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30 March 2012

Graduation Season

'Tis the season for medals, ribbons, caps and gowns in the Philippines!

A cousin's son finished kindergarten and took home many awards, the niece I talked about in a previous post wore the graduation gift I sent her and posted photos on Facebook. I wanted to steal one to show off here but decided against it (lol).

On moving up day CJ got a ribbon for being most obedient. I was more amused than impressed. At home CJ could be quite difficult to handle when it comes to obeying but my mother and I thought it was better not to contradict the teacher :).  Over at my faculty a Business Administration graduating class gave me a basketful of 'thank you' gift. The medal is CJ's. He got it while attending K1 in Bangkok.

More happy stuff - Mother hosts dinner for nephews and nieces who are on school break, a nephew's girlfriend gives birth, and CJ socializes with his cousins - which is big deal to me considering his developmental issues. The therapy sessions must be working and I am getting my money's worth.

With Father gone, and I, absent from home 99% of the year, besides being an only child with an only child and without a husband - I really get excited when cousins and their families visit us. Our empty nest comes to life with food and chatter.


This post is shared with Happiness is..., Mommy Moments and Color Connection.


29 March 2012

Relating

In this post: Booking Through Thursday and Thursday Thirteen


Are there any fictional characters whom you have emulated (or tried to)?             Who and why?


Nowadays, none. But as a kid I was all over Nancy Drew from the first time I got my hands on Clue in the Crumbling Wall.  In many ways ridiculous, but I could relate. Her dad never seemed to be home - mine came home once a month. She was surrounded by people who instantly responded to her - my father's side of the family showered me with lots of attention. Possible attribution here is I'm an only child, kind of usually got what I wanted, things like those. Perhaps I unknowingly behaved like Nancy Drew at times as I always had fun imagining I was her in those adventures she did.

What literary character do you feel is most like you personality-wise (explain)?



Now this is interesting. I once took a Harry Potter personality test for fun and emerged as Mad Eye Moody whose profile goes like this:



Noble yet ruthless. Brilliant with a twist of insanity. Excellent wizard who became the most feared dark wizard catcher. While not as moral as Dumbledore, he is just as honest with the same essential values.



As a Jane Austen fan I am unable to resist "which Austen heroine are you?" so I took the test too and results show I am Marianne Dashwood.

I wrote a research proposal on integrative complexity of four Asian leaders during terrorist crises to the University of Copenhagen. It's fun to be curious. The feedback was very positive.

Whatever makes me brilliant, ruthless, insane one minute and all lovey-dovey sensibility the next?
No voice divine the storm allayed, no light propitious shone ... to love is to burn! to be on fire! *clutching heart*

This stuff makes me laugh and frown at some parts I can't believe but I took those tests, and although they were just for fun, what and where else could I have based my answers on? Quite entertaining.

Thursday 13: Classes for Women at the Adult Learning Center



A friend sent this to me.  There were only 12. I added the 13th, or if you have a better idea I'd like to hear it.


NOTE: DUE TO THE COMPLEXITY AND DIFFICULTY LEVEL OF THEIR CONTENTS, CLASS SIZES WILL BE LIMITED TO 8 PARTICIPANTS MAXIMUM.

Class 1. Up in Winter, Down in Summer - How to Adjust a Thermostat
Slide Presentation. Meets 4 weeks, Mon and Wed for 2 hrs.


Class 2. Which Takes More Energy - Putting the Toilet Seat Down, or Moaning About It for 3 Hours? Round Table Discussion. Meets 2 weeks, Sat 12:00 for 2 hours.

Class 3. Is It Possible To Drive Past a Marks & Spencer Without Stopping?               Group Debate. Meets 4 weeks, Saturday 10:00 PM for 2 hours.

Class 4. Fundamental Differences Between a Purse and a Suitcase -Pictures and Explanatory Graphics. Meets Saturdays at 2:00 PM for 3 weeks.

Class 5. Curling Irons-Can They Levitate and Fly Into The Bathroom Cabinet?
Examples on Video. Meets 4 weeks, Tuesday and Thursday for 2 hours 

Class 6. Help Line Support and Support Groups. Meets 4 weeks, Fri and Sun 7:PM

Class 7. Can a Bath Be Taken Without 14 Different Kinds of Soaps and Shampoos?
Open Forum. Monday at 8:00 PM, 2 hours.

Class 8. Health Watch--They Make Medicine for PMS - USE IT!
Three nights; Monday, Wednesday, Friday at 7:00 PM for 2 hours.

