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December 27, 2013

Expectation


Photo source: www.markblackspeaks.com
Opinion Questions:

1.       Why do we have to expect something from others?

2.       Is it easy to lower our expectations?

3.   What are the possible results of having high expectations? Lower expectations?

4.  What do you think are the possible ways in lowering our expectations?

5.    Most people with higher positions expect too much from their subordinates, why do you think so?

6.   If you were disappointed because your expectations weren't met, how do you handle it?

7. What are you expectation in regards to the following?

            a.       Your company
b.      Your co-workers
c.       Your boss
d.      The government
e.      Friends
f.        Yourself





Note: This is created for my ESL classes.






December 12, 2013

Globalization

Photo source: www.coffin3.wordpress.com


Opinion Questions:

1.  What is globalization?

2. What do you think are the benefits of globalization? How about the drawbacks?

3. Why are so many people against with globalization?

4.  Is there anything wrong with McDonalds trying to enter Asian markets?

5.  What alterations should the society has to do in order to accommodate this new concept?

6. Should people make efforts to encourage fellow citizens to patronize their own products?

7. Do you think it is a good idea to remove all trade restrictions between countries all over the world? What could be the impact of this?

8. Do you think it is a good idea if people can work and live in any country they want without going through the immigration procedures? What would be the result of this?

9. Do you think the quality of imported goods are better than the local ones? Why or why not?

10. How would you see your country globalized?



Note: This is created for my ESL classes.

December 9, 2013

Discussing a Difficult Request

Tanya: Let me kick off this meeting with some news. Our marketing department would like us to produce a new fragrance by the end of next month.

John: Oh, brother.* We need this extra work like a hole in the head! What fragrance are they looking for?

Tanya: Mango.

Andy: Mango? Are they out of their minds? Do they know how tough that is?

Tanya: Yeah, but I told them we’d take a crack at it. If we put our minds to it, I know we can do it.


Andy: I don’t know. It’s not going to be easy.

Tanya: Let's roll up our sleeves and give it our best shot. Nothing ventured, nothing gained.

Andy: Well, Tanya, you certainly have a can-do attitude. 

Tanya: Actually, this is a child's play  compared to what our CEO wants us to do by the end of this year. He wants us to come up with new, improved formulas for all 50 of our shampoos. 

Andy: What? How are we supposed to manage that? Sometimes I think the bigwigs at this company are out of touch with reality!


Note: I don't claim this as my own. 
Source: Speak Business English like American by Amy Gillett

December 7, 2013

Shopping



1.  What do you think is there behind shopping that most women are crazy about?

2. What are the things you consider before and during shopping?

3. Why do you think people become impulsive shoppers?

4. Do you think men and women have different feelings towards shopping?

5. Do you compare prices when you buy expensive items?

6.  It is a custom to haggle in your country? Are you good at haggling?

7. Have you ever bought something you never used? What made you buy it?

8. Does you feeling change when you shop for different items like clothes, food, gadgets and so on?

9. What do you think about second hand items? Would you like to buy them?

10. Online shopping is becoming popular nowadays, do you think it is more practical to shop online like what many people say?


Note: This is created for my ESL classes.

November 24, 2013

Emergency





Opinion Questions:

1. Do you have the willingness and determination to help people in an emergency?

2. If you saw someone in trouble, let's say, hit and run accident, would you help the victim? What would you do?

3. How do you prepare for possible natural disasters like earthquake or typhoon?

4. Is it necessary for us to criticize people who are not willing to help in an emergency?

5.  Is it important to have a first-aid kit at home?

6. If you are a victim of pickpockets, would you report that to the police? How about if you are involved in a car accident?

7. If you experience flat tire on the road, what would you do? How about if you see someone having a flat tire in a deserted area?

8.  Could you describe a major accident or disaster you had experienced? How did you deal with it?


Note: This is created for my ESL classes.

November 19, 2013

Dealing With a Dissatisfied Customer

John:  Were disappointed with the website you designed for us. It’s a far cry from what we were expecting.

Kevin:  I’m sorry you’re not satisfied. We really went all out to make it a great site.

John:  Well, I’m not going to mince words, but you charged us a pretty penny and you didn't deliver.

Kevin: Wow, I’m really surprised to hear you say that! We pulled out all the stops.

John:  Don’t try to pull the wool over my eyes. You promised that your best people would work on this  project, but our website looks like it was designed by a summer intern!

Kevin:  What exactly is the problem with the site?  

John:  Where to begin? The shopping cart doesn't even work.

Kevin:   Really? Well, we’ll get right on that.

John:  And you guys messed around forever getting the site done. You were three months behind schedule!


Kevin:  I’m sorry about that. We were swamped. Let me make it up to you. Well give you a 25% discount on the project.


