Saturday, August 18, 2007

Aggh there's that sinking feeling again. Do you guys know what I'm talking about? I feel I should be doing something. Other than staying right where I am...So many great great people did so many grand things before they hit 18. Mozart started composing at the age of 5.

I feel so restless but lazy at the same time.

-- November 19, 2003 post (slightly edited)

What can I accomplish, what legacy can I leave.

Friday, August 17, 2007

Reading: Letters to a Young Gymnast (Art of Mentoring) by Nadia Comaneci

So I've been working for two months. Half of that time was spent on the field. As expected, being in the office is a totally different experience. For one, I think a lot more. It's not just thinking about what to do but thinking about how to say that I'll be doing something. It takes me extra long to make sure that an email I'll be sending to some big boss is purrr-fect. Because welcome to the world where the hierarchical order of things matter a lot (even when they're not supposed to). Actually, it hasn't been this important since adolescence. My first days were better because I had no idea that I was talking to a big boss already. As I got to know that so-and-so is the god of this and that department, well, things become a little more complicated than "I'm sorry, what's your name again?" And that's been my favorite line lately.

Unlike my internship, I have to know more people, remember their names and faces longterm, and recall what they handle. My favorite way of meeting people is in the elevator on the way down after work. That way I have some time to memorize what the person looks like. I know I'm supposed to be good at memorizing names but in Celadon I had the benefit (?) of manually encoding those RecWeek application booklets - and I had digital pictures to help me.

I'm getting along fine with some people but I'm having a hard time penetrating the more seriously busy looking folks. Perhaps it's because I'm so used to being the more/most serious and then now I'm surrounded by more serious peoples. Twilight zone!

Another queer experience is not experiencing the happiness that suspension of classes used to bring as a student. There's no such thing as work being suspended because the policies are so principles-based. I mentioned that in one of my intern-time blog posts. Simply put, employees can choose to go home if they feel that they're safety will be compromised if they don't. Employees can think for themselves kinda reasoning. It makes sense but I live just around the corner from the building so I can't really say that I'll get stranded when the others aren't going home and they live much farther!

Actually I don't really know how hard the rain is when I'm at work. At home, I know it's raining cats and dogs outside because I'm not shielded by uber thick glass windows. It's a good thing we rescheduled our GK outreach. There's a chance that it will still be raining this hard tomorrow morning. Yes, it's typhoon season - two months late.

Electricity is fluctuating right now. I think I should go to sleep.

Friday, August 10, 2007

Eating: Chips Ahoy! Chewy
Just Read: Every Boy's Got One by Meg Cabot (Thank you Ther, I enjoyed it!)
Just Did: Strengths Finder 2.0 by Tom Rath (practically sold out)
Still unfinished: European Tour scrapbook (but I just bought some material to use as background)

Yesterday, Andrea B. was born. Congratulations to her parents! Maybe she and Ira S. will grow up together and become best friends. Anyway, I hope you grow up to be a beautiful, intelligent and good person.

Andrea and Ira are respectively the daughters of the truck driver and salesperson I spent a month with during my immersion. Along with the other crew members, we talked about a wide range of topics. Ten examples:

  • God - from Martin Luther to Iglesia ni Cristo
  • grammar - I'm impressed by the way they memorized definitions of nouns, adverbs, etc. Conversed about proper vs. common nouns too.
  • geography - Mayon volcano
  • girls - basic initial questions to ask a girl that you're interested in (can be done more subtly but subtle is not recommended): "may boyfriend ka ba?" and "ano yung ginagamit mong number?" (I assume the latter question is a guard against girls who give random numbers or a number she doesn't use)
  • guys - how there's no such thing as "torpe;" and it's not enough to have a job, what's more important is "may mapapakain." This is probably because jobs in the Philippines do not guarantee enough money to be able to support someone else.
  • gold - I don't know how I feel about their perspective: if everyone's rich, who's going to do manual labor? Everyone will be a "senyorito".
  • gratification (immediate) - "mahirap magtipid," "basta nabibili yung gusto"... an observation that is consistent with my Ateneo immersion experience
  • group - it's so important for them to say "kain tayo" even when they don't really have much to begin with
  • guillotine - well not exactly, but we did discuss the death penalty in passing
  • Ginebra - what is it with guys and drinking? It wasn't Ginebra they drank, I can't recall the brand. I do remember that a fly decided to do a deep dive and drowned inside the half-empty bottle.
I still hear from them occasionally, which is why I know Andrea was born yesterday. Anyway, "G" has no significance. I just thought it'd be cute if all of the items started with G. Like God, gold and glory were the reasons the Spaniards decided to colonize the Philippines.

