Monday, May 11, 2015

Thursday, May 7, 2015

Some Serious Psychotic Issues Against Communism

Yes, I came from a secular university, but I have serious psychological hatreds against militant activists. Suppose that Philippines becomes a socialist state...what next?

You are supposed to know that because you are the ones who are pushing for it in the first place. I know, you look always looked up at Cuba, but, it might have escaped your notice but Philippines is not Cuba! We, no, you do not even have someone as charismatic as Fidel Castro to help you. Jose Maria Sison? Where the hell is he? He is in the Netherlands! I have always wondered that if he is a hardcore socialist and if he is the true leader of the Communist Party of the Philippines, why on earth is he not in the last strongholds of communism which are Cuba, Vietnam, North Korea, or China? Consistency. Consistency.


Lenin fucked up communism as Marx thought it. Okay, Marx said that we need to overthrow the bourgeious majority and let the mode of production be equally distributed to all, but here comes Lenin saying that there must first be a proletarian dictatorship in order for things to be set in place. I say, "To hell with you, Lenin." Calling a proletarian dictatorship is still dictatorship. So, where the hell is the equality there?

And why change the structure of the society in the first place if you are only going to change the faces? It took the Communist Party of Russia more than seventy years to figure that out. And the same nutheads from the Party left their Dear Mother Russia in pieces. So much for a communist revolution, huh.

Same goes for China. 

Well, we have to credit them for being smart enough not to imitate the Russians. But you see, they call themselves communists (or like what the activists like to call them, socialists), they call their country communist, but they have the biggest capitalist system today that USA and Europe actually considers them an "economic miracle." Consistency. You might ask: then why don't they want to be consistent? Because, you see, the members of the Communist Party of China don't have balls. Why? If they admitted to the Chinese people that China is already a capitalist country and no longer a communist one, then they will lose their credibility. They are afraid to lose power. Sounds so bourgeouis. They are scared shitless of what the people will do. And does it sound like the "Mandate of Heaven" to you? Yes, it actually does. Sounds so bourgeouis. And this bourgeouis thinking was what Mao Zedong actually tried to eradicate during the Chinese and Cultural Revolution.

Consistency. Consistency.

You see, communism is not an evil paper. But I want us to look at the history books and watch the current events and see how well communism/socialism turned out. And if Philippine Maoists/Communists/Leninist/Socialist/wh
atever the hell they want to be called are going to use Russia, Cuba and China as an example, then I can just see how f***** up this country will be.

Stop acting as if you are the only ones who care for this country.
continue reading Some Serious Psychotic Issues Against Communism

Wednesday, May 6, 2015

Memory Is A Fickle Thing

Upon rummaging through my old stuff, I realized that I have accumulated a number of mementos. Letters, magazine clippings, my projects when I was in school and the list goes on. And I felt a little piece of longing to go back to those times when my life was simpler, when all I have to do is to wake up each morning and spend the rest of my day sitting inside the classroom while listening to my teacher; to sit in the isolated parts of the university campus and have a meaningful conversation with my best friends; to wonder as to what would happen to us out there in the real world.

I am in the real world now, they say, I am an adult, but still, upon seeing those little mementos of a past life which continuously fade away from my memory every single day, I realized that I have forgotten myself. That I have forgotten to stop, take a back step and see what I did in my life. I let my life slip away so easily, that the only things that I have are a handful of memories that I continue to hold on to, despite the fact that the more days I spend here on this earth, the more they become useless, the more I forget about those said memories, the more I become unreal.

I remember my Philosophy instructor telling us that whenever you cannot remember anything, then the event itself didn't happen at all. Memory is a fickle thing. It shifts and sways with the wind, until one day, you would realize that you didn't happen at all.

That is why I decided to do a scrapbook. 
Or even just a repository of those memories which I tuck away inside my rectangular tin container. I want to open its pages and reminisce about the things that I did which brought me to where I am now. I want to browse through its pages for me to take that backstep and see if what I did with my life measures up to my own yardstick.

I want to browse through its pages and say to myself with determination that I am real and I happened....

Because I remembered.
continue reading Memory Is A Fickle Thing

Tuesday, May 5, 2015

Approaching Requiem

Only a few weeks and this school year is, finally, going to end. The students are already feeling restless, for they know that vacation draws near. As for me, I feel this wanting to end all of this work and to finish all the requirements and be done with it.

One of the things that we need to do as teachers in that school is to administer oral and written test to determine who among our students would be given an award.


I have students from my classes who qualified. And they did well on the written tests.

However, based on the results of the oral tests which were administered by my colleagues from another level, my students sucked majorly.

And it hurts me, actually.

I was thinking, "What did I do?" "What did I NOT do?" They are good in grammar and reading comprehension as what the standard test told me, but I observed during classes that they are not really that communicative, they are so inhibited, and try as I might to encourage them to speak, still sometimes, I do a monologue in class.