Note: I don't claim this as my own. 
Source: Speak Business English like American by Amy Gillett

November 16, 2013

Smoking


Opinion Questions:

1. What would your reaction be if all public places declared non-smoking areas?

2. Is it fair to make smokers pay higher health premium because of the diseases this could bring such as lung cancer?

3. What would you say if advertisements related to smoking are completely banned?

4.  Can smoking be considered illegal in the future? How?

5. Many smokers say that quitting smoking is difficult, do you agree? What do you think is the best way to quit smoking?

6. Teens can easily access cigarette vending machines. Is it possible to remove them completely?

7.  Would it help reduce smokers if companies give better employment advantages to those who are non-smokers?

8.  We are aware that tobacco companies are considered highest tax contributors, what would be the impact if people totally stop smoking?

9. If you friend is a smoker, would you stop seeing her? What if you boyfriend is a smoker, would you marry him?

10.  How would you politely ask someone to extinguish his or her cigarette?

Note: This is created for my ESL classes.

November 7, 2013

Discussing A Difficult Decision

Anna:  We need to decide already whether or not we want to move our manufacturing from the Unite States to China. Jeff, have you made the final decision?

Jeff:  There are pros and cons to moving it to China. I’ve been back and forth on this issue for months. I’m of two minds.

Anna:  Jeff, I know this is a tough call, but now is not the time to be wishy-washy. We need to make a decision.

Lynn: That’s right, and I recommend we bite the bullet and move our operation to China.

Anna: Or we could test the waters by moving 25% of our operations there.

Lynn: Good idea. That would give us the best of both worlds: we could reduce our risk, while starting to enjoy some of the cost savings from lower-cost manufacturing.

Jeff: I agree with you that we should put a stake in the ground. Let’s move a quarter of our operations to China.

Lynn: Good call, Jeff!

Jeff: I hope I don’t live to regret this decision.


Anna: You won’t. My gut tells me were doing the right thing.


Note: I don't claim this as my own. 
Source: Speak Business English like American by Amy Gillett

New Year's Resolutions

Opinion Questions:

1. What do you think are the reasons why people make New Year's resolutions?

2. Could you think of the most popular New Year's resolutions?

3. Did you make any resolutions for this year? How about the upcoming year?

4.  Why do you think many people do not succeed in fulfilling their New Year's resolutions?

5. Could you think of the most difficult New Year's resolutions ordinary people make?

6.  What are the pressing things for you to do to become a better person?

7. Wherever we go, people gossip. Do you get interested with gossips? How does sound criticism differ from bad-mouthing?

8. Is there any New Year's resolution you have already managed to do?

9.  How do you think we can change ourselves to a better person?

10. Is there something you look forward to this coming New Year?

Note: This is created for my ESL classes.

November 3, 2013

Prejudice

Opinion Samples:

1. How do you define prejudice?

2.  How do we learn to prejudice?

3.  Are adults more prejudiced than children? Why or why not?

4. What are the common prejudices in your country?

5.  Were there any prejudice in your society that has been eliminated?

6. Why do you think it is hard for us to let go of prejudice?

7.  What do you do when you hear or see prejudice from other people?

8. Is there any possibility for us to be free from prejudice?  How?


Note: This is created for my ESL classes.

October 25, 2013

Vacation


Opinion Questions:

1.  Are you given paid vacation each year in your country? If so, how many?

2. Which place do you prefer to go on vacation most of the time? Why?

3. Most people like to go on vacation in the summer. Which is popular in your country, the mountain or the sea?

4. What would you say if someone ask you to visit the seaside in the winter?

5. What season is the best to go on vacation in your country? Why?

6. Which do you think is better in going for vacation, driving your own car or using public transportation?

7. How would you respond if your boss demanded you to give up your vacation for your job?

8. Is it okay to lose your vacation for a better pay at work?

9. If you have the chance to travel for a vacation for a least a month, where and how would you spend it?

10.  How would you describe an ideal vacation?


Note: This is created for my ESL classes. 

October 21, 2013

Discussing Bad Results

Alex: We need to face the music here. We’re in deep trouble! Sales are down by 50% versus last year.

Pan: It looks like we’re going to be in the red for the year to the tune of $1 million.

Ron: No wonder. We’re losing market share to Manhattan Beer.

Alex: Why? We need to get to the bottom of this!

Pam: Every year they come up with new beers. They’re really on top of trends. For instance, last year they released a low-carb beer.

Ron: No wonder they’re eating our lunch! They’re cashing in on the latest trends and bringing great new products to market.

Pam: Meanwhile, were running in place. We need a new product line and new ideas for marketing.

Alex: It’s time to clean house and bring some new blood into this company.

Ron: You took the words out of my mouth! We need some new people with fresh ideas.


