Posted in Reflections, Insights, and Realizations

Learn the good which is effective. Unlearn the not-so-creative.

eJournal on EPISTOMOLOGY
Learn the good which is effective. Unlearn the not-so-creative.

Back in college there were books we used that were the main sources of facts especially about anatomy, physiology and pathology. There were books about therapy and modalities too. These books and our professors , both doctors and professional therapists, were our main source of facts. Each professor had their unique styles of teaching. However I would say I veered toward teachers  who were creative and approachable. I won’t forget two doctors that I had who made me remember anatomy and pathology so vividly.
Dr Rafanan would teach parts and functions of the brain and spinal cord using his skills in drawing. Amazingly he starts with a DOT (.) . From there he would talk and draw at the same time for an entire full hour. By the end of his lecture. The entire nervous system is on the white board.  My attention was more fixed than ever when he is the one teaching us.
My second significant doctor-professor is Dra Buenviaje who taught us about cancer. She made us make a booklet by folding a short bond paper. During her four-hour lecture she talked while she coached us in creating our own paper -brochure of how cancer evolves.
Honestly these are the lessons that I remember so vividly, and can talk about it like a story.
Now that I am a mom, a teacher to my sons, I have learned one thing. My boys and I have similarities in acquiring knowledge. My first born likes to read quietly but loves to watch animated videos about science and math. My second son, answers his math questions while singing out loud. He also loves to incorporate laughter when reading.
As their homeschool teacher I have learned to adapt to their preferences or personalities  but at the same time, give boundaries to their behavior. I for one would know if their attitudes still stimulate learning or being inhibited/distracted due to too much emotions.
But if there’s one thing we have set is the belief that ‘there is a time for everything’. This is a quote in the Bible by Solomon in Ecclesiastes 3 “there’s a season for everything and a time for every matter under heavens”. So I always tell them, there’s a time to play, there’s a time to study. Focus on your task, so you could do your desired activity very soon.
In this way I based my rules to something which I believe is right. I am a firm believer of incorporating life lessons from the Bible and the wisdom it gives to those who put it into practice.

Posted in Reflections, Insights, and Realizations

My Motivation. My Drive.

eJournal7

“If you’ve never failed, then you’ve never lived.”

My self confidence was once challenged when my health professor in high school told me that I would not be fit to apply for the course Physical Therapy. He even gave me a grade of 84 on our final quarter. Making it the lowest mark on my card that pulled my GWA upon graduating high school.

The requirements for entering this course in the top three universities during my time was really high. NCEE scores must be 95. GWA must not be lower than 90. And of course passing the entrance test. I cried when my professor gave me that final grade (by the way he too was a PT from another university but was rejected by the one I’m applying into).

Lo and behold my final grades came. My NCEE results arrived too. My requirements were all ready and I submitted. I enrolled and the rest is history. It was just one of the many challenges I had to face as an adult. But that first left a drive in me. A drive to prove to that teacher that he thought wrong of me.

In life there are many hurdles. Situations or people could block our chosen paths. But if you’re motivated, if you believe in yourself more than what people say or situations do to you, then no dream is too impossible or no goal is too hard to achieve.

I made it in my chosen university and finished with good grades. I passed my board exam even, and worked as a successful supervisor in a tertiary hospital. I treated patients as well as trained volunteers and interns too.

If today, I’d be able to see that professor of mine. I would tell him that I forgave him for the discouragement he bestowed upon me. And that the grade he gave me, only boosted me to believe in myself more. That I can do it. That I made it!

Posted in Reflections, Insights, and Realizations

Numbers

eJournal#6

My social interaction in school had great effects on me. I remember that when I was in grade two, I had a seatmate who was excellent in math. She could finish the entire multiplication table from 1 to 10 in less than ten minutes. And would always get a perfect score. As I observed her, I noticed that whenever we are not doing anything, she would start writing the entire multiplication table to pass the time. So I copied her. I would do the same drills too by my self. From then on I would get the perfect score too. And because she became a close friend of mine, one more thing I ended up doing was that I started writing the same handwriting like hers too.

