Vissi d'arte

from lullaby to requiem

Friday, June 10, 2005

My First Week....

OH MY GO------- (ala Jack from Will & Grace)

I did not anticipate, in any way, that teaching two subjects would be FAR FAR FAR FAR FAR FAR more difficult than taking 6 courses all at the same time! And it;'s only my first week!! I haven't even memorized any of my students' names (well, I know a couple), and already I'm exhausted! The early hours that last until late in the afternoon, the tons and tons of books that I've had photocopied - all of which I will eventually have to read, faculty meetings, etc. etc. etc. HAAAAAAAAAAYYYYYYYY... sana ma-carry ko ito! >.<

My first week was fabulous, except for the fact that it was very, very tiring! We started last Tuesday (June 7), so I met my first class then: Comm3 (Speech Comm), sophomores from Occupational Therapy (still confused about the difference of OT and PT, but what the hey). They were SOOOOOOOOOOO silent. I still don't know if it was me, or if they were just really pretending to be quiet. They were nice though.... still, I saw a group of them chatting animatedly in the corridors near the photocopy machine (where I was having one of my many reference books photocopied) on my way to the canteen (to buy COFFEEEEEE), while I passed they simply stopped talking, and smiled at me (I could swear I saw one of the girls staring intently at the floor). It was like some delubio was passing, they fell so silent, for a few seconds all I could hear was the squeaking noise from the photocopy machine. Weird...

Then there are my freshies... Endearing really. As I entered the room of my first Comm1 class, I was planning on sitting behind everyone, and observing them, while pretending to be a student. Didn't work! The moment I opened the door, the girls sitting in the front row stood up to greet me a good morning. They actually stood up.... I have NEVER seen UP students stand to greet teachers - ever! That was an experience; I immediately told them to sit and said that this was UP, no one stands to greet professors, or to answer their questions, needless to say, no one asks permission to go to the bathroom.

My next class was in a galaxy far, far away -the College of Pharmacy in Pedro Gil, right behind the College of Medicine and PGH. MY GOD!!! It takes 15 mins of brisk walking to get there, and my room is on the 4th floor!!! I walked there the first time with Ms. Jackie Lumain, also a Comm1 teacher - we're actually handling the same block (split into two). Dios me!! Pagdating namin dun, hagard na ang mga lola nyo!! So you can probabl;y imagine me sitting behind a big lab desk in front fanning myself and catching my breath while students tried to discern if I was a boy or a girl. Fortunately, of all my classes this IP block feels most homey for me. They kinda remind me of my own block when I was a freshman. I know it;'s not proper to play favorites, but this class seemed very bibo and talky, unlike my other very, very silent angelic classes.

By my third class, I'd mastered my intro script, delivered it rather robotically, ran down through the syllabus and requirements (still not final... note to self: FINISH THIS BEFORE TUESDAY!!!)... Wait, I'm being distracted by Pizza and Tina Turner's Burn baby Burn (Disco Inferno)

Anyway... where was I? Right... too tired, blah blah blah... The normal load for an instructor would be 12 units, that four three-unit courses. So basically I had 3 comm1 classes, and 1 comm3 class. Then... Maam Adeva, the Dept Chair came to sit with Burn and me (Burn's a blockmate of mine who's also starting to teach this year - he's handling comm3 classes) while we were having lunch yesterday. She said that another speech elective had opened and that Ms, Carol Pulumbarit (my former speech professor) would not be able to handle another comm3 class because she'll be handling the new elective. So Maam Adeva asked which of us would be willing to take that class and get an overload... Burn didn't seem to inclined to take it, so I said I'd be willing to take it - increasing my workload to 5 classes, 15 units, and approximately 100 students.

OH MY GOD.... *freaks out* I have students *more freaking out* I am a T.E.A.C.H.E.R *faints...

I still can't believe I'm actually handling classes - I mean, I'm just a kid, why should these other kids listen to me lecturing on and on about the parts of a speech, correcting them every so often because of mispronounced words and incoherent sentences, giving them homework, excercises, and making them do silly themes like their first DIAGNOSTIC theme: how I spent my summer (THE ABSOLUTE LAMEST idea I've had for a theme, I just really wanted their first theme to come out naturally, requiring the most minimal and basic skills so I could guage their writing abilities)....

