Thursday, December 24, 2009

Break from Burdens



LIFE = FRUIT SALAD

mixed
assorted
unpredictable
experimental
easily spoiled unless preserved well
gooey
shared
taken in moderation
energizing but fattening
colorful
molds in a container
carbs, proteins and fats
heavenly but fatal

but you just gotta have some.

happy christmas.

Saturday, November 28, 2009

After a Week of Your Silence...


I guess we won’t be able to found out how LRT 1 and MRT would look like when the construction is finished.

I guess we won’t get to Wensha like we planned--- or that overnight stay in Baguio.

I guess I’ll be watching 2012 on my own. I definitely won’t reach that year with you.

I guess we won’t have an anniversary.

I guess you won’t be receiving this gift I bought for your birthday.

I guess I won’t be going to groceries and appliance stores with you.

I guess I won’t get to taste the food you proudly say that you cook so well.

I guess you’ve moved on way ahead of me.

I guess you’re still unemployed--- and have an ample amount of time to meet other men.

I guess we’ll never really have sex, at all.

I guess, for an indefinite time, my heart will skip a beat everytime I smell the scent of your perfume worn by other people.

I guess I wouldn’t be able to cuddle with you in the dark corners of the movie house.

I guess I won’t be secretly hiding our holding hands in between our laps when we ride the bus.

I guess we won’t be living together and that I won’t be your husband anymore.

I guess you aren’t the one--- well, I guess I’ve realized that long ago.

I’m SINGLE again. That’s the best way to describe my relationship status after you not texting me for a week.

Thank God I’m apathetic.

Anyway, Gerber, wherever you are, uhmm… I don’t know what else to say to you.

Darn it for loving you.





Thursday, October 29, 2009

Compulson in the Sauna



I know exactly what some boys do in the sauna. The sad thing is they just let the juices of their hasty moments of glory anywhere they like. No one wants these secretions near anyone else’s body now that STD’s are going round and about. So I:

1. Alcoholize locker keys.

2. Choose shower cubicles proximate to the locker room because they are the least chosen ones by those who would want to do something prohibited in public.

3. Check the floors and the walls for any emitted secretions.

4. Use the free liquid soap to clean the shower lever, shower head and soap dispensers. You can never be sure what sticks on the hand of the one who last used it.

5. Leave my towel on the cubicle walls so as not to mess it up. You don’t want it catching anything that you would rub onto your body later. That means I walk to the sauna room in my boxers, which gets a few sets of eyes looking at me longer than necessary. I don’t mind. Those are ego points.

6. Cover open wounds (even healing and closed ones) with band aid. Most STD’s are blood borne including HIV.

7. Never touch handles. Open doors through their flaps.

8. Put soap in the hands before opening the sauna door. Just to be sure. This means that while I’m inside the sauna, my hands are bubbling with soap. Some people inside would shoot me perplexed looks while I continuously lather up my palms. If only they knew…

9. Never sit down or lean on to anything inside. You don’t know what people did inside before you came in.

10. Never wipe any part of my body, especially my face, with my hands.

11. Never accidentally drink water from the steam or the shower.

12. Run for dear life when I sense people around me doing IT. It’s easy to tell. It’s funny seeing people trying to hide their erections when they get caught by some clueless member.

Yes, I can get a little bit Obsessive Compulsive to a little bit Paranoid. But hey, like they say, it’s better to be safe, than sorry…



Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Conflict Reaction Web


I am never confrontational. So, if I see something wrong or someone irritating, I disclose my hurts to a close friend.

That’s not backstabbing. It’s just a safer catharsis.

The semester is almost ending and the faculty burdened by checking test papers and making grades. We had to finish a particular requirement of almost two hundred (200) students, and results need to be rushed for the deliberation.

The original plan was to divide it among all members of the faculty in our level to hasten speedy checking. However, I wondered why only three from the supposed ten were checking. I went to the faculty room to check where the others are, and to my surprise I saw Gabert, a senior male faculty, doodling something on his Facebook account.

Since, I wasn’t confrontational I just went back to the checking room and shared it with my ‘friends.’ It was really insensitive and irresponsible for Gabert to be playing Farmville and DOTA while his colleagues are enslaving their asses with mountains of paperwork. And my ‘friends’ shared this sentiment with me.

The Monday after that, while I was talking to my immediate boss in the office, Gabert came to me. He glared at me and pointed a folder to my face, “Ikaw Senseijery, ha? May narinig akong nagrereklamo ka na hindi ako nagtatrabaho,” he said as if challenging, “bago mo tingnan ‘yung pag-check ko, tingnan niyo muna ang ginawa ko buong semester, ha?” Then he walked out of the office with all eyes following his fading image.

There I was silenced and dumbfounded. His voice was loud and strong for the secretaries, my coordinators, some other teachers and even visitors to hear his outburst.

We never talked after that, nor do I even want to. I was guilty but I was too soft to admit that. He was a senior--- a hard-headed, complain-laden, confrontational senior teacher who holds no bars with the juniors when dealing with them.

But here are three things that I’ve learned:

Most of us have complaints about our coworkers. We are free to say them. But sometimes, you know exactly what to keep to yourself to get out of trouble.

Secondly, I should start learning filtering out friends from ‘friends.’ You get the idea.

Lastly, I wondered. He never has done that to anyone else before. Maybe when he was planning to confront me, he already foresaw the flabbergasted state that I would be in after his speech. And since he knew I was the type of person who wouldn’t budge, he went out and did that embarrassing thing anyway.

And probably that is how the world works, and I call it the Conflict Reaction Web.

When you do your fights, (individual fights in particular), you take consideration of the enemy to determine what kind of fight you’re going to start. You evaluate their personality and political status before to react to the arising conflict.

Probably, if it weren’t Gabert, and it was someone of my junior or has a more allowing personality, then maybe I could have pointed it out blank straight to the person.

Probably, if it weren’t me, and it was some drug addict loitering along dark alleys, or the president of the institution, then maybe Gabert could have chosen to hold his piece to himself instead.

I therefore conclude that, “Pick Someone Your Own Size,” is bullshit.

The problem is, I am always at the bottom of the web, eaten by decomposers and ravaged by scavengers.


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Mali ba talaga ako? Haha. Ano ba dapat gawin?

-wind_psycho




Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Wake Me Up When September Ends



We chose not to live this relationship in drama and I abided. We never spoke about serious things about us, because maybe we were too afraid of the consequences.

Someone told me this: in a couple, one party will always be in deeper love for the other. The sad thing is, I am the one who fell on that end.

For so many times, I pondered to free you. But what good would that do and what change would it make, when we obviously do things as if we weren’t really committed?

And then I remembered how you loosened my chains indirectly. I was the only one who reattached them to you. Maybe I’m the only one who’s stubborn here.

I dare not be loved for a week.

So, I’ve decided, to start falling out of love for you. I don’t know how, but it sure is complicated and as hurtful as I started to accept that you aren’t the forever I am looking for. Nor the person I would see myself with when human race goes extinct in 2012

Tomorrow, is October 2009. I’ll be looking for a new “job”. And I’ll resign when I get one that appreciates who I am better.



Friday, September 25, 2009

I am a Box Named 'Fragile'


Fragile is written all over me
Shy and breakable
Outwardly vulnerable

I said I’m a fragile box
But the more I say how weak I am
The more that the carriers hold me
Carelessly

The glasses inside me
Broken as they shake me
Bring me closer to their ears
Just to check if my pieces
Will create a sound

Fragile is written all over me
Yet they don’t take it seriously
They drop me off high
And I land on concrete

When you take me
And open me
You’ll find I’m broken
And that’s the only time
When you realize

I’m fragile as the box told you



Friday, September 11, 2009

Four Fast Forward


By 2012, I’ll be twenty six.

By 2012, I’ll probably look better than now.

By 2012, I’m not sure if I’m still going to be a Sensei.

By 2012, I’ll be in a better job.

By 2012, I’ll earn more.

By 2012, I should have had a written a song sung by some celebrity singer.

By 2012, I don’t know if I’m still going to be in the Eastern hemisphere.

By 2012, I should have had a son, named Rundell.

By 2012, I still would be depressed, stressed and slightly bipolar.

By 2012, I’m short from finishing my PhD.

By 2012, I am writing a secret sex-related blog because I’ve shut down this blog by 2010.

By 2012, that blog will have tons of followers.

By 2012, I will actually be read.

By 2012, I will have published a book.

By 2012, that book should have been a bestseller.

By 2012, I would have appeared on TV.

By 2012, I will be a mentalist.

