being on the receiving end

If when for each comment I get an excuse, I sit there thinking “I’m not asking you why it looks like this or that. I am telling you that if would look better if you changed this font style to make it more credible.” I hate excuses. Lazy and unwilling – that is what I get from all these excuses. You want me to accept your outputs as is? Tell you its good? Then make them worthy of such comments. I don’t have high standards. These were the standards even during my time. If people can’t level to these standards, the standard is not the problem.

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Part of my job is to edit and comment on the students’ outputs – basically to identify what they can still improve in their outputs.

What I have observed is that their reaction to comments, criticisms, and suggestions seem to become more negative as time passes. In my days as a student, I treasured all the comments of my professors in my outputs. It made me feel like they really read and scrutinized my output – and I was very thankful for that. Even though I knew I would be getting criticisms, I  looked forward to reading them. I was impatient to know what areas I can still improve on. I knew it was through those comments that I will improve. I never saw it as an attack to my intellect or my concept.

I do not know why some students view it the other way taking comments personally. When I comment on outputs and provide suggestions, I think of how the student can improve that project. I never enjoyed writing those comments just to spite them. I won’t waste my time doing just that. If I wanted to irritate them, I just give them all a relatively low grade and not write a single comment. It would save me a lot of effort and time.

If when for each comment I get an excuse, I sit there thinking “I’m not asking you why it looks like this or that. I am telling you that if would look better if you changed this font style to make it more credible.” I hate excuses. Lazy and unwilling – that is what I get from all these excuses. You want me to accept your outputs as is? Tell you its good? Then make them worthy of such comments. I don’t have high standards. These were the standards even during my time – perhaps even before that. If people can’t level to these standards, the standard is not the problem.

To be on the receiving end of such comments is a test of one’s professionalism. It trains one to not wallow in the mistakes one made but to focus what can be done to make the output better. Embracing one’s mistakes is part of being able to improve oneself. We get the best lessons through our biggest mistakes and the worst comments we have received.

uncertainties

I’ll never be too busy for you.

In the past two days, you mentioned that repeatedly. Unsure if you’re keeping me from my work., you just have to keep asking that. You are not keeping me from my work. And even if you are, it’s a welcome distraction.

I’ll never be too busy for you.

In the past two days, you mentioned that repeatedly, unsure if you’re keeping me from my work. You just have to keep asking that. You are not keeping me from my work. And even if you are, it’s a welcome distraction.

It’s not every day that I get to see you. Heck, it’s been more than a year since I last saw you. I’d drop everything in a second just to have a conversation with you. If you’d just stop asking if I’m too busy for you.  Again, I’ll never be too busy for you.

I want to talk with you. I just do not know how to react without revealing too much. I cannot help thinking if I’m smiling too wide, looking more delighted than normal, blushing more than I should, talking excessively, or stunned into silence. There’s a lot of things I think about all at the same time whenever you’re around.  Focus eludes me. It’s like being in a trance. Everything is happening in slow motion as if my mind is recording every microsecond of the moment I spend with you. And there I remain, an observer fixed in passivity.

And knowing me, I’ll be replaying these moments looped into eternity – or at least until another pleasant memory is recorded. It pains me to realize that the next days will be emptier. I know I’ll manage. But sometimes, it’s nice when you have something to look forward to. I do not know when I’ll see you again or if I will ever.

More uncertainties. They just keep on coming.

busy

In the world I’m in, “busy” is a default setting. It’s given. We can be “less busy” or “more busy” – never “not busy”.

We always say we’re busy.

A statement of fact, a complaint, an observation, whatever tone may have been used or the context of the statement – we’re busy.

There was a time that I relished uttering that statement repeatedly because it made me feel I was doing something. It made me think I was one of the those people you see in movies struggling to get to work in a hurried walk, ear glued on the phone, balancing their things, constantly checking time, trying to get on a public transportation.

I loved the thought of being busy –  buried in work. I loved complaining about it. At least I used to. Everything gets old if  you hear yourself uttering the same thing everyday. So until I say “I’m not busy anymore”, I am busy. Although I doubt I’d get the chance to say that.

“Busy” is relative. We use it as an excuse not to tackle tasks head on. “I’m busy at the moment. I’ll face that later.” We use it whenever we want to imply that we do not want to accept a task or another responsibility.  We’re busy.

When can we not be busy? If we’re not busy with work, we’re busy with our family. If not with the family, then we’re busy wondering if we’re living our lives the way we want to. Busy. Everyone is busy with one thing or another. It’s not something unique to you. You’re never more busy than another. It’s waste comparing your “being busy”  with other people. We’re all busy. That’s not news.

What matters more is how are you managing? I try to do everything I can in the time I have. I work on things beyond office hours if need be to accomplish things on time. I work on some things in advance. And even if I do all that – I still need to cram. I do cram. But I never use it as an excuse to lower the quality of my outputs.

In the world I’m in, “busy” is a default setting. It’s given. We can be “less busy” or “more busy” – never “not busy”.

rainy days

sketch_3(I noticed that this entry remained blank for a while. I thought of it a waste if it remained like that. I’ll probably forget about this entry so before I do, I’ve decided to write something – anything. It’s noon as I write by the way. This is me entering “that” place.)

There is something calming about having raindrops in the background as you find yourself alone with your thoughts. This is the best time to take time and try to assess what has happened amid the chaos in one’s life brought about by cramming and burying oneself  in work. It’s better that way, I guess. When one focuses ones attention intensely on one thing – everything else fades into the background. One does not have to think about the lone state one fears so strongly or the feeling of being detached from everything else.

The cool wind, gloomy atmosphere, locking oneself someplace – ah, the perfect moment to write. I turn off the lights and continue writing by the candlelight. It looks weird, me head bent on the laptop screen. I don’t really need the candles for light. I just need it for the scent. The  scent of unscented candles – if you know what I mean?

During the rainy nights of July until February of high school, when I wrote most of my silly lovestruck poems, I would wait until everyone has slept. I would then have all the kitchen to myself and I’d pull out my pencils, pens, and the notebook I kept at the time and scatter them at the wooden study table by the kitchen window. I’d light a candle (of which we were well stocked because blackout was a frequent visitor) and start the ritual of sharpening all my pencils preparatory to drawing or writing. (I never did say I was any good in any of the two. I just love to write and draw. What else can an antisocial do?) In the darkness I’d open the jalousie glass windows allowing the scent of rain into the house. This was the best writing moment I could ever have.

It is during those moments that I filled by notebook with entries and my pencils sharpened to a third of the original length. I would dream of characters, of stories, think of the “muses”, and write until my hand ached. I dreamed of completing a book  a pocketbook, a novel, etc. It’s still a dream right now.

Occasionally, my make believe world would be disturbed by one of my aunts getting up to to to the bathroom in the middle of the night passing by me. Sometimes they ask why I used candles. After a few months, they dismissed it as me just being weird, I guess or perhaps they just got used to it.

I have always loved rainy days – especially when I have a pen and paper at hand.

Through time I’ve learned to love it more. It never fails to make me want to write.