I miss South Korea and its friendly people and the cold winter’s tail and the food! Last week, I went to SM North EDSA (go to the FoodCourt, can’t miss it) with my friend Gary and we ate bibimbap, my favorite food since my trip to Korea a couple of months ago. Although the bibimbap we ate here in the Philippines looked like real Korean bibimbap, it didn’t taste anything like Korean food, it sort of tasted like Filipino food. ­čśŽ But it was OK, I was too hungry to care.

From this site.

Bibimbap (BEE-beem-bop): One of the most popular dishes in Korean cuisine, bibimbap is a nutritious rice dish of steamed rice and pre-cooked vegetables (usually spinach, bean sprouts, carrots, mushrooms, egg and lettuce. It can also contain ground beef but can be ordered without meat.

Swallow the words
you wish you could say
Like food
If there are ears to listen
Spew the words out
and remember relief
Remember that feeling (what feeling?)

Afraid of being alone forever
Afraid, too, of loving
A heart abandoned many times over
A dry mouth, tired eyes
Dry eyes, a mouth longing
Remember feeling

As I am about to check and grade my students’ essays (or compositions), I am reminded of how much I love my job and how I can’t imagine myself in any other job. I love my colleagues, the people I chose to join, because even though most of them have MA’s and PhD’s already they are very accommodating and humble. Our Department Chair especially, a man with many publications tied to his name, is every young faculty member’s dream mentor. He nurtures those of us on the junior faculty by making sure that we are always working towards honing our crafts. He also believes in ‘knowledge transfer’, a concept that has come to mean sharing what you know to the younger ones so that they will emerge as even better individuals. That’s the kind of faith that young people need today especially when we hear stories about, let’s just say┬ámore experienced people bossing others around.

And now, because I am inspired, I’m posting some of the best things students have ever said about me. Future teachers, this is the kind of luxury that money can never buy.

  • The teacher is very approachable. Her love for the Spanish language improves her teaching skills. Her passion for teaching stimulates her┬ástudents to participate actively in class and her friendly nature invites respect, which is rare. The way she encourages her students to do their best and┬áhow she appreciates simple recitations, I think, improves the self-confidence of her students.
  • Ma’am is only twenty years old. Enough said. ­čśÇ She’s really a perfect professor. She helps us not to fear foreign language. Though I really find┬áthis subject hard and am nervous every recitation, ma’am doesn’t embarrass any student committing mistakes. She’s always cheerful and there’s no┬áboring meeting. ­čśÇ
  • she’s so lively and young! she knows how to reach out to her students. her class is never boring.
  • She is very enthusiastic with her teaching and her students are encouraged to participate actively in class.
  • Very student-centered and fun to listen to.
  • Ma’am Jad belongs to the group of those precious few professors who have the innate and uncanny ability to make learning fun. One could tell┬áthat she was born to teach. I can’t say anymore- that, right there, after all, is the highest quality a faculty could have.
  • Areas for improvement: Can’t think of any. I think she will be a very great prof in the future as she gains more experience ­čśÇ
  • She’s very good considering she’s young. ­čÖé
  • kind….. a smart professor. i’ll really recommend the professor to my friends. she has a good communication among her students..
  • perfect! best prof ever! ­čÖé
  • Our teacher is by far the best foreign language teacher I’mve [sic] known. She makes students feel better about themselves especially when they┬áspeak the right grammar. I know that she also makes things really clear and corrects whatever wrong she might have taught us. She also industriously┬ácompile [sic] all our readings very well for us to practice. And, shew [sic] has a very happy attitude when she goes in our class […]┬áShe tries to help out students who are behind too.
  • She is young, so she can relate to us more. She is not boring. She is not intimidating, which makes Spanish more fun to learn.
  • very smart! charming! considerate! very good! effective professor!
  • Ms. Monsod is one of the best teachers I’ve come across… She is articulate, confident, thoroughly knowledgeable in her field of study and┬ámost of all, she has an exceptional knack of providing a classroom atmosphere that is both conducive to learning and fun.