Note: I don't claim this as my own. 
Source: Speak Business English like American by Amy Gillett

October 19, 2013

Pollution

Opinion Questions:

1. We are aware that air pollution is because of cars. Do you think people are willing to buy electric cars despite high prices and inconvenience?

2. Are you willing to give up your current way of living to help clean the environment?

3. What is your stand in building more nuclear plants regardless of radioactive releases?

4. What are the other forms of pollution that you can think of? Are you concerned about them?

5. How would you react if the government will require you to pay higher taxes to help in cleaning the environment?

6. Could you think of an anti-pollution law in your country? Is it implemented well by the authority? How do the people respond to it?

7. As an individual, what can you do to help lessen any form of pollution?

8. Would you consider overpopulation a form of pollution?

9.  What do you think is the best way to fight pollution?

10. Is there a possibility that our planet will be wiped out because of pollution?

Note: This is created for my ESL classes. 

October 15, 2013

Stress



Keywords: stress, child, family problem, teenager, study, mother, work, busy, elderly, isolation

Note: This is created for my ESL classes. 

October 11, 2013

Discussing Good Results

Peter: Great news! We had a record-breaking quarter. We brought in revenues of $500,000.

Linda: Wow, revenues really were though the roof!

Todd: That’s great. Kudos to Linda! She deserves a pat on the back. The guerrilla marketing campaign  she dreamed up was brilliant. She sent out e-mail to all of our customers asking them to e-mail a friend about our services. For each friend they e-mailed, they received a free gift.

Peter: Linda, your campaign helped us drum up a lot of business. We signed on 800 new customers.

Linda: I’m really glad my plan panned out. I thought it would, since everybody loves a freebie.

Todd: Linda, we can always count on you to think outside.

Linda: For the record, Peter helped me come up with the idea.

Peter: Thanks for sharing the credit, Linda. But it was your idea.


Todd: The important thing is that were now giving our biggest competitor, U.S. Bank, a run for their money.


Note: I don't claim this as my own. 
Source: Speak Business English like American by Amy Gillett

October 9, 2013

Gender Equality


Opinion Questions:

1. How do you define gender equality?

2. Why is gender equality important?

3. Do you think gender equality the concern of men? Why or why not?

4. Is inequality between men and women an old culture? Why or why not?

5.  Have you ever felt inequality in your life? If so, what situation? How did you cope with it?

6. Do you think it is possible to achieve equality between men and women?

7. Is equality similar to fairness?


Note: This is created for my ESL classes. 

October 8, 2013

Attachment: Something I have yet to overcome

Dealing with so many different people everyday is fun and exciting. You  have the opportunity to learn other cultures in many ways, whether it is intentional or just by accident. With my job, I am vulnerable to emotional attachment. This is the time when I wish I have a shut down button on my brain to let my it stop functioning for a while. I am all aware that these people don't give a shit about me after the lesson, but I can't just stop myself from caring about them. I guess I was born this way or I just don't have the courage to be a heart of stone. Being keen to detail is good but sometimes would lead me to trouble. I am glad no matter how crazy I am for so many things, I never go insane literally. I know that I can learn to control my emotions but I also know that it will take time. Although I don't show it that much, it is sometimes noticeable. 

I always hold on to promises and I take note even the minute ones. I have received so many promises in my field of work and I would say 90 % of them were not fulfilled which make me ask why people make them without even considering the outcome if they break them. Maybe, this should be the nature of humans. I hope I can do the same but I can't because I am haunted by my conscience whenever I try to do so. I guess I have to learn to ignore promises.I will do my best to overcome each one of them step by step. 

I must put this on top of my list of New Year's resolutions. 


October 5, 2013

Desire

Photo source: http://www.ricksblog.com/2013/03/the-missing-linkneed-want-desiremeet-value/
Opinion Questions:

1.  How do you differentiate need from want and from desire?

2. Did you want to look beautiful? Why or why not?

3. Did you want to be smarter than other people? Why or why not?

4. Did you desire to help the needy and be helped by others? Why or why not?

5.  Do you think you are happier if you have more than what your peers have?

6.  What would you do then if you had everything humans can have?

7.  Is it difficult to let go of our desires? Why or why not?

8. Have you ever desired of something or anything that didn't make you happy? How did you cope with it?

9. Are there any ways we can overcome wanting too much all the time?

10. What is the ultimate thing that will make you and most people satisfied?


Note: This is created for my ESL classes. 

October 2, 2013

Talking About Company Strategy

Andy: My team has come up with a strategy. We can’t continue being fast followers. We need to start   developing our own cutting-edge technologies.

Laura: Why? We’ve been fast followers for the past ten years. Why mess with success?

Andy: Success? Get with the program. Our sales are way down. Our cash cow, the model 8B, only sold 900 units last month!

