I decided to swallow my pride, stop ranting and be more patient with my older students, who are notorious for complaining about their grades. With eyes closed, I gave them the highest grade so that they wouldn't bug the living daylights out of me. I feel that I'm compromising what I believe in, but, I have no choice.

Aside from rectifying the grades, I have to stay. Stay. S-T-A-Y. Rinse. Repeat. Ok, this is another neuro-muscle that I need to flex. I need to inject this word into my system again. For someone who's always been left behind and now used to leaving, too, this is going to be a tough call.

Perhaps, there's no other way but to do this and it's part of my training for my next exam.

*                                                                     *                                                           *

On the penultimate day of family week, we had randomly travelled to a nearby province and met a long-time family friend who was in a financial slump and is undergoing dialysis treatment. In a nutshell, he was able to share that he had to ask his daughter to stop studying because he couldn't afford it anymore and he's worried that if she cannot continue her education, she will not be able to find a job if he would eventually pass away. I told him then that I could let him meet one of the school officials in charge of the Alternative Learning System once the new year rolled in.

Fast forward. He sends a text message to my sister asking if we could meet up after his dialysis treatment. Since my sister had a class, I volunteered to take him and good thing my dad also said that he'll come with us. So we finally met the department head and it was obvious that he felt that he really needed to help our friend's daughter not only by offering her the 10-month system for free and a job as his student assistant if she passes the exam. It was a relief for our family friend that his daughter could study, take the exam and hopefully pass to be able to skip a few year levels and go directly to college/university or work, if she should choose this option. 

After the meeting, I treated them to lunch before they went back to the province. It felt really great to be able to help them out. My dad said that he really pitied our family friend since the latter used to be really rich, as his family used to own a chain of supermarkets. Well, life is like a wheel, sometimes you're on top and sometimes you're not. And so the wheel turns...



I can't sleep. I need to be up in a few hours, but, I can't will my mind to shutdown. I need to talk to someone. I want to talk to my bestfriend who's awake at the other side of the world, but, I feel like our conversation would turn into an argument and I'm the jerk for ranting about wanting to quit my teaching job.

The only thing that irritates me so much is that after agreeing to rectify the grades of my graduate students, compromising my syllabus to cater to what they want and what they could only learn, I'm still seen as the bad guy. 

I had placed myself in their shoes. Check. I asked questions if they have further questions. Check. I am willing to lower my standards. Check. I asked them directly for feedback or complaints. Check. Then why the heck are they complaining that I'm too strict?

I hate it when other people think that I'm not understanding enough. Not nice enough. Not accommodating enough. In the end, I'm the one who gets stepped on. And, I guess they wouldn't believe the process that I have to go through to make myself numb and teach them the foreign language that is akin to stepping on shards of glass. Blame my brain for automatic inferencing and memory retrieval. Blame my brain for connecting the painful memories from one person and equating that with the language spoken of the latter. I had to train my neurons, axons and dendrites to create new pathways that would compartmentalize my emotions, but, it has left me drained.

Of course I cannot tell my students that there is an added pressure on my part not to tap into specific areas of my memory that are triggered by the symbols of the language I teach. Damn you, Barthes! Damn you, Derrida! I have erased you, I am erasing you, but, your traces remain. And when I thought that by teaching, I could desensitize myself, I was wrong. 

Gah, it feels so awkward to have soliloquies at midnight. 

"Pray thee tell, what is your wish, O self?" 

"I wish to turn my back at my students and leave them to the elements. I am no stranger to the art of leaving--I, being left behind too many times I've lost count."

"Do you not ponder on the repercussions of your hastiness?"

"Alas, I have. Alea iacta est. I have decided to hand in my resignation letter knowing fully well that I am standing up for honor and the knowledge that I am right."

"What about compromise?"

"What compromise? I have compromised and yet, I am still charged as an uncompromising villainess. They are a burden and they have hurt me. I do not wish to prolong the agony of pain."

"Aha! You are a slave to your emotions!"

"True. You and I succumb to the throes of rage, pain and fear. I no longer want to continue this discourse. The Land of Nod beckons."

*                                                                         *                                                            *

Please reset. Come on, neurons. Re...



When you think of giving up, think about the _______ you're purchasing soon. 
When you think about about slipping, think about the _______ you'll be giving up in exchange for a piece of crap.
When you think about renouncing everything you believed in, think about the _________ waiting for you next year.

You did not lose. Be grateful for the strength to fight. 
The universe is in your favor. You will not falter.

Justice will be served soon.

It will be worth the tears.
It will be worth the pain.
It will be worth the wait.

It will be worth it. 

It is worth it.


Embracing Pain

For someone who badly needs a hug, tonight was just awkward. Sure, it's the first time that I met a really long-time online friend and it would be normal to give him a friendly hug. I think he sensed this apprehension although I was really my bubbly and very accommodating self--but with a little mask on.

Ok, maybe there's this unwritten code of respect that I want him to feel especially since I know that his gf is also on my fb list, though we're not really close. I'm not even the slightest attracted to my friend, his brother, yes, ages ago, but, now he has a gf, too--but why can't I hug him? 

What's wrong with me?!!!?! I got myself some homemade cookies he baked himself and the calligraphy set that I requested (and my gift for passing one of my exams) but, the best reaction (genuine, of course) that I gave were my eyes lighting up and really smiling and thanking him for the pasalubong

For someone who's used to giving big, tight hugs, I'm disappointed with myself.

