Friday, January 30, 2009

What I like about ... writing


Writing, like photography, is another love that I intend to pursue to greater heights. I love writing though I get lazy sometimes. This is one of the reasons why I keep blogs, they more or less “force” me to write daily.

So, what do I like about ... writing?

Just like photography, writing also keeps me focused.
Just like photography, writing also opens up new worlds for me.

With writing, I can talk about data, facts or reality. But with writing, I can also talk about imaginary worlds, beings, things, situations, ... etc.

With writing, I can create stories wherein I can ...
... live happily ever after with my Prince Charming
... be the hero (heroine) in a great adventure
... be the villain that turned the world upside down
... be the star in a blockbuster movie
...visit the Himalayas or climb Mt. Everest, do hang gliding or fly to the stars
... be the one who changed the world
... be the richest man (woman) in the world
... be the greatest writer, photographer, teacher, mother, wife, lover, friend, artist, adventurer,explorer, scientist, designer, ... etc.
...create suspense, mystery, love, peace, health, joy, sadness, adventure, ... etc.
... create a world where everything is in harmony or in chaos depending on how you want it
...be anyone, anything, anywhere I (you) want to be

With writing, creativity is limitless. The only limit is how far your imagination can take you.

-----------
An update: It is now Sept. 20, 2010.

Since I wrote this, I now have joined a writing website. It is fun over there and I have published so far about 40+ articles over there. Come join me at hubpages if you are also interested in writing.
http://hubpages.com/profile/jill+of+alltrades

Wednesday, January 28, 2009

What I like about ...teaching

I have been a teacher for most of my adult life. After graduation, I worked for a while as a researcher. However, when I got a post as teaching assistant and finally as teacher, I was hooked ... and that’s how I spent more than half of my life ... as a teacher, a professor in college.

So, what do I like about... teaching?

Well, the first thing that I like about it is ... the interaction with students. I like this chance to know another person deeper, to somehow participate in his/her entry into adult life. When I first started teaching I was only a few years older than my students because I was a new graduate then. So during my early years of teaching, I was practically just an older sister and friend to my students.

Of course as I continued teaching, the age gap between me and my students widened and I became not their older sister anymore but their aunt, or mom, or mentor, and friend of course.

I am happy to say that many of my students have remained as good friends up to this date. We still would get together sometimes. I get invited to some of the momentous events in their life, like weddings, birthdays, etc. Some of them have become my doctors too. Imagine that!

The other things I like about teaching are...
... preparing lessons and of course teaching or sharing them. I especially love teaching freshmen because they are always eager to learn and participate in their learning.
I also love teaching teachers themselves because we learn from each other so much

...the challenges involved. The question I always ask myself as I prepare for every lesson is – how do I present the lesson in such a way that students will participate in the learning process? This is always a challenge to me because I know that many students would rather just sit passively inside the classroom and let the teacher do all the work. However, this has never been the style for me. Even before the buzz word “student-centered learning” was coined, I was already involving my students in the learning process.

...the unlimited creativity. Imagine, as a teacher you have to talk, write, draw, tell stories, guide, coach, mentor, sometimes do a song and dance routine, role play,sometimes act as counselor, as psychologist, as banker, as arbiter,as stand-up comedian, as...anything that the situation calls for.

...the chance to do research

...the chance to make a difference in many people’s life. Imagine, there is always a new encounter every semester. Wow! For example, if one is teaching 4 courses in a semester and there are 40 students in each class, that’s 40 x 4 or 160 new students that you get to know. Wow! Double wow! Can you believe that, ... the possibility of making a difference to 160 lives every semester?
The possibility of making a difference and the responsibility involved is simply awesome!

Those are just some of the things I like about teaching. There are downsides too of course (like checking piles of papers) but this is not the forum of that.

Let us just concentrate of what we like about...things, about anything, in this blog.

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

What I like about...photography

Ah, this one I really like. In fact I already have thousands of photos in the hard drive of my computer because I just love taking pictures. I also have created a blog just to share my photos and photographic adventures.
http://aphotoaday-saanva.blogspot.com

Plus, I also have a website for my photos: http://saanva.multiply.com/

Anyway, just to go back to the topic. What I like about... photography...
... it has improved my focus (pun intentional). Now, I not only learned to focus well in photography but my focus in other aspects of my life has improved as well. For example, lack of focus has been my greatest weakness in bowling. Now, my focus has improved as well my scores.

...I have learned so much about: composition, color, design, light, leading lines, etc.

... it has taught me to be even more observant, to pay attention to light, pattern, lines, shapes, shadows, color, temperature...etc.

... it has opened a new world for me. Now I have included in my vocabulary words like: aperture, shutter speed, ISO, depth of field, lenses, tripod, bokeh, filters, macro lens, zoom lens, strobes, photoshop, lightroom, ...etc.

