Friday, May 30, 2003

Communion's over, and the Mass-going faithful --those who've had confession, anyway-- have had their fill of weekly-dispensed corpus Christi. There is a lull as the congregation removes itself, in trickles, to the pews: multicolored human rivulets, awaiting the celebrant's final blessing. The Lector slowly walks up to the mike, and speaks one word with a rich, deep, thick, nasal female voice:


Well, at least the woman lector at the Santo Domingo Church says it that way. It's creepy and unsettling, but does anybody really mind? They're all in a mood to go home and enjoy (or not) the company of their loved ones.

And so, in my thickest, creepiest, most irritating nasal voice...


My good pal Ian is now 28 years old. Two more years and he'll be counting his age backwards, or otherwise employing other self-delusions of would-be thirtysomething geriatrics: "I'm not pushing thrity! I'm twenteen!"

Happy birthday, Ian. Enjoy your gift from Nelz and bask in the best wishes of the people who support you (even if reluctantly in the case of some). I know you look great in blond hair, but I really think you shoulda used another picture for your blog. Ah well.

The world does revolve around you, pal... when it ain't revolving around me.


Cavite class. Satus: over and done with, paid.
Manila day class. Status: over and done with, paid.
SM Southmall class. Status: over and done with, paid.
Manila night class. Satus: paid, but there's a last class on Monday. Comments: Aaaarggh.

More Words for the Week

Mass n., [Middle English masse, from Old English m�sse, from Vulgar Latin *messa, from Late Latin missa, from Latin, feminine past participle of mittere, to send away, dismiss.]
1. The public celebration of the Eucharist in the Roman Catholic Church and some Protestant churches.

Mass may also mean
1. Matter, or matter as expressed in grams (kilo-, micro-, etc.)
2. (Loosely) Inertia. Resitsance to being moved. (More matter, more inertia)
3. A set of objects you can't quite accurately quantify (A mass of people, a tumorous mass)

4. A book by celebrated Filipino author, F. Sionil Jose. Part of his Rosales Series, I believe. You can check out the books at the local National Bookstore, or make an order from Anvil Publications.

Critical Mass

1. Happens when you bring enough nuclear-grade matter close enough together so as to cause them to fuse, releasing a tremndous amount of energy. A terrorist's dream come true.
2. Happens when you cram enough matter to allow the total combined gravity of the individual units making up the mass to overcome all the forces that keep those units discrete. All that matter gets squished into a tiny point, called a singularity.

Note to self: I think this is an Antipolo-bound jeepney driver's dream come true. They figure if they cram enough people into a jeepney, they'll have enough mass to create a miniature singularity, proving once and for all that black holes do exist, and that Filipinos can make them with sheer ingenuity and devilish persistence. After all, (insert scientist's name here) was probably a Filipino. If those crazy drivers can do so, they figure they can win the Nobel Prize for Physics and use the money they get from it to alleviate poverty.

Critical Masa

The thinking (as opposed to mindless) masses (proletariat, in Communist parlance). An activist's dream come true.


Sunday, May 25, 2003

Erratum: (see Band and On the Run - Looking for Joe posted 16 May 2003)

Where's Joe's female member is named Sharmaine and not Kathleen as reported earlier. My apologies.



In my earliest blog entries, I mentioned that I had no definite reason (execpting my own self-importance) for keeping a blog, and that I'd let you know if I found one. Turns out I have.

When I sent an article to the Youngblood section of the Philippine Daily Inquirer last, oh so many months ago, I was more than miffed that my work did not see print. Some of my friends --up and coming literary titans in their own right, but nowhere near my level of ...competence-- had gotten themselves published in that vehicle. Deciding I bloody hell needed to remedy that situation, I took a good long look at myself, and saw that I had (since Culture Crash) not really been writing. Really writing.

Dex Lira, internationally published and almost-awarded poet can't even break into the local paper. How ironic. How appropriately Dexter Lira Cursed.

