Author: thepenonpapergirl

“Flipped Classroom” time

Teaching part-time has been a very rewarding experience, but it has not without its challenges.

I love getting to that “Aha!” moment of realization in my students and I sometimes think that in order to really get people’s attention, one must really “invest” a whole lot, because although they can’t help it, these tired and stressed population DO NEED their beauty sleep.

So, I’m interested in trying out the #Flipped #Classroom approach tomorrow.

Will see how it goes. 🙂

Flipped Classroom

Created by Knewton 

 

Liam Rafael, November 9, 2017

I was recently in Manila for the birth of my BFF’s second son, Liam Rafael (or “Baby Rafa”), as he is known. I’m pretty much present for Ivy’s baby deliveries…only a day late for both.  Her son, Sebastian, was born on September 10, 2015, and I arrived, true to form, one day later. 🙂

She is about as much a family member as a friend can get, and I always feel welcome at their house in Makati. Embarrassingly enough, I am a seemingly permanent fixture at their place, and her mom (and sisters) treat me like family as well.

Quite a lovely feeling, of course. 🙂

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Here he is, barely a day old, and already making eyes at the camera. 🙂 
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“Another photo, Auntie Stephanie?” – Rafa
Try this angle… 🙂
Ok, off with you now, I’m tired. :-p

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Anyway, I found my old Xanga blog, and it has been quite a fun find. I hadn’t thought about it in years, ever since I saw that Xanga had closed down, but lo and behold, it was back again.

Although I have changed, and don’t necessarily have all the same sentiments as when I had when I was in my early twenties, it was a pretty significant time, and while in medical school, it was pretty much a chronicle of the non-medical things that I thought about. #

~S.

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All Saints Day

Traditions last as long as families and significant others keep things going…

November 1 is such a day for Filipinos. In remembrance of their dearly departed, they give their annual dues, in the form of flowers, candles, and prayers. There is that Catholic belief that the souls of the dear departed are in Purgatory, and they cannot pray for themselves, thus they would need their loved ones on Earth to pray for them. By mentioning their names and praying out loud, the dead will have a better chance for getting into heaven.

In these areas, columbariums are still non-existent, and thus the townspeople visit their dead in the cemetery, where the tombs are stacked impossibly high next to each other, OR, that tiny graves are dug in between plots.

No, there is no actual planning and landscaping, and thus, it can get pretty crowded. The following photos are a glimpse of how All Souls Day is commemorated here in the locality (and pretty much for every other provincial town here in the Philippines…)

 

 

Photos: Allie’s First Birthday!

 I actually enjoy milestones. And a couple of days ago, September 1, 2017, I was able to join in on the first birthday party of a darling little sweetie, Allie. 🙂

My dear friend Alex and his wife, Jennifer invited sent me an invitation a month beforehand to Allie’s Mad Hatter-themed birthday party.

Now, Allie is as cute as button, and has the most pleasant temperament of any child I’ve seen. She is one of those adorable babies that absolutely brighten your day both in person, and of course, social media.

She has quite a personality of her own…doted on by her parents who were so obviously in love with each other, and a family from both sides that was always, hands-on with her care.

I love babies, don’t get me wrong. Despite not having my own yet, I’ve always looked at them with a kind of hopeful positive feeling that they were going to somehow make things right in the world somehow, in their own way, some day. They were the primordial “soup” that could turn out into a masterpiece should their parents put in all their best efforts. Although I do acknowledge that parenting is not easy, it makes me appreciate all the more the love and care (and time, definitely), mothers and father put into this.

This sweetie here, is a lucky little charm(er). Love her.

😀

“walking on sunshine”

Just when you think life’s a little bit heavy, an angel of an incredibly upbeat and positive song comes up on your spotify work playlist.

“I’m walking on Sunshine…”, crooned on the radio, and their soft voices and the guitar strums really got my attention. It was supposed to be just background music so I could work on my papers, but the “twinkly” opening bars were very catchy.

To be perfectly honest, it had been a very heavy day at work…talking to those who had terminal illness made me think of my own mortality and what little time I have (or we all have) on this earth. Two people talked of cancer, and how they knew that there wasn’t a lot they could do, but wait…and while doing that, be positive in their waiting.

Oftentimes, we make the mistake of taking too long…and waiting for too long, for something…or someone,  that we might never be with. Time is precious…it is the very essence of life, for once it goes through the sieve, it is gone forever.

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(“And I don’t want to spend my whole life, just waiting for you…”) – excerpt of the lyrics

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The beauty of this song, is it its simple and elegant harmonies, and simple wish. It is a reminder of that happy, giddy feeling of anticipation, for a loved one, which happens to be one of the happiest pleasures in life. And if things aren’t happy now, then they eventually will be.

So, alright, this post doesn’t make much sense, but I do love this song. Just what I needed to pick me up. 🙂

 

 

 

 

Serendipity

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Wildflowers in a bucket. August 2017, Silas City.

My family and I went on a road trip around my home island in the Philippines, and we ended up in an ancestral house in Silay City, Negros Occidental (which is closer to Bacolod City). The house, built by a politician/sugar baron named Gaston, was a roomy 12 bedroom house with old world vibes.

It was a wide-open spaced house, with lots of big floor to ceiling windows, and a very large rooms. Walking around, you could almost pretend that you were in a different century (actually, the whole decor reminded me of the period show, The Knick” :-)).

Anyway,  the story of the flowers was that, in a dark house that was so somber, I found a whole bucketful of them.  Actually, I was just walking around the house, with my niece Kylie, who is 10, tagging along, taking her own photos, when I saw these on the floor.

The were a mixed variety of mums and Santans and baby’s breath…all wildflowers picked from outdoors, placed in a tin bucket, probably for use later.  They were really pretty, and with the sunlight washing the office in light, I had to admit, that common weeds that they were, they made for a beautiful bunch of a serendipitous find. Something I would not have seen if I had not looked, and was always preoccupied with something (that I could not possibly do much about.)

It was just really pretty…and I remembered how important it was to be on the lookout for something. It was always helpful to one’s soul to always look for something beautiful, and good everywhere.

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What was your serendipitous surprise today?

– Stephanie