First day high. Or low. Or whatever.


This sem, I decided to enroll on a Masters Degree in Asian Studies at the UP-Asian Center. I felt like I needed a worthy distraction from the thoughts that jade me recently. I was feeling kinda insecure about a lot of things lately so a hefty amount of history readings and class presentations are a welcome respite to my semi-boring life. Lol. Emo. Hahaha. Ok, so it’s not really boring. It’s just all angst and a late spurt of teenage rebellion thing. Hahaha. Feeling teen pa kase ako kahit 21 na. There.

The ~cute notebook. Hahaha. May sungay talaga. Tss.
Anyway, so there, I went to school on Tuesday armed with a pencil case filled with colored pens, a violet sign pen and a cute notebook courtesy of Ate Fina. Hahaha! Good luck gift daw. I intend to draw on the first page. Pero next time nalang. 

Our first class was Modern Asia and it was like college all over. There’s a sea of new faces—this time, they’re mature- looking and exuding with confidence. I thought of trying to strike a conversation with anyone but immediately decided against it because my ~extrovert self failed me. So I sat across my classmates and opened my phone to read Ken Liu’s Hugo Award-winning short story while waiting for our professor to arrive. The small room slowly filled with more people. There’s this Chinese girl who sat on the chair on my right and another girl wearing a sweatshirt and knee-high socks on my left. I smiled and went back to my reading. The professor came inside after thirty minutes only to tell us he’ll meet the other class on the next room. By 6PM, the screen was flashing “Introduction to Modern Asia” and a quote from Charles Taylor:

“The project of development imposed upon traditional societies by the so-called modernization banishes what is important to them such as sacred horizon, a fixed community and an unchallengeable custom and tradition.” (1999)

Hmmm. So it’s like this in a nutshell: In order to attain development, a certain community must embrace modernization and transform its traditional psyche/ setup into something more adaptable and relative to the status quo. Or not really. For me, modernization and a well-meaning tradition must complement each other to attain a better form of development. But then again such a thought would be validated as soon as the class plunges into further discussions throughout the coursework. I look forward to such.

After the presentation, the class (I only have 12 classmates, just so you know haha) was asked to comment on the syllabus and add or remove subtopics depending on the class’ desire. I actually like the original syllabus, with topics ranging from the concepts of civilization and nationalism, colonial legacies from the Europeans (i.e. East India, British Indies, Spain, Portugal and the French colonies in Southeast Asia), fall of known empires, independence and the beginning and end of the Cold War. There are also topics that intend to discuss the rise of Northeast Asian countries (i.e. China, Japan and South Korea), as well as the social and nationalist movements in many Asian rogue states. Finally, discussions on special topics related to modernization like regional economic integration, regional blocs, transnational crimes and security, culture and mass media/technology and climate change are also part of the syllabus. During the group discussion, I suggested that the class might be interested to include labor and migration in the special topics part. I said that it might be a good prelude to better understand why Asian economies are thriving or are choosing to do cooperation and bilateral agreements. People in search for jobs contribute much to international human traffic and may as well help in better understanding the sudden increase in transnational crimes committed (i.e. drug mules, prostitution, slavery). I kinda felt they understood my point because they included it in the revised syllabus. Hahaha. So much for participation.

The class ended with everyone asking for a digital copy of Prof’s digital books. 110 all in all. We’re wondering how he got such a huge collection of books about Asia and he said they were either given, copied or digitally ~stolen downloaded. Hahaha. I copied all in my thumb drive. Wahaha! They’re now in my Dropbox account! J