I knew that practice and persistence were the only means available of beating that aspect of the curse. But until the Bodega blog, there was no immediate, easily accessible and psychically rewarding method of forcing myself to oil the ol' brain cogs and writewritewrite. provided writing incentives in the form of prizes and very encouraging (sigh) form letters, but the writing needed to get into broadsheet commentary was not the same writing needed to churn out respectable poetry in decent quantities. I hadn't even done that much in months!

I also needed a locus in which I could periodically look at the trends and thoughts defining and influencing the evolution of my writing style (was it evolving in the first place? or was I officially a stagnant hack?). I needed a place to be able to switch between the "write-because-you're-interested" and "write-because-it's-assigned" writer's mindsets.

Turns out the blog was ideal for what I had in mind. It forced me to think of new stuff to write about on a more-or-less regular basis. I'd be able to write about the things I knew. I was also forced to really plan what I'd put on the page...

I even type faster now. Yay. Go me.

I owe Ian another one for getting me hooked into this blog business.

Dex Words for the Week

Bodega A Spanish term, according to the American Heritage Dictionary, Fourth Edition. A noun derived from the Latin apotheca, meaning, "storehouse". Two meanings-- 1. A small grocery store, sometimes combined with a wineshop, in certain Hispanic communities. 2. A warehouse for the storage of wine. In the Philippines, it just means-- 1."storehouse;" 2. "sweatshop, front, bogus address, drug factory" or any place you can cram unsavory things in; 3. That sleazy place in Cubao (or was it in Pasay City?) I keep meaning to go to but can't seem to have the time for.

The word "apotheca" also spawned "Boutique" and "Bodthegue" ("workshop"-- like the one il maestro da Vinci mucked about in. I hope I got the spelling right) which I believe is the direct ancestor to "Bodega."

Friday, May 16, 2003

Letter to a Friend in Baguio

Dear Sammy,

The blog's expanded, and the kid with autism did not look like the kid with down's syndrome, whose picture is now clogging my yahoo mail account. The kid at the Batangas party really was autistic.

How are you doing? Being a disc jockey treating you right?

Me, I've been extremely busy. If you've been following my bodega blog, you'll know I've been teaching kids and shuttling from QC to Pasay to Cavite to Manila ad nauseam. There's even talk of going to Fairview and Southmall. If it looks like I'm a teacher in great demand, it's only because I'm the ONLY visual arts teacher Kids at Play can trust or field at this time.

I am unsure if anyone should impute anything wrong with the contracts I've signed with the Kids at Play people, but for the record, they have been straight with me. The money actually came when it was supposed to, ensuring my continued... uh... service.

For my part I've been playing straight-n-narrow with them myself, despite the spasms of Dexterian wanderlust and the alarm bells ringing in my respiratory system due to travel.

I call when I'll be late, absent or if anything in the slightest goes awry. I have cel numbers and landline numbers archived on the new dyolog celphone and backed up on my computer in QC. I even have a lesson plan. I make sure I get to the appointed place on time even though I can't have breakfast or take as long as I want to in the bathroom, and even if I feel like I've been hit by a truck... or a smooth criminal.

Auuughhh! All this responsibility is making me GAG! But seeing the kids actually apply what I'm teaching them is worth most of the crap I haveta take. Crap like travelling (Come to Manila and SEE THE AIR!) and putting up with the eternal kiddie question "WHY DO I HAVE TO (append class activity here)?"

Actually getting paid more or less on time makes up for the rest of it.

Love to hear from you soon.


George Mich-- DEX! I mean, Dex


Band and On the Run

Daydream Cycling

I've been a registered member of the band Daydream Cyle's mailing list. While I have not followed the band's progress from their inception, a visit to Big Sky Mind (I wish I could go there more often-- the beer and the ambience are good) during one of their gigs there convinced me of the band's promise. At the time, though, they still had a long way to go: vocalist Kathy Meneses had to fine-tune her playing to the crowd; the music (a very atmospheric, wavy, sometimes-industrial technopop) needed a little oomph.