Laura: I can understand why. That phones a relic. It’s been around for over three years. What about our phones?

Andy: Our latest model cell phone was a real dog! It sold only 20% of our sales forecast.

Laura: Any idea why?

Andy: Product life cycles are much shorter now than before. New technologies are developed at a much faster rate.

Laura: So what are we supposed to do?

Andy: We need to become much more innovative as a company. Instead of producing me-too products, we need to leapfrog our competitors.

Laura: How do we do that?

Andy: For starters, we need to beef our R&D department. We need to develop differentiated products which we can sell at a premium.

Laura: As anext step, let’sget buy –in from our marketing and sales directors.

Andy: Right. We should get everyone on the same page.


Note: I don't claim this as my own. 
Source: Speak Business English like American by Amy Gillett

September 25, 2013

Modern People

Photo source: footage.shutterstock.com
Opinion Questions:

1. Why do you think people in the modern society are busy? Are they really busy or just pretend to be busy?

2.  Is it possible for the modern people to have more free time? How?

3.  There are so many things that have been developed to help people in their daily lives. Do you think these machines give them more free time? Why or why not?

4.  Who do you think are happier,the modern people or the older ones? Why?

5.  Do you think modern people are considered dangerous? Why or why not?

6. What are the things you don't like from the modern people? Why?

7. If you are going to choose where to live? Now or the past? Why?


Note: This is created for my ESL classes. 





September 19, 2013

Generation Gap

Photo sources: http://comerecommended.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/09/GenerationGap2.jpeg http://www.internetinjewishhome.com/2012/12/26/online-generation-gap/
Opinion Questions:

1. Why do you think is it difficult to understand other generation?

2. What are the ways to narrow the generation gap? Could you think of the very first step?

3. In what period generation gap is the widest? Why?

4. Have you experienced generation gap between you and your parents? How about you and your kids?

5. Is there any possible way to end generation gap?

6. What is the effect of generation gap between generations?


Note: This is created for my ESL classes. 

September 17, 2013

Stress


Opinion Questions:

1. Who do you think suffers stress the most? Why?

2. Who do you think deals with stress better, men or women? Why?

3. Is it possible to have a stress-free life? How?

4. How do you handle stressful situations?

5. Do you think we live a less stress life in the modern society compared in the past? Why or why not?

6. What kind of stressful situation the pictures above face?


Note: This is created for my ESL classes. 


September 13, 2013

How knowledgeable should an ESL teacher be?




With my long duration of teaching English online, I have met various kinds of people. People I have learnt a lot of lessons. The most important thing I have developed is patience. I am terribly impatient in real life but when it comes to teaching online, my patience is up to the nth level. I really can't imagine where am I getting those. 

Speaking to foreign people everyday means encountering different scenarios. Such scenarios would include insolent students. Those who never realize to use polite words in talking to their teacher although I correct them everyday. I think it is already in their genes to be rude. Well, I just ignore them because I know if I'm going to give them the time of day, I would be more than impolite. 

Another scenario would be a student being so kind who you think can't even hurt a fly. In this case, I needed to search for the most polite words I can say or talk the most interesting topic you could ever imagine. Talk about being flexible! 

Recently, I have stumbled with this know-it-all student. He likes talking about his personal life, lifting his own chair with his so called "achievements" in life. I am a kind of teacher who wouldn't butt-in in the middle of somebody's story telling. However, I do when he starts talking about other teacher's way of teaching. Discriminating teachers by saying they don't know anything about politics, geography and so on would make my blood boil! I am also a Filipino and whatever discriminatory words you would tell my fellowmen would hurt me even more. It is not our fault why we are living in a third world country, why we aren't fully informed or why we don't have means to access such information. We do not have public libraries just like they do in Japan or South Korea. We have access to those useful textbooks when we go to state universities. Sad to say, not all ESL teachers had the chance to lay their hands on those incredible textbooks just like I have done. ESL teachers are unique in many ways and I feel sorry if some teachers can't grasp geography as he is trying to say. Besides, we are ENGLISH TEACHERS for God's sake! 

He told me, "In Japan, we study the map of Europe". For REAL? I doubt it! Who would memorize the map of Europe unless you do a lot of reading and or travel to that certain place? I have known some famous place and even the not so famous ones by reading novels but I would admit I don't know much about them. 

My point is, if you are not satisfied with the lesson you are getting from Filipino online English teachers, why the hell you are taking these classes? Go ahead and take English native speakers' classes and see if they memorize the map of Europe!

I maybe very kind towards my lesson but I am no heart of stone! I always say, "If you don't respect us as your teachers, at least respect us as HUMANS! 

So, how much knowledge would you like your ESL teacher be? A walking Encyclopedia?



