Saturday, July 05, 2008

I'm Sure You Can Relate

This Thursday was a special day for my high school classmate and very good friend, James Soriano. He was a champion debater back in high school, an honor student, and now a real writer for no less than Manila Bulletin. Thursday was when his very first article on his very first column, iThink, became available for the public to reflect on. Congrats pare!

Speaking of writing, I have recently been struggling with academic writing myself. I just really find it ironic that after two years of writing in a blog full of reflections, I find myself stumped about what to write for a simple, personal essay in English class. I even find it 'lame' (as my teacher called it earlier) that I missed my one and only chance of consulting with the teacher about what to write, and how to write it well (in her own, supposedly expert view; I have an almost completely different idea of what's good, so good luck to me).

For the past few days, attending English class has not personally felt very fruitful. We've been going through a lot of things about the essay that we already repeatedly learned in high school (like the thesis statement and topic and sentence outlines), from the best English teachers. The worst part was, we've been 'learning' at a much slower pace, since the class is supposed to focus on the writing process. I'm sorry if I sound like a kid, but I feel bored with what we are taking up in English. To add to that, I even seem to resent a lot of the new writing styles and tips our new teacher imparts to us. Bluntly, I cannot stand all of it.

I am pretty sure that if my teacher reads this post, she will end up thinking about how full of pride I am, despite me being a real beginner in writing compared to her. To clarify, I have nothing against my teacher and her style of teaching. I just do not find it useful enough for me, after learning so much for the past 4 years with a different style. I always feel that I have to protect whatever I learned from high school about writing, which makes me resent learning new things about the old things.

I feel stumped not only because I cannot find something to write about in a simple, personal essay, but also because I feel like I cannot learn anything new because of whatever pride I have.

We've all felt the same way. We've all felt like we were wasting time doing something in the place of whatever we feel we should be doing. The problem is, how can we learn if we keep resenting and resenting whatever comes our way? Even if it's really hard to see at this point, I guess there's always something new to learn from everything. There may presently be no clear manifestations of what we learn, but I guess they are bound to show themselves someday.

In all this uncertainty about learning, I just really hope I am not wasting my time.

By the way, whatever I wrote today is not a simple, personal essay, by choice. It only shows how I have to listen and re-learn things in class.


kingofchocolates said...

You just have to open-minded with the new things you learn every day, now that you're in college. Back in high school, I already thought I was soo good. And now, whenever I re-read my high school composition, I cringe! Haha! As in kadiri basahin. I cannot fathom how I could have considered my writings back then as very good already.

I think as we grow older and experience more from life, as writers, we also grow. Syempre, we have more things to write about.

camille said...

i agree. but mine's a different situation. let's just say when i'm in my seat, i can answer the professor's question but when i'm called, that's where i start to stammer. all my ideas have gone to nowhere.

entering college life was so fulfilling. but i feel that i began to become anxious (or yet i always think thrice) before i recite. it's just that it's a different me compared to the attitude i have back in high school.

this is college.

(ka-batch pala kita mikee. :))) but i'm a thomasian.)

God Bless. :)

Anonymous said...

want to know what i think?

from this blog entry of yours, its lame... and unclear.. and. has too many skips. from here to there from there and return. you probably should clear your mind first before you do writing stuffs. you probably have some things to think about. and you're closing every possibility to learn.

blah blah blah. don't listen to me.

i have too many bullshits in life.


Mikee said...

haha that's funny ise. well the post shows just how unclear things are. it's supposed to be that way.

Mikee said...

yeah i guess we should just open up.

Jeremy Romero said...

Uhm, naka-relate nga ako dito sa post mo. I may say that I have a high sense of pride, but I don't know the level of your prideness compare to mine.

Let me share this to you. I have posted a lot entries in blog my blog. And like other ordinary people, I still find it difficult in writing a simple essay. Speaking of my English-speaking ability, my English now is somewhat different from elementary and secondary levels. In terms of word usage, manner of speech, and even accent, it's like I have undergone a thorough linguistic evolution. It's not that my English is good, but I used to boast to myself that I'm somehow far more better than the others (and I would like to apologise to those who might offended with this statement of mine).

Now it's obvious that some spelling of the words in American English (which is being used here in the Philippines) are quite different from British English (such as COLOR, which is a sort of American spelling, and COLOUR, which is British). But I know that being a good essay writer is better than knowing the spelling of words in this widely-used Indo-European language.

I also understood that you cannot almost stand them. Like what you've said lately, there's always something new to learn from everything. And I agree with it. Perhaps you should take time to clear your thoughts so that you may be able to concentrate and work well using the English language. :)

Riza said...

Aaaaah... I feel exactly the same way. Yup, you said it. It's really hard to let go of what you learned in high school. And like an earlier comment said, we grow and experience more from life as writers anmd as people.

And yeah, your teacher would probably kick your ass on your next english class if she manages to read this. If I were she, I would. :P

dana canicosa said...

mikee! i can relate to your latest entry. like last week, nahirapan akong magsulat ng thesis statement for our research paper. naubos ko ung one and a half hour just thinking about it hanggang sa ako nalang ang naiwan sa classroom. haha. good thing, our professor is considerate. =) on the contrary, the next meeting after that incident, i felt good because she read my thesis statement sa class. she used it as an example. haha. wala lang. happy-happy ako...hahaha...=) anyway, good luck mikee! i know you can do it! you're a good writer! so there. =)

by the way, manonood ka ba ng dlsu vs. ateneo game tomorrow?

charltoninho said...