Then came third grade when division was more intense. From the division table of one digit. It progressed to become three and even four digits. Same goes with multiplication. So besides our usual assignments of ten questions. I would ask my grandfather to give me more problems to solve, and he would check if I did it right. Let me just emphasize though that my grandfather only finished grade six. He is knowledge of more complex operations like percentage and interests were because of his exposure as an adult in the business venture of his boss. But for me, he is the best math teacher I’ve ever known.

For many years I would wonder why do I need to study math. Now that I’m a parent and a teacher, I’ve learned to present these concepts to my boys in very practical ways. Example is division, and it is for sharing fairly. And with fractions, I can demonstrate it with their favorite food – pizza!

I’ve come to know that math or numbers is essential to daily living. We have numbers everywhere. And we need numbers in our tasks. The operations are needed so we can know if what we possess have decreased or increased. Did we age? Are we on time or not? Is our destination near or far? Are we fast enough or do we need to slow down? Math is not just numbers. It’s life.

Posted in Reflections, Insights, and Realizations

1982

eJournal 5
I will not forget my very first teacher. I was only 5 years old when I entered kindergarten in Alabang Elementary School. I insisted that  I join my cousin to attend school, even though I was a year younger than her. It was my desire to do new things with her that motivated me to enroll too. I thought it was a pleasant place of learning. Until I experienced being bullied by some of my classmates. One boy who is big would tease me about my surname, Batucan. One girl teased me because I was small. I was always in front of the class line.

Then there was my first teacher. Her name was Mrs Victorino. I can fully remember that she was pregnant. And that she is very strict. She would punish the rowdy and noisy ones with a pinch on the groin (for girls) and on their sideburns (for boys). And whenever students don’t do their assignments, she would line them up in front of the class and spank both palms.

On the other side of the spectrum, when she is tired or on a break, she would ask some of us to pick a white hair off her head. I got to do that at least twice that year. I’ve always been afraid of her.

Our classroom had a high ceiling. It smelled of crayons and sweat. It didn’t have air con instead it had ceiling fans and wooden windows. It had a black board spread across the front of the classroom. Above it were the Sanrio chatacters cut out of colored felt papers. At the back of the room, near the main and only door, had two teachers’ tables. One for the advisor of the morning class (Mrs. Victorino , and the other for the afternoon (Miss Santos). We had no comfort room inside. Our room was located at the far end of the building away from the school’s main entrance.

I would like to share a reading that I think explains why I remember all that I mentioned above. This is from Atkinson-Shiffrin memory model (Main article: Atkinson–Shiffrin memory model)

          “According to the dual store memory model proposed by Richard C. Atkinson and Richard Shiffrin in 1968, memories can reside in the short-term “buffer” for a limited time while they are simultaneously strengthening their associations in long-term memory. When items are first presented, they enter short-term memory, but due to its limited space, as new items enter, older ones are pushed out. However, each time an item in short-term memory is rehearsed, it is strengthened in long-term memory. Similarly, the longer an item stays in short-term memory, the stronger its association becomes in long-term memory. “(Source:Wikipedia.org)

          This moments in my childhood, however small, entered my short-term memory. And as they were rehearsed everyday for ten months in that kindergarten classroom, they were eventually pushed into my long- term memory ‘bank’. And stayed there for good.

Memories, pleasant or not, make their way deeply stored in us. This gives me now the learning that every single moment I spend with my kids or students matter. Therefore I must be mindful of the memories I build with them. Do they build them up or pull them down? Do they bring out their strengths or cut their leg?

Teachers or parents like us have a big impact in our students and children’s lives. So let’s do our part in building long term memories that will give them the confidence to do what they can, and discover more good about themselves.

Posted in Reflections, Insights, and Realizations

I Can Do That

Growing up as an OFW kid, I would often think of days when my parents will be home and talk to me. I love my grandparents for taking care of me. But I envied my cousins for they always had their papa and mama around. I would look at my friends and see their mommy and daddy, drop and pick them up from school.

