Monday, August 30, 2004

I think your name is magical. --
- Jim Carrey's character, Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind

I like how my J says my name (well, my nickname) -- and I've wanted to write about this for quite some time now, but could never really find the words.

I still can't. ^_^

I gained this appreciation for names after reading Ursula LeGuin's Earthsea series:

"It is no secret [spoke Ged]. All power is one in source and end, I think. Years and distances, stars and candles, water and wind and wizardry, the craft in a man's hand and the wisdom in a tree's root: they all arise together. My name and yours, and the true name of the sun, or a spring of water, or an unborn child, all are syllables of the great word that is very slowly spoken by the shining of the stars. There is no other power, no other name."
(from Wizard of Earthsea)

* * *

The need to be brave --

I went to the bank today and decided to stop by Starbuck's for coffee. A few minutes after I went in, one of the MMDA metro aides came in asking for some water.

I've always admired these metro aides and I actually had secret (well, not-so secret anymore) aspirations of becoming one because I want to have a hand in cleaning up the city. I promised myself that I would show them my appreciation whenever I can.

Today, the Fates gave me a chance.

She was there and I was there. I ordered a slice of banana bread with the purpose of giving it to her.

But I didn't.

I was too worried about what others might say.
I was worried about how she would react.
I didn't know what to say to her.

In the end, she had left and I still had the slice of banana bread with me.

I tried to look for her outside, but she was gone na.

On my way back to Ateneo, I tried to console myself -- thinking "it's the thought that counts" -- but I knew that wasn't the case. The thought does count, but it's action that matters.

And I wasn't able to follow through with that today.

I will be more brave next time.

* * *

In class today --

So I've been discussing logical fallacies with my En11 class for the past two weeks now. I wasn't looking forward to this section of the semester because I am not very good with this sort of thinking.

Last Friday, I had a really bad session with my En11 -- people were falling asleep and I could feel their interest slowly slipping from me. I knew I had to stop the lecture because I was wasting my time and theirs. I sat down and opened up the forum for questions and concerns.

One of my students asked me what was the point of learning about fallacies. She had looked back at everything she had written for herself and she saw everything as a fallacy. She didn't understand why we were discussing fallacies.

I tried to answer it, but I couldn't. I apologized to the class and told them that I wasn't confident that I could teach them effectively.

After class, one student came up to me and said that I didn't suck because she was learning something.

That made me feel better -- temporarily. It was still at the back of my head -- I had admitted defeat without even trying. I felt bad because I had let my kids down and I had let myself down.

I realized that I had committed a fallacy on myself -- I had began the undertaking thinking that I wouldn't be good at it. I had poisoned my own well.

During the weekend, I came up with a battle plan. I was going to win my students back and give them a reason to appreciate logical fallacies.

I was nervous going to class today --

I started by talking about how I had committed a fallacy and I asked them to identify which fallacy it was. They got it right -- poisoning the well.

I them proceeded with another introduction to the lesson --

I began by saying --

"Without critical thinking, the world would still be flat and the earth would still be the center of the universe. We would all still live a feudal society because no one would dare to ask whether there was something better than that form of governance."

I knew then I had gotten their attention back.

I ended the introduction with this --

"If you have to ask me why this lecture is important, then you aren't thinking critically. I am here to facilitate this lecture. It is up to you to figure out how you're going to apply this."

The activity went on without a hitch and everyone participated and tried their best to answer the questions. Issues were raised and we all tried to clarify things for each other.

In the end, this turned out to be the best lesson I had ever taught.

When the bell rang, I thanked the class for the wonderful discussion and I was so pleased to see the spark (of interest) again.


* * *

Oh, and it's 115 days to Christmas.

Galing how time flies. ^_^

... and, yes, I've started saving.

... and, yes, I have my Christmas list ready.

... and, yes, I am really this anal.

It has always been a tradition for me to spend my semestral break shopping for Christmas presents. I find that, after sem break, I usually don't have the time to attend to this -- there are too many things happening in late October, November and early December.

Oh, and, yes -- I already know what to ask for (from my sibs) for Christmas. ^_^


rikrikandtintin said...

ang nice naman ng lesson mo sa class.... :)

Tin (ni Johann) said...

hello you two ^_^

haaaay -- i'm looking forward to the end of this sem. ^_^

cdy! pa-sit in! ^_^