SY2014-2015, First Sem; Run Run Run; Taal Poems

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{Press Start}

A.
So the first semester of SY2014-15 has finally arrived. The new Dept Chair assigned me twelve units (that’s four subjects) due to the semi-lack of teachers and the increasing demand in one particular subject (World Literature). So far this is the most number of subjects I’ve handled since I started teaching, but at least these are the subjects which I’ve already experienced teaching. So I just have to rely on my previous handouts and tweak them a bit for the usual updates. 

I’m having fun designing the new layout of the handouts for my ENGS002 (English Writing; two classes). Using my past experience as a graphic artist (that’s Jay Salvosa circa 2006-2009), and my current obsession with making the visual elements smooth to the eyes, I transfer the stuff I’ve written from Microsoft Word to Adobe InDesign (to be exported to PDF) and try make the layout interesting, a bit experimental sometimes. The main challenge for me with the layout is that my colors are limited to black and white (photocopies). I experiment with some shades of gray, but sometimes the school’s xerox machine is not that good in being faithful to the quality of the original source which is produced by an Epson printer.

I’ll introduce a couple of comics in the middle of the semester too, specifically from Alan Moore, since some of the panels of his comics resemble camera shots (my DIA students will have learned the art of scriptwriting and storyboarding by the end of the sem). Maybe I should add some stuff from Mark Millar too (specifically from his Ultimates series).

B.
I decided to revamp my World Literature subject. Though I’ll use some poems and stories from the past semester, I’ll dial down the literary criticism part just a little bit, and push text appreciation and creative outputs.

Since the semester is technically shorter (we’ve a lot of holidays in Bikol!), I decided to cut down the film-viewing sessions or perhaps make them optional. I also removed The Little Prince and replaced it with either The Catcher in the Rye or the plays of Shakespeare. I’m also tempted to introduce Waiting for Godot because, well, I find it fun and creative to produce.

C.
I’ll retain the methods and contents of my Mythology class though, but as a challenge I’ll add the discussion on Barthes and myths at the end of the semester.

{Have I Got a Long Way to Run}

This is amusing: since I choked in my sleep (thank God I woke up) last month I decided to cut the fat and start being serious once again in getting fit. I decreased my rice intake (around half a cup per day) and started running again. But before that i would do the Super Saiyan Workout as a warm-up.

So far, so good. My body feels lighter and climbing the stairs is easier. Also, the tropical heat makes me sweat a lot (you should see me teach and sweat buckets), so I guess it has somehow quickened my metabolism.

Aside from running being fun, I find it as a space for meditation: Every time I go home from my morning workout I usually observe the people opening their shops, their food or fruit stalls. I like the aroma of kinalas, goto, and fried rice (garlic!). I love listening to the buzzing scooters and the subtle flash of speedy bicycles. And who can forget the morning Garbage Truck that wakes the stubborn sleepyheads by loudly playing the worst possible playlist?

I love mornings. I love how Naga City wakes up — syncing its beat with the slow rise of the glorious tropical sun.

{Poems Soon}

Ahj and I decided to compile and [self-]publish the poems we had written during our silent retreat in Maryridge, Tagaytay.

[Though we also decided to add a poem or two which are follow-up reflections of our retreat experience.]

I got her poems already, and I’m about to revise and finish my stuff. It’ll be uploaded here sometime next week.

Cheers.

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