By 2012, my students now would have only just graduated.

By 2012, I don’t have a clear vision of my muse.

By 2012, my family will still have the same peculiar problems.

By 2012, my friends will be physically distant yet closely kept.

By 2012, I will still be psychosexually dysfunctional.

By 2012, time will still be a limited commodity for me.

By 2012, I still would not have a definition of the world around me.

By 2012, I don’t have any plans of saving myself from any havoc.

By 2012, solar flares will be destroying the earth and I’ll be in the gym, working out.



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The 11th to 13th lines are only half meant. But who knows really?

-wind-psycho




Saturday, September 5, 2009

December 21, 2012




…is the end of the world.

This past week I’ve had this obsessive compulsion to look at youtube videos and web articles about this freakish date. Everything I read about (historical, astronomical, scientific, meteorological, biblical, mythical) this date ALL MAKES SENSE TO ME.

I’m so darn scared yet I’m still hooked. It all started when I watched the trailers for the movies “2012,” and “Seeking Closure.” Then related videos regarding Planet X and Polar Changes started springing up.

During the first night I could sleep. I remember Incubus’ music video, “Warning,” and the clock in that kept stopping at the digits of that date.

Well, the first theory of doomsday is that Planet X, or Nibiru, will come closer to the solar system on that said year and will cause the sun to have a disrupted activity like coronal radiations and solar flares (like the one in “Knowing”).

The second theory was that during that time, the sun, the earth and the black hole in the middle of Milky Way will be aligned and may cause a polar shift on earth that may bring about sudden change of tides, earthquakes and loss of continents. It may also cause weather and climate changes (which excited me a bit. Winter in the Philippines?)

But both theories suggest that during this time of global catalycism, there will be mass extinction of species. Humans very much included.

The Mayan Calendar and Chinese and Biblical prophets have warned us about this day of apocalypse, or winter solstice.

And the governments do know about this impending catastrophe, and is working on black projects in order to conserve some (not all) of our species. Actually they use these movies like “deep Impact,” “Armageddon,” “Starwars,” “E.T.,” and “2012,” to desentisize us from these impending disastrous events. Other details regarding their plans that came to me are way too specific to be false.


Or hopefully this is just another hoax. Or a scam that people use for financial gains.

If not, then I am preparing. But what to do first?

(Thinking… Thinking… Dozes off…)


Monday, August 31, 2009

A Post Mortem Story


Cold mist blew against Juan’s ears and filled his senses. He looked around him and saw a seemingly endless hallway, surrounded with white walls, with open doors a meter apart from each other. The tiled floor felt cold against his bare feet.

He started walking a few inches from where he started and then he heard it: the resounding voices of his parents crying from the door beside him. He decided to enter.

There he saw his mother and father, crying over a body lying lifeless on a hospital bed. With them is a female nurse silently praying beside them. Her dress sleek white, hair placed under a cap.

Juan looked at his parents and figured that they looked much older than he last saw them. Then he tried peering at the body, but could not recognize who it was. He wanted to step closer to embrace his grieving parents, but his body remained flinched and contented watching from afar.

After praying, he saw the nurse took a pillow and placed it under the corpse’s head. Then he remembered all the times he used his head to think of evil things: greed, jealousy, revenge, pain, sadness, lust, prejudice, hate.

The nurse leaned over to close the dead man’s eyes. Juan instinctively touched his own eyes and thought of the moments when he used his sense of sight in bad light: cheating in his exam, looking perversely at attractive women, seeing criminals doing evil in front of him yet he did nothing.

Then nurse started taking out the watch and jewelries worn by the deceased and handed it to the sobbing parents. Juan recognized the ring that the nurse took out last: it was his college ring. Juan then remembered how much time he spent on material things, how he preferred to work for more money than spend time with his family or go to church.

The tube placed inside the body’s mouth was carefully pulled out by the nurse, and later on was discarded in a yellow bag. Juan looked closely at the tube that was once connected to the body, and reminisced all the connections he had lost in his lifetime. How his uncaring attitude scared off the people who loved him dearly.

He then saw the nurse got a small towel from the bedside and placed it under the corpse’s chin to close its mouth. Juan recalled the times when he used his own mouth to hurt people with the words he would tell them; and the times where gluttony got the best of him not realizing that a lot of people in this world is hungry for food.

The nurse then took another towel and tenderly gave a quick bed bath, eyeing carefully on the soiled areas of the body. Juan remembered all the vices he had: alcohol, cigarettes, drugs and sexual promiscuousness. He knew these practices would take a toll on his body that he considered God’s temple, yet he let the bad habits take over him.

Using cotton balls, the nurse gently covered the dead body’s ears. Juan remembered how he always failed to listen to people--- how he would close his mind to his friends and relatives’ advices for his betterment. All he heard was the voice of pleasure and earthly desires that continually flickered and defeated the remaining spark of his good light.

She then used disposable pads to take off the feces from the corpse’s buttocks, which reminded Juan how poorly he dealt with reconciling his sins. He left the people around him with so much emotional mess that he always failed to clean up by asking for forgiveness.

Aside from the identification bracelet worn at the wrist of the dead man, the nurse placed another name tag on the right ankle. From where he was, Juan was able to read what was written on it: “Juan dela Cruz.” It made him ask himself, “How will my name be remembered by the people I shared my life with?” He wondered how his memory will be celebrated--- or loathed.

The nurse then made the bed occupied by the deceased by changing linens and gave a chance for his parents to view the body. Both of them were crying hardly as the nurse cared for the body.

Even Juan was surprised for he never saw his father shed tears in his lifetime. His Dad used to be an unbreakable, strict man which Juan rebelled against because he wanted freedom from his persevering guidance. The father was repeatedly saying, “Sorry, Anak…” as he held the deceased’s arm tightly.

And it was not the first time for Juan to see his mother crying. She cried when he went home with bruises because of school gang riots. She cried when she found out that he had to repeat his second year in high school--- twice. She cried every time his father would hit him for every shortcoming he did as a child. He thought his death will free her from the stress he gave her. He felt his parent’s pain--- far deeper than he ever felt before.

His mother was holding a rosary against the body. Juan tried to count the times when he prayed and just remained silent to hear God talking to him. He realized the time he spent for prayer was too far less from being enough.

A tear escaped from Juan’s eye. He wiped it with his hand and saw it glistening in his fingers. He saw hope.

After a few minutes, the nurse came back. She wrapped the corpse with the linens. Then Juan realized what he needed in life. He needed a sense of security, like the sense of comfort he received everytime he would tuck himself in the blankets in his bedroom when he felt alone. And he knew now where to find it.

Suddenly, the scene blurred and faded in complete sheer darkness.

Juan opened his eyes and found out he was still very alive. He was sitting on a chair while in front of a computer. Blood was splattered all over the keyboard in front of him. The light from the desktop monitor was glaring at his newly awoken state. A knife felt cold against his feet. It was a dream.

He took two pillow cases from his bed beside him and tied it tightly on his bleeding wrists.


He sat up straight, took the mouse and clicked on Microsoft Word and started typing on the keyboard:

“A Post Mortem Story”


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PS.

wind_psycho: I am NOT suicidal--- and definitely NOT emo.

Thursday, August 27, 2009

Kwekquation 5: Am I Text Clingy?




Successful and lasting romantic relationships are honed by a balance of communication and distance. Through time we have heard break ups because one person in the relationship demands more time than necessary. Even love psychologists say that some space apart between lovers is healthy so that each individual in that bond would grow singly and doubly. Being too clingy to your partner might actually cause you to fall apart because of the thing we call, “romantic asphyxiation.”

Kwek-Kwek Kwekquation #5
AM I TEXT-CLINGY?

In this contemporary era, clinginess is a behavior we may assess through the way we utilize the common cellphone text messaging medium in connecting with our partners. I realized this a few months ago, because I’ve had text-clingy tendencies with my muse before. Now, I guess I’ve controlled that habit that makes me doubly frustrated.

Well… How about you?

Here’s the solution:




Where:

N: NATURE OF TEXT MESSAGES
In a scale of 1 to 10, how emergent and necessary are the majority of your text messages? (1 being, “nku bhe, tgal mgrply, 2 mins n q pnghhntay, anu na lab mu b q?” and 10 being, “love, sori ngabmbala kta. Nkidnap ako ng abu sayaf!”

for N1, rate yourself;
for N2, rate your partner.

F1: FREQUENCY OF YOUR TEXT MESSAGE
In your approximation, what is the average number of text messages you send to your partner in a day?