When I reached 12 years old. My mom entrusted to me the task of budgeting. She sent me the its monthly breakdown. She gave me the responsibility to manage the bills to pay  together with my and my sister’s school allowance.

I executed that with full confidence for sixteen years until I got married. Once married, I proposed a plan on our first week as husband and wife. But instead of being praised for it , my husband said no. I got mad and felt that I was belittled. Although he appreciated my effort. He still rejected my idea.

From that day on. I developed self doubt specifically on finances. In the past I was able to purchase items I needed and even liked because of my savings. I was confident and sure of my proven strategies. That was when I was single. But now that I’m married. My ideas need to blend with my husband’s.

To never feel that kind of rejection from him, I never tried again. I would hesitate to even propose a financial idea because it might be wrong. I don’t know why I allowed myself to think that way. I know that I shouldn’t think or behave that way.

But why do I?

Self efficacy is the knowledge that you are capable of doing something. It means ‘ I can do that’.

I’ve looked up to my grandfather who was hardworking, financially wise and generous. I’ve seen him work hard by selling pandesal and newspaper at dawn. He worked as handyman of our village in the daytime. He would collect the association fees, so garbage collection and village security is provided for.

From  afar, I would observe how my mom would earn and save. Both my Lolo and my mom would coach me prioritize needs over wants. Needs must be provided for. Always set aside for it. It must be the first thing you spend on. On the other hand, wants must be saved up for.  It can be delayed.

I’ve realized  that I have to change my attitude. It has to be that I must keep on trying to find the right formula, not my known strategies but with my husband’s input as well. I must see this issue now in a different view. I am a wife, and in order to contribute positively , I must have a better attitude. This better attitude, will help me be a better version of myself.

Posted in Reflections, Insights, and Realizations

Screen

This week I had the most challenging life as a student, mom and teacher. The only source of my income as a part-time homebased English teacher went to a halt.

At first, the website where I am required to log into everyday to be able to conduct classes was affected by a ‘selective browsing’ problem, that not even my ISP (internet service provider) can explain. It was such a very stressful first three days of the week.

Then came the afternoon of Wednesday when, my youngest son decided to play ‘throw’ inside my bedroom. Using his plastic toy from Kung Fu Panda, he aims to throw to my bed where I was sitting and trying to answer the TIDs of module 3. At first the toy landed on my head, of which I told my son to not throw it my way since I have my laptop near me. He then picked up his toy, threw it high in the air and landed on the floor. For the third time, he throws again, and this time, it hit the left side of my monitor.

It broke my screen.

With a web-like shaped of a crack, I sat up straight, looked at him, and suddenly all the possible consequences flowed into my confused mind. I taught of the classes I had to conduct that night. I thought of the penalties for deduction if I absent my self. I thought of the bills that need to be paid, that now I couldn’t do because I will not have the earned money to use for them, including the payment for my laptop.

I couldn’t scold him or spank him. Instead, for the very first time, my first born and he, saw me cry like a child. I balled my eyes out until I couldn’t breathe. I called my husband who was then in the office, and I told my son to enter his room.

While talking to my husband, I cried and muttered words to him for I was more frustrated, sad and scared than angry. I knew then I have to give my child a talking to, or better yet a harsher punishment like a spank. After hanging up, I called him so I could talk to him. I cried and talked like a child, literally.

I had to choose which role am I to play that very minute. I am but a person who just got hurt by my own child. An act that he did but resulted into an accident that would have adverse effects. My instinct as a mother kicked in. I had to feel what I needed to feel but my brain was still thinking of how to convey to them without ‘wounding’ them.

So I chose my words and only said what needs to be said. No intention of hurting back. For I had to model to my children how to express your feelings without hurting others back. I had to speak right away that I forgave him. It was so difficult to feel the feelings while saying words that is of the opposite. I had to decide to forgive. For their eyes are on me. And most especially their hearts trust me.