Am I this scarred? Am I this scared? Damn, this is my long-time buddy! And I'm crying now because I know that this impediment will crop up in my upcoming exam. I don't know if I could wriggle my way out of a shrink or the diagnostic test that would determine if I'm going to be fit to work for the job of my dreams. I'm crying, too, because I never knew how hurt I was until now. How much I've been keeping this pain for so long, how long I've been pretending that I'm ok. 

I need to heal faster. I need to forget completely. I need to get over this. And hopefully, next time, my muscles will be ready to hug again, just like when I forced myself to practice writing in cursive everyday. Just like when I learned how to ride a bike. Every bruise was a badge knowing that I would be able to pedal myself in a new city soon. If I went through all that, I know I could train myself to wrap myself around another person without feeling numb or feeling awkward or feeling the pain.



Decluttering my mind.

80% done with my pedagogical requirements (long exams and essay-checking + grade sheets).

40% finished with data collection for two majors: translation and historical documents dating back more than 300 years. No need to hop over the SIL Library for related literature.

60% done with ongoing online classes. Essays + quizzes = Verified Certificates!

35% prepared for one of the most gruelling weeks of my life. I don't think I'll be sleeping much soon though I need to (Colds and flu go away, don't come back another day. Ever.). Focus. Breathe. Focus. Read. Read. READ.

45% done with emailing clients. I'm grateful that my NY boss was cool enough to send moolah for a new MacBook Air. I guess he really liked my vibe and my transparency with the funds he wired. I'm just waiting until February is over. Also, I can't believe that in the span of time that we worked for him, he was able to sense that my sister and I are such a rare package and allowed us to work on another project. Can't wait to move out...

20% recruitment drive activated. Follow-ups. More "kulit" (haven't used this word in ages!).

30% done with preparations for my grandma's visit! I just need the phone/WiFi to be installed in her condo unit so we could telecommute there.

25% ready for Justin's visit. Weird that my concept-selling tactic (trying to sell him a condo unit some years back) just worked this year, when he finally convinced his boss that working in the tropics in December is a good idea. So yeah, that translates into a month of lazing around the southern island of Palawan. Will just help him with techie stuff, his visa extension and prolly tour him around the city.

95% helping out with the expenses at home, especially since Dad's been sick and had been undergoing physical therapy the past few weeks. 

90% working on forgiveness. I hope that when I finally reach 100%, I won't hurt anymore. 


Distracted Lucy

Almost a week left before finals. Checking students' essays on geopolitics and history could be tedious especially for a certified grammarnazi. Let me indulge in some temporary albeit superficial mushiness. If only there was someone to make me remember all the things I forced myself to forget. 



The contents of this post might be offensive or gross to some readers. Reader discretion is advised.


Having friends from all walks of life and hearing their stories have sometimes fascinated me or sometimes, they would leave me with an unshakeable recoil.

One such story was that of a close friend whose boyfriend raped the younger sister of her friend. She broke up with the guy just a few days before he incident, as the latter was being too manipulative and has not stopped being a pathological liar. My friend could no longer take it and broke up with him for the nth time.

After two days, he messaged her saying that he needed a place to stay. Turns out, he wanted to use my friend as an alibi for the rape he committed. Since my friend turned him down, he then contacted his other ex, who gladly took him in.

It was only two days after the incident when my friend finally knew about the crime. Being the feminist that she is, she gathered her closest friends and lawyers to look into the case since the victim and her family chose not to file a complaint. My friend wanted to take justice into her hands somehow. 

For days she felt like vomiting. Her body was trying to cleanse itself from the filth. From him. She had realized that she too, was raped. The many times that she said "No" that turned to "Yes", made her feel that the girl did say "No" but her ex didn't stop. She was awash with guilt. She had felt that it was her fault.

I had to personally tell her that it wasn't. When she called and cried at the other end of the line, I knew I had to see her. And I did. Even if it was late. Even if it was drizzling. Even if her neighborhood was teeming with weird-looking bystanders. Even if my mother was worried sick that I'm past curfew. I had to. 

I gave her a hug. She needed it. She ranted. She didn't cry though. It was over before I came. The storm had passed. I was moonshine.


Another friend spoke of her friend who once picked up a prostitute. That one night of lust bore him an itch he couldn't scratch. On the fortnight, he found out that pubic lice had infested his groin. He shaved. He placed raw meat near his shaft so the little critters wouldn't attack his genitals. The lice just multiplied.

He had to seek medical help, but, it took him almost a year to eradicate the infestation. The doctor said that the disease is just temporarily dormant for now as he now has it for life. Call it screwed. Get it? Ok, I guess I'm the only one who appreciates my morbidly, sarcastic punning. 

I am disturbed by these images. Traumatized. My graphic mind is going overdrive at 2am and I just need to write these down. I cringe and these lines from Winterson take on a new meaning for me, "Forget that you've been here before in other bedrooms in other places. Come to me new." If I have to screen potential mates like an underwriter, I would. It's not like I'm comparing stocks, no? This is someone I'll prolly wake up to every morning for the rest of my life. Someone who'd participate in cross-breeding new offspring. I have to be sure that he has a clean bill of health. I don't want complications or AIDS. I don't want my temple to be desecrated with filth. Sancto sanctorum.

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