F2: FREQUENCY OF YOUR PARTNER’S TEXT MESSAGE
In your approximation, what is the average number of text messages you partner sends to you in a day?

B: AMOUNT OF TIME BUSY
In a scale of 1 to 10, how busy are you in a normal day? (1 being, “Zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz….” and 10 being, “I work 25 hours a day, and too busy to even answer this simple equation.”)

for B1, rate yourself;
for B2, rate your partner.


SCORES:
The median value is 1. So, if you scored proximate to this value then you balance your time well with your partner, and not in any way asphyxiates nor leave him/her dangling freely.

If your scored way higher, then may be you are text-clingy as evidenced by too many unnecessary messages sent when you know for a fact that both of you might be very busy with your usual lives. Be content with the time your partner gives you though it is still not ample enough for you, as long as it is spent with significance.

If you scored way lower, it can only mean two things: (1) your partner is the one who is text clingy as evidenced by a deficit in your number of text messages compared to him/her, and you’re the victim of the asphyxiation, or; (2) you only send messages to your partner during dire need. You know, sometimes sweet nothings sent in moderation can really help brighten a day in your sweetheart’s life.





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Saturday, August 8, 2009

Tangentiality of Thoughts

One. During these days, money matter. When I borrowed a pen from a student and accidentally broke it, I promised to replace it. When I asked another student how a G-TEC costs, I was surprised to know that it was priced over sixty pesos.If I was a student with extremely rich parents which this pupil obviously had, would I really spend that much for a lousy ballpen?

Why can’t all goods be like fishballs that has remained fifty centavos since my birth?

Two. I’m pissed at people doubting my abilities just because I’m: (1) young; (2) inexperienced; (3) seemingly way too happy with my life. Just today, I heard feedbacks on these people questioning the Dean gave me a chance to teach advanced subjects for the course. Well, that’s another case of seniority complex and age related ethnocentrism.

The Dean defended me in the faculty meeting by saying she’d rather give tasks to those who can deliver--- really deliver.

Three. The weather lately has been so erratic. I just wonder how preschool teachers nowadays teach their students about weather--- the simple sunny, cloudy, rainy and windy day. I could hear the teacher saying,”Hey kids, today is a sunny day!” Then a pupil would raise his hand and retort, “Hallur, rainy day kaya kanina sa’min!”

As early as post-toddlerhood, adults should be able to instill to them the concept of global warming.

Four. Love’s path and career path in our lives do not coincide, nor do they have the same loops, humps, zigzags and dead ends. The transition phase of love is not similar to job hunting, that before you terminate your current job, you should make sure that you have found a secure employment to get into after resigning.

Closure of an old love is needed for a new one to begin.

Five. I realize that my only kababatas are my cousins. It’s how funny how we argued from toys to school work, talked about from video games to our work status. Some of us are married, had kids. I finished fifth in our batch in college and became an instructor. One works for an international company. Others are team leaders in call centers. Others just grew vertically and shrunk horizontally. All of us are aging with grace.

I’m happy with my generation. We made our elders proud.

Six. My young age is usually kept from the class’ knowledge for security. A student, who professed she had a slight fondness over me went to me and told me, “I’ve searched you in google sir. You’re twenty two.

Just how do you free yourself from cyberstalking?

Seven. I just realized that sixty percent of what we say about us is not true. Seventy percent of the faults we see in other people are the same unacceptable traits that we have.

At least I know, at the end of the day, I can readily admit I’m wrong if I feel I am. And I may just be wrong with the figures I've given.

Eight. I...

Nine. Am...

Ten. Tired....

Saturday, July 11, 2009

Better than My Betters


“I’ve never seen a faculty here quite like you…”

I sat there dumbfounded in front of the internationally acclaimed full professor in front of me, two days after she observed my class two days earlier. I knew I did great, but I didn’t expect her to be THIS impressed.

“You were so funny…! You’re confident and you knew your stuff… He promote higher reasoning and critical thinking from your students… They are at ease with you… I was SO impressed…! Oh my, you’ve only been teaching for two years and you’re all this? My, this is in born!”

There I was, showered with compliments by a US based scholar who barely knew me as the guy who always got books from her office. She was just a visiting consultant for our university observing the faculty and the school in general on how it was managed.

All I could do was smile and say, “Thank you po.”

Probably, the thing that made me feel flabbergasted was that this was the very first positive reinforcement I received since this semester started.

“SenseiJery, you’re late again! What did I tell you about being punctual for the students?!”

“SenseiJery, stop joking around in class!”

“You’re noisier than your students!”

“You should have requested your materials days before!”

“Why do you need an LCD? I’m too busy to look for it!”

Hinahayaan niyo ‘yang estudyanteng maging bastos! Hindi niyo dinidisiplina!

“SenseiJery, your necktie doesn’t suit your dress!”

“PAY ATTENTION!”

“Sensei! Mali ‘yung naituro mo!”

“SenseiJery, GET A HAIRCUT!”

I was bombarded with lines like that since I got back in school this June by my seniors and my morale is in an all time low, until this professor who’s a total stranger to me actually saw me beyond my bundy clock and what I wore.

And before I left that room, the scholar told her final words to me, “You have potential, and your future is so bright. Sabihin mo sa mga ka-faculty mo na gayahin ka nila.”

Sometimes, because of all these people trying to pull me down with their uneventful comments, I sometimes forget why I’m a teacher in the first place.

I finished 5th in a big batch of 2,700 students in my university, graduating with Latin honors.

I am a licensure exam reviewer.

I am a well versed researcher.

I’m an active student leader and choir conductor.

I won a national competition.

Recently, I aced my comprehensive exam for my Master’s degree with a “high passed” score on all subjects--- a feat that only I was able to make.

I should remember that I am, and will always be, a CHILD PRODIGY.


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Naks… Yabang. Pagbigyan niyo na ako. Wasak na wasak ang ego ko.

Gara Gara
Go! (Whatever that means…)

–wind_psycho




Friday, July 10, 2009

Kwekquation 4: Should I Say "Hi" to My High School Batchmate?

Years have passed since you graduated. You are now an adult who faces the world without guidance from teachers and allowance from parents. In the real world, you have finally realized what it means to be living and making your own decisions. You’ve learned bigger lessons from bigger mistakes. Experience now is your ultimate educator.

But sometimes, coincidence may lead you to cross paths with people from your student life. And like you they may look a bit older and act a bit wiser now. Yet still, the habit of comparing each others notes may linger as it did during your days as pupils. This time, however, the notes you may be comparing are the achievements you’ve made since you parted that commencement day.

Kwek-kwek Kwekquation # 4
SHOULD I SAY “HI” TO MY HIGH SCHOOL BATCHMATE?

So that random moment comes when you come across a familiar face from the school you used to go to. It’s a good thing you saw him and he didn’t see you. Now, should you show yourself and share a short conversation with this guy without placing yourself in an awkward stance, or should you continue hiding?

Here’s the solution:







Where:

Va = APPROPRIATENESS OF VENUE
Score 2 if the place favors a good reputation to you. Example: you’re in church and you’re a lector, or in the multimillion dollar building of your company.
Score 1.5 if the place is neutral. Example: Malls, in the middle of the street
Score 1 if the place is of ill-reputation. Example: you’re in prison and you’re a prisoner, or you’re currently giving a lap dance in your g-string to a costumer in a bar.

A = AFFINITY TO THE PERSON
In a scale of 1 to 10, how well were you acquainted with this person when you were still students? (1 being, “What’s his name again?” and 10 being, “We’re like practically seated next to each other for the whole four years of high school.)

Sr = SHARED RELATIONSHIP
In a scale of 1 to 10, what is the nature of the relationship that you had with this person back in high school? (1 being, “He’s the big bad bully and I’m his prey,” and 10 being, “he’s my bestest best friend.”)

Pc1 = CHANGE IN YOUR PHYSICAL APPEARANCE
In a scale of 1 to 10, how did maturity affect your physical prowess? (1 being, “I used to be a swan now I’m an ugly duck,” and 10 being, “I lost thirty pounds, 7 inches off my waist and I would like to thank facial care center for my clear face.”)

DW = ELEGANCE OF DRESS WORN
In a scale of 1 to 10, how elegant is the dress you’re currently wearing? (1 being, “I’m in a clown suit,” and 10 being, “I’m on my way to an international awards night.”)

Ss1 = YOUR SUCCESS STORY
In a scale of 1 to 10, how successful have you been since high school? (1 being, “I’m a very successful bum,” and 10 being, “I’ve got PhD and I manage all Starbucks chains now.”

