An Open Letter to My Students

Hi. I know you’re tired na- physically, mentally, emotionally, and even financially. Trust me, whatever you feel is understandable and valid. You have the right to feel that way because being a student is really tiring.

But this I want you to know- it gets better. Yes, a cliche, but it is as true as the sun rises on the east and sets on the west. You may think that all these reports, and projects, and research papers, and exams will bring nothing in your life. But they will. Not now, but in the future.

Think of all your requirements as seed that you need to bury in the soil. Think of yourself as a seed, and the pressures and pain and failures and everything you are experiencing and feeling right now is the world putting you down on the ground. You need to be buried because a seed does not grow on its own. A seed does not grow if it is not sowed.

All the content your teacher has been blabbering repeatedly in front of you will be forgotten. That is expected. But what we, your teachers, want you to learn is not only the content itself but the skills needed to survive the next chapter in your life.

I may be known as a strict teacher with my policies: deadlines are deadlines, wrong spelling is wrong, alterations and erasures mean wrong because I want you to learn to take things slowly and not impulsively. I want you to think first before doing something because statistically speaking, when is impulsivity bring a much better result?

The soft skills you learn from doing countless outputs does not only teach you to understand classroom topics on a much deeper level but also aims to teach you perseverance, patience, and resourcefulness.

If you happen to became my student, you have heard me say “Ikaw/Kayo ang bahala.” because I want to teach you all decisiveness, and being responsible to your actions. I purposely do not give you, students, format and example (unless it is really needed), because I want to teach you to think things on your own, to always think outside the box.

I dont know how to end this na… I’ll just borrow the words of one of my favorite professors. “Dark and difficult times lie ahead. Soon we must all face the choice between what is right and what is easy.” -Albus Dumbledore

Always,
Mam Ren

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We have to open ourselves for change. When we don’t want to change, we close the doors on improving ourselves.

-Ren, 10.07.2015, 11:42 am

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Lessons from dogs

My Brighty Boy. I miss you baby.

My Brighty Boy. I miss you baby.

This has been sitting in my drafts for 2 years now! Took notes from the speech during the Oath Taking last January 2016. Sharing with you the speech the keynote speaker gave which she said was her learning from her dogs.

  1. Learn to listen. Listen well. Listen to the opinions of others, but in the end, do what you believe is right.
  2. Protect your resources, but learn how to share.
  3. Take care of your health.
  4. Take naps! Catch up with your sleep! Work will be exhausting, so recharge to be alert, creative, analytical, and efficient.
  5. Care for others. Protect them.
  6. Don’t be afraid to learn something new. Take every opportunity to learn something new.
  7. Venture in a specialization to be an expert.
  8. Don’t worry. Worrying will get you nowhere.
  9. Read!
  10. Mind you manners. Be mindful of how you behave.
  11. Learn to serve, beyond bias and prejudice. Provide everyone with the same treatment.
  12. Give more attention to the less privileged.
  13. Don’t be complacent.
  14. Keep your eyes open for new ideas.
  15. Take on the challenge.
  16. Choose well. Choose the right partner, someone who shares the same vision and direction.
  17. Attend conferences. Go far beyond what you have learned in the university.
  18. Don’t wash dirty linen in public.
  19. Admit your fault. Be humble enough to admit your fault. Learn from it.
  20. Focus! Remain focus on your main purpose. Apply self-discipline. A little self-sacrifice will go a long way.
  21. Be responsible on yourself.
  22. Integrity is far more precious than any recognition.
  23. Always ask God for His guidance and blessing so He may protect you. Do everything for the glory of God.

 

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Happy birthday my baby. I miss you everyday. 😥

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Not-A-Book-Review: Turtles All The Way Down

A little anecdote before I start my not-a-book-review: When I first read the news that John Green has a new book, I was like, yeah, okay, cool. I loved The Fault in Our Stars and I enjoyed Paper Towns, so you can say that I am a fan of the author. But newly released books are always in the hard bound cover, it only means one thing: expensive! And to be honest, my budget for the moment did not include buying a new book.

Then I read that it talks about OCD, and I was solved! I knew I would read this one day because of that. I am a psychology major studying abnormal psych, so I need stories to truly appreciate these disorders.

I decided to buy the book (ha! 360 degree turn!) at the end of a chapter in my life. I had weekend classes in Batangas, and during my last class, I needed to buy something to mark the ending of a chapter and starting a new one. It was around the first half of October 2017.