I have not had the opportunity to check on Daydream Cycle since, and I have regretted it. Of course, some friends of mine may impute that the regret may stem from missing certain members of Daydream Cycle's immediate support group. Well, regret's regret no matter the viewpoint you take looking at it. I DO owe Bonsai, Kathy and Bogs an apology for not being able to show up for Daydream Cycle's gigs.

As of this writing, the group has come out with one CD, has been heard over NU 107 and is in the process of churning out another album. I promise I'll make it up to them by buying the thing when it comes out.

Looking for Joe

I also owe this band, "Where's Joe?" an apology for not making it to their gigs as well. My friend Ian fronts for this group. The other members-- Adam, Kathleen and yes, the reputedly ever-missing Joe --have been acquaintances-cum-friends since last year. Hmmm, how to describe their sound?

Where's Joe is definitely not atmospheric, wavy, sometimes-industrial technopop. Last I checked they relied on the more traditional mix of acoustic and electric guitars, drums and bass. Male lead Ian has a voice (kinda brassy when he sings) that can carry through a room, and that's a plus. You can feel his energy when he sings, and the lyrics are often insightful and very much heartfelt. When I saw Where's Joe last, Ian's guitar skills had also increased-- I was green with envy-- though he still tended to punish his strings.

I don't know how this group sounds today, but I am resolved to see them play despite my effing schedule, see them play even if only by accident.

Gone Out the Window

Out the Window made a modest splash playing at block- and org- parties for UP Diliman students back in '94.Yeah, during the Big Band Boom in the Philippines. They were a wide-eyed, soulful bunch, associated and affiliated with the UP Diliman Psychology Department's Bukluran sa Sikolohiyang Pilipino organization (or, Buklod-Isip). They played with Tungaw (also associated and affiliated to Buklod-Isip at the time) during one Buklod-Isip sponsored gig. For a blissful while, they were a hit with the UP College of Engineering. In early '95 they dared set foot on the big stage at the UP Fair... and disintegrated.

They came late, and were consequently relegated to playing after the old Rivermaya, yeah the one with erstwhile leadsinger Bamboo in it, decimated the crowd. Meaning OTW would have to play past midnight. Some of the band's mainstays had to leave to sleep and prepare for exams. The remnants of OTW faced, at 2:00 am, an audince of drunks in no mood for Out the Window pop.

It was a good run, but all things come to an end, and one should be thankful for even prematurely aborted fame. The members of OTW have long since gone on to better things --all of them, non-musical.

"Support" guitarist and den-father Jason O. finished his psych degree in '94. I believe he's looking to start a new life and a family (if he hasn't done so already).

Part-time keyboardist and guitarist Elmer A. went on to finish his college degree-- he jumped from psych to masscom --and work for E! Philippines, and later for mega-publication distributor Emerald-Headway Philippines. Elmer's brother (who sessioned with OTW) presumably finished his Fine Arts degree at the University of Santo Tomas.

"Perfect Couple" Leah A. (OTW female lead) and Ariel H. (The mega-bassist --He called himself Mr. Perfect then) went to Med-school and later broke up. When last I checked, Ariel was working the intern graveyard shift with, of all people, my then-doctor-to-be brother. Dyogie played rhythm with the OTW male lead, but wound up following Ariel and Leah to Medical School. No word from him yet, but I hope he's happy and economically stable.

Drummer Jaoie and sessionist Dale stayed in the music scene for a while, as the short-lived Ateneo-band Cookies for Kids. Occassionaly, they took on the OTW male lead's vocal skills for one or two gigs. He would have joined them too, had not his sense of duty to his college education gotten in the fricking way.