Pc2 = CHANGE IN THE BATCHMATE’S PHYSICAL APPEARANCE
In a scale of 1 to 10, how does your batchmate look like compared to before in relation to your current aesthetic value? (1 being, “OMG, Joe! Is that you? I can’t believe how you managed to double your acne!” and 10 being, “OMG, weren’t you the one I saw in TV who won that international pageant something?”)

Ss2 = BATCHMATE’S SUCCESS STORY
In a scale of 1 to 10, how successful has your batchmate have been since graduation compared to you? (1 being, “Oh my, Joe! Just look at you now! You’re finally a street sweeper!” and 10 being, “I heard you own this mall we’re in.”)


SCORES:
The median score is 0.75. If your score is proximate to this value, a simple hello and short talk would be allowable.

If the score is lower, it is best to not move a muscle. A conversation may be awkward and may take a toll on your esteem due to your lack of achievement or his over achievement. Maybe your previous unharmonious relationship may spark heat. Or maybe you just don’t look as good and aren’t in a place where showing off is a good idea.

If your score is higher, you may bravely come up and actually chat with this batchmate of yours for a long time without putting your ego at stake. Well, probably because you’re a successful, refined handsome young man. If his current state may not be as lavish as yours, be nice. Or it an be that you just really want to catch up with that long lost friend of yours. Probably talking about the past and present may not be such a bad idea.





Wednesday, June 24, 2009

CheatErratica


I found out you’re cheating on me.

And I know you know I’m cheating on you as well.

I also know that you know that I found out that you’re cheating on me.

And this can go on.

Yet, you still kiss me and tell me you love me.

And I still ask you to embrace me, and still say I love you too.

You know you’re not that happy anymore.

I know I’m just wasting my energy on you.

Yet, we both don’t care.

Still we go on like nothing happens.

Because we know that each other is the only best we can have.

This is just BULLSHIT.

And I can’t stop it.


Saturday, June 20, 2009

Elixir of Apathy


COFFEE.

It’s your ready dose of consciousness when you feel somnolent--- well that is for most people. A hot cup of coffee contains caffeine--- a stimulant that improves awareness and alertness, so that people with type A personalities can get by through the day.

It’s not that I’m addicted to coffee. I never had any subconscious craving for it. However, I do take it when it’s available.

During lunch time, me and my co-faculty members eat at a canteen near the school, where we usually order the usual pinoy ‘silog foods’ with bottomless coffee on the side. Due to my frugal nature, I make sure I make most of the money by asking for at least two more refills in my cup.

Then, just for this academic year, a coffee maker became available in the office, and so I take advantage of it. The problem is, we don’t have a usual supply cream and sugar, so I drink it in its plain black coffee nature.

The weird thing is that this ingestible form of liquid has an unusual effect on me. Aside from the quick, uncomfortable palpitations that occur a few minutes after drinking it, I suddenly feel apathetic.

Although my cognition is still intact, it seems that I don’t have any emotional reaction to anything that happens in my life, how minor or major they may be. Coffee has made me become a full headed, empty hearted person.

My mom is coming from the states and I’m not even excited.

My students greet me along the corridors but I remain unnerved.

My conflict with a colleague making rumors about me has been resolved. Pero ako pa rin ang lumabas na may kasalanan. I just accepted it.

My boss is slave driving me to do jobs outside my capacity yet I never complained a bit.

Everyone around me is either getting good news like advanced degrees and pregnancy, while I get the same old mediocre life yet I don’t whine.

I was not included to become the delegates to be sent abroad for a seminar. Yet there were attendees who were younger and far more incompetent than I am who were considered but I don’t feel any insecurity like I always do.

My teaching load got reduced. Ultimately my monthly salary will be reduced as well, because some other faculty just can’t be contented with their own loads. But still here I am, I’m not yet pissed off.

Some of my colleagues continue making nasty comments about my being “ambisyoso,” because of my aspiration to hold a management position someday. Nagpaparinig na parang mga bading na high school students. But still I have never felt grudgeful.

I somnambulate to the gym and do my work-out with drooping eyes.

I became anhedonic to things and people that were previously sexually appealing to me.

As I write this, I think my muse is cheating on me and I don’t fucking give a damn.

KEEP THE COFFEE COMING!

Saturday, June 13, 2009

Kwekquation 3: Can I Cut Class?

In an academic year, an average student comes to school for more than two hundred weekdays in a calendar year. Ninety percent of those days would be spent in the classroom, and the other ten percent would be for extra curricular activities. And unless the mode of instruction varies, dreary moments can be expected and the students may consequently experience lack of excitement for the routine activities halfway through that year. And sometimes, he may do even stupid things just to break this monotony.

Kwek-kwek Kwekquation # 3:
CAN I CUT CLASS?


Skipping school--- I strongly believe that at least 4 out of 5 students have done this already. Aside from the fact that it is an impossible fate, living the whole of your educative-formative life without any mark on your slate is a sin in popular culture. And take note, I am a teacher. I hope that adds weight to my words.

If the cool kids can do it, why can’t you?

Of course you can. It’s just all about timing--- and a little math. Here’s the solution:






Where:

Rt = RISK TAKING BEHAVIOR
In a scale of 1 to 10, how would you rate yourself as a risk taker? (1 being, “I faked my medical exam to be excused from Swimming classes,” and 10 being, “I go sky diving without a parachute.”)

B = PERCEIVED BORINGNESS OF CLASS
In a scale of 1 to 10, how boring do you expect would be the class that you plan not to attend to? (1 being, “Boring? Are you kidding? This is Senseijery’s class!” and 10 being, “Zzzzzzz…”)

L = LENIENCE OF THE TEACHER
In a scale of 1 to 10, how lenient is the teacher of the class you plan to miss out? (1 being, “Our teacher wears a dominatrix uniform and holds a thick rubber whip on her hand,” and 10 being, “I tried to copy from my classmate, but I couldn’t manage. So, the teacher just whispered the answer to me.”)

Fp = PERCEIVED FUN
In a scale of 1 to 10, how fun would the activity you plan to go be? (1 being, “I’m going to a senior citizen’s party, and 10 being, “Celebrate good times, come on! It's a celebration!’)

Ar = ACADEMIC REPUTATION
In a range of 1 to 10, how would you describe your standing as a student in your school? (1 being, “Good as a drop-out,” and 10 being, “I’m running for Valedictorian, Best in Values Education and I'm a candidate for Perfect Attendance Awardee”)

Re = EXPECTED REQUIREMENTS FOR THE DAY
In a range of 1 to 10, how crucial are the requirements that are expected in the class you are planning to miss out? (1 being, “None,” and 10 being, “I have my finals exams of 4 subjects today.”)

Sd = NATURE OF SCHOOL DISCIPLINE
In a range of 1 to 10, how would you describe how discipline is maintained in your school? (1 being, “Just say sorry and I’ll forget you cheated,” and 10 being, “I’m studying in a military school.”)

Pd = NATURE OF PARENTAL DISCIPLINE
In a range of 1 to 10, how would your parent’s react if you got caught? (1 being, “Don’t worry son, all teenagers do that. I still love you,” and 10 being, “You’re going to spend the remaining nights of the month with Brownie in the dog house!”)

Da = DISCREETNESS OF THE ACTIVITY
In a range of 1 to 10, what is the nature of the activity that you are planning to do? (1 being, “My school is in Malabon, so I’ll go to a mall in Alabang,” and 10 being, “I’m just going to smoke a pack of cigarettes in front of the school gate, beside the bulky security guard.”)

Nf = NUMBER OF CLASSMATES WHO ARE COMING WITH YOU


SCORES:

The median score is 0.5. So, if you scored that much, you may go, but be very careful and be ready for the consequences.

If the score is way lower, then it is recommended that you don’t go. This may be due to expected harsh consequences, poor planning of out-of-class activity and lack of innate impulses actually want to skip class. Or maybe you plan to bring a lot of friends with you. Surely, a single escape would be more forgivable than a boycott, right? Or maybe because I’m your teacher. Haha, you can’t afford to miss my class!

If the score is way higher, then go and be merry! Maybe your teacher or the school won’t mind anyway. Maybe you meticulously organized your sneak-out strategy that your absence will successfully happen without getting noticed.

Enjoy normal studenthood!





Wednesday, June 10, 2009

Senseijery's Faculty Evaluation


When I was a student, I took most of the things in my academic life quite seriously, especially during college. But don’t get me wrong, I had a social life, but not as much as a normal adolescent would. Probably, I could consider myself half a geek.

