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PERSONAL

Do I miss working onsite?

Do I miss working onsite? Yes, and no.

After IATF declared NCR to be under Alert 1, our school administration has reminded us that we are going back to report onsite anytime soon. I’ve read the memorandum thrice, and yes, it’s really happening.

We’re going back to school.

Looking back, working from home is never easy. We have to learn new apps, websites, and technologies. I’ve learned the different connections I needed to make my online classes work. I’ve familiarized myself with techy stuff like LAN, HDMI, and some websites. I’ve come up with strategies to make learning fun and exciting at the same time.

In two years, we got used to converting the traditional class set-up to a modern one.

I must say, it’s challenging. All of the adjustments really made me who I am today. (Wow ha).

Now, we are about to return onsite, I can feel all of the new transitions that we need to face. I could feel that I need to adjust my online class lesson plan to a hybrid one.

Basically, it’s like this: Traditional setup to online class to hybrid learning. I am not sure what’s gonna happen next.

Now, do I miss working onsite? YES.

I miss seeing the kids. I miss hearing their laughters. I miss singing and dancing with them. I miss interacting with them! Now, they are not just inside the square screen on MS Teams, inside the screen of my laptop. I am teaching kids face-to-face. I miss them.

Again, do I miss working onsite? PARTLY NO.

I don’t miss waking up at 4:00AM, leaving home at 5:00AM, traveling for an hour, and waiting in the faculty room for another hour. I do not miss the rainy days, and not having a choice of how do I get home comfortably without spending lots of bucks in Grab or Angkas. I do not miss the transportation system in the Philippines. I do not miss lining up and waiting for a tricycle for an hour just to get home after another hour. I just don’t miss it. I now value my hours of sleep at home, lunch with family, time with my pet, Tyni.

What have I learned after all these transitions?

After two years of working online, I think I have to practice the practicality of lesson preparation rather than a lengthy plan. I will stick with the essential, fun, and necessary. I will still continue to engage my students. I will seek more activities that will make them enjoy learning.

And that ends my Tedtalk for today, friends.

How are you? Are you working from home, onsite, or both? Let me know in the comment section! 🙂

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PERSONAL

My 2021 Gratitude List

2021 has been a productive, struggling yet meaningful year for me. For 2021, my main goal is to finish my thesis. I should have aimed for graduating instead haha. Anyway, this meme sums up my year.

This meme is so accurate. On the contrary, I am aiming for graduation in 2022. God’s willing.

In my recent Facebook status, I have posted a gratitude list. This list includes the ‘accomplishments’ I have for this year. This post is not to brag but for me to look back to the struggles I faced in order to reach for my dreams.

My 2021 Gratitude List, everyone! 🙂

#1 I am thankful for the 15+ webinars I facilitated this year. Topics include teaching strategies, creativity, creative writing, and self-love. Grateful for the wisdom, Lord. This won’t happen without the presence of my friends who first believed in me.

#2 I am thankful for God’s providence for our house renovation. The renovation lasted for three months. Huhu. Biggest investment for 2021. This took so much of my savings yet I thank God that He provided what we needed.

#3 I am thankful that I was able to defend my thesis proposal! I am hoping to defend the manuscript next semester.

#4 Self-published my book Paghilom. This includes some merch like tote bag and stickers. I was able to open a Shopee account to sell my other books, too. I received 150+ orders on Shopee and I was able to sell 250 Paghilom books. 🙂

#5 I am also thankful for the outreach we conducted for my birthday. Instead of having a celebration, I decided to distribute packs of groceries to the needy.

#6 I am grateful to be sharing tithes to three different organizations. Thankful for all the side hustles that God has given me because through these blessings, I was able to share.

#7 Soft-launched a reading class with a number of students last summer. I also tutored a student from California. (This required me to wake up at 4:00 AM) Happy experience indeed!