And what happened to the Out the Window male lead? He's here, writing this blog, and wishing that even some whiff of the good old days would come back and take him places he's only seen in dreams, and felt in the rare moments of empathic synergy, when the soul of the singer and the soul of the audience touched, lighting sparks and weaving magic.

He wishes all artists, poets, musicians --dreamers-- aspiring to be successful, better fortune and all the things he's only had in passing.

Tuesday, May 13, 2003

Not SARS, Not Yet (reprise)

You'd think I'd be above the paranoia, especially after all that ranting over the past few weeks.
SARS and the common cold are cousins, pretty much transmitted the same way. 95% of people who catch it walk away from SARS. The only way you'll get it is if you take a great big whiff o' SARS-rich atmosphere, or if you touch something a SARS victim has recently sneezed on, and then touch your eyes, nose and mouth.

But then, some taxi driver decides he wants to be enthusiastic about where he recently ate and blows a huge gust of lung-wind into my left eye. Hello, paranoia, so nice to see you again.

Sunday, May 11, 2003

Dyolog Summer

There's Something About My Sim (reprise)

Well, it's official: I can now surf the net (WAP) via GPRS. I am happier (can't say gayer-- too many meanings) than gays on a gay pride parade (Go uh... Gayness! Incidentally, Carl Vergara's "Ang Kagila-gilalas na Pakikipagsapalaran ni Zsa Zsa Zaturnnah (Part 2)" is out, and it's a rollicking read. Pick it up!) Thank you Jesus, Thank you Globe.

And like any celphone-happy Nokia-wielding Dyolog, I wasted my money on frivolous downloads and internet airtime over my lovely lovely phone!

Yes O Dyologs, thou onerous avoiders of productive work, thou vile creatures desirous only of being seen at Starbucks and owning the latest clothes and (probably stolen) mobile phones: Embrace me, for I am one of you! ONE OF YOU! I can come out of my self-righteous closet now! No more taking responsibility for my thoughts and actions! Oh what joy to surrender my higher brain functions to the gods of Profit, Fashion Fetishes and Corporate Greed! Oh freedom! To be concerned chiefly and solely with partying every night and looking, dressing and thinking like July!






Oh $#iT, did I really say that?

"Are We All Here?"

I now have pictures of Wonder Woman, Hawkgirl and best of all, Sarah Michelle Gellar gracing my gallery. I have a Buffy the Vampire Slayer theme ringtone. On a lark, I got the Mighty Morphin' Power Rangers theme and thereby reaffirmed my love for all things campy.

Too bad you still can't email the image of your choice from your computer to your Dyologs, er, Nokia, 3530. The bright boys at Globe still have to get around that little inconvenience.

Mr. DJ, I want to Greet My Friends

While we're having fun being Dyologs for a day, I might as well play it to the hilt:

DJ: "Hi, you're with the Triggerman on Campus Radio 97.1 What's your name? Where are you calling from?"

DEX: "Ken ai meyk a rikwes po?"

DJ: "You gotta give me your name first."

DEX: "Happy Mother's day to my mother, my father, my family and my friends--

DJ: (Swearing under his breath) "Uh, okay. What's your favorite radio station?"

DEX: "93.9 DWKC!"

Saturday, May 10, 2003

The Joys of Teaching Kids (Part I)

One of the more profound things about being an educator is the feeling of joy you get from sharing with inquisitive young minds the knowledge and wisdom you possess. You know there's something magical in the way those kiddie eyes light up at their discovery of heretofore hidden knowledge-- Apocrypha, which until you open your educator's mouth, remains the purview of Parents.

In front of children, there is no need for the inane social contortions we put ourselves through when facing The Jaded Adult. We cannot hide our imperfections, as there are no masks that children cannot see through. The more we try, the more we are found out in the most embarrassing ways. Children are living detectors of cognitive dissonance.

Confronted with the undivided attention of such pure beings, one understands why some young fogeys fresh out of college decide to become old fogeys in learning institutions that beg to be dissolved out of sheer decrepitude.

