I find myself writing again, after a long time of being silent.  I need an outlet and what better way to release all my pent up emotions than to write?  I have this blog after all, and it is just here, gathering dust.  Nobody probably reads it anymore.  I am not as prolific as I used to be, thanks to my heavy workload.  Nonetheless, writing is cathartic, and so I blog.

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It hurts to be physically separated from the one I love.  I long to feel his arms around me, to have him hug me tight, and tell me sweet nothings.

I know that this separation is not going to last long, that soon, we will be together.  For now, I must endure.  I must feel the pain of not having him beside me.

I know that this is for our good, that I supported his career move because in the end, it will bring us closer to our dreams.  But for now, I must be patient.  I have to go about my daily activities, carrying them out as if I feel just bright and breezy.  I can’t be sulky and moody all the time because I have to think about my kids and about him, too.

I know that he, too, is feeling the pain of our separation.  Yet, I must be strong for him.  I must put on a brave face and tell him that things will be okay.  That we will have our chance to be together soon.

For now, we bear our burdens and wait.

I haven’t blogged in WordPress for a loooong time.  In fact, I haven’t blogged at all.  I’ve been content to just go through my Facebook account, comment on some people’s posts, add pictures, and from time to time write something.  But as for blogging, haven’t really done it for more than a year.

Now that I have a faster Internet connection at home, I’m hoping I can update my blog more often.  I miss this. 🙂

I’m reading Malcolm Gladwell’s The Tipping Point right now.  It’s really a great book.  I think it’s even better than Blink, his other book which is also a number 1 international bestseller.

While Blink convinces us that “decisions made very quickly can be every bit as good as decisions made cautiously and deliberately,” The Tipping Point talks about how ideas, products, messages, and behaviors spread like viruses.  According to Gladwell, the Tipping Point is “the moment of critical mass,  the threshold, the boiling point.”  It’s the proverbial “straw that broke the camel’s back.”  It explains three rules of epidemics and talks about how sometimes big changes follow from small events, and that sometimes these changes can happen very quickly.

The book is only 259 pages long, but it’s packed with many interesting facts that blew me away!  Here are some of them:

1.  Suppose you are given a large piece of paper, and you’re asked to fold it once over, and then take the folded paper and fold it over again, and then again, and again, until you have refolded the original paper 50 times.  Do you know how tall the final stack would be?  Well, according to the book, the height of the stack would approximate the distance to the sun!  That’s the law of geometric progression working for you!

2.  We normally think that emotion goes inside-out, that is, our emotions are a reflection of our inner state.  But research shows the opposite could be true, too – emotions can go outside-in.  There are people who are very good in expressing emotions and feelings and they are far more emotionally contagious than others.  Psychologists call them senders, and aside from having special personalities, they are also physiologically different.  For example, the location of their facial muscles are different from those who are “less emotionally contagious.”  Just like in the spreading of a disease, there are carriers and there are people who are particularly susceptible to being affected with the carrier’s emotions.  (So this explains why some people can actually help cure a bad mood!)

3.  When Sesame Street was originally conceived, the Muppets were only filmed with other Muppets, and the street scenes were always filmed with real persons (adults and children).  But when researchers tested the show in the summer of 1969, they found out that children would give their full attention to the TV screens whenever the Muppets would appear but they would lose interest when the scenes would involve adults and children only.  Going against the advice of developmental psychologists not to mix reality and fantasy, they decided to put the Muppets together with the adults and kids on the street scenes – and that’s when Oscar the Grouch, Big Bird, and Mr. Snuffleupagus were born!

4.  Gladwell says that the success of Sesame Street can be attributed to the fact that the producers learned how to make television sticky.  Considering that the show has survived for the last 40 years, no children’s show could be stickier.  Right?  Wrong!  Research has found out that there is a children’s television show that’s even stickier than Sesame Street and that is Blues Clues!  If you want to find out why, go buy the book and read it!

As early as 2003, graduates of DLSU-Manila’s Institute for Educational Measurement, Evaluation, and Statistics (IEMES) have planned on formally putting up a professional organization for measurement experts.  But only after six years since the last batch (2002) graduated were we finally able to realize our goal.