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During the Christmas break, I had nothing to do except to cook, eat, sleep, and watch youtube. I saw the book lying around in my room, and because I have not been reading any novel this year (and even the past years, mind you!), I challenged myself to finish it before the year ends. I knew it was an impossible challenge, but I still did it.

Like what you have read  in the internet a countless times already, Turtles All The Way Down is about Aza, who struggles with her anxiety, Daisy, the best friend, who writes Star Wars fan fiction, and Davis, the son of a billionaire fugitive.

It is a love story, but the novel does not revolve around it. It talks about relationship in general: to your parents, siblings, friends. It talks about Aza’s struggles with anxiety, and I truly enjoyed it. Reading the DSM 5 and the Abnormal Psychology books tell you one thing, but this novel made me see and feel how hard it is to deal with those thoughts.

I just wish that I have watched Star Wars so I could understand what actually it is whenever they talked about Chewbacca and Rey and whoever. It’s not actually necessary that you know Star Wars to enjoy the novel, but as for me, I would have appreciated it more those scenes. Note to self: go watch Star Wars!

I love the philosophical questions and conversations of the characters because it made me think as well. This is actually one of the reasons why I like reading John Green books. I love how everyone is smart in their own way.

When the book ended, I felt hanging. As always with John Green books. It makes me want to know more about their lives. But sadly, it ends.

Aza. Not Ava. Pardon me. 😦

 

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The ones that love us never really leave us.

the-ones-that-love-us-never-really-leave-us

Photo from Google

“The ones that love us never really leave us”, says one of the beloved characters in the Harry Potter universe, Sirius Black.

Every one of us feels alone, most often than we would like to admit. It is during our darkest times, when the universe is as if conspiring against us, that we feel isolated, unloved, and unworthy of anything the world has to offer. I should know as I have episodes of it myself.

Because as human beings, we are sensing in nature- that is, we use our senses in understanding and believing things, it is hard for us to acknowledge something we cannot grasp nor see. So we run towards something we understand, something we can sense.

Some of us travel, go on hike or in the beach to feel that something is “bigger than us”. Some feel this unexplainable happiness through their passion- arts, music, sport, serving other people.

Nature, passion, family and friends- these are a few manifestations that indeed there is something or someone around us that truly care for us. So if ever you feel alone, turn your head up and you will see the sun or the moon giving you light and direction. Listen to the silent and you will hear the birds singing a happy song for you.

And don’t forget, you may not see it in your naked eye, but He is with you. Always. He promised it. Besides, that certain someone who truly loves us never really leave us.

********
10.26.17. Wrote this for our organization’s journal

 

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Writing

Writing.
You’re the guy I flirted with years ago, that sent me enough signal to know that you want me too.
You’re the guy I talk to during the night, when my eyes are filled with tears.
You’re the guy I call when something awesome happened to me- you’re the first person I want to share it with.
You’re the guy that makes me smile, the smile that they said, is something I only do when I’m with you.
Then I woke up one day,
I can no longer contact you,
I can no longer see you,
I can no longer touch you.
Then I ask myself, did you decide that you are much better with another? Or was it me who look for something new?
I saw you recently. All the memories came back. I feel like I still know you. But you is no longer you. You are now a stranger.
You’re not the guy anymore.
Writing.

 

-Ren, Sept. 22, 2017, 11:22pm

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For once in my life

For once in my life, I want someone to actually listen to me and pretend to understand me. Because I fucking swear, even though I tell all these shitty things, I still know what should I do. I still can see the other side of the problem. It’s just that I feel like I am fucking tired of following what are the “should dos”.

I’m so tired of holding on and thinking that all I am doing right now is for my future. I am just so tired of being strong and trying to pretend that I can keep it all together, that everything is okay. When in fact it is not! I’ve been trying to be the ideal woman… but what they do not know is that I am fucking broken. Sometimes, I feel that I am already dead on the inside.

It hurts so much waking up each day, dragging myself into something that keep on sucking my soul. I just wanna scream and be free on this box that they have caged me… wait. Nobody caged me. I boxed myself.

For once, I just wanna be carefree and don’t think of the future or be away from all the pressures and negativity. For once I just wanna be understood. I can no longer act that I can help other people when I cannot even help myself.

Mottos like “I can do this.” “just keep breathing” and thoughts of inspiring that challenges are there to shape you have been with me for year. But I am fucking tired. I am fucking broken. I am fucking dead.

-January 16, 2017 during my lunch break :/

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