One of the activities that I seriously engaged myself in was the evaluation of my teachers. An average student would usually treat this as a time-waster so they would just blindly make patterns out of the score sheets. Or maybe a student may use this opportunity to put grave untrue fault on the teachers they dislike.

But not me. I wouldn’t care if I’d walk out last from the evaluation room, just as long as I gave what is due to whoever taught me. And I made sure I wrote something in the essay part where verbal comments are to be written.

I never imagined how surreal it would be to finally hold the paper and see the faculty evaluation--- of me, being the teacher as filled out by my students. It was very nerve-wrecking to have none other than my boss read and recommend on the compiled verbal comments given to me.

I think I faired well. In totality, the positive comments weighed a lot heavier than the negative ones. Here are some of the downsides my pupils have noticed of me:

“…his jokes are sometimes confusing the class…” Yes, guilty. Sometimes, in my struggle to marry my comedy with the usual classroom pedagogy, my comic side seems to overpower even my train of thought. In my wanting to keep attention to me, I intentionally mispronounce words and go wrong with simple grammar.

“…he has favoritism…” Woah…. I didn’t see that coming. The moment I read that line, an ultra-speed rewind went inside my mind. Although I never consciously showed that I like any student more than the others, I did show how I despised some of them because of disrespect. What gave this particular student the idea that I favored someone in class? And if I did, who did I seem to favor? Maybe I should be more careful with how I relate with particularly special students in class.

“…his quiz is so hard… less toxic requirements…” Guilty. But I’m not to be charged of any liability for this. I rarely give mediocre exams. I refuse to pull out case studies from my requirements. Lose the point, learn a lot--- that is how I work. And my boss agrees that I should continue complicating the lives of my students for them to develop to the best of their mental abilities.

And I do have to remember that I should not take these things too personally. I just have to regard them as points for improvement. (Yep, that’s easy to say but I’m still half-troubled right now. Heck, how could she say I’m nepotistic?)

But I’m glad to say that the good comments outnumbered the bad ones. Here are just some of them:

“…has a sense of humor…”

“…very helpful and supportive…”

“…cool magturo at mabait…” (Finally, somebody said I’m cool! That’s not a very common adjective to describe me.)

“…galing!!”

“…he is very patient and considerate… he motivates the students in making good research…”

“…he is very open in learning and discovering new things about research… he shares his opinion and knowledge…”

“…I like the strategy of Senseijery to discipline students and his technique of teaching students because he inculcates it with fun…” (This is the same person who told me I had favoritism. Bumawi naman pala…)

“…When he gives quizzes, he gives ample time to think per question…” (Haha! Take that whoever you are who says I’m not considerate in quizzes!)

“…100% energy… never saw him with a frowning face… motivates students… full of patience… clear and full of explanations…”

“…hindi bored ang klase ‘pag kayo nagtuturo…”

And as for my descriptive quantitative analysis, my over-all mean is 4.48 out of 5 with a verbal interpretation of Very Satisfactory--- not bad for a teacher who just graduated from college.

I still have issues with a lot of things for the past year: work; my colleagues; my students and myself.

But I’m proud to say that my first academic year was well worth it.


Tuesday, June 9, 2009

Kwequation 2: Should I Care to Share?

A big problem can suddenly hit you like a bomb. It may be a huge break-up from a platonic relationship, a lay-off from work, getting multiple failing grades, contracting swine flu, finding out yours is a now-broken perfect family, impotence, bankruptcy of a previously stable business venture, teen pregnancy or a death of a loved one.

Dealing with these problems may cause a whirlpool of emotional stress, and probably going to a bar might help. Some gulps of alcohol might not contribute to the solution of the problem, but it may just give an urgent ease from the pain. Who wouldn’t want a quick escape from reality?

So, there you were, sitting alone in your table in the middle of the venue, drowning your worries with wine. Suddenly, someone familiar walks up to you to say “hello”. Courtesy suggests that you offer him the empty seat beside you, and you did so.

Your friend notices the misery in your stature, and asks you, “Got a problem?”

You weakly nod in affirmation.

“Care to share?” your friend asks.

Kwek-Kwek Kwekquation 2:
SHOULD I CARE TO SHARE?

You realize that this may be a good time to ventilate your feelings. However, just before you become too eager to spill the beans out, you suddenly become worried that your problems may suddenly become a news headline for tomorrow’s rumor tabloids in your neighborhood or work place. You try to think if it’s safe to tell this person your problem, which may be equivalent to a deep dark secret you would want to carry untouched down to your grave. And who wants to be put in bad light?

Here’s the solution:





Where:

E = EXTENT OF EMOTIONAL BURDERN
In a scale of 1 to 10, how emotionally burdensome is this problem for you? (1 being “My heart is still beating as it was before,” and 10 being, “I’m an emotional wreck.”)

Pie = PERCEIVED INTROVERSION / EXTROVERSION OF PERSONALITY
Score 0.5: If you perceive yourself as an introvert (someone who works better alone than in a social group).
Score 1.5: If you perceive yourself as an extrovert (someone who works better in a social group).
Score 1: If you think you’re in the middle, (someone who works well both alone and in a social group).

V = EXTENT OF NEED TO VENTILATE
In a scale of 1 to 10, how much will it ease you to have someone hear you out right now? (1 being, “No, leave me alone, I’d rather not share this!” and 10 being, Magsusumbong na parang nasa kindergarten, “Teacher! Teacher! He gave me a wedgie!”)

Nb = NUMBER OF BOTTLES OF WINE INGESTED

Pnb = AVERAGE NUMBER OF WINE BOTTLES TO GET YOU DRUNK

Dw = PERCEIVED DRUNKNESS OF THE WITNESS
In a scale of 1 to 10, how drunk is your friend? (1 being, “Sober as an eagle,” and 10 being, “Holy shit, he just puked a gallon on me!”)

Rr = RUMOR REPUTATION
In a scale of 1 to 10, how good of a rumor starter/maker is your friend? (1 being, “Equate him as a deaf-mute,” and 10 being, “He makes rumors even up to the love affairs between cockroaches.”)

A = AFFINITY
In a scale of 1 to 10, how are you related to the guy? (1 being, “I just known him in this bar I went in,” and 10 being, “he’s my twin brother.”)

Np = NATURE OF THE PROBLEM
In a scale of 1 to 10, in terms of its biopsychosociocultural-spiritual-moral aspects, how grave is this problem that you are having? (1 being, “I just tripped a step in the stairs and got a small bruise in my tummy,” and 10 being, “I am HIV positive and I’m afraid to tell my colleagues at work, because I’ve had unprotected orgy with all of them.”)


SCORES:

Median score is 2.1. So, if your score is proximate to this value, then maybe you could share, but with reservations.

If your score is way below this value, hush and just say, “I’d rather just keep it to myself.” It maybe because emotional release is not necessary for you to cope up, or the person may not be trustworthy enough to keep his mouth shut, or the problem may just be too big to be disclosed.

If you got a high score, then go share. The higher your score, the more details you can reveal. Anyway who doesn’t want to express his sad feelings to a true friend?

Or probably you’re just way too drunk. Don't worry, both of you might just forget everything tomorrow morning.







Sunday, June 7, 2009

Kwekquation 1: Am I Addicted to Something for No Reason at All?

Welcome to Kwek-Kwek Kwequations!

Kwek-kwek Kwequations, or simply called “kwequations” and abbreviated as KKQ, is a series of blog posts that aims to present simple arithmetic formulas that may help you figure out things in your life, make the silly decisions and probably know yourself better.

Question 1: Why Kwek-kwek?
I do not necessarily find kwek-kwek as the street food of choice, basically for the reason that I think my blood pressure shoots up the moment I ingest these cholesterol-laden balls. Aside from its catchy rhythmical homonymous sound with “equation,” kwek-kwek represents simplicity and novelty. And certain kind of lipids is found in quail eggs that constitute the myelin sheaths of nerve fibers, making impulses faster.

Question 2: Why equations?
This is not an original idea. I happened to pass by Powerbooks and stumble upon a book entitled, “Geek Logik: 50 Foolproofs Equations for Everyday Life.” It presented answers to stupid questions like, “Should I report to work tomorrow?” and “Can I still wear a speedo (without frightening the children)?” Then an equation is presented. You have to fill in the variables and solve them. A range of values would have the answer for the question. I liked the idea and just wanted to apply it in this country and age’s context.

DISCLAIMER:
I am no statistician. So, expect flaws, and questionably simple equations. There will be no square roots, logarithms nor advanced integrals--- just simple MDAS arithmetic. Looking for variables in the common world is the challenge for this series.

