Saturday, September 8, 2012

A Discourse on Scrabble

   Lots of changes have happened in the school where I teach, hence there is even less time for me to blog nowadays. But these changes are for the better, and I am really grateful that this fifth year of my teaching life is proving to be even more challenging and fruitful than the previous years!

    One of the new hats I'm now wearing is that of Scrabble Team Coach. Full disclosure alert: I was never a huge fan of Scrabble as a child. I was more into Chess and my personal favorite board game (which I fully believe is THE most exciting board game EVER!!): Game of the Generals. And in my elementary and high school years, I was into more physical sports like Swimming and Taekwondo, so I was never really immersed in Scrabble... until this year.

     I was tasked to take charge of the RMM Scrabble Team and prepare for the Milo Little Olympics in Marikina. Sadly, we weren't able to find enough grade school members in time for the contest, but we were blessed to have five adorably geeky high school students come on board for the high school team:

That's newly-turned-14 Jericho, brother and sister Isiah and Gian, silent-but-deadly Mel Rey, 
and team captain Eric with his younger brother and biggest fan, Evan.

      Over a period of a few months, I watched (with a great deal of admiration and respect) as these teenagers played Scrabble for hours at a time, non-stop. Their love for the game was such that they would keep on playing until I practically forced them to go home! THAT is how much they loved playing Scrabble.

     I've been wondering about the secrets of this humble board game, and why it can make people obsessed (but in a good way). And because of our exposure to other Scrabble teams from all over NCR, I think I'm beginning to understand why this game fascinates people so much. Scrabble is just like life!

      In Scrabble, as in life, you don't really know what tiles you're going to get. Sometimes you get vowel dumps, and sometimes you get a rack full of nothing but consonants. That's when preparation counts for a lot.

     Some Scrabble players rely on stock knowledge and natural intelligence. These aren't the ones that win in the major leagues. The ones who come out on top are those who take the time to memorize the seemingly never-ending list of two letter and three letter words that rarely get used in day-to-day conversations, the ones who memorize all the possible words containing J,Q,Z, and all possible seven letter combinations in order to get as many "bingos" as they can.

      In short, it's not how smart you are that determines success. In Scrabble, as in life, it's the smart AND hardworking people that succeed. Scrabble teaches us that there is no short cut to getting to that highly coveted position in Table 1. Only a great deal of hard work can get us there.

      Hopefully, next year, RMM Scrabble Team will get to Table 1. We can do it guys! GO RMM Scrabble!

Tuesday, April 10, 2012

THE AVENGERS: Watch a movie for a cause!

It's only THE most awaited film of 2012. And it's being shown in THE finest cinema in Metro Manila. We're selling tickets for a cause!

Buy a ticket and help send U.P. students to school! Our NGO, Ex Libris Philippines, is inviting you to attend a special blocked screening of "The Avengers." We're holding this movie fundraiser in order to help send U.P. "iskolars ng bayan" to school. Our past three fundraisers have helped fund the education of eleven (11) U.P. students!

"THE AVENGERS," showing at April 25, 2012. Wednesday. 7:00 p.m.

Rockwell Power Plant Cinema 2.

Tickets are at P500.00 each! For tickets, please contact me at 0920 947 08 35.

Be cool, and help someone go to school!

See y'all there!

Ex Libris Philippines is a nonstock, nonprofit organization for book enthusiasts. We believe that the nobility of ideals and great vision should not just exist in the pages of books or in the minds of authors long-dead and gone, but in reality. Our organization’s Scholarship Project helps send deserving but financially needy U.P. students to school.

In March 2007, we held a special screening of Frank Miller's"300" in the Powerplant Cinema, Makati. The proceeds went to Gerico Prince Punzalan and Hanna Keila Garcia (Mr. Punzalan graduated on April 26, 2009, BA Speech Communication, cum laude). In April of 2008, we held an opera production of Donizetti’s Don Pasquale held at the UP Engineering Theater, Melchor Hall, UP Diliman. The proceeds went to Mikael Angelo S. Francisco (BA Communication Research), Vincent B. Parrenas (BA Philosophy), Maricar F. Verano (BA History), Jessa Chryzl R. Orosco (BS Statistics), and Dave Capule (DCPMA Piano). More recently, in May 2010, we held a concert in the UP College of Music, the proceeds of which went to fund the education of Frederick G. Precillas (B.A. Fine Arts), Claudine V. Enduma (B.S. Tourism), Mark Bryan F. Manantan (B.A. Broadcast Communication), and Dancille Villarey (B.S. Nutrition). Mark Bryan Manantan graduated this past 2011 magna cum laude, and was also nominated for the Best Thesis Award.

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