...it has heightened my creativity
...it has increased my curiosity
...it has gained for me new friends
...it has made me realize that I can do things that I have never done before. I learned that I can also win in photo contests and even have some photos published

...it has increased the depth and span of my interest in people, things, places, and my surroundings

As in my previous posts, I can go on and on about “what I like about... photography but I have to stop somewhere. And this is where I stop for now.

Monday, January 26, 2009

What I like about ... roses


Roses ...are so soft and dainty
...smell really good. However, even if they do I am surprised that very few perfumeries have come up with the scent of roses. I wonder why?

...look good in any angle. As I mentioned in my photoblog, there is something about roses that makes me want to take their photo all the time. Please check out:
http://aphotoaday-saanva.blogspot.com/search/label/rose

...so innocent looking but can appear mysterious and sensuous too

...come in various colors. Would you believe that there are green and black roses now.

...and once again, look at all the songs that have roses in them:
• “raindrops and roses and whiskers on kittens...”(from “My Favorite Things”)
• “the days of wine and roses...”from the song of the same title
• “roses and lollipops, lollipops and roses”... from the song of the same title
• “dead roses are still beautiful to me”... from “dead roses”
• “paper roses, paper roses”... from song of the same title

Anyway, I’m sure you can come up with your own list of “roses songs”.

I simply love roses!

Saturday, January 24, 2009

What I like about...mornings


Mornings are my favourite time of the day. Everything is fresh and new in the morning.

Dewdrops are still clinging to the blades of grasses while the early morning sun is just breaking through the mist.

Mornings always hold new promise, new adventure, new hope, new ...everything.

Mornings remind me of freshly baked bread and the smell of coffee. Hmm, I can almost taste that.

And think about all the morning songs:
“Sunday Morning waking up and touching you
You’re always warm at 9 a.m
Pillows close and I can feel you wanting me
When I go back to sleep again"
- From “I Didn’t Mean to Love You” by Helen Reddy

Or

"Sometimes in the morning, when shadows are deep
I lie here beside you, just watching you sleep
And sometimes I whisper what I'm thinking of:
My cup runneth over with love".
- From “My Cup Runneth Over”

Or

"Morning has broken, like the first morning
Blackbird has spoken, like the first bird
Praise for the singing, praise for the morning
Praise for the springing fresh from the word".
- From “Morning has Broken” as sung by Cat Stevens

Or many others like:
Angel of the Morning ... Some Velvet Morning ... Mornin' Glory ... Sunday Morning Coming Down and Waking Up in the Sun... etc.

Oh, I simply love mornings! Don't you?

Friday, January 23, 2009

What I like about...reading

Reading ... opens new worlds for me
...takes me to places I never dreamed of
...gets me acquainted with other peoples’ culture
...tells me stories about friends, lovers, strangers, aliens,
inventors, artists, ordinary men and women,
extraordinary men and women, heroes, heels, devils, angels, ...etc...
...increases my vocabulary. Just think about such word as
‘onomatopoeia’ or ‘antepenultimate’
...makes my heart sing with love
...gets my nerves excited in suspense
...teaches me about the birds and bees, flowers and trees...
...makes me enter the minds of Einstein or Bernard, Darwin or Mendel
...takes me to the past, the present and the future
...flies me to the moon
...takes me 20,000 leagues under the sea
...provides a stairway to heaven
...made me feel the despair of Van Gogh, the ecstasy of St. Therese
...teaches me techniques about photography, writing, gardening...

I can go on and on again but you know what I mean. I'm sure you can add to list.

Thursday, January 22, 2009

What I like about... being a mother

“I love being a mother”. This thought flashed through my mind as my baby’s fingers curled around my index finger while I was changing his diaper. Even if that was a long time ago, I can still remember the warmth that enveloped my being as the realization hit me.

So what do I like about being a mother? Oh, many things... everything...
...being held on to by little fingers
...getting wet kisses and warm embraces
...being used as a pillow by her/his little head
...teaching babies their first words
...being called “mama”
...holding out my arms as my children made their first steps towards me
...reading bedtime stories
...being told by my children that I should join the Miss Universe contest (ha ha ha!),
...planning birthday parties ....

I could go on and on but I think you understand why I love being a mother.

why this blog

Have you ever despaired about reading and hearing negative things all day? Some people I know have stopped reading newspapers or listening to the news because they cannot stand all the nerve-wracking and energy-zapping stories everywhere.

Well, I have also grown tired of all the whining and "what's wrong with the world, or the government, or my neighbor, or... whatever" kind of thing. So I thought that I would start thinking and discovering what I like about something or someone or anything just so I will not despair.

If you feel the same way, I wish to invite you to join in and add your own likes so that we can all smile rather than frown. What about it? Come and join me.
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