Kwek-kwek Kwekquation #1:
AM I ADDICTED TO SOMETHING FOR NO REASON AT ALL?

It may be alcohol, smoking or drugs. It may be sex or pornographic videos and stories. It may be night-outs or parties. Probably, it may just be an arcade game, or a gourmet salad, or over an artist you heard over the radio, or a TV series you can’t help watching over and over again.

So, it’s eating your time and space resources like hell, but you can’t help giving in. The question now is, “Is this really an addiction?”

And if this has been an addiction, can you be forgiven for it?

Here’s the solution:







where:
(Please score according to the facts of the last month).

t = TIME SPENT
In a range of 1 to 10, how much time do you spend over this alleged addiction of yours? (1 being, “I barely remember doing it in a day,” and 10 being, “I barely remember doing anything else in a day except this.”)

Du = DUES UNMET
In a range of 1 to 10, in general, how many roles and responsibilities expected of you have you unmet? This may include homework, work deadlines or just regular household chores. (1 being, “I’ve done my papers earlier than necessary,” and 10 being, “Is my boss around? I’m sure he’ll kill me now.”)

P = PERCEIVED ADDICTABILITY
How addicted are you to this alleged addiction? Measure your denial in a range of 1 to 10 with 1 being, “yeah, I think I need help before this gets worse,” and 10 being, “I am--- hik--- not an addict, tagay pare, hik!”

De = DEPRESSION / EMOTIONAL LABILITY
In a range of 1 to 10, how physically and emotionally stressed have you been for the past month? (1 being, “I’m happy as Barney,” and 10 being, “I’m listening to My Chemical Romance right now and I’ve got a blade slicing my radial artery.”)

SCORES:
Median score is 3. If your scored proximate to this value, then you’re just practically enjoying your life.

If you got below 3, it can only mean two things: (1) You are not actually addicted to something, or; (2) You are forgiven for being an addict, for there is so much emotional ruckus happening in your life. But then again, if in the next passing month, your score remains, better find someone trustworthy to talk to.

If you got above 3, you may be already addicted to something as evidenced by increased time spent over it and the activities of daily living that you tend to forget to do, with or without negative psychological drives. Yeah, I know what you’re going to say. “NO, I’M NOT AN ADDICT!” Huh, predictable.







Saturday, June 6, 2009

Kwek-Kwek Kwekquations the Series



Coming soon.


(Ugh, I can't belive I'm actually planning to do something like this.)

Friday, June 5, 2009

The Tiring Summer that Was


My friend Mak, who also happened to be a blogger, told me that an indefinite halt of creating posts for your blog could actually mean a good thing for you. It probably has something to do with your social life being more jam packed than usual.

I’ve been away for almost a month, and I dearly have to say that I’ve missed pouring my thoughts in this public webpage. Although, I did spent those idle times browsing the blogs I’m following and hopping on to one new/interesting blog to another, I just never had the time of sitting down and arranging my thoughts.

Although hurricanes would probably be one of the most overused metaphors to describe a disorganized life, still I would like to assert that this summer had been a whirlwind for me--- A lot of things happened too fast that I could not even recount them. But I will try:

1. My staple work as a teacher is starting to eat me alive, physiologically and psychologically. Because of my wanting to earn more money, I have to work more hours. For instance, for the last week of April and the first week of May I worked from 7:00am to 1:00pm in school and 2:00pm to 10:00pm supervising interns in the hospital (12 hours). And I go to bed at 12 midnight and wake up at 5 in the morning for five consecutive days. You can just imagine how physically and emotionally drained I am.


2. Although I do like teaching slightly younger people in general, some of the students are turning into little demons of disrespect, and nearing the end of the summer semester, I cracked up and gave the biggest sermon of my life. And I finally realize that my previous mentors were right, it is not good to yell at students. But also I learned the lesson of maintaining that line of indifference between a mentor and a mentee.


3. Never ever ever ever ever ever ever ever trust anyone at work: I learned this lesson the hard way. Lies. Dishonesty. Conspiracy. Discrimination. Slave driving. These are only some of the themes that plagued me. I have shared one instance in my previous post. And I’ve never been this unmotivated to return to my job this opening of classes.


4. I just finished my comprehensive exam for my masters. I think I’d do well, even if I went out of the room after the last test with my skull feeling totally empty.


5. I’ve been accepting extra jobs. Rackets, as what we’d call them. And I realize, it’s been a long time since I’ve had an introverted time for myself, except going to the gym. Because of my wanting to earn and gain credentials, I impulsively accepted teaching engagements and research consultancies without realizing I was depriving myself of rest, sleep and recreation.


6. My mom is not in the country right now, so I’m in charge of my brother’s tuition, my niece’s school supplies and my father’s banquet for his birthday party. And everyday, I have this fear that anyone of them can get H1N1 virus because of its erratic spread throughout the country. Although I can control their health activities at home, I’m afraid of the people they stumble upon when they go to school and work. I just hope that this pandemic ends already and its tracks won’t leave a trace in my family.


7. This summer also brought rocks to my relationship with the one I love. But now, although both of us have committed shortcomings against each other, I think were getting better. We’ve learned to accept some of our differences and the demands of our respective jobs. I love you, my muse.


8. I’m just friggin’ tired. Really. This weekend before class opening is going to be just about relaxation at home, by myself.




Thursday, May 14, 2009

Regrets of a Whistle Blower

ANALYZE THIS:

I said something to D about something that A said regarding how D gave extra credits for J to become an academic awardee in our masters. A said that it was a deceitful form of cheating.

My major motive: Because D was the head of the master’s degree program, I thought D deserved to know about the rumors--- thinking that D would handle it properly.

My minor motive: I just plainly hated A’s antics of being such a lazy big bag of fart.

Later that day, D talked to A about it. A vehemently denied it.

And A retorted that the rumor actually came from me.

D talked to J and revealed the rumor. Worse, D said that the rumor came from A and me.

A and J were both colleagues of mine. J used to be a close friend (see “The Climbing of Sensei and Yanyan").

A week later was the only time I found out about the whole mess up.

How?

A few faculty members asked me how I was doing at master’s class. I casually replied, “I’m doing well.”

Then with smirks on their faces, they asked if I’m with A in class.

I just shrugged and denied the knowledge of A’s whereabouts.

Just recently, I checked my mail and saw a 5-day old message from A, saying, “I have to talk to you.”

I replied, “ok, just tell me when.”

But we haven’t met until now.

I texted J, asking if we could talk. I wanted J to know that the rumor wasn’t from me. I was just a whistle-blower, for god’s sakes.

Then I did a missed call.

No response.

So, yeah. Now, nothing but regrets.

------------------------------------------------------------

[161]

Never blow the whistle, unless you’re sure that it’s a whistle--- and not a horn--- that you're gonna blow.



That will unnecessarily wake up even your uncaring, grumpiest neighbors.



-wind_psycho

Thursday, April 30, 2009

When She Met Meant-to-Be: An Excerpt from an Unpublished Novel


This is an excerpt from a taglish novel that I passed to a certain publishing house during my times of unemployment--- which, obviously as the title implies, got rejected.


Particularly, the editor didn't like how the heroine got acquainted with her love interest.


She said, it was way too crazy and unreal. Hahaha.


But I wouldn't mind having a meeting-up scene like this with my lover. Hahaha.



---------------------------------------------------------



MAG-ISANG KUMAKAIN si Michelle sa isang cafeteria na malapit sa eskuwelahan isang linggo na ang nakalipas. Gabi na noon at kakalabas lang niya galing sa eskuwelahan. Kakakuha lang kasi niya ng suweldo noon, kaya naisip niya na i-treat ang sarili niya. Medyo nagsasawa na rin kasi siya sa sardinas.

Ang tanging kasama lang niya noon ay ang bag na puno ng mga test papers na nakapatong sa upuan sa tabi niya. Sinisipsip niya ang iced mocca at kinain ang fetuccini at egg pie na order niya.

Medyo nakakalungkot ang puwesto niya roon. Paano ba naman kasi, pinalibutan siya ng mga couples na magkasamang kumakain. Sa harapan niya ay isang magnobyong mga gurong katrabaho niya. Nag-uusap ang dalawa, magkalapit at magkahawak kamay.

Sa gilid naman niya ay dalawang estudyante na magkasintahan. Kahit mga bata pa ay masaya ang dalawa na tila ba parang sigurado na ang mga ito sa isa’t-isa. Nagpupunasan pa nga ang mga ito ng tissue sa labi at nagsusubuan ng spaghetti.

