Sunday, November 14, 2010

My Mania for Accessories

I was never much of an accessories gal, until that fateful day (about a month ago) that my twin sister and I walked inside that most evil store, ACCESSORIZE.

It is EVIL because there is no way that any red-blooded female can walk away without spending a peso (unless, of course, your wallet is devoid of both cash and credit card in the first place)! Rows and rows of (color-coordinated) bags, bangles, belts, necklaces, scarves, earrings, rings, footwear, eyewear... it's a fashionista's idea of Heaven on earth! They've even got SPONGE STICKERS!

My twin sister and I were "held up," haha, as we spent a small fortune on beautiful, BEAUTIFUL investment pieces!

Various neck pieces, including "The Never Ending Story" medallion (our personal nickname) and "The Caged Songbird."

Pretty pearl necklace (looks great over a black top) and its colorful counterpart (adding happiness to a plain white uniform)!

Working-girl-friendly bangles! Sure to add "oomph" to even the plainest of get-ups, and so easy to remove (not like charm bracelets, which can be rather noisy as well). They're made of plastic and/or wood... quite durable!

Being teachers, we have a "stud earring only" policy, and we immediately zeroed in on these classy designs. These earrings are hypoallergenic, which is a blessing for sweaty and acidic gals like us!

As we walked out of the store, we agreed that we didn't need any more accessories, that we were set for life, and we solemnly swore an oath that we would never buy accessories again.

Yeah, right.

* ACCESSORIZE - PHILIPPINES is on Facebook! Go to their page at!/pages/Accessorize-Philippines/83267796457 . They have outlets in Festival Mall, Robinsons Ermita, Northwing SM Cebu, Greenbelt 5, Robinsons Galleria, Trinoma, AliMall, Marquee Mall and SM Davao.

* Some UP students sell accessories, and I'm a happy customer! See Mikki Chua's designs and Pat Rodriguez's art works.

Saturday, November 6, 2010

Jacques Barzun: Teacher in America

Lest the title of the book mislead you, it is NOT a how-to manual to transfer residence and teach abroad.

It is one of the wittiest and most accurate commentaries about education that I have read in a long time. Barzun is a realistic idealist, one who believes in Education as a powerful force that can shape society for the better, but also one who sees the limits of teachers and their regenerative powers.

"Education comes from within; it is a man's own doing; or rather it happens to him -- sometimes because of the teaching he has had, sometimes in spite of it."

"An hour of teaching is certainly the equivalent of a whole morning of office work... The fact is that at 12 noon a teacher who has done his stint is as limp as a rag."

"Teaching is a 24 hour job, 12 months in the year; sabbatical leaves are provided so you can have your coronary thrombosis off the campus."

"A college (of music) is NOT a conservatory and it must balance the intellectual diet of its charges; all music and no economics makes a lopside A.B."

"The college doesn't pretend to "educate." It can only furnish the means of later self-education."

"The study of the arts ... is a gradual and deliberate accustoming of the feelings to strong sensations and precise ideas. It is a breaking down of self-will for the sake of finding out what life and its objects may really be like. And this means that most esthetic matters turn out to be moral ones in the end. Great art offers a choice -- that of preferring strength to weakness, truth to softness, life to lotus-eating."

"The highbrow or man of facts is a mere container... the trouble with him is not that he knows these things... but that they are idle possessions of which he is proud."

"The teacher must see to it that when he has achieved this mastery (of learning to follow a score), the student does not become an insufferable prig, for music can go to the head as well as the heart."

I wish I got to read this book earlier. Barzun taught History at the college level in Columbia for several decades, and he had several words of wisdom for would-be college teachers, which I wish I'd known when I started out teaching (it would have saved me a bit of heart-ache!).

Back to the daily grind tomorrow. Things are going to be a lot busier this 2nd sem!!
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