A Year In Review

Gave up my teaching job last January. The downside of not being busy and earning much less and feeling like I’m not being productive hit me a few months after. I must admit, however, getting enough sleep now probably beats all the drawbacks.

Used my FB account to get entertained through postings of male American pro-Trumpers. Whether they’re my friends or not, I go into their sites and read and click Like on their intelligent rants and funny memes.

I lost weight mainly because my stomach acidity had forbidden me to consume my favorite drinks – milk tea, Coke, and juice. My sleeping patterns have become ungodly too – going to bed at dawn and waking up at noon. I also started to eat more healthily. They all contributed to reaching my ideal size which makes me feel awesome.

Oddly, I came to like a guy who had shown me kindness during my Norway trip even though his physical attributes are way way off my standards. We became FB pals and kept liking each other’s posts. That’s all. Because in spite of his looks – being plump and short – he’s very popular with ladies and he even has had quite good-looking girlfriends. In my mind I was like “You gotta be kidding me…” 🙂 .

The highlight of my year was my Norway adventure. I had a magnificent time I didn’t even want to go home. What a wonderful experience I hope to be able to travel to Europe again soon.

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the way I am according to them

It’s been raining all week. How I love the rainy season with its mild cold weather.

Since I’ve become fond of Tumbler, jotting down writer quotes has been fun and I’ve kept a few which I fancy describe the person that I am. Perhaps. 🙂

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I have punished myself by telling everyone about my life.

Vaslav Nijinsky, The Diary of Vaslav Nijinsky.

The head is too wise. The heart is all fire.

Maggie Stiefvater, The Raven King

I don’t profess to be different from my kind. I’m consumed by the same wants and the same longings.

Edith Wharton, The Age of Innocence

There is nothing I would not do for those who are really my friends. I have no notion of loving people by halves; it is not my nature. My attachments are always excessively strong.

Jane Austen, Northanger Abbey

I have no talent. I write poems for myself, to think things through, that’s all.

Anna Kamieńska, A Nest of Quiet

Thank God for books and music and things I can think about.

Daniel Keyes, Flowers For Algernon

I do not think I have it in me anymore to struggle and fight and suffer; I want to be quiet and happy.

Martha Gellhorn,  Selected Letters

She liked to disappear, even when she was in the same room as other people. It was a talent, as it was a curse.

Alice Hoffman, The Red Garden

I approach most things in life with a dangerous level of confidence to balance my generally low self-esteem.

Roxane Gay, Bad Feminist 

I love like a leaky faucet or I love like a dam breaking. There is nothing in between.

Shinji Moon

I was shy, withdrawn, and read obsessionally. But I never wanted to be anyone else other than me.

Anaïs Nin, from The Diary of Anais Nin

That’s my problem: I think too much, and I feel too deeply. What a dangerous combination.

— Tumbler (via dryyoureyes-startbelieving)

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I was a romantic and sentimental creature, with a tendency towards solitude.

Isabel Allende, The House of the Spirits

Have you ever fallen into yourself and gotten lost? I’m so far from people, yet at times I wish for them. I wish I could understand them and deal with them without all the pain and bitterness that comes with contact.

Henry Rollins, ‘Black Coffee Blues’

I’m almost never serious, and I’m always too serious. Too deep, too shallow. Too sensitive, too cold hearted. I’m like a collection of paradoxes.

Ferdinand de Saussure

I am still so naïve; I know pretty much what I like and dislike; but please, don’t ask me who I am. A passionate, fragmentary woman, maybe?

Sylvia Plath, The Unabridged Journals of Sylvia Plath

I will never be a morning person, for the moon and I, are too much in love.

Testy McTesterson

You have so many layers, that you can peel away a few, and everyone’s so shocked or impressed that you’re baring your soul, while to you it’s nothing, because you know you’ve twenty more layers to go.

Craig Thompson, Carnet de Voyage
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love the photo. I forgot where I got it, sorry. 🙂

i miss being busy…and paid

I knew this feeling would come. No, I honestly don’t miss the academy or my bosses or my colleagues or the rotten students I had dealt with. It’s the sense of being preoccupied or rather hard-pressed a huge chunk of the time and, this one is the killer, getting paid for it that I miss. Someone advised me recently to simply return to that old job; I told him how different the situation is at school now compared to what things used to be. I couldn’t endure anymore handling my bosses’ very young kids and the teeners who have no interest learning my favorite language.

I am a complicated person with a simple life.

Charlotte Eriksson

My list of pleasure nowadays: I’m back to my ideal weight because I no longer earn extra cash to be able to eat at that expensive buffet restaurant on the weekends (a habit I developed late last year out of my justification “I had to do sth special before facing another shitty workweek”). I go to bed usually when dawn breaks, wake up at mumble-mumble ‘o clock (embarrassingly late, that’s why) and don’t need to indulge in 3 meals a day ‘coz I already possess superpowers for having had enough sleep. I now eat healthily because I cook – no choice since eating out and convenient foods are pricey. And voila! I currently run three other blogs that I fill up mostly with juvenile Tumbler quotes and images – owright ohright, that’s so inane it doesn’t count.