This August 6-7, 2008, the First National Conference on Educational Measurement and Evaluation will be held at DLSU-College of St. Benilde Hotel, with the theme “Developing a Culture of Assessment in Learning Institutions.”  Truly, this is a momentous occasion for us graduates of the MS Educational Measurement and Evaluation program of DLSU and Center for Educational Measurement (CEM).  I think it is high time that we measurement experts be recognized in academic circles for our invaluable contributions to education.

This will be the first time I’m attending a national conference – and my first time also to present an original research work.  I not only look forward to the intellectual exchange that will surely take place, but I also am excited to see my classmates whom I have not seen for the past six years.  I look forward to reminiscing about our escapades during those 14 months we were together.  I look forward to renewing old friendships and to building networks with those who speak the language of measurement.

We experienced one of the strongest typhoons yesterday.  Heavy rains coupled with howling winds drove us out of the house at around 11 am.  The rains started the night before and did not stop at all.  I was getting worried when I saw that the water almost reached our gate and the fish pond fronting the house was nearly overflowing.  When I found out that high tide would be at 12 noon, I made the decision to bring Nanay and the kids to my tito’s house, which is in the upper part of Bacolod. 

Maybe I was a bit paranoid, but I could still clearly see in my mind the flood waters which came into our living room last December 2006.  My first thought was of Nanay.  If the waters came into the house and we had to evacuate, how would we move her?  So then I decided that I’d rather be safe than sorry.  We spent the day at my tito’s house and although the waters did not go into the house, I still think it was a right decision because I was able to relax, knowing that Nanay and the kids were safe.

Got this meme from Toni.  Here’s 26 things you probably didn’t know about me. 🙂

Accent:   Ilonggo gid ko ya!

Breakfast or no breakfast: Breakfast is the most important meal of the day.

Chore I don’t care for: Sweeping the floor!  My nose hates the dust.

Dog or Cat: Dog na lang

Essential Electronics: My laptop!

Favorite Cologne: Denenes

Gold or Silver: Silver is the new Gold!

Handbag I carry most often: Canvas Girbaud

Insomnia: Nope!  I’m off to dreamland once my head hit the pillow.

Job Title: Asst. Professor  (Yikes!)

Kids: Enzo, nearly 5; and Evie, 2 and a half

Living Arrangements: Living with my parents, Single parent during the weekdays, Happy housewife on weekends 🙂

Most Admirable Trait: You can count on me to get the job done.

Naughtiest Childhood Behavior: Very talkative in the classroom

Overnight hospital stays: When I gave birth to Evie.  Was admitted at 4am, gave birth at 930am, went home 12nn the next day.

Phobias: Slimy frogs…yuck!

Quote: “Anything that is worth doing is worth doing well…or not at all.”

Reason to smile: Enzo and Evie

Siblings: Ray Gerard and Karol Mae

Time I wake up: Usually 6:30 AM

Unusual Talent or Skill: I know what statistical tool to use by just reading the statement of the problem of a thesis or dissertation.  Can you count that as a skill? 🙂

Vegetable I Refuse to Eat: Radish… I just don’t like the smell.

Worst Habit: Procrastination!

X-rays: Essentially normal chest findings. 🙂

Yummy Stuff: UP Diliman Isaw, Cakes of Calea, Pistachio gelato

Zoo Animal I Like Most: White Peacock of Avilon Zoo

According to babycenter.com, the American Pediatric Association recommends that children under 2 years of age should not be watching ANY television, while children two years and older should watch no more than two hours of TV per day.

I hate to admit it, but my kids watch way too much TV, especially when I’m at work. I really feel guilty about this. When Enzo was still a baby, I told myself that I wouldn’t use the TV as a babysitter. Unfortunately, it’s easier said than done. I resort to TV whenever I have tasks to do that I need to concentrate on and I can’t have the kids interrupting me every minute or so. There are also a lot of times when I watch my favorite parental guidance shows (e.g. CSI, House, Heores) even with the kids around. I know, I know… I should be more responsible as a parent. And of course, hubby is not helping. After all, he’s the TV addict, not me!

I know my kids have been watching too much Disney channel because:

  • They say “Aww, men!” when something goes wrong.
  • They call the mice in your house “Mickey.”
  • Whenever they see three interlocking circles, they shout out, “Hidden Mickey!”
  • Their favorite song is “You are the Music in Me!”
  • They think the world of Mr. Bean.
  • Their magic word is not “please,” but “Miska, Muska, Mickey Mouse!”