Well... I just hope that my next excercises and themes and speeches won't be so lame... god help me if the other faculty actually hear about my lame 'how i spent my summer' diagnostic... *blush

Monday, June 06, 2005

Job Hunting 101 – not quite…

Ok, so I just graduated from college – I now hold a degree in Organizational Communication. If there’s one thing I learned in my four years of college – Organizational communication is the creation and exchange of messages within a network of interdependent units to cope with environmental uncertainty (Goldhaber, 1950?)… At least you won’t have to post tags in my tagboard asking me what OrCom is.

OrCom (in UP at least) is inclined towards the corporate world. Students are trained to become PR people, Advertisers, Researchers, Business and Management Consultants, CEOs, HR people, Corporate trainers, Entrepreneurs, etc, etc, etc… I, on the other hand, want very little to do with the cutthroat corporate industries – my sweet, lovable nature won’t survive the brutalities of office life, either that or I may just become the corporate kontrabida, as described by the author of one of the best thesis winners of my batch. Either way, I knew early on that I was in the wrong course – I really did not (and do not) want to go corporate. So why did I stay on?? I could have shifted to, perhaps, Theatre Arts, or Speech Path (?), or Comp Lit, or even Education. Why did I stick to OrCom for four years??? Because I love what was being taught to us – the theories of management, public speaking, organizational change and dynamics, public relations and advertising (ok so we didn’t really have an advertising course, but advertising came up in at least three major courses), and research among other things. These things really interested me, but the actual practice made my stomach turn just a little.

So now that I’m actually out of college, I miss my college life… Bumming around for the past month or so did nothing for me – just a little time for me to rest. It reminded me of the icky feeling I kept getting when I was still working on my thesis. For a few days, my heart would be peaceful and calm and serene (the closest I could describe as happy, really)… But I knew that this was only a short reprieve – the calm before the storm. That’s how I could describe my past summer. Complete and total calm… waiting for a raging tempest.

So I tried applying for a couple of jobs – two call centers, and a couple of online applications (which have remained silent until now). The call center options were my fallback – if nothing would push through, at least I wouldn’t be bumming around for the next year or so, and I would earn lots of money! Hihi! I expected that when we got out of college, companies left and right would be handing us invites and high-paying jobs… Where the hell did those companies go??? Was I supposed to come to them so they could offer me a low-position, low-paying job? Ha!! As if… See why I don’t belong in the corporate world? I’m too arrogant to work for anyone who probably barely graduated, someone who’s not a Latina like me (Si Darcy nagsabi sa kin latina daw aku, hihi!). I just finished reading The Devil Wears Prada so I really did not want to work for a Miranda Priestly – to say the very least, I wanted to be Miranda Priestly (I think it suits me more! To be the one barking out orders and going to meetings, rather than be the one to whom orders are barked, and hurriedly taking notes at meetings)

The only people I really respect (aside from rags-to-riches CEOs who apparently manage to remain human) are the ones in the academe. The people who educated me, people whom I KNOW know more than me. So I applied for a position in UPM – CAS – DAC. The University of the Philippines Manila, College of Arts and Sciences, Department of Arts and Communication – 2nd floor, Rizal Hall, Padre Faura Street, Ermita, Manila (baliktada ata ung address, dapat una yung Dept, tapos College, tapos UPM, tapos street etc! hihi!) Anyway, to my surprise, they let me in!!

About 20 minutes after my demo and a few hours before I went to Puerto Galera (there should be another blog entry bout this pero I’m too lazy, hihihi!), Maam Alice Adeva (the youngest DAC chair so far, I think) told me that they’ve decided to accept my application – even after the most horrid demo – I was too nervous, I kept loosing my words and stuttering. So now, I am an Instructor 2 – handling two subjects and four classes. Three of them are probably freshmen, the other one is open.