So, I saw the results, and no one among my students got the bacon.

And I am sad. As much as I love those students, there's this part of me that feels guilty; I have always viewed them as a reflection of myself. If they fail getting that award; then I failed too. Why do I feel this way anyway? It's because my students, though they are achievers, are always viewed as the underdogs. That was why I was training them as much as I can. We received triumphs like when they won second place in a theatrical presentation, not what we have expected and wanted, but at least, we beat the favorites.

But still, that award is the most important thing to my students, and them not getting it just depresses me.

I already submitted the results to my department chair, but the results aren't announced to the students yet. And I dread the day that I would see the frustration on my students' faces.

I was asking them whether or not they think they will get the award, and I think that they know subconsciously that they didn't get that award. But of course, there is still that tiny flicker of expectation that they would emerge victorious in the end.

Until then, I need to prepare myself to comfort these little, fragile souls, for whenever they look at me, I realize that they depend on me.
continue reading Approaching Requiem

Sunday, May 3, 2015

I Am Understanding by Design

This year, our school is going to embark on a journey called "UbD" or Understanding by Design. This thing has been around in a while in America, but here in my country, it was implemented last year in the public schools. But since I am in a private school, it is only now that we are catching up with this UbD fever.

I already heard this UbD when I was still a practicumer in college 2 years ago, and I always thought that it is a sort of planning the lesson but you think of the assessment first. Well, to be frank, I always thought that it's only a different way of writing lesson plans.

I'm as skeptical as skeptical goes.

So here is my school catching up the fever because the Department of Education directed that the schools follow this UbD way of thinking. But it comes with a price, you see. We the members of the faculty feel very cheated of our vacation because we need to spend it doing the UbD templates. And it is such a pain on the ass considering that we need to prepare those lesson plans and we need to implement it already this coming school year. I have always thought that curriculum planning takes years, and lesson planning takes time. But making the teachers rush their lesson plans for compliance is doing the teachers (and students) injustice. If the plan is faulty, then I'm very sure that the execution would also be faulty since the teacher doesn't know what the hell she is doing. And in the long run, the students would just become guinea pigs. Basically, we are doing the lesson plans in the dark. We are just hoping that even if the plan sucks, we would be able to pull off the execution right.

My students and I are all guinea pigs.
Yes, there have been seminars, but most of it didn't really help us at all. If it did, it only caused confusion and resentment among the faculty and the administration. We have this certain seminar in the school a couple of days ago, and we invited a speaker from a publishing house to help us tresh out this confusion. Turns out, this speaker have also attended UbD seminars in America with no less than the proponents of UbD themselves. And it was most enlightening, not only did we see the things that we are doing wrong (thanks to the lesson plan critiquing), but it also made us realize that crafting UbD templates and executing it is really just simple. And that simplicity made all the difference.

According to her, all lesson are done with A-Acquisition, M-Meaning-making and T-Transfer. Now, what puzzles me is that if I am going to look at a sample UbD learning guide, it only consists of the days and the things that you are going to do in those days.


Nutrition (Grade 6) Duration: 2 weeks

Day 1: Begin with an entry question (Can the foods you eat cause pimples?) to hook students into considering the effects of nutrition in their lives. (Making meaning)
Introduce key vocabulary terms and discuss relevant selections from the textbook. (Acquisition)

Day 2: Quiz on key vocabulary terms and selections from the book
Day 3: Students work independently to develop a three-day camp menu for younger children and offer them ideas for breaking bad eating habits

And so on and so forth. The speaker told us that that is the original UbD template. And we were like, "What the f**k?" because what we are doing with our templates is, if we are going to follow this thing strictly, wrong. What we did with our templates is this.

I.    Introduction
II.    Interaction
III.    Integration
IV.    Closure
V. Agreement

And I was like...are we a bunch of sado-masochists here? So I figured this was the f***ing reason why we are having a very hard time devicing our learning plans. We are deliberately making our lives harder. It got me thinking, where in the world did our administrators get their template? They said that it was from FAPE (Fund for Assistance to Private Education), and the speaker admitted that the FAPE template is actually more complicated than the original UbD template. I felt cheated. If we have an easier template, why did they opt to choose the more complicated route? One of my colleagues said that the FAPE template is designed for Catholic schools, but what makes the template so Catholic? What makes it more effective than the original? So we felt all the more cheated by our administrators, why is it that they only scheduled the seminar now? Why only now that some of us (myself included) are already through with our learning plans? They have the whole freaking school year last year to invite that speaker. And now, they only caused confusion among us, and resentment towards our admins.

We're this close to confronting the higher - ups.
 Like our speaker said, "UbD entails us enjoying life, simplifying life," but in my school, it is surely not the case.
continue reading I Am Understanding by Design