Note: This is also published in bubblews.com with the same and only one username.

September 11, 2013

Parenting Style

 





Keywords: neglectful, authoritative, permissive, authoritarian, parenting style, rebel, discipline


  • What parenting style do you follow?
  • What would be the effect of your parenting style?
Note: This is created for my ESL classes. 




September 7, 2013

A Poem: Faceless

Faceless
© by: Susan Gutierez Cura
written on September 07,2013 @ 20:54 

Life was challenged, pushed me through,
with such intellect, knowledge so deep. 
Without you, life so blue,
with this feeling, makes me creep.

Faceless as I may call you, 
yet the sound wreak gratification.
Faceless as I have seen through,
yet builds my wildest imagination.

Gone are the challenges, time to rest. 
Integrity has yet put to test. 
Conceiving must only be the request.
For it is forbidden, I may confess. 

Hope may give me the chance,
to know you even just a glance. 
Optimism must have been enhanced. 
Since no mechanism would refine my dance. 


Note: This is also published in bubblews.com with the same and only one username.

August 29, 2013

Internet


Opinion Questions:


1. Have you ever thought  before of having the internet now?


2. How did you feel when you first used the internet? 


3. What are the advantages of internet? How about disadvantages?


4. Do you think there would be additional developments of the internet in the future? 


5. Is there something you don't like about the internet? Why?


6. Nowadays, children are also using the internet, at what age is it appropriate to use the internet? Why? 


Note: This is created for my ESL classes. 



Short story: The Shadow

It was 4: 00 am, she woke up from a dream she never expected. Suddenly, the door opened. Without hesitation, she peeped out from the dark and nothing she could see. She rubbed her eyes for a clearer sight but still nothing. She decided to get back in bed, but before she could, she saw a shadow. She felt a chill. She collected her courage and moved forward, leaving the door slightly open.  

Who are you?, she said. No answer. The shadow is moving away from her direction, slowly, as if trying to tell her to follow. She followed and they reached the living room. Please tell me who you are, she begged. The shadow turned around to face her and said. You don't really recognize me, do you? She thwarted and said, I would be willing to get to know you more and the reason why you are here. The shadow answered, I have been here ever since you were here, you just kept ignoring me. 

The shadow moved closer to her and uttered. You have got to recognize me. Search within you and you will soon realize who I am.  And then, the shadow was gone. She was left stunned trying to surmise something  is going on. But she couldn't come up with a clue. 

She tried to forget the scene and went back to her room. And the alarm started to ring. It's time for work, she said.


Note: This is also published in bubblews.com with the same and only one username.

August 28, 2013

War

Opinion questions:


1. When you hear about war, do you think of the ancient battles like Greece and Rome, World War II or the ones that we face today? Could you point out the differences of the ancient wars from that of today?


2. What do you think is the root of all these wars that we have faced in the past and that of today?


3. Is there any good from war?  If there is, what are they? 


4. Some people choose to serve in war, why do you think so? What can you say about those people who don't?


5. Have you ever had a conversation with someone who experienced war? What did you learn from that person?


6. Is there any possibility to avoid war? How?


Note: This is created for my ESL classes. 

August 22, 2013

Multicultural Society


Opinion Questions:


1. Would you like to be living in a multicultural society? Why or  why not?

2. What are the advantages of multicultural society? 

3. How would you imagine your country having a mixed            society? Do you think your country is ready for it?

4. What kinds of cultures would you like to adopt? Why?  Is  there any culture you have that you would like to give up?

5. What are the problems the people would encounter in a        multicultural society?

6. Which nationalities would you like to be migrating to your  country?


Note: This is created for my ESL classes. 

August 21, 2013

Ageing Population

Ageing couple hand in hand crossing the street.


Opinion Questions:

1. What picture forms in your mind when you hear "ageing population?"

2.Scientist were always looking for ways on how to extend life expectancy and it seems that they succeeded. Would you consider this as an achievement? Why or why not?

3. What are the pros and cons of ageing population? 

4. How can we encourage people in an ageing society to get married and have children? 

5. Is it possible for a certain race to become extinct in next hundred years? If so, which race?

6. Would you like to live more than 80 years old? Why or why not?

7. How does the government try to solve this issue? 


Note: This is created for my ESL classes. 

August 20, 2013

Traffic



Opinion Questions:


1. How would you describe the two pictures above?


2. Why is there traffic specially in rush hours?


3. What would you do if you are in the middle of traffic and you are almost late for an appointment?


4. In which country does traffic seems to be severe, underdeveloped, developing or developed country? Why?


5. Would you prefer to drive your own car in a heavy traffic or take public transportation? Why?


6. What are the common traffic rules that people break in your country?


7. What are other problems arises if there are two many cars on the road?


8.  What is the difference of the road situation now compared to 10 years ago?


Note: This is created for my ESL classes. 

