Saturday, June 21, 2008

Mga Ibong Mandaragit

Much has been said already about a certain blogger's dismissal/complaint (?) of Amado V. Hernandez' novel, Mga Ibong Mandaragit, and the reactions it generated in the blogging world and the news.

Suffice it to say, I found it a lesson in humility... and tolerance.

But one upside of the brouhaha is that a new blog was born. Ibong Mandaragit, as a blog, hopes to bring the novel, written half a century ago, to the techie-driven man of today. It purports to make a 'hard' read accessible, relevant and maybe even fun.

Hopefully, other classic Philippine literature lovers will follow suit. I will admit that the most classic I love reading are Lualhati Bautista's novels, and I don't think she's in AVH's league just yet.

Wednesday, June 18, 2008

my application essay

I have always wanted to be in the academe world, with teaching a long-term, lifelong goal. I got sidetracked along the way however.

I decided to please my mother by working for the government after graduation. I did start taking up masteral studies in PNU (Master of Arts in Education – Educational Measurement and Evaluation) to pass the time and stay in a teaching-learning environment but my heart was not in the course. I will admit I only chose the course because I didn’t know at the time what to major in.

Then I got caught up in the travelling my work required.

In 2004, I realized I missed the academe and decided to dabble in part-time teaching. I taught two subjects in the City College of Manila for a semester. I realized that I had been away from any school setting for so long that preparing for my classes was doubly hard. I wanted to be an authority, or at least THE authority during class, which I wasn’t then because I had much re-learning to do myself.

Now, I am ready to start from the beginning, with better-defined goals for myself. I am currently a SAHM (stay-at-home Mom), a decision made to invest in my child’s first years as well as invest in my education. I want to specialize in non-formal education in the long-term because I am planning to homeschool my children. I chose Master of Distance Education from among the UPOU offerings because it is a mode of delivery in non-formal education. I was initially planning to take up the Online Teaching and Learning Course but since it would require online time at certain times, which I might not be able to observe due to family plans for the year and by virtue of my son still being a baby, I thought Master of Distance Education is the wiser choice for now.

Going back to school is something I expect to humble me a lot at first, and then give me back my confidence in the potentials I can offer. Going back to school through UP’s Open University will also allow me to learn at home, where I can still raise my son firsthand. I also expect that learning at home will give me a better understanding of what homeschooling my kids will require, in terms of motivation and utilizing all available teaching/learning aids. Distance education is also very convenient for my family right now because we have plans of living outside Manila, or living an expat life.

After majoring in this course, I intend to still take up the Online Teaching and Learning course. Maybe I will even seek a PhD. When my kids are already grown, I also intend to go back to teaching. It is a dream to encourage education even from far away, and come up with instructional materials that children from far-flung areas can greatly benefit from.

I also believe that non-formal education, in connection with technology, is the biggest and most important educational thrust for these modern times. Distance education not only offers cheaper solutions to literacy problems in barrios and impoverished areas, it also allows other children to study in their own homes, at their own pace, away from overcrowded classrooms and underpaid, non-motivated mentors.