Moving on, today I gave my very first presentation (not counting presentation as an intern). I'm excited!

-- distraction--
Haya... mom carried Summer up even when the trainer told us explicitly to stop spoiling her. Summer's having an identity crisis - she doesn't know if she's a dog or a little girl. She's so cute.
--end of distraction--

As I was saying, I'm excited. I'm not sure if I'm stating that because I know that the cognitive dissonance will get my mind working to cover up for any discrepancies. You see, perception may not be reality but it's real in its consequences. At least I'm starting to bond with my colleagues, something I missed when I was on the field last month. I appreciate how accommodating they are despite their busy schedules.

Two days ago I ate lunch outside the office with two strangers (officemates actually but they wanted me to write that). Of course I brought my packed lunch with me (saving money? haha!). It was raining but we managed to cross the street when it semi-stopped. I also had dinner with some nice people last night. Congratulate me for that burst of spontaneity. And my chatmate for actually getting me to go. Apparently they eat there every Thursday night... that's frequent enough to enjoy a 10% discount. I had fun, even if I don't drink. I'll have to get used to being with a lot of drinking people.

Tomorrow I'll be back on more familiar ground - Celadon territory! Gosh I really miss the org feeling. I also miss the AIVs because it's Debed's birthday today so I greeted him via email and he replied with a link to the australs 2008. It looks very well-planned. I think what I liked most about the AIVs project was being able to handpick my team members. It's great to work with people one trusts. Although I didn't handpick the executebs, we had to work double time to develop trust among ourselves. At work, the rigorous screening process and the big deal trust is given assures me that everyone's trust-worthy. And rather crazy in the same way.

It's 10:30pm and I'm sleepy. I'm getting old or something.

Saturday, August 4, 2007

Hello weekend!

Yesterday was great grandmother's 100th birthday so a big happy birthday to her. It's so easy to know if a Chinese person's birthday is being celebrated. Red, ya know.

I was supposed to have dinner with the ex-interns but of course family first. It was unfortunate that they decided to leave early since I made the effort to get them to eat at Banana Leaf Curry - the same restaurant that COA0607 planned to have dinner at. If they didn't leave so early, I would have attended the COA0607 dinner and I wouldn't have missed the ex-interns dinner. Sneaky but at least I wouldn't have had to make horcruxes of myself...

But the COA0607 dinner was interesting. We were a mix of people in different worlds. One is a stressed law student/DJ, another travels to Bohol and Boracay for the family business. One teaches college students - and has appeared on TV to talk about lightnings and iPods, another teaches pre-school kids - who sing "The Coconut Nut." One works for Company X while another works for the competitor of Company X? Private banking, advertising, the list goes on! In a way, a diaspora.

Today was spent with the angels4lyf. We were supposed to meet at 11 but as usual, everyone was fashionably late. It was nice to hear what everyone's been up to also. I'm glad I was free to join them today because I had missed the last get-together. One more miss and they'll probably be mad at me already. Thanks Ther for the transpo :) We had lunch at Dencio's then we split up. 3 of us watched License to Wed while 4 watched Ratatouille. L2W was a bit too hard to relate to, very American, liberal. It was still sweet though. For a Robin Williams film, I was disappointed by the lack of real laughs. Cutesy patootsy.

Until next weekend I guess. Not much excitement slated for tomorrow anyway. The week ahead? Busy-ness as usual.