August 19, 2013

Sports

Nowadays, sports is becoming a part of our daily life.

Opinion questions:


1. How do sports today differ from that of the past?


2. Why do some people become crazy about sports?


3. Would you agree if sports determines someone's status in the society? Why?


4. How does sports contribute to the economic status of a country?


5. One reason of corporal punishment in schools is because of sports. Do you think it is a good way to train athletes? Why or why not?


6. If you are a coach, how would you train your athletes? How would you build their confidence? How would you react when your team lost a game?


7. What are the pros and cons of being an athlete?


Note: This is created for my ESL classes. 

August 18, 2013

Sibling Rivalry

Opinion Questions:


1. How was your relationship with your siblings when you were growing up?


2. Did your relationship change once you became adults? How?


3.What are the common reasons why there is a sibling rivalry?


4. How do you think conflict between children affect their relationship in the future?


5. In which kind of family does sibling rivalry usually occur? Big or small family?Why?


6.In your opinion, what do you think are the ways for parents to resolve this kind of issue?


7.What do you think is the best teaching we can impart to children to avoid sibling conflict?


8.What kind of parenting styles have you seen most effective in your society?


Note: This is created for my ESL classes. 

August 14, 2013

Extra TV viewing of toddlers hurts them later in Kindergarten

According to a Canadian researcher, every additional hour of television viewing done by toddlers hurts their vocabulary, math skills and classroom focus later in Kindergarten.

Professor Linda Pagani of the University of Montreal discourages watching television during infancy (from birth to 1 year old) and not more than 2 hours a day is encouraged after age 2.

This is the first time they have seen the relationship of too much television viewing and kindergarten risk for poor motor skills and psycho-social difficulties like bullying.


These study suggest for a better parental guidance and awareness because every extra hour of watching TV seems to have a negative influence on children. 

August 12, 2013

The feeling is so strong... "I miss my friends"

Sometimes taking a nap doesn't give a good thing. Tsk tsk tsk! After watching a movie today, I took a nap before my class starts at 3 pm. When I woke up, I was in a bad mood. One reason, people are so noisy around. They are doubling the sound of the rain with their nonsense talks! Talk about being insensitive in this place. After the bad mood, I felt like I wanted to talk to a close friend. I started browsing my photo albums and found some photos of me and my friends I treasure very much. I MISS THEM. Too bad, we can just talk virtually. I wanted to buzz them but I am sure they are busy. So then, I just made my eyes tired looking at our photos. This kind of feeling calls for a break and a meet-up I guess. I hope they are available by that time. Sometimes, it is not good to be workaholic but what can I do, I have responsibilities --- things I didn't plan to abandon although it is hard and it means sacrificing my own happiness. 

Below are the photos that made me smile today:

From L to R: Gael, Jel and Me.
We met this year but I miss them. Thanks guys for the friendship and for understanding me always.

Zen and me at her wedding day. 


I guess this was the last time we met if I am not mistaken. Wow! Time flies I guess. We've a got a lot of things to talk about. I hope we can meet up soon. Thanks for the laughter bessie. You crack me up! You just do it at my worst.

Me and Ava (we were very young then, :D)
There were so many things happened in our lives, Ava dear. Things that we have yet to tell. I miss your company as always, the funny stories in the middle of the night at a convenient store drinking beer or at your car enjoying your favorite music.

Friends I would never forget. Friends who accepted me for who I am. Friends who showed me I am not alone. Friends who opened up the other side of the world to me. I miss you guys. :(



August 9, 2013

Finally writing about it...

Expect the unexpected, I always tell my friends and family. I guess I have to practice what I am preaching now. I had overseen everything from the beginning and I think the kindness, eagerness and sincerity I had shown were all put to a different perspective. The story goes this way....

 I have met this person, I will name him Student I (introvert) last July 9,2012. The usual thing went on, I introduced myself, hoping that he would do the same thing even just a bit of it. Well, he told me his name, his age, ( which I don't often get from my students), his job, where he is now. One thing I won't forget from the first meeting was, "I don't have hobbies". It hit me like a cold ice, this guy's life is boring then, I thought. The next day, he is my student again. His interest with my lesson lasted for a year. So I have been talking to him from July 2012 to July 2013. Wow! I couldn't believe I had pushed my patience so hard to give a decent lesson to this guy. And his interest? MEDICINE! What the hell would I do to make my brain understand the ins and outs of this field?! I took the challenge positively, did my best to provide topics that are within his interest alone. With the length of time that we were talking to each other, I had discovered so many things about him.

Problem 1:
He couldn't figure out his opinion based on abstract knowledge. Everything for him should be scientific. Without proper explanation of mechanism of certain event, it doesn't exist for him. Talk about being NERD here! Or basically, he just refuse to let other people know his perception.

