ve been doing all sorts of things I never thought I’d do. I tried out for the ADE twice and failed (I’m discouraged now, actually). I’ve done administrative work both as staff and faculty coordinator of the student activities program. I’ve taught multiple levels and subjects: grades 2, 7-9, 11-12; Filipino, junior high school English, Social Science, Computer, Creative Writing, Literature. You could say I have the most diverse resume just from my 7 years here. I won’t lie and say the experience was great, because there were so many times I wanted to give up and just resign or disappear, but it’s precisely because I kept at it even though I felt like I wasn’t able to give my best that I know I’ve changed.
  • Being an older sister. I don’t get to be an older sister much to my actual siblings because it’s my younger brother who’s the most mature (imo) out of all of us, but I’m able to be one for the new teachers at work. I am always reminded that I’m no longer a young teacher. I’m now a senior teacher whom everybody looks to for guidance and help. It’s a responsibility that I like. For one thing, I’m able to tell people off now. I’m able to express my opinions more confidently. And I’m able to teach and form fellow teachers as well.
  • Going to China. This was a weird experience. Well. The BEFORE was weirder than the actual China trip. Let me just say that the days and weeks leading up to the trip were full of drama and pent up emotions and a danger of cancellation. The China trip itself was pleasant, much to my surprise. I had thought that supervisory duties and being with students 24/7 would be a drag, so I never understood why teachers volunteer for this. BUT. I actually really enjoyed it, and that’s mainly because I got lucky with my co-supervisors who were just all AMAZING. Laoshi Jenny was the best, Fr. Munch provided laughs and spiritual guidance, and Jay was my partner in crime. I was lucky also that we didn’t have any major incidents with our kids. On top of all these, I even came to enjoy Chinese food which I generally don’t care for (except for Hen Lin’s siomai and siopao). I enjoyed it so much that I even volunteered to go again this year (but I was rejected to give chance to others). The experience taught me how to be a mom–to exercise patience where and when it’s needed the most, and to take care of my students’ physical, emotional, financial, and spiritual well-being.

I’m not over my heartbreak and general regret over bad decisions made over these 7 years. You could even call me severely jaded now. But this exercise, and all the gratitude posts I’ve been doing, reminded me again to smile because the good always outweighs the bad.

Gratitude Post 2019-02

March marks both the end of our school year and the end of stay of certain people. Our grade 6 students and seniors have graduated. Many will leave and they will definitely be missed.

What saddens me most is the departure of colleagues I’ve come to see as second family. So let me list down here why I’m grateful for each of them.

Russ

He’s weird. I will miss his weirdness. I will miss it when he bothers me so that he can ask for help on his lessons. I despise it when he practices his lessons on me (he teaches philo, and he knows I hate the subject, so if I UNDERSTAND his lesson then he knows his kids will get it), but I also love that I’m the one he turns to for this. He always subtly fishes for praise when he talks about his weightlifting achievements to unwilling audiences. Sometimes I feel bad because he doesn’t get the response he both needs and wants especially when he’s so excited about it, but I love that he’s so passionate about this that he just wants to share it with the world.

Russ has a great ear. He will listen to you without unreasonable judgment Let’s face it… People are judgmental, and Russ will tease you like hell, but he is such a teddy bear that he will hear you out, laugh at you, then dispense some really helpful words of wisdom.

I will miss Russ. I am grateful for him because… Just because.

JingJoeHannah and Mandy and Nancy

The first set refers to the trio of the high school Chinese teachers. They carry RBF’s scarier than my own, but we got along with them the most out of all the mainland recruits. Well… Joe, mostly. Hannah gave me a fan and I suppose the paper crane wind chimes (the latter didn’t come with a note) and she was the first laoshi among their batch who was my online friend.

Mandy and Nancy both left the school early, but I had so much fun with them. They were so friendly and outgoing that we were able to bring them to Enchanted Kingdom with us last October.

I wish all the laoshis good health and wealth and happiness. 🙂

Jesu and Kiko

They’re like B1 and B2, never one without the other.

Thoroughbred millennials (idk why I used that adj) who are in tune with the GenZ babies they teach and counsel. They are young and idealistic and do not understand yet some of the things I’ve encountered/experienced/now understand. In their own way, they rage against the machine and they inspire me to do better, reject mediocrities, and continue to innovate. We didn’t get to hang out much this school year, and that’s one of my regrets, but I’m glad they still trusted me enough to open up when they felt it was time to.

Take care, guys. I’ll see you around. 🙂

Ninglou

Her departure was difficult to accept. As a fellow pioneer, I thought we’d always be together, but due to family concerns, she had to go back to the other campus.

We’ve been carpoolmates and friends since the school opened, and even though we sort of drifted apart these last few years, I know Ninglou will always have my back and I hers.

Godspeed, Ninglou, and may you and your family be blessed with good health and a long life.

There are other people who are leaving, but I haven’t had enough interaction with them for me to form any sort of bond with them. The laoshis, at least, are my friends online. Wherever life brings them now, I wish them all the best.

Gratitude Post 2019-01

This is not my first gratitude post on this blog, but because I gave up my social media for Lent–and socmed is where I usually post these things–I’m coming back to this blog because I have many things to be thankful for.

As of this writing I’m at a colleague’s house for a despedida (send off) dinner party. The energy has died down with the departure of some of the guests, and the people have divided i to 2 groups : one group on the balcony enjoying the warm summer breeze and each other’s company with the other group just a few steps inside and playing Exploding Kittens.

I sit with the inside group and I look at these people around me and I just think to myself: what a beautiful scene. Soft yellow light bathes us, the alcohol-caused pink in our cheeks made more prominent. Heads huddled over cards as they scramble to avoid explosion. Lazy conversation mixed with soft chuckles. People taking a swig of locally brewed beer and enjoying it. This is a scene that exemplifies the word HOME.

Everybody was comfortable in each other’s presence and everybody was just having fun and opening up about both random and serious stuff. It’s not always you find both a workplace and a home in one institution, but this scene proved it otherwise. We were colleagues, yes, and we came from different departments but we came together tonight to send off four of our dear friends.

No tears were shed at the end of the night. It was a happy parting, one that promised more moments of happiness with friends we can call HOME.

And for that, I am grateful.

I skipped a year

I can’t believe I skipped a whole year of writing.

I’m writing this in class now to demonstrate how to use WordPress, which I pegged as a platform for those with site creation experience.

We’re working on nesting pages now. Let’s see how it goes.

Out of the classroom and into the fray

Last March, I was asked to take on more responsibilities aside from teaching. Two senior high English classes and the Student Activities Program were to be my responsibilities.

Two months later–and a week before classes were to start–they took away my teaching load. I wasn’t sure if I should have been happy about that or disappointed that I won’t be in the classroom anymore.

I’m not sure how much I can divulge here, but let me just say now that I think I should have just stuck with teaching. I miss the interaction with students, the banter, the teaching, the learning. What I face now are forms, forms, and more forms.

On the other hand, I also relish in this new responsibility of providing the students an opportunity to explore interests outside the academe. The committee work and club work and even scouting (*sigh*) allow me to see students in a different light, and I’m grateful for this. I also love the fact that I don’t have to take home papers to check anymore.

But now I ask myself: what is it that makes me happy nowadays? I’m not as happy in the classroom, I loathe checking and–to a degree–scouting (love the kids, though), and filling out countless forms gives me migraines and has gotten me sick within the second month in this job (full time).

I’m dangerously close to quitting. I don’t want to, but I feel like I need to.