Monday, January 14, 2013

Stuck in a Rut

Jennie Snyder Urman - creator

"You can't always force yourself to get out of a rut. 
Some of it is a result of careful planning, while others happen 
the least you expect it. When change happens, 
                                                       nothing prepares you for it." 
                                                             - Emily Owens M.D

Saturday, January 12, 2013

"A Thousand Words"

Silence can be really golden. Our daily lives revolve around socializing and expressing our thoughts with each other in daily discourse whether at home, the work place or at school. The advent of social media has also presented an alternate opportunity to express our thoughts to a selected audience and just like the spoken word, we have to exercise proper decorum.  It's only right that we have our "me time", wherein we could just listen to the voices in our heads instead of what is produced by our vocal cords or instinctively posting our thoughts in Facebook.

My sister lent me a DVD entitled: "A Thousand Words" with comedian, Eddie Murphy as lead actor. I thought it was just the usual comedy, so I just watched it like any other film I saw.

Little did I know that the film centers on a simple side of life that is most taken for granted: the spoken word.

This film also reminds me of a proverb by Pythagoras that goes: "Do not say a little in many words, but a great deal in a few". It goes without saying that learning how to be silent at the right time and speaking only when necessary would make the spoken word truly meaningful.

It's a relief to know that there are alternative forms of expression through music, painting and even writing. However, a certain amount of balance should also be exercised even with these forms.

If you had only a thousand words in a lifetime, what would you choose to say? Who would you say it to and what situations would you choose to use your words?

Here's a trailer of the film that I definitely recommend and is worth your while:

Eddie Murphy in "A Thousand Words"

Thursday, January 10, 2013

Love Is All Around

This is another 90's song by the group, "Wet Wet Wet" and was on top of the charts for quite a long time as well. I remembered buying a cassette tape with this popular song included. The band's name is quite strange and I don't really know why they named their group this way. Why not: "Dry Dry Dry"? or "Drenched Drenched Drenched"?

Kidding asides, it's a name that cannot be easily forgotten so I guess there's some justice to it. I again just decided to sum up my courage and do my own rendition of this song. Hopefully, I have done some justice to it (whew!)

Wet Wet Wet

Wednesday, January 9, 2013

When You Say Nothing At All

The 90's. It brings back memories of my college years immersed in tons of research, homework, group work, tests and everything else in between. Music was just one of my refuge - a way for me to relieve my stress and temporarily forget about school and other issues.

It was 1995 that I heard this song, sung by Alison Krauss. Her voice is quite distinct reflecting her Country-Western genre'. The song "When You Say Nothing at All" played on the radio in restaurants, stereos of public transport and practically remained at the Top of the Charts for quite a long time.

It's a typical love song with lyrics both direct and figurative, expressing the song writer's subtle and somehow intense feelings for someone. A few years after its release, Ronan Keating of a popular boy band - Boyzone sang the song in his own rendition and was even featured in the film: "Notting Hill".

This was the time when I bought song books just for this song. Since it was sung now by a guy, it would be easier for me to sing it, because it would match my vocal range.

I practically played this song in my guitar repeatedly until the tips of my fingers grew numb, but it was all worth it, because I was able to memorize it.

As I have said before, I am trying to revisit my old hobbies and I attempted to record this song. Once again, due to some technical limitations, the sound quality cannot be really compared to professional studios. But hey, who said about being professional anyway? - hahhahaha

Eiken Training

Last November 22 2012, I had the opportunity to learn from the experiences of the Eiken trainors as well as from my co-trainees related to their teaching strategies, ideas and methodologies. As an educator, I cannot stress enough the value of continuous learning.

It was an arduous and intensive 6-hour training, but it was all worth it. It was very insightful in terms of my teaching strategies and what needs tweaking. With all modesty aside, I also discovered that the way the Eiken Vocabulary is taught is not far from how I teach it during my lessons. There will always be more room for improvements of course and refining my teaching skills will always be a priority.

There were pointers that were very useful and invaluable as an educator - learning never ceases indeed.

Next year, I would be focusing on the Callan and hopefully in the near future - the TKT from British Council. My goal is not to impress, but to hone my present skills and share what I've learned to English learners.

Of course, I'm still human and throughout the course of my teachings, I will always learn a thing or two from my experiences or from the students. I do not claim that I'm an expert in everything, but I could confidently say that I'm an expert learner and I will always strive to be a competent educator for learners of every age and aid them in language acquisition.

Change is truly inevitable. It's a matter of accepting it, embracing it and understanding the natural flow of things - nothing is permanent and therefore, we have to change with the times and adapt. Educators are no exception: learning and teaching strategies change inevitably- so keeping abreast is the only option to better address the unique needs of students.

Language acquisition: it will always be "multi-sensory" and "multi-faceted"

Dog Tags

When we hear the word "dog tags", it is usually associated with military personnel that is a mandatory "necklace" with oval-shaped, aluminum, rust-resistant metal plates on a stainless necklace. It contains the personnel number as well as unique and necessary information for the soldier who wears it.

I stumbled upon a kiosk in a local mall and I just got curious. I investigated further and found out that it's a stall that offers customized dog tags. You can practically think of any name, word or title (as long as it fits the required number of characters) and it will be engraved right in front of your eyes for a fee.

SM North Edsa - Ground Level

They offer different kinds of designs and styles to choose from. I chose the medical tag because of its  practical relevance:

I normally wear this tag where ever I go, especially when I'm running. I think it's actually a good idea if civilians have these medical tags with necessary information on it. It can be quite convenient for medical personnel to identify important information related to medical history of the patient and contact details in case of emergencies.

Well, okay - I must admit - it's not just the information, but the fashion sense of it! It looks quite cool especially when worn with a plain white shirt :D

Monday, January 7, 2013

First Run of the Year

Heading out the door now for my first early run. Preparing for February running events, hopefully my legs and feet won't disagree with me.

It's also a good time for me to re-assess and analyze the lessons that I have been providing for my students. Scrapping those that are not effective and focusing those that are.

Hmmm...anyway, I'll be enjoying the morning breeze while thinking about this. Hopefully, by the time I get home, I have figured everything out.

See you!

Whew! Just finished my morning run and did other errands - finished them too! I just feel complete every time I run and I did 2 rounds, which I couldn't do last year. Here's the route that I usually go through 3x weekly:

Green flag- starting point/Blue flag next to it - end point

I would rather spend lavishly on my health and be poor financially, rather then be rich and be in a hospital with tons of tubes inserted into my body and needles being poked at me - to put it bluntly.

Anyway, tomorrow's another workout day in the gym and the day after that is another run day - just another active week for me.