dear students: on appointments

An appointment is involves two or more people agreeing on a time and place. Meaning people actually have to ask for the other person’s time of availability.

An appointment is not your free time. So when we say we set appointments, it usually involves asking the other person when they are free and where they’d like to meet with you. Merely sending a declarative statement about your free time is not setting an appointment. For an appointment to be set, people (yes, that’s plural) actually have to agree. Meaning, you have to deal with an entity other than your self-centered self.

Simply put, it’s NOT just about you.


dread (and guilt) -free monday

I woke up (late!) without dread. I felt rested and ready for the week. Sleep does wonders. I have the same backlog but I was looking forward to dealing with them. And even if I wasn’t able to jog earlier that morning or come to work at 7 am, I wasn’t feeling bad – as I used to.

Am I developing a more positive outlook? Or am I getting immune to the disappointments/ negativity ? Or perhaps, I’m just over-thinking. I’m just happy I’m looking forward to something. I know this state won’t last long so I guess I’ll just have to enjoy it.

I’m leaving February dread (and guilt)-free 😀

Note the overuse of “look forward”. It’s just that it’s not everyday that one gets to experience that.


This is one weekend I won’t complain about not having enough sleep. I practically slept the whole day. Hibernation, it is. After almost a whole week of waking up early to attend a conference in someplace about two hours away, I spent the whole Sunday catching up on Zzzs.

I woke up to clean the apartment and do minor errands and then went back to sleep. At 11 pm, a headache got me out of bed. Planned my Monday for a few minutes and then slept some more. I planned on waking up early the next day for a morning jog. I woke up at 8 am.

And, I have no idea – for the nth time – how I managed turn off all my alarm settings.

the urge

I left the office to brave the two-hour travel to the metropolis with no intention of purchasing anything. It was my sister’s graduation. She had completed her six(?)-month-training. My other sister and I, were to represent the family in this special day.

I arrived early at the meeting area so I went inside the mall(?) to pass time. The shoe store had a sale (which store doesn’t?). Tried a few pairs. The one I liked had scratches on the leather covered by a white paint(?). It wasn’t worth the price cut. But it did leave me wanting a new pair of shoes. Most of the trip to Manila, I computing my (now nonexistent) savings. I got off the bus with the decision that if I find a really good pair, I’d buy it.

I returned half a day later with a new pair of shoes. I remember my sister asking “Did you plan on buying a new one?” Guiltily, I thought “not since an hour ago”. I seem to have a lot of moments like this one, especially this year. I’m worried.

In hindsight, I really did need a new pair of shoes. And, it was of good quality. Or maybe, this is just me justifying a recent purchase. I know I’ll spend the rest of the week recomputing my budget (which, I never really follow). But, I been in this situation before (earlier this year). I seem to have recovered quickly. And I really did need a new pair. Had I bought a pair of rubber shoes, now that would have been unnecessary.

Denial, that’s the stage I am in right now. In a few days, I’ll be in my pancit canton-siomai-Sulyaw diet. Pancit canton for breakfast, siomai meal for lunch, and a rice meal from Sulyaw for dinner 😀


open forum

In every talk/ conference follows the open forum. And, where there are open fora exists these characters:

  1. Mr./Ms.-I-am-important-so-I’ve-have-to-mention-all-my-achievements-since-elementary (snores and “wake-me-up-when-it’s-finished” from the audience) and yes, the question is…;
  2. I’ve got this one-chapter introduction and a totally unrelated/irrelevant-up-to-almost-senseless question;
  3. My question is… and a follow up question is… and another follow up… and uhmnn, can I pass the mic? (Instructions were clearly stated. One question per student. Other tertiary students don’t know how to count?!)
  4. I’m cute, I’m bibbo, and (go back to #2) ;
  5. Long introduction, sample cases, and at last, the question – oh, I forgot, it’s not a question. It’s a comment(ary);
  6. Huh?! So your question is? Wait, what’s your question? (The facilitator doesn’t even know what to make of… ) It’s a question?!

But what I learned from open fora, the wisest of speakers are those who can make decipher and give sensible responses to the most nonsensical questions (if the statements even fit the definition.)

some ethics

I cannot remember attending any conference where no phone rang – be it a call or a message alert. I blame not the device but the owners. How hard is it to remember to put one’s phone in silent mode when attending a conference?

More so, how difficult can it be to lower your voice when an expert is speaking in front? Should you have any concerns, why not raise your hand and share your thoughts to the audience – not just your seat mate.

And how, can we teach our students to bear in mind these ethics when professors themselves (not from where I came from) fail to observe them?

lumina pandit

It’s Day 2 of the conference. Our party decided to skip discussions of the future to visit the past.

In less than an hour, I felt like the text I’ve memorized several years ago finally made sense. Reading about books and people is one thing. But seeing the actual or replicated copy  is another. In that span of time, I believed my brain expanded – somehow.

This book of Dr. Antonio de Morga was mentioned in the history of journalism in the Philippines. To be in its presence is a privilege. I could wander in the exhibit the whole day and I doubt I’ll get tired looking at these publications. When only few were able to publish, these books, newspapers, among others existed. It’s a pity we had to leave to go back to the conference we were attending.

I could not understand most – if not all – of the text but I knew they mattered. Each word seemed valuable. The ink, the paper, and the handwriting – there’s just something about these things. It was more difficult to publish things then. Perhaps that is the reason why old books seemed to have more value.

During those times, owning a book was a status symbol. Being able to read one – usually written in a foreign language – was a great achievement.

I really could not understand any of the text but the book covers did tell me the contents are valuable. Book cover such as these do not exist in bookstores anymore.

If you can’t visit the exhibit at the University of Santo Tomas, you can go to for a virtual tour. It’s a great site.

How I wished our students were here. Pity, the exhibit is temporary. There is a book about the exhibited pieces. A little pricey for a state university reading room, but I do hope the book gets to be part of our humble collection.