It scares me that I’ve been too lax with them when it comes to watching TV. I’m thinking of removing the TV from the bedroom or even unsubscribing to cable altogether. But can we (hubby and I) deal with that???

As early as February, hubby and I had been planning to bring the kids to Boracay this summer. We scheduled the trip for May 15 because Dean had many activities before that (the trip to Manila, monthly meetings in Cebu, visits to his area by Kraft’s head honchos, cut-off dates, etc.). Unfortunately, rainy season came early to the Philippines and we had to forego the trip to Bora.

But since we promised the kids a trip to the beach, we opted for Guimaras instead. So on Friday, May 16, while a typhoon was raging somewhere else in the country, we packed our bags for Raymen Beach in Nueva Valencia, Guimaras. Despite the dark clouds and moderate winds, the 15-minute pumpboat ride to Jordan, Guimaras was not as bad as I expected. The kids would say UP, DOWN every time the boat would rock to the movement of the waves.

After a 40-minute drive, we go to Raymen Beach safely and immediately hit the beach. The waves were quite big, but we enjoyed the dip. We stayed by the shoreline since the waves were quite strong and the beach wasn’t that flat (kantilado in Ilonngo). Enzo enjoyed playing with the sand but he was scared to venture into the water. Evie, on the other hand, liked the water so much she wasn’t even scared when the big waves came.

The next morning, we were able to buy fresh crabs and fish from the local fishermen who just pulled in from the sea. We had seafoods for breakfast! We didn’t stay too long, though, since we had to hurry back to Iloilo to attend a baptism the next morning. Raymen wasn’t Boracay, but for me, it was good enough. I’m just glad that we were able to relax and have fun with the kids.

My brother signed me up for Bo Sanchez’ weekly articles and this week he writes about difficult people in our lives.  He says God allows these people to come into our lives for a reason, that is, to give us very special gifts.  But instead of telling his readers what these gifts are, he asks us to write down what WE think these gifts are.

Well, I think that God allows difficult people in my life because He wants to give me the gift of patience.  This has never been my strong suit.  I hate waiting on people, I hate it when people don’t deliver as expected, and I hate it when people don’t use their common sense.  I easily lose my temper with people who just don’t think.  I know this is really something  I have to work on.

But then again, the more I pray for patience, the more God sends me difficult people to practice being patient on!  I know He didn’t promise that He would just change me at the snap of his fingers.  I guess when I stop seeing people as being difficult, then I will know that God has finally given me His gift of patience.

I can’t believe I’m saying this: I don’t want to go home to Bacolod! I want to stay here in Iloilo, not because I like it here more than Bacolod, but because I just want to be with Dean everyday. Having spent most of the summer here with him, I really feel that we’re a family and I want my kids to see their dad everyday. I wish I could just pack up and leave Bacolod for good so that I could be with my hubby.

But, I know I just can’t leave behind my parents in Bacolod. I know I’m being selfish if I bring the kids here for good. Nanay will probably just deteriorate, not having the kids at home. And I know Tatay will most likely get sick if I take away his beloved little engineer Enzo from him. I feel sad about not being able to spend time with Dean each day because his assignment is here in Iloilo. I don’t know how long this arrangement of ours is going to last. I don’t see a transfer to Bacolod in his current job. He has to find a different job if we would insist that he move back to Bacolod.

A few years ago, when Dean and I were just starting our married life, Nanay told me that I shouldn’t move with him because he was assigned in Roxas at that time. She said his job called for him to transfer from one place to another and it would be difficult for me to do the same. She told me that I should stay put in Bacolod and we should just find a way for him to come home as often as he could. I know that there was wisdom in what my mother told me, and much as I would want to be with Dean everyday, I know that Nanay was, and is still is, right. With two kids in tow, it would be much harder for us to keep on moving every time he gets a new assignment.

I think another reason why I really want to stay with Dean (wherever that is) is because with him around I don’t have to be the sole decision maker. I have a shock absorber, I have a ready helpmate in everything. When I get back to Bacolod, I will have to face my realities again – that my mom is still sick, that I have two kids to rear, that I have a household to manage, and that I have a career to build.  And all of these I will have to manage all at the same time.