Solution:
I provided him topics that are proven facts. Theories is fine for him but it should be presented in a way that there is a possibility to prove him with substantial amount of data.

Problem 2:
He kept telling me he wanted to speak out more but he just doesn't have the courage to do so. Is he shy or introvert? I had concluded the latter before but now I have proven that he is not. He's totally SHY.

Solution:
I dug up the internet for different articles and advise even positive views of being shy or introvert. I used a lot of examples of people living their lives in solitude yet they made extraordinary things and made themselves known to others in a rewarding way. Eleanor Roosevelt and Gandhi would be the perfect examples which Susan Cain mentioned in her TedTalks: The power of introvert. I had given these examples and I had hoped it would encourage him to use his personality in a good way rather than make shyness eat him. But I guess I failed.

Problem 3:
I am fully aware that we have mood swings. Sometimes, we don't think of other people when we do so. Even so, I tried my very best not to show those mood swings that I sometimes have. But I guess he is not doing the same thing. He's sometimes in the influence of alcohol, if not, he's still drinking. Well, I didn't mind that. I just told him that it is better to talk to him if he is in his normal state of mind. Every time he's drunk in class, I feel scared and nervous and I can't concentrate with the lesson.

Solution:
IGNORE.

Recently, he did something I never expected. He contacted me using his private skype ID and he said he misses me and wants friendship, this was after awhile of not having a lesson. I was surprised because he is the least person I would expect to do so considering the above mentioned personality. And also the fact that after all the efforts I had made for our lesson, he gave me a bad evaluation recently. Well, I can't please everybody.

One thing I wouldn't ever forget is, one time when we had 5 minutes left for the lesson and he suddenly went quiet or maybe left without saying goodbye. I was like crazy saying  "hello, are you still there?" many times. The next time I had class with him again, I asked what happened and he just laughed. I couldn't contain my disappointment and so I told him: "If you don't respect me as you teacher, I would ask a favor to please respect me as a person." I know this, HIT HIM HARD! But he DESERVE it.

I am hoping that he is not going to take my lesson again because it wouldn't be like it was. I will be always remembering the time that I was DISRESPECTED by him who has a doctorate degree and who is now working at Harvard Cancer Center. This shows that no matter how high a person's education is, he/she could still be an ill-mannered homo sapien.

I am thankful that I still have respect in him so I chose not to mention his full profile in here because I am sure his integrity is somehow going to be ruined if I do so.



Note: This is also published in bubblews.com with the same and only one username.


August 6, 2013

Emperor: "If you understand devotion, you will understand Japan"

Photo taken from: http://www.nipponcinema.com

History is very difficult to comprehend specially if we are given a one-sided information. I have learned from elementary to college about WWII but I think it is just a small part of it. I was angered to know that Filipino soldiers were killed and my ancestors had experienced hardships and that was a one-sided emotion. I didn't ask myself, "How bad it is for the Japanese people after atomic bomb?"

This movie "Emperor" is set after the surrender of Japan during the WWII.  This is the investigation as to who initiated the war. The process is focused on the emperor, whether he should be condemned and be hanged as a war criminal.

General Douglas McArthur (Tommy Lee Jones) ordered General Bonner Fellers (Matthew Fox) to conduct the investigation. Fellers being in love with a Japanese woman who is an exchange student in the U.S way back in college would play a critical role in making his final decision if Emperor Hirohito is guilty in giving orders to instigate a war. 

I had come to realize why most Japanese people now are still reserve. It is not that it is difficult to express ones feeling but it is deeply rooted. It runs in the blood and in my opinion, no certain culture would change the fact. I totally misunderstand most Japanese people since I started working with them. I, being straightforward is anxious and challenged enough to make them speak out. I think my mission is going to fail knowing this fact.  I totally understand now that they are hundred percent devoted to their culture and country just like how their Emperor does.

Japan being the oldest monarchy of all monarchies has a a very unique one. Their Emperor is considered God, a symbol of Japanese. A person whom they will respect and wouldn't give up even it means taking their own lives. I have come to learn that being the Emperor of Japan is not earned because of ambition but because of modesty and calmness, yet has the courage to defend and choose which is right for its people even it will mean sufferings for him. 

Suicide is one thing I can't fathom. However, now I realize that it is performed thousand of years ago in Japan. They believe that if they are of burden to the many, it is better to take their own lives. If I will try to insert the concept of "devotion" in here, I would do the same thing but things are different in my culture. 

Learning the two sides of history made me better understand their culture. Although it is just a glimpse of it or let's say, what I have seen is not all factual, it still triggered me not to question ones culture but to respect them. Respect begets respect. 