For the freshies, I’ll be handling Communication I – mostly reading into writing, and vice versa. I have three classes of those: MTH 8:30-10, 11:30-1, and 2:30-4. So I have an hour-and-a-half to spend as my consultation hours in between my classes. On Tuesdays and Fridays, I only have 1 class: Comm 3 – Speech Comm, 8:30-10am. Hihihi! I have to admit, I really wanted to teach comm3 at first, but when I applied someone had already gotten the comm3 spot, so they gave me comm1, which is okay with me. The person who got the comm3 spot quit after learning about the pay… Enter Burn Bernadas, who was my blockmate and classmate in college. They gave him the comm3 spots left by the sell-out (sorry, couldn’t help myself!). For some reason, Maam Adeva gave me one of the Comm3 spots, so there you go…

I still can’t believe that they’re letting me teach 4 classes!! I couldn’t believe they let me in the Dept in the first place, so the thought of handling actual students makes me a little light headed. Nevertheless, I am prepared to slave day and night over papers and quizzes, and speeches. It’s a good thing that we had a faculty meeting last Friday (hahahaha!!! Can you believe it! I was PART of an ACTUAL FACULTY MEETING!!!) Of course most of the time, I just sat in my seat listening and smiling at people who used to be my professors and are now my colleagues (hihihi!). It’s a little weird, that’s all. But it’s a good kind of weird.

The professors are really nice. It was like attending a meeting in college – puro ka-kulitan! Si sir Rex Paras (linguistics), constantly teasing Ms Pam Yu (my former comm2 prof), si Maam Adeva looking a bit lost as two older faculty members argued over the merits of an already passed bill mandating all professors to be published authors before acquiring their tenure. Prof. Angela Sarile (the self-proclaimed grandmother of OrCom, aka. its founder, aka. the one who actually brought OrCom to the Philippines and sold it to the both La Salle and UP changing its focus DRASTICALLY from one focusing on advertising and visual communication to one that focuses on the higher, managerial aspects of organizations)… where was I?? Oh right, prof. Sarile probably saw the worried faces Burn and I were making, she interrupted the two senior faculty telling Burn and me to not be disheartened, because we still had 5-7 years to complete this requirement. I like her a lot!! She really is like a grandmother… to everyone! Of course, it helps that my own lola used to be the chair of the English Dept of SBC-CAS; Prof. Sarile just gives off the same aura as my lola, she’s younger of course, and she drives a stick, so she’s cooler than my lola, who was an old-school terror prof (my idol! Hihihi!).

On to my syllabus!! Hihihi!! I still hadn’t met with the Comm1 committee coordinator, so still no final syllabus on that. Anyway, I won’t be meeting my freshies until Thursday, so plenty of time to finalize a syllabus. For Comm3, we met right after the faculty meeting. It was sort of an orientation for Burn and me, we had Ms. Carol Pulumbarit (public speaking, and my thesis panelist), Maam Adeva, Prof. Sarile, & Sir Beaver Flores (audio-visual comm.! Weee!!). It was fun, sharing their teaching strats, their grading systems, and various experiences. So, for my syllabus, I got a copy of Maam Adeva’s (since she handled my comm3 class in college) and changed it slightly – most changes came with the requirements and the grading system really. She used to have 60%-40% oral and written reqs, I made it 70%-30%, this is, after all, speech communication. Hihi!

Anyway, I’ve lost track of what I wanted to put in this blog, so I’ll just stop now. I think you’ll see most of my entries end abruptly, hihihi! I’m really excited about this teaching gig, classes start tomorrow, but all the freshies will be at their University Orientation, so only the sophies, juniors, and seniors will be there. Traditionally, professors don’t come in on the first day of class. But I will – because I’ll immediately be giving a lecturette on speech-making and speech-presentation. On Friday, when I meet my class next, they will have to give a three-minute impromptu speech in class, on the topic: introduce yourself to Madame… hihihi! ^_^

PS. I NEED HELP!!! Does anyone know how to solve game # 178 of Freecell, I’ve been going through all the games from 1-178, I’ve solved everyone of them, except for 178, so I can’t move on to 179… /sob