Hiniling tuloy niya na sana ay mayroon siyang kasamang lalaki noong mga panahong iyon. Kung sa bagay, hindi pa naman siya nagkakaroon ng kasintahan sa buong buhay.

Umiling-iling siya. Ano ba naman ‘tong naiisip ko, protesta ng utak niya, sa ngayon hindi ko pa kailangan ng lalaki.

Naalala niya kasi ang kanyang ama. Ayaw niyang matulad sa kanyang ina na nasira ang buhay dahil sa isang lalaki. Kaya rin tila takot na takot sa mga lalaki si Michelle, at hindi tumanggap ng mga manliligaw noong nag-aaral pa siya. Ayaw niyang magawa ang kaparehong pagkakamaling nakamit ng kanyang ina.

Kaya imbis na mainggit ay binilisan na lang niya ang pagkain upang makaalis na siya sa tila nilalanggam na lugar iyon.

Pagkalabas ng kainan ay tumungo na siya sa sakayan ng jeep. Habang naglalakad siya ay nakatungo siya, iniisip pa rin kung kailan at papaano siya magkakaroon ng love life.

Nang bigla siyang nakabangga ng isang tao. Napatigil siya at napatingala sa nabangga niya.

Buti na lamang ay napigilan niya ang paghinga nang pigil at mabilis sa lalaking nakita niya.

Ang lalaking iyon na yata ang pinakaguwapong lalaki na nakita niya; matang nangungusap, mahahabang pilikmata, matangos na ilong, mamulamulang labi at maputing kutis na lumiliwanag sa ilaw ng mga poste. Nagpadagdag pa sa kakisigan nito ang semi-kalbong buhok, matikas na tindig, malinis na asul na polo shirt at cream pants.

Wow. To think she was just thinking about her lovelife.

Mga ilang segundo rin niya itong tahimik na tinitigan. At base sa pagkakakita niya rito, ay tila ba para bang nakatitig din ito sa kanya. Nakapagtataka nga lang ang tingin ng lalaki dahil tila ba nakakita ito ng tao na matagal na nitong hinahanap.

“S-Sorry…” sabay pa nilang sambit. At pareho pa silang nautal. Pakiramdam ni Michelle na namumula na siya.

Nagngitian muna silang dalawa ng panandalian bago nila tuluyang iniwasan ang isa’t isa at nagpatuloy na sa nilalakaran nila at naghiwalay.

Napabuntong-hininga si Michelle. Akala pa naman niya magpapakilala ang lalaki o magsasabi ng pick-up line na maganda, tulad ng mga magagandang love story na nababasa sa libro at napapanood niya sa pelikula.

Ngunit pagkalipas ng ilang sandali ay nakarinig siya ng mga yabag na tumatakbong papalapit mula sa likuran niya. Laking gulat niya nang biglang nakitang tumatakbo ang lalaki nakabangga sa gilid niya. Naunahan siya nito at tumigil sa harapan niya.

Tuwa naman siya. Napatigil rin siya. “B-bakit?”

Ngumiti nang nakakaloko ang lalaki. Inilahad nito ang kanang kamay na tila ba gustong makipagkamay. “Siyanga pala, miss… Ako nga pala si Meant-to-Be…”

Nagulat naman siya sa bati nito, “huh? Ano kamo?”

“Sabi ko, ako si Meant-to-Be,” ulit ng lalaki.

Nagsalubong ang mga kilay niya, “paano’ng meant-to-be?”

“Ako si meant-to-be mo, at ikaw si meant-to-be ko,” nakangising paliwanag nito sa kanya.

Okey, kung pick-up line ‘yon, grabe, ang lame, naisip ni Michelle. Sobra tuloy na turn-off siya sa lalaki.

“Sorry, wala akong time makipagbiruan,” medyo pikon niyang sabi rito habang naglalakad paiwas rito.

Ngunit muli siyang hinarangan nito, “hindi ako nagbibiro. Seryoso ako, nakatadhana tayo para sa isa’t-isa.” Ngunit hindi naman ito mukhang seryoso, nakakaloko pa nga itong tingnan.

Pinanlisikan niya ito ng tingin, “alam mo ba ‘yang mga sinasabi mo? Nasisiraan ka ba ng ulo?”

“Hindi ako sira-ulo,” natatwang giit ng lalaki.

“Wow mali ba ‘to?” paghihinala ni Michelle.

“Hindi. Masmali kung palalampasin lang kita,” sagot nito.

Hindi alam ni Michelle kung matatawa siya o mabubuwisit sa tila nababaliw na lalaking nasa harapan niya. Tama ba namang bigla na lang itong sumulpot at sinabing ito ang nakalaan para sa kanya gayong ilang segundo pa lang naman silang nagsasama?

“Alam mo mister, mabuti pa maghanap ka ng ibang taong mapagti-tripan mo, wala akong panahon para sa’yo,” inis na sambit niya rito habang tuluyan nang lumalakad nang paiwas rito. Mabilis na siyang naglakad papalayo upang hindi na siya mahabol ng lalaki

“Huwag kang mag-alala,” pahabol na sigaw nito nang makalayo na siya, “hindi ito ang huli nating pagkikita, Meant-to-Be.”

Sira-ulo, galit na bulyaw ni Michelle sa kanyang isipan.

Simula noon ay halos araw-araw nang sumusulpot kung saan-saan ang lalaking iyon, nangungulit at sinusundan siya, habang siya naman ay patuloy lang sa pag-iwas sa loob ng isang linggo.
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Sunday, April 19, 2009

Stretch Marks of a Duck


“Our friendship is like this scar. Ugly, but permanent…” –Grace Adler.

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I enjoy looking at profiles of various people in an online social networking site that I belong to. I am fond of how people try to spill out their self-image just by posting pictures, filling out stats and writing few words to describe themselves. I don’t engage with people, nor communicate with them at some sort. I just join sites for the fun of knowing how people make use of their internet powers.

At times, I’d yawn at the plain, boring ones, saying that they’re simple, humble, kind, friendly and other adjectives that elementary students use to describe themselves in the first day of classes.

Then I’d laugh at the faulty descriptions, pretending that English is their native language yet grammatical errors like, “I like to experiencing a romantic someone… serious,” flourish in their every statement

At times, I’d smirk at the blatant ones, saying things like, “Just message me if you’re interested,” or, “No fakers, posers.”

Then I read stuff like this: “No ugly allowed, no body odor, no chubby and no stretchmarks.”

Okay, I’d understand why anyone won’t prefer someone with a body odor. Buy hey, even if you’re the most good-looking person in the planet, you don’t have the inherent right to forbid poorly-endowed people from interacting with you. I guess I’m not the first one to say that.

And what’s up with the dislike for stretchmarks? Even the best skinned models have them (a few camera tricks can mend them). Although they may be dermatological concerns, they aren’t infectious.

Actually, I really don’t understand why people give a big fuss about their stretchmarks. First and foremost, people won’t really get to see them often, unless you walk the streets without clothes. If you think they’re ugly, then hide them.

Second, they’re not going to disappear--- ever. Creams and mechanical skin treatments for striae (stretchmarks) are available but they would still leave a trace. And they’re not going to revert even if you tell them how much you hate their existence on your supposed-to-be perfect skin.

Third, they are marks of things--- great things that happen in your life, like getting pregnant for women, or gaining muscle built body for men. These experiences are painstaking and long, but one can never deny the beauty of child-bearing or a hunk-worthy physique.

Probably, almost fifty percent of my body skin surface is lined with stretchmarks--- around my arms, shoulders, chest, upper and lower back, waist, hips and legs. If they were tattoo, then I would least likely be found in this profession of teaching. The school director won’t think I’m clean enough for the job.

Do I irk them? At times.

But instead of these stretchmarks, I’d rather hate the kids who bullied me for being disgustingly fat when I was still a 220 pound crybaby who unintentionally narrows the school corridors when I strut the hallway.

Or maybe hate the times when the driver of the jeepney I ride in would demand that I pay the price of two passengers.

Or the times when I hated shopping because the clothes on sale did not fit me at all--- the times when I hated taking group pictures with batchmates because I’d look like their plump father.

Or the times when I lie in bed and think of erratic ways to get rid of all these adipose tissues inside me, just to get the ideal body--- the form that I have now.

Or the times that I’d starve myself--- do countless of jumping jacks and sit-ups not knowing the ill-effects they would do to my joints and posture later on.

Or the times I’d look silly in the gym while clumsily lifting weights just to get the muscle mass I wasted when my own body weight dropped and got sickly thin.

Or the times I once befriended the Nervosa sisters of death: Anorexia and Bulimia.