Class 9. I Was Wrong and He Was Right!--Real Life Testimonials.
Tuesdays at 6:00 PM Location to be determined.

Class 10. How to Parallel Park In Less Than 20 Minutes Without an Insurance Claim
Driving Simulations. 4 weeks, Saturday's noon, 2 hours.

Class 11. Learning to Live-How to Apply Brakes Without Throwing Passengers Through the Windshield. Tuesdays at 7:00 PM, location to be determined

Class 12. How to Shop by Yourself
Meets 4 weeks, Tuesday and Thursday for 2 hours beginning at 7:00 PM.

Class 13. Sympathy v. Solution: what to offer friends in trouble. Serious lecture.  Meets 4 weeks, Monday and Tuesday for 2 hours beginning at 5:00 PM.

Upon completion of ANY of the above courses, diplomas will be issued to the survivors.

28 March 2012

Kinesics


Certainly, there was some deep meaning in it, most worthy of interpretation, and which, as it were, streamed forth from the mystic symbol, subtly communicating itself to my sensibilities, but evading the analysis of my mind. --Nathaniel Hawthorne, The Scarlet Letter (1850)



Put simply, kinesics refers to body position and motion including those of the face.  It is a form of nonverbal communication people use to establish relationships, and express personal identity and cultural values.


Does Hitler's Nazi salute come to mind, for example?

Right here in my part of the world kinesics are abundant in cultural communications. Thailand is a society where fewer words are spoken. The wai is used to convey many meanings.  In my early days in Bangkok I saw two cars sideswipe each other. When drivers came out of their vehicles to sort out the accident, the first thing I saw they did was not an exchange of words but a wai. The same kind of accident may warrant kinesics in other countries but probably in a form of jabs or kicks. I know of one country; saw such body motions in a similar road situation with my own eyes.

[caption id="attachment_10261" align="aligncenter" width="300"] The Wai. Courtesy of Google Images.[/caption]

In a different context people may use kicks and hand gestures to chide someone, 'you're annoying in an amusing way.'

Ted Conover's book, Coyotes: A Journey Through the Secret World of America's Illegal Aliens (1987), discusses body motions as strategies used to influence others' perception. Mexican workers who enter the US illegally were taught how to walk nonchalantly or control furtive eye movements in order to avoid calling attention to themselves, which can reduce chances of getting caught.

Teachers know which students are likely to answer a question in class, by their facial expression. Those who do not want to interact may look away.

This difficult-to-feed kiddo communicates his low enthusiasm for eating by rolling his eyes over and over and using his fingers to seal his lips: I don't like to eat and I won't negotiate.



Somewhere in films or for some, in real situations, have you noticed attorneys rolling their eyes or looking at their watches? Some may even stifle a yawn conspicuously.  They are deliberate actions employed to suggest that a witness is lying or the opposition's argument is boring or ridiculous.  It is reported that a number of judges now require lawyers to stand at lecterns to limit nonverbal communication that may influence jurors.




Judge Samuel Kent's restriction on attorneys' courtroom kinesics may be the most stringent. He is known to have said, "facial gestures, nods of the head, audible signs, anything along those lines is strictly prohibited."

ABC Wednesday

23 March 2012

Children's Poetry Day

A heap of celebrations fill March 21st - International Day for the Elimination of Racial Discrimination, National Common Courtesy Day.... Out of thirteen there are two that particularly attracted me: National Single Parents Day and Children's Poetry Day.

Raising my kid all by myself makes me fond of National Single Parents Day. On its FB page this About is written:

The goal of National Single Parents Day is to empower single parents and their friends and family.... Public awareness of issues affecting single parents is so important.


Thank goodness I do not own all single parent-related issues in the world. God must love me this much he has granted me enough financial independence for as long as I can remember after earning work qualifications.



To commemorate Children's Poetry Day, let me share this poem from iloveindia.com. I italicized lines that are not true to my son, nor to me.  The rest are.

My Childhood
My childhood was fun, tough and exciting,
My childhood was one where there wasn't much fighting,
This is my childhood. My childhood was filled with family and friend(s),
My childhood was filled with love and lots of happy holidays,


My childhood was filled with tricycles and bicycles,
My childhood is filled with lots of classwork and homework,
My childhood is filled with parents that don’t work,
Annoying loving brother and sisters.


