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.