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Jennifer Lawrence’s character Agnes writing a poem. The Poker House (2008)

Never called nobody father
Why bother?
When you left
you took God with you

Never met no preacher
who wasn’t tryin’ to reach her
sellin’ heaven
takin’ your sin home with him

Saw some funny hats though
when they made the new pope
givin’ the sheep hope

Never called nobody father
Why bother?
Ain’t no reverends, anyway
Revered ones
pimpin’ the little ones
who need God to be true
Ain’t no end to what they’ll do

When you leave, take God with you

– Poem from the movie The Poker House (2008) starring Jennifer Lawrence and directed by Lori Petty.

I like this poem because of the first two lines (although the poem as a whole has a way deeper meaning than what those two lines can say). I’m actually glad and somewhat relieved that now I have the liberty to say that I think I have finally found a way to stop needing my real father. There are plenty of men in my life whom I consider excellent father figures, who have sacrificed enough just to make me happy. Still feeling incomplete, still needing my real father who never bothered to reconnect with me in the first place, is like spitting on their (my grandpa and my uncles) sacrifices.

So father, can’t even call you “dad” now, there’s too much sweetness that’s connected to that word, never called nobody “father”, why bother?

*smiles*

I believe in God, though, and when I read the poem above I just think that “when you leave, take God with you” means that the family that raised me has taught me to have the compassion (the tolerance, maybe?) to still wish someone well whatever has happened.

Me just ranting and not having anything better to do… Hihi!

 

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no time ago
or else a life
walking in the dark
i met christ
jesus)my heart
flopped over
and lay still
while he passed(as

close as i’m to you
yes closer
made of nothing
except loneliness

-e.e. cummings

RESPONSE:

I got this poem from a movie called The Poker House, which I downloaded because I had been trying to watch as many films of Jennifer Lawrence as I could. The movie is a retelling of the director herself, Lori Petty’s difficult adolescence. It is set one day in the life of Agnes; it was going to be the biggest day of her basketball career. Unfortunately, before the game she was raped by her mother’s pimp. Nevertheless, Agnes was able to rise above it, went to the basketball game and scored over 25 points in the second half of the game singlehandedly.

In the movie, Agnes is a big admirer of poetry. She keeps a collection of e.e. cummings’ poems, which she finds she can easily relate to.

I think the message of the poem above is simple: anyone can find comfort in spite of loneliness; loneliness can bring people together, ironically, because it has the power to make a person cling on to anything, anything that will give them hope. And so I say,

Breathe in
So that maybe they will come back
Breathe out
And try to keep them

Hold on
So that maybe they will stay
Let go
It is what it is

Close your eyes
So that maybe you can feel them in your bones
Look around
You are alone

Did anyone tell you
the lonely ones
have the most love to give?

Someday someone will…

x (10-May-2012)

I’ve just realized I haven’t posted anything in quite a long time; this blog might even be in danger of getting abandoned. I’m trying to keep my promise to a friend, however, that I’d try to keep this blog alive for as long as I can.

Nevertheless, even though every part of me has become home to angst and sentimentality lately, I find that my writing still hasn’t progressed, still hasn’t risen from the state it was left in after a year off school. Maybe I just need someone to give me a whack on the back of the head to convince me to write my feelings down on paper instead of bottling them up and then wanting to hide inside a closer later on. If that’s not delayed teenage angst, I don’t know what it is. Or maybe this is all just the result of reading too many dark novels and fanfiction (ehem, The Hunger Games trilogy and this whole “Peeta and I grow back together” part that’s open to infinite interpretations) .

Oh, and just because, yeah, we need more angst:

There haven’t been tears lately
no crying behind a locked door
despite the absence of anyone to hear

Haven’t picked up the phone
haven’t dialed your number
just to know there is still someone
Perhaps I am moving on

(04/30/2012)

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