This is my childhood. My childhood is filled with a grandmother that was caring and loving

When I left her, I was hurt. But it's for the best.
I remember the good and happy times we shared together.
This was my loving childhood that I will not forget. This was my childhood.


Now what are these 'robots' interlapping my talk for? There was a Japanese-Thai Anime fest last week and I thought CJ would have had fun at this show. These toys are banned at home to follow his therapist's advice.

But once in awhile I allow him to play, admire and/or fantasize on these things. A little dose of indulgence won't kill his imagination.


This post is shared with Happiness is..., Mommy Moments and Color Connection.








22 March 2012

Better

In this post: Booking Through Thursday and Thursday Thirteen


Ever read a book you thought you could have written better yourself?


I could hardly write my own prayer. If I do not like a book and have difficulty finishing it the book may not be for me. I would leave the writing or rewriting to someone whom the story belongs.

With books at work (academic) - maybe edit, adjust examples, or illustrate a concept to fit needs of certain learners.  But then writing it better? I might as well write another book entirely. 


Thursday 13: March Celebrations



March 21st is full, isn't it? I didn't know most of these celebrations but I'm glad to find a couple relevant to me, like #4 and 8. Which ones interest you?


1. International Day for the Elimination of Racial Discrimination
2. National Common Courtesy Day
3. National Teenager Day
4. National Single Parents Day
5. World Down Syndrome Day
6. National Flower Day
7. Twitter Day
8. Children's Poetry Day
9. Hump Day
10. Memory Day
11. National French Bread Day
12. California Strawberry Day
13. Fragrance Day

Please leave the link to your BTT or T13 post so I can visit and comment back easily. Thank you.

16 March 2012

Blue

Dove wings, rustling greens
deeds penetrate the heavens
a whiff of cool blue





Now comes the quiet
clear blue remnants of Khmer
may souls rest in peace


Question: what's the deal
between green and violet?
True color matters


Blue MondayHaiku my Heart , Haiku Heights


Shoe rules


“Before you criticize someone, you should walk a mile in their shoes. That way, when you criticize them, you’re a mile away and you have their shoes.”


That is one of my fave quotes about shoes. Except perhaps books, nothing excites me more than the sight of shoes. CJ's 4th Crocs are among other pairs I could hardly remember to track. Back when my Ex was drawn to the Casino at the Thai - Cambodia border, I focused in the shoe shops. 



Last night I went shopping with a cousin who got this beauty to match her daughter's summer dress -



Daughter is due to graduate next week and I surprised my cousin by saying "on me" when she decided to check out this pair -


My niece studies at the same school I attended. In my time there wasn't any 'shoe regulation' during commencement exercises, and I didn't hear of any nowadays.

A girl friend once said to me that they had shoe guidelines at her medschool graduation, but she wore what she liked anyway. I could have hardly gotten past the parking lot if I did that during my gradschool graduation among temple spires and chili patches.

Shoe rules seem stricter in the kingdom than in the republic. Small sacrifice if a minor addict considers other pleasures derived from such delightful things ;)

This post is shared with Happiness is..., Mommy Moments and Color Connection.

15 March 2012

Lessons

In this post: Booking Through Thursday and Thursday Thirteen




Have you ever used a book to instruct someone of something or is there anyone for whom you would like to do that? (I don’t mean a text book for a class, but a work of fiction or non-fiction that would get a certain message across either through plot or character). What is the book and what do you wish to impart?



Professionally, yes but not necessarily the book in its entirety. I used Don Quixote in an English camp for the Thai teaching staff of a business institute. A drill on the parts of speech served as instrument to carry bits of idealism and realism across. 

Personally I use books to instruct a young nephew and niece about life in general. The books are gifts that they are to read if they want something more later. 'More' could mean an all-expenses paid trip to the mall in exchange for learning something from the books. Yes, I could be a doting, strict, crazy aunt.


I gave Anne Frank: The Diary of a Young Girl to a niece in hopes that she finds lessons from history even if they are as harsh as fascism and Nazi atrocities. And for the nephew, an illustrated geography book. It's this sense of the magnitude of our world that I wished to impart. There is so much to do besides ball games, ijo.