Until now, after five days, I am finding ways on how to solve this problem. Fixing the unit and where do I get the money for it. I have to do my job as a mom, as a student and as a jobless woman.

Why did I write this? It brings me to the question of how will I reprimand my child for taking away such a valuable thing in my work and school? I knew that my role as a mom would be above the situation. I told my youngest son, that he has hurt for breaking my laptop, but I forgave him. I will now have to find ways though on how to fix it. So I asked them to pray for my for solutions.

Next, I told my children, that our relationship is much more important than the material I just lost. Or the opportunity to work that I just lost. I as their mother and a grown-up will just have to figure that out. Finding the solution will now be my task.

This week was so unpleasant. It had dips and lows from things I cannot control. And it is hard, for I can only try to find a solution. And I don’t even know if it will work.

The effects of the broken screen are saddening and frustrating for me. I don’t want it to be repeated. I hope to avoid it. But with being a home-based working and studying mom, I have to find ways in order to avoid it in the future (Law of Effect).

Posted in Reflections, Insights, and Realizations

Scholastic or Personal Achievement?

          At the end of every school year, our son takes OLSAT, the Otis-Lennon School Ability Test. This assess his level in different subjects such as reading, language, math, science and social studies.

          This week his results arrived. We browsed it and read the interpretation. My eyes zeroed into his scores in math. I was not surprised to see a score that is not of the average or more so above it. Why so? Because I know my child’s capacity. I know that he is in a pace of his own, when  it comes to mathematical concepts and problem solving.

          And then I saw his score in Science , where I really got surprised. It is something I did not expect because I know how much he loves this subject. He would even request me to read lessons from his science book as his bedtime story.

          In this subject he received the level of grade 1.6. Uno is finishing grade 2. The first question   I had in my mind  was,  what did I do wrong? Did I lack in giving him experiential learning? Was the textbook recommended by DepEd lacked in content?

          We are a homeschool family. And that was our second year. Currently, our son is in grade 3. And now I’m thinking of what grade level will he be in comparison with , when he takes the year-end test come August.

           I told my husband about it and broke the news to my son. He too couldn’t believe what he heard.  For one of his greatest goal is to invent something useful for humanity. He wants to be a scientist. I pondered and recalled how our Science time was over that past year.

           This morning I prayed and thank the Lord for a brand new day. As I thought of my role today, not just a mother but  teacher,  a realization came to me. Proverbs 22:6 ” Train up a child in a way he should go and when he is old he will not depart from it”.

            Because I got fixated with his Science score,  I haven’t told my son of His strengths. I have not told him where he is good at. I got convicted. I have to choose to thank what has been given to him, to me or to my family. I then ask for forgiveness for being so critical and ungrateful.

            Tonight I went over my son’s results again. And there it is, the Science score. It is low. He had low scores in both physical and life sciences.

            But now, with a better attitude and a determined spirit, I choose to look for his strengths  . And there I found his reading vocabulary and comprehension results. It was astounding!  Uno got a level of a grade 4.7 student in vocabulary and a grade 4 for comprehension. What does that say? I have to look at his strengths and praise him there firsthand. I should, as his mom and teacher, be there to highlight his gifts. What do I do with the subjects he needs to improve at? Definitely mention it, but not wallow on it. I choose to encourage him and see ways on how to work on them.

            What’s my plan? We still have a quarter left for grade 3. We still have time to catch up on.

            More so, I was reminded of why are we homeschooling. This method though unconventional, is the method we chose three years ago. Why? Because we believe on how we can pass on to our sons our learning in life, more than the academics. Character molding for us is priority. All subjects are important,  that’s for sure. But nothing is more important than a learner who has love for his Maker, who respects others, who is compassionate to those in need and who is a positive contributor to his community.

             Uno is our awesome storyteller, with great imagination and boundless possibilities. I’ve come to realize that he could be our budding author and writer, more than a scientist or inventor. But then again, there is a possibility. That he can become both.