My next class was held last Saturday, still at the GT Building. This time, prof’s an old but charming lady. I was late. Bad start. Anyways, the class was equally interesting as the other. There are still BIRs (best in recitation for non-readers of the ~Urban Dictionary hehe), but nonetheless, the class was ok. We had a round of intros and I learned a lot from my classmates. There are full time students who are interested in studying Japan because they practically grew up with J-Rock, anime and manga. And then there a Lit professor from the Ateneo who’s interested in learning more about Vietnam and Burma; another HS teacher from a public high school in Quezon City is interested to learn more about Korea—this time because of K-dramas and Hallyu. I also have a classmate who already had a chance to be an intern at the National Library of Korea and is currently working at the Korean Cultural Center—he wants to pursue Korean studies. So much love for Dara’s breed. Hehehe. A classmate who had an undergrad degree in Industrial Engineering went to AC to study Northeast Asia because she was particularly interested in the Toyota Way and the Han Miracle. There’s also an Econ undergrad and two PolSci studes who’re both into Japanese studies. During the intro round, I told them my name and that I intend to major in Southeast Asia. I’m ready to tell them a few more things about myself but I was cut short so I just listened to what others would share. I think that’s still ok—it makes me a bit mysterious to them and all. Also, I did not give them a bad impression or a pabibo attitude so walang inis factor na magaganap. I’m the silent dork at the corner of the room. Wallflower status achieved! Hahaha.

I thought the class would end after the lengthy intros but wait there’s more. We’re asked to write an essay about three things: first, what comes to our mind when the word Asia is mentioned; second, what am I interested in; and lastly, what do I expect from the class and from my professor. Bonus question was on how we gauge a good teacher from an average and a bad one. So what did I write about?

On the first question, I wrote that I had a biased concept of Asia before. For me, Asia was like the Philippines expanded—old, dirty, excessively populated and third world. The interest to studying the region poured when I was in second year high school and our Araling Panlipunan class was focused on Asian history. It grew even more when we started comparing Asia with its Western counterparts—how the traditions practiced in the region developed its nuanced culture and its differentiation from the West. The nationalist movements in Asia also fueled my desire to understand the subject further. That’s how it all started.

Because I poured a lot of thoughts on the first question, I found a bit of difficulty answering the next question. The fact that it asks me about my interest baffled me. Haha. I’m still confused as to my choices—I guess because I want to learn a lot on many fields and that I want to maximize my stay at the University. I wanna make sure that I learn everything I can from the best. In short, I wrote that I’m interested in Southeast Asia and possible models of development that could be replicated in the Philippines, most especially on local governments. Gusto ko lang talaga siya irelate sa trabaho ko. Hahaha. No really, that’s what interests me. Now. Hahaha!

The last question was all about expectations, so I just wrote something more honest. Hahaha. I wrote that I expect the class to be rigorous and demanding when it comes to readings and essay writing since that’s where we learn most of the graduate school stuff. And then again, I wrote that I would want a class that highly encourages class discussion on issues that are to be discussed since this would validate the thoughts we formed while reading our materials and notes. For the professor, I wrote that I expect someone who’s both interesting and inspiring. That’s when I wrote that a good teacher is someone who shares a part of themselves to their students—someone who inspires their students to be a better version of themselves. Pwede naaaa.

In conclusion, I felt I had a fairly good experience for my first week inside the classroom. I thought the lessons were interesting and would really challenge me to exert every effort to excel. Naks. Seriously, I felt good after my classes even if I did not succeed in making friends right away. My Saturday prof told it better—in graduate school, intelligence takes you to places and then again, your focus and discipline would take you higher and better than what you’ve expected. So, I’ll read and read and read until my eyeballs gouge out its sockets. Joke. Morbid. I’ll really strive hard first because I’m spending money for it but secondly because it would make me a better person in the end. J

I’m hoping I won’t be late for this week’s classes. Especially on Saturday. Hahaha.

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felix felicis: First day high. Or low. Or whatever.

Monday, November 19, 2012

First day high. Or low. Or whatever.


This sem, I decided to enroll on a Masters Degree in Asian Studies at the UP-Asian Center. I felt like I needed a worthy distraction from the thoughts that jade me recently. I was feeling kinda insecure about a lot of things lately so a hefty amount of history readings and class presentations are a welcome respite to my semi-boring life. Lol. Emo. Hahaha. Ok, so it’s not really boring. It’s just all angst and a late spurt of teenage rebellion thing. Hahaha. Feeling teen pa kase ako kahit 21 na. There.