When you're in the classroom, and the class is responsive, you can forget the passage of time. Every child surprises with answers, with questions, with his own quirky behavior. The class hour blossoms, ripens and groans, heavy with the variegated fruits of epiphany.

When you're teaching, you entertain the notion that you are actively taking part in the shaping of the world's great collective hope.


Articles you�ll never find in Culture Crash (part1)

Review: Burger King Kids Club Saruman the White (dtd December, 2001)

Oh my god its Geeezaaaas� oops, sorry, my mistake. It�s Christopher Lee in all his evil glory as �Saruman the White! Young moviegoers remember Saruman as The Fellowship of The Rings� head of the Order of Wizards. Once an exalted member of the forces of light, his obsessive study of the Ring of Power led him down the slow, delicious path to corruption and debauchery. (Hmmm. I just realized that working in a government office also has that effect.)

Unfortunately, the child-safe plastic toy, which stands about half the height of a Motorola L-Series celphone (my L-Series phone), exudes nothing of the power or the menace of one of Middle-Earth�s more prominent villains. I stare into that plastic face and see only wisdom and kindness. The discrepancy doesn�t stop there, folks. Saruman traditionally wears a white robe, but the manufacturers apparently wanted to save on the white paint. If I didn�t know better, I�d swear that the CCCom office�s 1st resident mystical bad guy�s name was Saruman the Beige.

Still, Saruman decorates the space next to my Evil PC, and he does so with good reason. For P75, I get to take a pretty well crafted likeness of Christopher Lee home with a Burger King sandwich and drink. Those of us who want a piece of the Lord of the Rings pie but are too impoverished to purchase the larger, more detailed� and more frightfully expensive� movie character models can walk to the nearest Burger King and order a Kids Club meal. They will come home feeling that they actually got their money�s worth in a Lord of the Rings toy that also comes with a movie still depicting the featured character.

The toy�s packaging opens like a book, with indentations and placeholders for the toy and movie still. The cover sports the character�s name, and features pictures plus a brief bio in three languages. For the obsessive compulsive out there, you can look for the Burger King logo and safe child age notice (3 and above) and pore through the otherwise irrelevant fine print. The packaging is a fusion of function and aesthetics, allowing you to carry your toy around like a protective blanket or anting-anting, without fear of getting it soiled or damaged through the rigors of continuous travel. It also allows you to go about this business without unduly looking stupid.

Of course, you�ll have to wait until December for your chance to take home Saruman, Aragorn, Legolas (Ahahaaay! Orlando Bloooommm! Fafa!), Gimli, Arwen and Galadriel, along with a slew of heretofore-unseen Lord of the Rings characters. Explanation? The first Burger King promo that allowed me to take home Christopher �Saruman� Lee expired months ago. Expect Burger King to revive the promo so that it coincides with the release of the second and third installments of the Lord of the Rings, namely The Two Towers and The Return of the King.

Name: Saruman the White
Rating: Shoulda bought a Ringwraith with the Kids Club meal, but he�ll do. He makes a dignified paperweight.
Availability: Decembers of 2001, 2002 and 2003 at all Burger King Outlets. Part of their Kids Club meals.
Price: Barring further economic crises� P75


Dex's Words of the Week

Apokatastasis - The belief, as perpetuated by Origen and St. Gregory of Nyssa, that all creatures, even the damned, will one day be restored by God to their pristine, heavenly state. Look it up and soak in the Latin.

Wednesday, May 07, 2003

Notes to Self

Manila day students-One of them, a male, is five (R). Another male is nine (P). I have a female student who is twelve (I think) (C) and another who is fourteen (Cm).

R still has no grasp of the relationship between lines and shadows. I suspect his grasp of the "hidden shape" in all the objects he is required to render is vague. But he is five years old, and that has to be taken into consideration. I have decided to continue giving him excercises designed to hone his control of the pencil. I'm trying hard to keep myself from being overly confucian in my teaching methods, but I'll have to hang onto such methods until R gets an epiphany.