#8 I was a part of Write Things Summer Writing Workshops. Blessed to share my inputs to the creative writing outputs of kids and teens. Looking forward to Summer 2022! 🙂

#9 Thankful for the first draft of my thesis manuscript!!! I am blessed with supportive thesis adviser and critic readers. Mabuti ang Diyos. 🙂 I remember Wattpad days (throwback 2012) when I only write just for fun. But look at yourself, Kim, you are already writing a serious manuscript.

#10 Survived two quarters for the school year in SPCP 2021-2022. Five months to go before the SY ends! 😃

Here is my humble WFH set up. I know it is messy but it’s my everyday reality. No shame. 😀

#11 Lastly, I was able to read more than 30+ books this year despite of procrastination and full schedule. Hoping to read more than this next year.

I am so shy to post these things but then, my friends told me that it is important to be grateful to the little and big accomplishments in life.

Sa totoo lang, bago ko lahat nagawa ito, andami ko ring sleepless nights, pag-aalinlangan, at gastos. Hahe. Mas marami rin akong struggles lalo na sa tuwing nagkakasakit si Lola pero syempre hindi siya nakikita ng tao sa social media. Hehe. Hindi rin posted yung 100x kaba ko before the proposal defense. Hindi rin halata yung 100x na doubts bago ako magpa-print ng sariling libro.

I am blessed because God gives me the strength to carry on. Hindi biro ang year na ito. Mentally and physically exhausting pero my family and I were able to manage in God’s grace.

Looking forward to Sablay next semester with no delays please. Manifesting!

How was your year? May you have a meaningful 2022, friends. Know that somebody out there is rooting for you and your success! Laban! Padayon!

Tyni (my shih tzu) and I are wishing you a blessed new year! God bless, friends!
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PERSONAL

An open letter to my 18-year-old self

Hello, 18-year-old self,

I am writing this letter in the future. Now, you are busy preparing your debut. Know that I am so excited for you, too. Birthdays remind us that life is beautiful that we should spend one day (at least) to pause and be grateful of what has happened in your life. I know that you love celebrating your birthday because you do it with your friends and loved ones.

Here’s what’s gonna happen ten years after your debut. Spoiler alert! Are you ready? Here we go.

First, Most of the ‘friends’ that you celebrated your debut won’t be with you after a decade. But, here’s the thing. After ten years, you will choose to stick with the people who are true to you. Your selected high school friends will stay. Your college clique with still be with you after ten years. Your best friends will stay! You will meet new friends in the diocese where you are serving. You will meet someone who will accept you, your imperfections, and baggages in life.

Next, your dream of becoming a teacher will come true. In ten years, you will pass the board exam. You will be hired in one of the most prestigious private schools in Pasig. You will be teaching Creative Writing to kids and teens. You will enjoy giving seminar, workshops, and trainings to your fellow educators. I know, you won’t believe me because when you were 18, your English professor told you that your grammar is problematic. Okay lang ‘yan. In ten years, you will learn how to handle the classes, to deal with parents, and to communicate with your immediate superiors.

Don’t expect that everything will be smooth-sailing. Life after college is the most challenging once. Bills, online shopping, and your luho will be your main concerns. 😀

Then, in ten years, you will be writing your 13th book. That book is your manuscript for your thesis. On your 28th birthday, you will be busy reading and editing and revising your manuscript because you need to defend it in two months. Your schedule will be hectic because you try to do everything at the same time. That is okay. You are doing well. Sometimes, you sacrifice sleep just to do everything at once. Hehe.

After ten years, you still have a hard time saying no to your friends. But you are trying.

And 18-year-old Kim, you won’t have the house, car, and dream salary that you have imagined. Life is difficult after ten years because during the peak of your life, you will be experiencing Philippines under a pandemic. It’s even worst because the president at that time can’t even help you out. So far, I can see you surviving. You choose to find ways to be happy. You spend more time with the people who matter most.

I am so proud of you because you are always generous of your time for others. You listen to them. You make sure to find time for them. You never fail to let them feel that they are important. You do all these through your writing.

Dear Kim, as you read this letter, know that there are people who will always show their love and concern for you. Keep going. Padayon. Don’t forget to rest.

May you enjoy life.

Sincerely,

Kim