The ~cute notebook. Hahaha. May sungay talaga. Tss.
Anyway, so there, I went to school on Tuesday armed with a pencil case filled with colored pens, a violet sign pen and a cute notebook courtesy of Ate Fina. Hahaha! Good luck gift daw. I intend to draw on the first page. Pero next time nalang. 

Our first class was Modern Asia and it was like college all over. There’s a sea of new faces—this time, they’re mature- looking and exuding with confidence. I thought of trying to strike a conversation with anyone but immediately decided against it because my ~extrovert self failed me. So I sat across my classmates and opened my phone to read Ken Liu’s Hugo Award-winning short story while waiting for our professor to arrive. The small room slowly filled with more people. There’s this Chinese girl who sat on the chair on my right and another girl wearing a sweatshirt and knee-high socks on my left. I smiled and went back to my reading. The professor came inside after thirty minutes only to tell us he’ll meet the other class on the next room. By 6PM, the screen was flashing “Introduction to Modern Asia” and a quote from Charles Taylor:

“The project of development imposed upon traditional societies by the so-called modernization banishes what is important to them such as sacred horizon, a fixed community and an unchallengeable custom and tradition.” (1999)

Hmmm. So it’s like this in a nutshell: In order to attain development, a certain community must embrace modernization and transform its traditional psyche/ setup into something more adaptable and relative to the status quo. Or not really. For me, modernization and a well-meaning tradition must complement each other to attain a better form of development. But then again such a thought would be validated as soon as the class plunges into further discussions throughout the coursework. I look forward to such.

After the presentation, the class (I only have 12 classmates, just so you know haha) was asked to comment on the syllabus and add or remove subtopics depending on the class’ desire. I actually like the original syllabus, with topics ranging from the concepts of civilization and nationalism, colonial legacies from the Europeans (i.e. East India, British Indies, Spain, Portugal and the French colonies in Southeast Asia), fall of known empires, independence and the beginning and end of the Cold War. There are also topics that intend to discuss the rise of Northeast Asian countries (i.e. China, Japan and South Korea), as well as the social and nationalist movements in many Asian rogue states. Finally, discussions on special topics related to modernization like regional economic integration, regional blocs, transnational crimes and security, culture and mass media/technology and climate change are also part of the syllabus. During the group discussion, I suggested that the class might be interested to include labor and migration in the special topics part. I said that it might be a good prelude to better understand why Asian economies are thriving or are choosing to do cooperation and bilateral agreements. People in search for jobs contribute much to international human traffic and may as well help in better understanding the sudden increase in transnational crimes committed (i.e. drug mules, prostitution, slavery). I kinda felt they understood my point because they included it in the revised syllabus. Hahaha. So much for participation.

The class ended with everyone asking for a digital copy of Prof’s digital books. 110 all in all. We’re wondering how he got such a huge collection of books about Asia and he said they were either given, copied or digitally ~stolen downloaded. Hahaha. I copied all in my thumb drive. Wahaha! They’re now in my Dropbox account! J

My next class was held last Saturday, still at the GT Building. This time, prof’s an old but charming lady. I was late. Bad start. Anyways, the class was equally interesting as the other. There are still BIRs (best in recitation for non-readers of the ~Urban Dictionary hehe), but nonetheless, the class was ok. We had a round of intros and I learned a lot from my classmates. There are full time students who are interested in studying Japan because they practically grew up with J-Rock, anime and manga. And then there a Lit professor from the Ateneo who’s interested in learning more about Vietnam and Burma; another HS teacher from a public high school in Quezon City is interested to learn more about Korea—this time because of K-dramas and Hallyu. I also have a classmate who already had a chance to be an intern at the National Library of Korea and is currently working at the Korean Cultural Center—he wants to pursue Korean studies. So much love for Dara’s breed. Hehehe. A classmate who had an undergrad degree in Industrial Engineering went to AC to study Northeast Asia because she was particularly interested in the Toyota Way and the Han Miracle. There’s also an Econ undergrad and two PolSci studes who’re both into Japanese studies. During the intro round, I told them my name and that I intend to major in Southeast Asia. I’m ready to tell them a few more things about myself but I was cut short so I just listened to what others would share. I think that’s still ok—it makes me a bit mysterious to them and all. Also, I did not give them a bad impression or a pabibo attitude so walang inis factor na magaganap. I’m the silent dork at the corner of the room. Wallflower status achieved! Hahaha.