P is worse off than R. He is baffled by most of the lessons so far and he is bored by the control excercises. He would rather draw characters from the asinine tv shows Beyblade and Crush Gear. I have modified my lesson plan regarding him. When he winds up drawing his Beyblade and Crush Gear dudes, I simply let him, give him pointers when an arm is too long or thin, or a face to big, too small or too puffy. I'm unsure if this is a good thing. He didn't do his assignment from last meeting. I made him do it in class.

Frankly, I am unsure of just what I'm going to do with him. Redesign the lesson plan, obviously. But how many times can I do this on the fly without trashing the module on pencil sketches and the other modules?

I guess I've seen firsthand why educators can get so godawful cranky.

C is coasting along just fine, if behind the learning schedule I've set for her. She's finally seeing the "hidden shape" in all things concept. Her control of the pencil has improved. I'm gonna need to make her copy from life soon.

Cm is by far the most advanced of my students. Her previous training bore much fruit-- she is a frighteningly accurate portraitist. Excluding the face and neck, however, her knowledge of anatomy is apparently spotty. She was referred to me because she wanted to "learn how to draw cartoons." And by that statement, she meant, drawing anime.

Because of the bewilderingly large number of styles (as many as there are manga/anime artists) and genres, I was at a loss as to how to teach this to her. Where was I supposed to start? She needed grounding in human anatomy. She needed to find her own style of drawing, while keeping it close enough to the unwritten anime/manga canon that she'll respect herself (and her teacher!) when she draws. I lent her some references for her to review. I'm again looking to rewrite the damn curriculum.

End of Log.

Monday, May 05, 2003

Shameless Plug

For those of you longing to indulge in poetry without the hassle of being chewed up by rabid critics, there exist alternative venues to indulge in your guilty pleasures.

The Journal

I know some women who spend hours furiously scribbling on one of these things, in an attempt to articulate, actualize and expunge their deepest, most urgent... thoughts and feelings.

The power behind the Journal is that it's often a private affair. It's just you and the book, baby! No editing allowed except that which you can stomach and approve.

Unfortunately, its privacy (say it like the English for me: "PRIvasee!") will prevent your poetry from reaching a wider audience in any way you can control or approve of.

"It's just you and the book, baby!" --and maybe your best friend, who'll quote it to her other best friend and so on and so forth until everyone will "ridicule yo' eyass buhind yo' back" for writing such really bad junk.

You might as well set up...

...A Blog

Now EVERYONE can see your work. The professional critics won't, of course, as they're too busy flaying the Sanctum* regulars to bother with your blog.

But be warned: "everyone" includes people who quote Neruda or Shakespeare and pass them off as their own work when they try to impress girls. If you can live with this, then blog away.

Or you can meet your Muse in...

...The Bathroom

Along with "Out" and "Indisposed," the Bathroom remains a favorite haunt of women wishing to hide from their ardent male callers.

Its four walls often prove impenetrable to suitors deprived of a Sherman tank, x-ray vision and an intent to rape and murder indicative of a criminal psychosis. Depending on whether you live in a Makati condo with a booster pump or in some house in BF Homes Para�aque, the Bathroom will most likely have water, plumbing and other amenities that will allow said women to withstand an ardent siege for weeks.**

Lucky for the beginning poet, the Bathroom walls' acoustic properties allow him to "sound off," so to speak. He will hear and judge the quality of his modulated voice as it bounces off the nearest wall. He may then correct his diction, or tweak his voice so that it no longer irritates Girl From Para�aque the next time he decides to recite an ode to her undying beauty.

When one writes poetry, one often does not notice how one's writing falls on the ear like a pound of unwanted lard. The Bathroom will help you solve this problem. If the poem, as recited by you in the Bathroom, sounds nasty (say it like the bleck brothas fo' me: "ne-asty"), it's either you're a lousy troubador or your poem needs work, and lots of it.