Now, I go to the beach without a top on, and not feel a bit embarrassed of the crooked lines that run around my torso. Sometimes, I would even like it if people would notice the striae--- and ask questions of how I got them, so I could narrate the story of how I, the ugly duckling, turned into, well not yet a swan. Maybe a duck. Hahaha.





Saturday, April 4, 2009

Ten Awkward Questions from Students

1. Sir, do you have a girlfriend? How many?

Why should I tell you? And what’s up asking how many?

2. Sir, how old are you? Let me guess, 28!

Haha, great! You managed to add 6 points to my original age! That’ll be the same amount of deduction you’ll get in your recitation.

3. Sir, you want to come to my debut? Libre food do’n.

Man does not live by bread alone. Hmmm. May Rellenong Bangus ba do’n?

4. Sir, tuloy ba ‘yung quiz today? Hindi na ‘di ba?

Sure thing, you all get zero.

5. Sir, nakita mo na ‘yung video mo sa youtube? In-upload ko na!

Huh? Bakit? Alin? (Later on I found out that nothing was actually uploaded).

6. Sir, my parents are here at school… Pakilala kita?

Nope. They usually don’t believe that I’m a teacher.

7. Sir, isn’t that the shirt you wore last Thursday? Tucked-in pa rin?

Nope. This one is ironed. Last week wasn’t. And what’s your issue with me tucking my shirt? I love showing my long lanky legs!

8. Sir, ganda ng braso mo. Pa-flex naman?

Dunggulin kita d’yan, eh.

9. Sir, sabi po daw ni (-name of the female pupil who allegedly has a crush on me-) mami-miss niya daw kayo this vacation. Kayo din daw po ba?

Ahaha, mami-miss ko naman kayo lahat! Enjoy your vacation!

10. Sir, do you watch porn?

Yes. That is all what my sexlife can offer. Want to see my list of titles?






Thursday, April 2, 2009

Age-Related Ethnocentrism

At times, I find it psychosocially challenging to be in an academic environment, where the under-aged instructors--- me included--- are under direct observation of the “wiser” people around us. It’s funny how our older colleagues mistake our innocent intentions of bringing new flavor to the usual classroom pedagogy. It took a while before they tried inculcating my colorful, animated powerpoint slides and my sly impromptu punchlines that I use to spice up my lectures.

It’s a wonder how the products of the earlier generation despise technological advances, yet they want to halt the advancement of their ages. They hate the thought that they have to shift their paradigms just to understand the youth who came after them.

Well, I would accept the fact that I will always be in the preying eyes of, what wind_psycho would call, “Whispering People” (inspired by the movie, Knowing, which wasn’t so good by the way); those who would try to give me inputs on how their great style of teaching has been tried-and-tested through the years, and how mine suck. Yeah fine, I could take that. I’m a novice.

However, most of the time, their judgments are quite off key--- to the point they attack your personality and socializing skills. Try that.

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During our deliberation at the end of semester, my boss would call out the name of each student and we interrupt with comments if we feel the need for it.

“Any comments for Ms. Cook?” he asked about a student.

“Oh, that girl’s good. She’s hard working,” Mrs. Que, a lab instructor, replied firmly.

“Yeah, she’s good.” I echoed, nodding. Then added, “medyo isip-bata nga lang.”

Then the three older members of the deliberation panel, including the boss, who were in the panel, looked at me sternly; but no one gave a comment on what I said.

My eyebrows met, “what?”

Nagrereklamo ka na isip-bata,” Ms. Que responded sternly, “Eh, ikaw, ano ka ba?”

Silence continued as they all stared at me weirdly.

Isip-bata?” I replied, believing that was the right answer for the question--- or probably the answer they wanted to hear.

Eh, ayun naman pala eh,” Ms. Que dismissed, “hindi naman siya childish sa’kin. Baka nasa ‘yo ang problema.”

What a jerk, goddamit.

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Look, I really love Ms. Que. It’s good to hang out with her, because you can swear all the bad words you know and no one will care even if you have Catholic-Educator-Ethical-Responsibilities in school. And you’ll enjoy her company if you’re a smoker. She’s a chimney.

But her throwing of comments, even with clueless audiences around is really uncalled for--- and hurting at times. And the other unfair thing is, she calls me taklesa (tactless). I could only whisper, “Right back at you, Big Mama. TEN EXPONENTIAL TIMES!”

Here’s another strange thing she proudly speaks to people, “you know what? Alam kong maldita ako, pero wala pa akong nakaaway sa office kahit kalian.

Ah, yeah. Maybe not in front of you, Big Mama.

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[150]

The fact that no one has ever picked a fight on you doesn’t automatically account that you have a kind personality that everybody loves.

It may either probably mean that you’re a senselessly, difficult person to deal with already in your non-fight state that they don’t want to how much worse you can get;

Or maybe because you’re just plain barbaric that no one wants to swoop down at your level.

-wind_psycho

…you guessed it right. Big Mama, is both!

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And I tell you, there are more Mrs. Que’s that I deal with in my workplace every single damn day. Yes, most of the time I do get hurt when I am criticized for having fresh (their adjective is inappropriate) ideas. But just like any problem in the world, this bout of “Seniority Complex” and “Age-Related Ethnocentrism” is just something I have learned to pass out each day.

It’s like me saying, “hey, if you guys don’t want to look old, then so do I.”

But after a semester full of bickering, I deserve a break from all these academic hurdles.


Thank God for Holy Week vacation!








Wednesday, April 1, 2009

Big Bang with the Nerds



While waiting for my Gerber to text me of getting home after a very late night work, I decided to kill time. (Gerber texted at 12 midnight and arrived home at 1:40 am. Yes, I waited. Come on, spare me. This is after all my very first shot at a committed relationship. Chuckle.)

It was finally a time for me to fulfill a lifelong dream. Do a TV series marathon without work interruptions. The semester has just ended and aside from the lack of academic load that I will be receiving this May (Good Lord give me a job), no other school stuff was troubling me.

I scanned the whole space surrounding the DVD player in our receiving area and through random reasoning, got the first thing that my hands caught.

BIG BANG THEORY.
A CBS TV Series

And I seriously felt belongingness with what I watched.

It was a story of four nerds (three doctorate degree holders in quantum physics and one having a masters degree), who often had their gathering over an apartment, either talking about achieving a Nobel Prize or just blowing each other’s ego off. And a hot blonde woman who never even got to a community college degree, serves as their next door neighbor, who interacts with them on a regular basis. She had no choice, didn’t she?

The great thing here is that it doesn’t use much of the pop culture that usual comic series use (not that I don’t like them, it just leaves me confused when I hear people laughing in the background when the actors say a pop-culture-based punch line and I’m left clueless in my seat). What it does however, is use scientific jargons and theories gained from higher education and use them as the comic throws.

And I’m seriously laughing. Oh, no. You don’t want to hear me laugh seriously.

No, this isn’t a TV series critic.

But what really got me hooked to the show was that I am a geek myself. I swear, if the fashion police have warrants, I’m either already in prison or a fugitive. I wear overly baggy clothes. I want my hair very distortedly bushy. I walk like I have kiphosis (kuba). And I used to love video games.

I use interdisciplinary, highly scientific words when I crack up. Colleagues hate it when I start talking about various research methodologies over lunch. I’m banking on a trip to higher learning. In less than a year’s time, I’ll be having a Master’s degree. Then I’d get a Ph. D. on Clinical Psychology. Oh by the way, I’m planning to make a grounded theory on a psychiatric nursing concept.

Even people around me mistake me to be weirdly intellectual when I share stock knowledge. I lack etiquette and courtesy that usual humanoids have. Again, I don’t know much about pop-culture, nor would I want to know the latest who’s-who in whatsoever magazine. I’m not even personally motivated watch a movie, unless it’s with Gerber.

As portrayed by Sheldon, the most annoying but amusing character in the story, geeks are usually obsessive compulsive; especially if you’re knowledgeable on how communicable diseases can be unconsciously transmitted. Did I say we both don’t know how to drive--- even an arcade machine?

And I’m constantly looking for an eyeglass would fit me. I think they're cool.

I’m a brainiac, and I’m proud of it. Because I’m sure there is a nerd in all of us.

Nerdiness, if there is such a term, is not only based on IQ points.

I’d like to propose that in our system nerd genes lie--- the gene which pushes us to be weird at some sort or point, to act out of social norms once in a while, to try to read and learn something farfetched and out of this colossal universe--- and not give a damn about how other people would think of it, because we just plainly enjoy practicing our smarts.

Oh, I’m so full of those genes.