Revelation: I’m happiest when I’m in the process of publishing a blog post. Which only proves I’m an authentic writer, right? right? Yipee! 

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I keep changing my mind as to my travel plans. Well, the truth is I wanna visit all those splendid places in Europe. Not possible, though, so I’m gunning for the best ultimate single tour for myself – one that has the least cathedral, museum, church visits. The travel agent I’m in contact with must have had her eyeballs on repeated roll as I say to her one day “I think this package is great” then tell her the next day “this package is more fantastic and will suit me better.”

Anyhow, 2016 is meant for rest, reading, writing, and dreaming of adventure. No mulling over tomorrows or the future. Whatever apocalypse is destined to pounce, let it befall by the beginning of next year.

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happy me, Europe 2014

Mildly Unconventional Highschooler

Never an early morning person, I’d force myself to wake up at 4:30 in order to prepare and be on my way to hear mass by 5:30 – the liturgical ritual, nevertheless, gradually ended up as ancillary to the celestial pleasure of listening to the angelic voices of the nuns singing beautiful hymns inside the small elevated church of our school convent.

At 6:00 I’d go down, drop my bag inside the classroom, and proceed to get some fresh morning air around the quiet grounds of Sienna College, before my schoolmates start packing the area for the flag ceremony at 7:00 a.m.

Spending four years of highschool in an all-girl school wasn’t absolutely fun because in elementary, I had a blast running or biking with the boys; catching dragonflies, climbing trees, and just plain hanging out with them. Although grouping and bonding with some funny queer girls in my secondary years were interesting, too.

Because of the torturous three-hour Chem or Physics laboratory periods not to mention our countless bible studies with the nuns, I decided on learning the “fine art” of cutting classes sporadically.

The air-conditioned library was one location I sometimes escaped to. Colorful, hard bound books on geography with breathtaking photos of the sky and natural scenery engrossed me. Women’s magazines that had been bookbinded also consumed my reading time. Unfortunately, there was lack of pocketbooks – as one day it dawned on me I’d already read the entire collection on the shelf so I ‘d no other alternative but to read them again. And there were instances when the librarian would tap me on the shoulder to remind me I had to go and not stay during class hours.

I began considering another escape destination —> Oh yes, the huge Glori Supermart which was a mere three-minute walk from the school.

But I would first have to trick my way past the security guard of our main gate. I thought of a simple one which often turned out successful: I’d tell him I was hungry and would request to be allowed a few minutes to buy banana-cue from a nearby sidewalk vendor. As soon as he let me out, I’d wait for him to get distracted by other matters and ensuingly sprint away from his sight.

My more effective tactic, however, was this: “My Dad is in there waiting for me,” while pointing to one of the many distant cars within our view. “He has to give me my pocket allowance for today.” Without miss, my (budding) talent for acting would triumph.

How would I be able to get inside the school again later? By entering the other gate which was situated in the front. Easy.

Miraculously, I somehow avoided getting reprimanded by the nuns. Or maybe they simply let my tiny misdemeanors slip by as they kept eye more on the noisy notorious girls who were suspected of secretly instigating forbidden meet-ups with the boys from our brother school. After all, I was basically low-key, looked wholesome, and passed all my academic subjects.

One day I bumped into a classmate along the corridors while on my way back to our classroom. “Where have you been?” she asked. I saw no need not to be honest so I replied, “Just outside.”

You’re such a ‘now you see her, now you don’t’ kind of rebel” was her concluding remark which made me wonder if it was a casual one or not.

 

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Foremost Goal

Filing my income tax return consumed my time and attention for the past two weeks. Although our Bureau of Internal Revenue made it more arduous for me because of an unexpected glitch on my tax identification number. In spite of the complication, I went ahead and completed the task with crossed fingers that it has been settled, more or less (sshhh…). A crucial necessity more than ever as it’s a prerequisite to my goal of traveling I intend to do by the end of this year.

Last night, I was busy scanning the tour packages being offered by various travel agencies. My sister who’s going to New York in November earlier asked me if I wanted to tag along. “Well, okay…” was my reply. But as I mentioned before, U.S.A. doesn’t excite me so much knowing its urban areas abound with Asians and Latinos. We’ve got a lot of them here, too. Besides, its tall buildings and malls and infrastructure aren’t dissimilar to what we have here. Not to mention the chances of someone like me being granted a U.S. visa for travel purposes are quite nil. My sis has obtained 10-year approval from the embassy. Of course, she’s a consistent member of the jet set club. What about me, you ask? I’ll be forever part of the jet sam squad. (Stop asking)

My point is, if I have to choose between the U.S. and Europe, I’d still go for the continent which has also become a most favorite destination of the Syrian immigrants. So far, I’ve been setting my sights on going back to Switzerland and visiting Italy for the first time.

In 2014, while we were in Interlaken, I skipped having latte with my sister in a posh coffee shop to go outside and proceed to a lovely wide park where I could watch more than a dozen paragliders up high embellishing the beautiful afternoon sky. I wished I had participated – but our time there was very limited. So maybe, maybe next time…

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The professional paragliders after landing smoothly were packing up ready to call it a day.