Thursday 13: Books I bought as gifts


1. Jesus, CEO by Laurie Beth Jones
2. Pocket Finance (Chief contributor: Tim Hindle)
3. Treasury of Poetry, selected by Alistair Hedley
4. Treasury of Virtues, adapted by Jennifer Boudart, Mary Rowitz, Sarah Toast
5. Eating People is Wrong by Malcolm Bradbury
6. The Bible Story (10 volumes)
7. Anne Frank: Diary of a Young Girl
8. Jane Eyre by Charlotte Bronte
9. Organizing Silence: A World of Possibilities by Robin Patric Clair
10. Vintage Greeting Cards with Mary Jo McGraw
11. Arnie & Jack: Palmer, Nicklaus, and Golf's Greatest Rivalry by Ian O'Connor
12. Digital Fortress by Dan Brown
13. The Heart Garden by Janine Burke

09 March 2012

Calls and attorneys


LDP or long - distance parenting entails lengthy phone calls and expensive phone bills. The latter element of this reality changed when a cousin began selling calls to the Philippines, each lasting 49 minutes for only 110 baht. Quite a break from when I used to pay an average of 4,000 baht a month and sometimes twice that figure; which is more than enough for a low cost two-way Bangkok - Manila ticket.

That is something I am greatly thankful for and happy about nowadays. The other thing is learning something new out of LDP:  Special Power of Attorney, which authorizes a guardian to process documents in behalf of a minor. My kiddo's Philippine passport (he has dual citizenship; holds two passports) needs to be renewed as the plan this summer is for him to do some traveling again.

This notarial service at the Philippine embassy in Bangkok is efficient. I got the SPA and sent it by registered mail within three hours yesterday.

It looks like I'm dealing with airports, air crafts, and immigration again in a few weeks. This could be tiresome but I'm warding off wrinkles by counting blessings instead.

This post is shared with Happiness is..., Mommy Moments and Color Connection.


02 March 2012

Jacquie Lawson ecard


Are you familiar with Jacquie Lawson ecards?

Thom, a bloggity friend sent me an animated flash ecard by Jacquie Lawson. That was about three years ago and though he's no longer blogging regularly nowadays, these ecards keep coming. And do I like these cards? You bet!

A few reasons why I like, no, love them:

Following instructions and discovering what comes out is so much fun. I love what I see so much I take a shot of one scene despite knowing the result won't be as I see it live on screen. They are hand paintings! Just my kind of art.And the music works perfectly for me. Here's an example:

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=j7V_Ya8uRmk&feature=related[/youtube]

Back to fabulous Thom Robinson. Except for our blogging interaction I haven't done anything to compel him to send me cards that are costing him. So I call it pure thoughtfulness on his part. Last week I sent him a message thanking him for the Valentine ecard. He replied asking how CJ is. He even remembered that I have a son. Aren't some people just beautiful, just grand? 

This post is shared with Happiness is... and Mommy Moments.

01 March 2012

Different kind of romance: fixation for Blacks

In this post: Booking Through Thursday and Thursday Thirteen

Have you ever fallen in love with a fictional character? Who and what about them did you love?



Not really in love. Infatuated, more likely. A girl friend enticed me to read the Twilight Series.  She's a medical doctor in her mid 30s; I'm a freaking university instructor in my late 30s, and we giggle over 16-y.o. Jacob Black?! We liked Edward Cullen too but he's too pale-skinned and can never beat Jake's six pack. Oh la-la! I mean it's awesome to just feel and not think sometimes.


And there's Sirius Black of Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban fame. Seriously I enjoyed fantasizing over him. Rich, handsome, arrogant, bully.  A lot like my real life ex-husband. No wonder a male friend calls me gaga at regular intervals. But I am completely at peace with the world and my neurotic self about all this.


Thursday Thirteen: Love - Hate
The wizarding world's characters that I love and hate in simultaneous order



1. Albus Dumbledore leader, wise
2. Severus Snape ill-tempered, bitter (felt a bit sorry for him at the end though)
3. Hagrid loyal, gentle giant friend
4. Draco Malfoy bully, feeling entitled... mean
5. Sirius Black ruggedly handsome, rich, intelligent
6. Dolores Umbridge I see corrupt, real world Education industry officials in her
7. Professor Moody or Crouch Jr's disguise transfigured Malfoy into a ferret, love it
8. Minerva McGonagall I love her for telling Dolores Umbridge off in class. Bravo!
9. Rita Skeeter annoying journalist
10. Molly Weasley so motherly, very loving and quite protective of her brood
11. Bellatrix Lestrange insane, nasty
12. Harry Potter, Ronald Weasley and Hermione Granger the main ones
13. Vernon, Petunia and Dudley Dursley uptight muggles

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