Skip to main content

End of term!

For someone involved in the teaching business, this is the worse time of the year and it happens twice or even thrice (if you get to teach summer session) in a single year. The end-of-term has arrived! Here I have to deal with marking a heap of student essays, creative projects and all that! Marking exams is just an icing on the cake as the cliche goes.

And this leads to some asking why I insist on giving essays and projects and not just stick with objective-type exams. It is a matter of trying to see what's inside a student's mind.

Objective type exams can really only assess what the student has learned (or memorised) and if properly constructed may give a glimpse of how a student thinks. But this isn't enough, a teacher will have to find out how much a student has changed in a semester.

The essays and projects also teach me how to become a much better writer. Not a few students are excellent.

A teacher is only in the business of opening minds. Filling in minds is something that only a student does.

And to top this stress filled time, I just heard that a junior instructor in the university had a breakdown after getting bad assessments from superiors. Well one thing is sure, the whole teaching business is like show biz since day in and day out, one has to perform. Not even actors and actresses are expected to perform with this level of frequency. So how can you keep your sanity?

Well one thing is never in doubt. Don't take teaching too seriously. It is everything about life and like life, it need not be taken seriously at all times. Then it becomes fun.

And so when the creative projects are presented, all have a laugh.

And I'll never get any teaching award ever. Having students come to me years later telling how their view of nature and the world has changed and thus their lives too (since I was once their prof) is enough.


Popular posts from this blog

President Manuel Luis Quezon's Code of Ethics

Being a denizen of Kyusi, in honour of the man who gave my city its name and for being the most colourful prez the Philippines ever had, I have the pleasure to post Manuel L Quezon's Code of Ethics on his birthday. Let us profit from the wisdom of the Kastila.

1. Have Faith in the Divine Providence that guides the destinies of men and nations.

2. Love your country for it is the home of your people, the seat of your affection and the source of your happiness and well-being. It's defense is your primary duty. Be ready to sacrifice and die for it if necessary.

3. Respect the Constitution which is the expression of your sovereign will. The government is your government. It has been established for your safety and welfare. Obey the laws and see that they are observed by all and that public officials comply with their duties.

4. Pay your taxes willingly and promptly. Citizenship implies not only rights but obligations.

5. Safeguard the purity of suffrage and abide by the decisions of the…

Simoun's lamp has been lit, finally.. not by one but by the many!

"So often have we been haunted by the spectre of subversion which, with some fostering, has come to be a positive and real being, whose very name steals our serenity and makes us commit the greatest blunders... If before the reality, instead of changing the fear of one is increased, and the confusion of the other is exacerbated, then they must be left in the hands of time..."
Dr Jose Rizal "To the Filipino People and their Government"
Jose Rizal dominates the Luneta, which is sacred to the Philippine nation as a place of martyrdom. And many perhaps all of those executed in the Luneta, with the exception of the three Filipino secular priests martyred in 1872, have read Rizal's El Filibusterismo. Dr Rizal's second novel is a darker and more sinister one that its prequel but has much significance across the century and more after it was published for it preaches the need for revolution with caveats,  which are when the time is right and who will instigate it.

Flame trees in bloom

The hottest summer courtesy of El Nino in at least 10 years gave runners and walkers in the University of the Philippines Diliman campus a visual treat. This year the flame trees Delonix regia are in full bloom!
In past summers it wasn't as hot and dry so the trees did not shed their leaves and few blooms were produced.
It is the tropical version of the Japanese Hanami or the Cherry blossom viewing season. While Hanami tells us the fragile impermanence of beauty, the flame tree hanami tells us that summer burns but soon it will all be over.