Or you can go to Powerbooks along Arnaiz Street in Makati City and hang with the Powerpoets. the appointed Saturday of every month. You can join with like-minded people from most walks of life --I have yet to encounter drug lords, rapists, neo-nazis, televangelists and politicians at the readings-- for a few hours of poetry reading bliss.

...which I missed last Saturday

No judgements, no strings, no criticism unless you ask for it. Stay or go as you please.

Here's the address:

Arnaiz Street
Corporate Greed --I mean, Makati-- City


Sanctum --live poetry reading dive at Intramuros, Manila

Sadly, few bathrooms have decent soundproofing, so a sustained blast of low frequency and high frequency sound will break windows and rupture the pretty tiles of the bathroom's reinforced walls. Said sounds are also likely to affect the nervous systems of the besieged women, driving them out of their bathroom bomb shelters in their terry cloth bathrobes and cutesy widdle towels.

Happily, most stalkers, er, suitors, neither have the time to assemble the Sound Bombardment Device nor the money to hire some guys to play Trance and Techno 24/7 in front of their beloveds' houses.

Sunday, May 04, 2003

There's Something About My Sim

Yes. My brother and I have figured it out. The reason I can't use my celphone to connect via Globe GPRS or get any MMS messages, despite repeated downloads of GPRS and MMS settings, is that there really IS something wrong with my damned sim card.

We switched phones. Turns out he was able to access Globe's much-touted GPRS and MMS services with his sim via my phone. I couldn't do that much on his phone with my sim.

I'm left with the sour feeling of having been had.

What's With July?

There may be something that the people at Globe can do about this, so I'm due to make an appearance at one of their less-crowded offices-- as if I'd find any. Thanks to the special participation of one lanky, curly haired, big-nosed actor-wannabe whom we shall name "July" (not too much offense meant to him), the Globe Telecenters are filled cheek by jowl with people wanting to get on the "Be Like July" bandwagon.

It's a credit to the bright boys at Globe Marketing that they cooked up the "Be Like July" campaign. It helped that the bundled products and services are impressive for everyone else who can make use of his Globe GPRS service.

But the real hallmark of Globe's success is that the first person I want to strangle for my apparently stunted sim is not the suave people at Globe Marketing, but July.

Poor guy.

Sadly (gladly?), my wrath can neither reach him nor the bright boys at Globe Marketing. Not without money, influence, a top-notch unscrupulous lawyer and a solid alibi.

Okay, you know I'm kidding, right?

Notes to Self

Cavite-Curriculum needs adjustment. Four 2-hour sessions per module are just too damn short to instill a semblance of rigorous confucian discipline in the kids' drawing techniques. Some are still trying to learn how to use their pencils to draw lines with less pressure. Kids still have to cope with sloppy erasures.

The attempts to adopt and inculcate a confucian discipline may arguably prove to be too complex and too rigorous. However, I still believe that having the kids learn control at this early stage will serve them well. I've also done my best to temper the rigor and monotony with changes in routine.

I cannot deny the progress made with the kids at the Fe de Guzman School in Park Place, Cainta way back in '96.

I'd refer everyone reading this log to the notes and other sources in D. Buenaluz's seminal college thesis in 2000, which involved me and him teaching kids the finer points of control, but I don't have a copy on me right now.

Another problem (not toally unforseen) is difficulty switching from the "copy-what-you-see-as-you-see-it" mode of drawing to the "assembling-shapes-to-approximate-what-you-see" mode of drawing, as needed. The kids will need time and practice before they even begin to get it. There may not be enough time before the next module.

Still, most of the kids are confused but gung-ho. I worry about one kid in particular (funny, he kinda looks like you, Ian): he's young and his inability to fully grasp what I'm trying to instill may cost him in morale.

I must adjust my lesson plan accordingly.