Saturday, February 14, 2009

An Update on This Day of Hearts

     I haven't had the chance to do a proper blog post for ages, because things have been more hectic than usual! And no... this won't be a "proper" blog post. This is just a quick update, for me to revive my long-idle little nook of the World Wide Web.

     Firstly, I want to greet my family and friends with a bear hug and a warm smile. I LOVE YOU ALL! :) While I do not believe in Valentine's Day (I think it's just a huge marketing ploy of merchants... after all, this is the florist's and chocolatier's equivalent of Christmas), I do believe in love. :) And there is no better love than friendship! 

     C.S. Lewis said that "this alone, of all the loves, raises us to the level of gods or angels." It really is "the happiest and most fully human of all loves... the crown of life and the school of virtue." And oh! How I've been blessed with friendship, though until now I keep asking myself what deed I've done to deserve such goodness.

     A highlight of my week (and of my month, and probably of my entire year) was meeting Meewa. Though we had only one golden hour together, the happiness and tranquility that remains in my heart knows no duration of time. :)  

     The little things I'm busy with include:

     * Our high school play:  Am directing it, what a challenge it's turning out to be! 
       Whew and I thought we actors/performers had it bad already.

     * M.A. : Someday I must blog about my thoughts on Assessment in Music 
       Education and my personal philosophy of education

     * Planning the rest of my life. (oooooh....)

     Something happened to me this month... a real milestone. I lost my voice. I was put on voice rest for the better part of two weeks. I know now what it feels to have no voice, it may sound strange but I honestly felt like I was a ghost, like I didn't truly exist as a person. 

     I observed that during my "mute" period, people treated me more kindly than usual. HONEST!! You'd have thought I lost a limb or two, instead of my voice. I was both touched and embarassed.

     One good thing that's come of it is that I was forced to choose my words carefully because it's so tiring to write EVERYTHING that one thinks of. I think I'm FINALLY learning to filter my thoughts, haha!

     One more thing I've learned is how much of my identity is tied up with my voice. It is rather unsettling to realize just how much of "Gabi" is connected with singing.
This whole experience forced me to pause a while, to take stock and re-evaluate my life.

     And on that note, I will end this blog post and blow you all some more kisses and hugs. :)

     *toodles off to write an essay : WHAT IS THE MEANING OF BEING "WELL-EDUCATED?"*

Saturday, February 7, 2009

Nice Article on The Academe

Domini Torrevillas writes, in the Philippine Star:

"While there are many teachers, professors, administrators, and graduate students who are extremely brilliant and good at what they do, there is still a big problem with the Philippine education system. For so long, rightly or wrongly, the academe has been considered the hiding place for people who are unable to thrive in what we call the real world. It is perceived to be the hub for those who cannot do, and who must therefore teach. Then there is also the running joke that people in the academe can’t be taken altogether too seriously because they have annual summer vacations.

Actually, the term “real world” makes me rather uncomfortable, because it implies that students, teachers, and administrators are cocooned in an environment far removed from the world at hand. Were we the ones who banished the academe from real life, or is this yoke of exile self-imposed?

Regardless of who threw mud at whom first, the two seem to be intrinsically at odds with each other. One values discourse, while the other values results. One encourages cunning and ruthlessness, the other integrity. One rewards achievements, while the other connections. One teaches to play nice, the other to play fast and loose.

Because of this difference in terms of principles and values, seldom can we find a person in the workplace doing his job solely for the love of it. Perhaps it is even rarer to find a person in the academe doing it strictly for the money. This begs the question: how do we reconcile the academe with society?

To start the reconciliation, we’ll probably have to bring the issues of society to the blackboards of the academe. We have to make the subject matter of our children relevant to our times. Learning Roman numerals is considered a key part of education, but nobody I know uses numerals past XII; our children may know that the gender opposite of a vixen is a todd, but I don’t think that it’s information worth knowing.

I’ve noticed how much our children know compared to us when we were their age, but I’ve also noticed how little they can do with the things they learn. There is a glut of information to be taught to our children, and I see that a lot of them are willing and eager to learn. Reports from last year show increases all across the board in subjects like mathematics, Filipino, English, and science in both primary and secondary schools. But we must remember that information in and of itself is worth nothing. Using the information we have to make a better future is what is important. We have to start streamlining our education to make it more worthwhile and transmutable to real world application."

For the full article, go here.

The importance of praxis... when my a bit freer, will try to blog about this (and a host of other important topics).

Can't wait for Tuesday! (Hehe my multiply friends know why...)

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