A to Z Challenge Reflection

First of all, I SURVIVED!

I barely did the first year I joined in 2013, and then in 2014 I only got halfway through (I think). This year, though, was easier for me for some reason. I was more flexible: not sticking strictly with whatever I had planned for that day (if I had any) and just going with whatever came to mind.

I want to try doing a theme next year. I tried doing that before, but I’ve always had difficulty with the more uncommon letters, so just thinking of a topic was a struggle. Perhaps if there was a way for bloggers to suggest topics for each letter in whatever category then participants wouldn’t get stuck (which might result in giving up).

Reading other people’s blogs was also easier when I discovered the reader function of WordPress. I just typed in the tag “a to z challenge” in the reader and it showed me all blog posts with that tag. The limitation, though, was that I was not able to read much blog posts from other platforms such as blogger or even livejournal.

So because I just came back from the first day of school work, and my brain is fried, this is all I have.

Thank you, organizers. ūüôā

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Z is for

zebras

zoology

Zac Efron

zucchini

zygote

zipper

zipline

OKAY LET’S TALK ABOUT ZIPLINING

I’ve only ziplined once in my life, and that was in Cagayan De Oro in Mindanao. The trek to zipline point A took longer than the actual zip, and it was just as exhilarating walking on a wooden hanging bridge over a gorge manyany feet deep. And then when it was time to zip to Point B, the thump of your heart is as loud as your scream.

I’d love to do that again!

You

You were a guy who said I was pretty. You took me to a movie and treated me to siomai.

You were a guy who asked me out and I thought it was a group thing but it turned out it was just the two of us.

You were a guy who texted me when I was on my way home wanting to be friends. We had coffee. You thought we hit it off. It was one-sided.

You were a guy who, on our “date,” (it wasn’t a date) said I looked like your ex. You texted me and asked me out to a proper one. I¬†made up an excuse.

You were a guy who said I had a cute butt and courted me through text and through my friends. You were a nice guy, but I didn’t like you that way.

You were the guy who singled me out in a party and flirted with me. You kissed me and I kissed you back. You wanted more. I said no. And then I never heard from you again.

You were the guy I had a crush on. But people said you were gay. I told them it just wasn’t meant to be.

You introduced yourself to me online. You flirted with me. I got uncomfortable, but you got me feeling confident about myself again.¬†Then you dropped out of the face of the world. Can’t blame you. I wasn’t giving you what you wanted. (I didn’t want to.)

You wrote me a letter, and I cried.

You send me “I miss you” messages, but I don’t say them back.

You gave me fries. And a hug.

You…

You.

I tried waiting, and I got impatient.

I tried looking for you, but you stayed away.

You.

Always you.

X

I’m going to cheat a bit here… You know that emoticon with X’s for eyes?

Today (Tuesday, April 28) is supposedly the execution date of Mary Jane Veloso, a Filipina who was caught with drugs in her luggage in Indonesia where she was supposedly to start work as a domestic helper. Her story–that she did not know there were drugs in the bag because it was just “given” to her–sounds true, and this was corroborated, albeit too late, by the surrender of the person who recruited her. It was originally set for 5pm, but somehow it got moved to Wednesday, April 29, 1am, Philippine time, and this is an hour from now. What pisses me off is that President Widodo says that staying the execution will be seen as a sign of weakness. NO. It is seen now by people (even Indonesians who have put up a petition to save her [see pic below]) as a sign of INJUSTICE. Punish the guilty, yes, but this woman is NOT guilty and therefore does not deserve to be executed. Screen Shot 2015-04-29 at 12.09.51 AM Screen Shot 2015-04-29 at 12.23.37 AM One hour to go. I cannot imagine what she must be thinking or going through right now. I cannot imagine what her family and children must be thinking of now. My heart, my thoughts, my prayers go out to her and her family and to the Indonesian president who seems to think that saving an innocent person’s life¬†is a sign of weakness.

Might is not always right.

UPDATE:

She’s safe… for now.

Why?

The first time I encountered JUST THIS QUESTION in an academic setting was in junior year high school when our Filipino teacher asked on a major exam: Bakit? (direct translation of said question).

That was it. One word.

We were talking about literature and grammar and things like that and then out of the blue he drops on our puny little brains a philosophical question.

I didn’t get it.

WHY stray off topic?

WHY what? Where were the modifiers? the qualifiers? Where was the rest of the question?

WHY was the question incomplete?

WHY did I get a lower grade for not satisfactorily answering a question that was not included in the pointers for review?

And with this encounter began my profound dislike (bordering on hatred) for philosophy.

I didn’t understand WHY he put that question there. Even after “explaining” the question when he returned our papers to us, and he pointed out that when someone said, “Bakit hindi?” (Why not? This answer, btw, got the equivalent of an A), it was what he was looking for. WHAT EXACTLY WAS HE LOOKING FOR?

As a teacher now I would have to say that even though I hate these types of on-the-spot questions, I do see a bit of merit here. This “strategy” (if you will) informs the teacher of the student’s ability to handle a situation that is unexpected. Does the student handle it well? negatively? proactively? This type of information is important for the teacher because it helps her prepare for lessons and activities and PTC’s accordingly.

What I didn’t like about what my teacher did back then was to grade us on it. That was just… wrong.

———

This small rant just showed want kind of a learner I am. I liked the traditional. I liked the memorization because I was kinda good at it. As a teacher, though, I recognize that my book smarts–while helpful–were not enough.

Do I now appreciate what my teacher did? Only in that it told me I had to be smarter, and that my students can’t get stuck the way I did back then.

But I still don’t like what he did.

V

Filipinos are known for not being able to pronounce some letters properly. There’s the V-B problem, F-P, Th vs T vs D.

One of my favorite stories regarding the V-B problem comes my own experience in high school. My classmates swear this happened but I can’t remember this and I refuse to say it was because I wasn’t listening haha. My story then is as I heard from my classmates.

On the first day of Computer class, our teacher introduces herself but we some couldn’t make out if the first letter of her name was a B or a V. A classmate asked which it was and she replied:

B as in bictory (victory).

Badum tss *facepalm*

The Avengers: Age of Ultron

April 22 saw me trooping to the mall initially to see the Manny Pacquiao biopic Kid Kulafu. Instead, we found that the movie was no longer showing and in its place was the newest Avengers movie.

I honestly had no plans of watching the movie on the big screen because I knew (and I was right) that it would be nothing but explosions and smashing and city property getting damaged and heroes getting bruised and alien tech being used. Nevertheless, I was still excited to see the next installment since I had seen the previous movies in the same universe (Guardians of the Galaxy included).

This latest movie, despite having a stand-alone story, exists as part of a series, and by that I don’t just mean The Avengers series.¬†I know you know what I mean, so I won’t delve deeper into that. What I do want to talk about is how Ultron was completely unexpected for me.

I am what you’d call a casual Marvel fan. I just watch the movies for the pure entertainment of watching them. I don’t go around in costume, nor do I join fan-targetted or organized events. I do not write fanfiction. I just like the movies and gush over… well, none of them, to be honest. Therefore, allow me to say that I did not expect much from the movie.

However, Ultron was still a bit underwhelming for me. Coming from the big bad alien war of the first movie, I thought there’d be something similar in this one, and I thought Ultron (the character) was that big bad alien.

(minor spoilers under the cut)

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