I am very thankful to the one who recommended me this movie. A student of mine who I choose to keep her name unknown. 



August 2, 2013

Barangay Election 2013: Last Day of Registration

Voting for the political candidate you think deserving is a responsibility and a right, however, it doesn't seem that way in my area.

July 31st was the last day of registration. My husband and I went to the registration area at 8 in the morning. There were many people waiting for their names to be called to finish the registration process. Most, their second or third day to go there. Everybody is hoping that we will all be accommodated. One hour passed, nothing happened. I can still see people smiling, enthusiastically talking to each other. Two hours after, those smiles are slowly fading, cheerful conversations started to become complaints. I was patiently waiting for our turn hoping that before my class starts, I would be able to register. I was unfortunate. It was 11 am when they started calling names and it is taking so long. I gave up and decided to go back home, disappointed. I could not imagine how those people work. They know that it is the last day of registration and they should speed up a little but they didn't I am sure. I maybe talking like this because of disappointment but I am aware they didn't do their best to accommodate many.

There are things I have noticed during the registration; things I couldn't imagine. The woman in charge for double checking the forms kept on saying, please complete the form, fill out this area, don't forget your signature and so on. My questions is "Are these people reading the forms?" And what's more surprising is, they are teenagers, ages 16-19. The moment I hear those things, I imagine those juvenile delinquents. I seldom see the street quiet. It is often noisy because they are outside even late at night talking loudly without even thinking people are asleep. Most of them drunk, they own the place because of their noisy motorbikes around this area. They seem tough when you look at them. But they can't even fill out the forms correctly. They look like they can't hurt a fly at the registration area because they know nothing. Maybe not all but I can only count on the fingers of my hand who is capable to vote. The question is, if most voters are illiterate, who would they vote for? Poor barangay! It is hungry for change but it is impossible to happen for now. 

I just hope that this barangay election will turn out good on October. Fingers crossed! 

July 24, 2013

A Time to Kill: A movie about justice and racial discrimination

Photo taken from IMDb

The movie started with two whites Pete and Billy Ray driving a truck, drunk, throwing their empty bottles to blacks they see; blacks playing basketball, on the roof of blacks' homes. The driver hit the brake to stop, went inside a store, a girl named Tonya went out of the store, owned by a black, kick some of the displays, pick up many cans of beer, drop it in front of the store owner and I guess they didn't pay for it. They drove on, saw the girl, Tonya, walking with her groceries. They stopped, threw something at her and then she dropped her groceries.  They grabbed her and brought her some place hidden. They ripped her clothing one by one and started raping her. One after another. They urinated at her. Not satisfied yet, they tied her up on the neck and hang her on a tree. The branch is not so strong and it fell. By the end of the story, it was stated that she was dropped on a creek. This girl is black. She was found and was alive fortunately. However, after all the medical check-up, it was found that she can no longer bear a child because her very young womb was destroyed. If you are the girl's father, how would you feel? What will you do?

The two men responsible for the rape was arrested, put to jail and they will be facing their first hearing.  A young lawyer, Jake Brigance (Matthew McConaughey), who is married and has one daughter named Hannah, is going to defend the case after he had a conversation with Carl Lee Hailey ( Samuel L.Jackson). Carl Lee mentioned that he is going to kill those two men. Jake mentioned this meeting to her wife and he was advised to give the information to the chief of police of Canton, Mississippi but he didn't. At the time of the first hearing, the two suspects are being escorted by the police and chief itself upstairs, Ellen Roark (Sandra Bullock), who would be helping Jake to defend the case, was on the stairs, with other spectators including the family of the suspects looking at them when suddenly the door opened, Carl appeared with a gun on hand, very furious started shooting the suspects until they die. The chief of police was hit unintentionally. 

Carl Lee was arrested, he gave himself in without hesitation. And then the real trial began. Jake is planning to ask for a change of location because he is aware there will be no fair trial but it was denied. One reason of denial is because the preceding judge is white. Whites in the community is superior over the blacks, therefore, they have to gamble everything just to win and get a fair trial. Do you think it is justifiable that Carl Lee be freed for killing Pete and Billy because they raped and almost killed her daughter? 

I love the way Samuel L. Jackson acted as a father in this film. The acting would captivate you and be emotionally attached to the movie. The two lawyers, Matthew McConaughey and Kevin Spacey both did a good job in the movie. Kevin would make you annoyed, Matthew would make you sympathetic. 

I always have doubt with justice. It is always unfair. Cases between poor and rich; rich wins, cases between white and black; white wins. It may not be always like that, but vice versa is very RARE. Anywhere we go we encounter racial discrimination. From simply getting a sit on a bus to making a good name in school, so on and so forth. Name it, ethnicity is always a BIG factor.  

Give it a shot! Watch it if you haven't done so.