 

Whereas last night too, I chanced upon a travel agency that offers a trip to see the Northern Lights of Iceland. I went “Wow!” and started considering changing my original plan. Iceland. Cooool… There’s glacier there — it’s cold cold cold for sure. I remember the temperature at top of the Swiss Alps made me freezing stiff and numb I thought I’d die. No kidding. Iceland no doubt will instantly turn me into an ice cube.

 

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Boy, was I glad to have taken this photo of a man and his dog strolling along the station while we were on our way up to the icy mountain.

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Is there anything as uninteresting as working on your tax return? I nearly procrastinated for eternity and alternately kept on going out for walks and daydreaming about future posts to write, at the same time turning to YouTube searching for my favorite tunes from the past. This original version is still a highly favorite love song of mine.

The Teacher That I Was – 2

Upon my acceptance as an instructor for a certain Asian nation, my interest in the English language both as a teacher and a learner had germinated. It also helped me in gaining fortitude not to mention the discipline to get up early and show up for work regularly, in spite of my being a lifelong night owl.

Although not a remarkable English student in school, I was a heavy short-novel reader in my juvenile and early adult years. But never had I bothered with familiarization of standard grammatical terms. Having no previous training in teaching and purely armed with average English fluency, I started polishing my skills.

Below were my exact sentiments before I began my preparations as an ESL instructor:

Gerund, Infinitives, Participial phrase– What are they?

Present Perfect tense – Excuse me?

Past Perfect – Oh no no.

Future Perfect Progressive – Now I’m gonna go insane.

As I make headway at my profession, my initial question to every new student on the first day of class would be “Do you like reading?” If the answer was yes, I’d presume there would be not much of a problem. If the answer was no, well…

I pushed more for the comprehension of the reading materials and didn’t impose memorization of vocabulary. Homework was something I expected to be done. By that, I gained the reputation inside the academy (among students) of being strict, quite competent 😉 , smart, “kind but hard.”

The small number of industrious and attentive students sparked my diligence as a teacher thereby inspiring me to toil harder for the refinement of their English proficiency. With the right students, my occupation could provide worth and gratification. With the the lazy ones, it was a mere waste of time. In most cases, I had to endure (the torment of) “free talking” especially during man-to-man sessions even though I had little concern for their mundane lives and no enthusiasm to get chummy with them.

Money became secondary motivation what with the minimum pay I received throughout the years with zero job perks to boot.

On the whole, I’ll be honest in saying that I secretly don’t hold those kind of people in good regard. Why? They come from a nation where it’s perfectly normal to eat dogs; they look down on us Filipinos for belonging to a poorer country; and a big majority of the attendees in our academy for so long had been indolent, insolent, bratty, and cold. But I’ll be honest as well here in saying I stayed because I needed the job despite such assertions of disgruntlement.

I was determined to make it my finishing role as an employee. Procuring employment after the age of 35 is nearly impossible in our state, except for high-level positions. My teaching job stretched to a decade, and the end was due to incremental changes in the academy and the numerous inconveniences they brought. It was ten long years of my precious life, nevertheless.

Job Years Plus The Teacher That I Was – 1

Becoming a teacher was my first choice to study in college. But my parents objected because they knew teachers receive low pay; the female ones especially undergo too much stress from students — ending up as spinsters to boot. My father decided I’d take up BS in Accounting instead which I proceeded to labor on for four years. Wrong choice — considering my appreciable strengths lie in Language and the Arts. It was, however, too late for me to turn back.

After graduation, I took a job in the Circulation and Accounting departments of a local newspaper while at the same time reviewing at night for my professional licensure examination. Seven months later, I tried my luck taking the national test for Certified Public Accountants — I failed. It didn’t surprise me; my family was. They knew I wasn’t brainless. But you see, although the study of Financial Accounting had been fairly tolerable; it was the higher Accounting branches of Cost, Managerial, and Taxation that bored me to tears I spent most of my time daydreaming in front of our professors during class periods.

The second time I took the CPA exam, I surprisingly passed (with barely favourable outcome). My parents were delirious. I wasn’t. Because I was already alert to the reality I wouldn’t be successful in the field. I just don’t have passion for that kind of work.

Fast forward over several years of mostly job hopping as bookkeeper, Receivables Analyst, Auditor, Administrative Assistant in various companies throughout my singlehood. Then I got married and had a baby. Within three weeks after my son was born, my husband went home to his mother and kept on disappearing, I scrambled to find a job and managed to find one, thankfully. My husband turned up on and off in our lives for 10 years — even jeopardizing my occupational security when he demanded that I quit the job I was holding at one time — out of his, once again, irrational jealousy. Shortly thereafter, my marriage irrevocably crumbled and I earned incontestably the status of a single parent. I went back to work part-time generating financial statements and auditing inventories.

Through my sister’s connections, my husband (before he finally left) had started the tiny business of distributing government-sponsored tickets which he turned over to me as soon as we separated. Alas, earnings from that selling booth proved insufficient for my son’s pre-highschool education so when I saw one day in the newspaper an opening for English instructors, I went and got the job.