I thought the class would end after the lengthy intros but wait there’s more. We’re asked to write an essay about three things: first, what comes to our mind when the word Asia is mentioned; second, what am I interested in; and lastly, what do I expect from the class and from my professor. Bonus question was on how we gauge a good teacher from an average and a bad one. So what did I write about?

On the first question, I wrote that I had a biased concept of Asia before. For me, Asia was like the Philippines expanded—old, dirty, excessively populated and third world. The interest to studying the region poured when I was in second year high school and our Araling Panlipunan class was focused on Asian history. It grew even more when we started comparing Asia with its Western counterparts—how the traditions practiced in the region developed its nuanced culture and its differentiation from the West. The nationalist movements in Asia also fueled my desire to understand the subject further. That’s how it all started.

Because I poured a lot of thoughts on the first question, I found a bit of difficulty answering the next question. The fact that it asks me about my interest baffled me. Haha. I’m still confused as to my choices—I guess because I want to learn a lot on many fields and that I want to maximize my stay at the University. I wanna make sure that I learn everything I can from the best. In short, I wrote that I’m interested in Southeast Asia and possible models of development that could be replicated in the Philippines, most especially on local governments. Gusto ko lang talaga siya irelate sa trabaho ko. Hahaha. No really, that’s what interests me. Now. Hahaha!

The last question was all about expectations, so I just wrote something more honest. Hahaha. I wrote that I expect the class to be rigorous and demanding when it comes to readings and essay writing since that’s where we learn most of the graduate school stuff. And then again, I wrote that I would want a class that highly encourages class discussion on issues that are to be discussed since this would validate the thoughts we formed while reading our materials and notes. For the professor, I wrote that I expect someone who’s both interesting and inspiring. That’s when I wrote that a good teacher is someone who shares a part of themselves to their students—someone who inspires their students to be a better version of themselves. Pwede naaaa.

In conclusion, I felt I had a fairly good experience for my first week inside the classroom. I thought the lessons were interesting and would really challenge me to exert every effort to excel. Naks. Seriously, I felt good after my classes even if I did not succeed in making friends right away. My Saturday prof told it better—in graduate school, intelligence takes you to places and then again, your focus and discipline would take you higher and better than what you’ve expected. So, I’ll read and read and read until my eyeballs gouge out its sockets. Joke. Morbid. I’ll really strive hard first because I’m spending money for it but secondly because it would make me a better person in the end. J

I’m hoping I won’t be late for this week’s classes. Especially on Saturday. Hahaha.

Labels: , , , , , , , , ,

4 Comments:

At November 20, 2012 at 9:40 PM , Blogger finyapol said...

hahahah diligent! LOL. Nahiya naman ang tamad kong sarili. wahahha. Dahil jan aral mode na ulit ako! :p Chos!

 
At November 21, 2012 at 7:48 AM , Blogger jui demausa said...

kyoot! we have the same kwaderno. :)

 
At November 21, 2012 at 9:04 AM , Blogger kyemeruth said...

hindi naman! charot lang yan! hahahahahaha!

 
At November 21, 2012 at 9:05 AM , Blogger kyemeruth said...

ah talaga! binigyan ka din ni ate fina ng notebook na ang design e cartoon na may "sungay"?? hahahahaha!

 

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