Hi! Writing is such a delicate process. One has to be open and clear of clutter for you to be able to free your thoughts and share your soul to your readers.

I once had a teacher whom I disliked so much that in the end, I was the one who suffered. With my distaste to her style, I have thrown my opportunity to learn.

I hope you find yourself again in the realms of writing. I know you can. Just give yourself some time.

Riza said...

By the way, Congrats to your friend James.

connie16 said...

.. are you taking up en11 or en12?

Delver said...

uhm, kuya mikee? can you give tips on your next post about debating? do's and dont's, what websites are reliable and are usually are read by debaters? i'm having a hard time (as a new debater) deciding what to read and i'm pretty scared of doing somthing embarassing infront of my teammates.

--hoping for a reply-- :]]

Anonymous said...

You are right i can relate to your comment. Four years ago I was feeling the same back then. I thought it was useless attending the english class, I thought I was good in writing in english language; because, back when I was in high school I used to write an article, or contribute a poem or short story in our school paper. But my first english paper that I passed in college...I didn't expect the grade that I got for I never had that low grade in my high school years. That is then I realized that what I've learned, my skills are not enough...and quit boasting on what I had.
In college, there are lots of paper works not just english subject but other subjects too they'll ask for reaction paper with maximum or minimum of 500 words or 5-10 pages, it depends on the prof. I'm sure you're prof now is just reviewing what you already knew in different way he/she tries to explain it and just adding up knowledge to you.
I have to agree with the above statements of those who commented.

Well, good luck to your... what was it an essay?

God Bless and to God be the glory!

PS. can i add you in my links? or can you add
thanks its worth reading and commenting in your blog... and congratz nga pala panalo kayo kahapon UAAP hehe buti na lang =)
bakit di ka nag try basketball? hehe

nurse jane said...

maybe you're not in the mood..
or not motivated or you just don't like your teacher..oooops!
just listen to what your heart is saying..
yaay! cheesy!
have a nice day, mikee!

k. (someboredjuniorinadmu) =) said...

Hi Mikee. =)

Since freshie ka,I take it na ang required sa inyo ngayon na kunin is English 11 and Lit 13.
Ayos lang yan. Normal lang talaga. English 11 kasi focuses more on the basics in writing. mga technical stuff. kahit ako nagulat din mga 2 years ago when I was faced with the same subject. Parang dragging talaga since yun nga, as you said, parang repeat lang nung lessons nung high school.

With all the lectures on outlines, types of essays, how to write proper thesis statements, MLA format...*may library field trip pa yan di ba? exciting. hehe*

I really wish that I could tell you na the pace is going to be faster naman before the sem. ends pero I can't. Iyan talaga ang English 11, research paper writing, technical and basic stuff talaga. Pero promise, magagamit mo yung mga tinuturo sa iyo during your stay sa ateneo. *Trust me, ngayong 3rd year ko na-aapreciate yan.*

Ang masasabi ko lang just do what she is requiring you to do but not to the extent that you are forced to compromise your own style, your own individuality as a writer. Kahit for the sake of your grades na lang in that class.Hehe. Pero seriously, kaya mo yan. =)

Don't worry about English/Lit teachers, open naman ang minds nila to what you are thinking.

Good luck! God Bless. ^__^

mang derf said...

ei mikee. i know u can adjust... ur a genius. HAHA. well by the way.. i know ur currently studying at ADMU.i just hope u can give me tips on the ACET. ive heard it is the hardest college entrance exam in the country??!. waah. pls. THANK YOU VERY MUCH. congrats sa ATENEO for winning the match against DLSU.
gudlak to ur colege life... i know u can do it.!

teacher who can relate said...

Hi, Mikee! I'm not your teacher but I'm an Ateneo faculty member. This is no hoax.

I can relate, I'm attending a class which I find useless because I already know the content. I also had an experience when my teacher's approach didn't match my preferences. But from reading your post, I can infer that you're not struggling with your teacher (so you need not worry about her). You're struggling with the content of your class.

The En11 curriculum is designed to help you in your academic requirements. It's a service subject for other (content) subjects.

When I taught a content subject last year, I couldn't help but notice how my students from section X wrote very organized essays. Absolutely impressive. I even found it funny that a number of them submitted papers with an outline and a first draft attached (as if I needed them). But I what moved me was the TLC they gave to the task. They thought about what they were writing. I was assured that they were taking my subject and college life seriously.

Compared to section Y that unfortunately had, in their own words, an "absentee" En teacher, section X had better compositions. I know exactly where to find what I'm looking for because of proper organization.

I understand what you mean when you feel that your writing style is being marginalized. Every now and then I, too, feel that I'm putting my students' writing on a leash. Right now I liken En to braces that straighten out crooked teeth. It's for the student's own good.

Academic writing contrasts with creative writing in the same way that backyard basketball varies from textbook basketball.
The context dictates the language use. Writing in blogs is different from writing a college level personal essay. Just look at the way I write this comment!

Yes, thesis statements and outlines seem elementary but they're functional in target context of En classes. Unfortunately they're often taken for granted. I suppose En is there to remind everyone that writing isn't just an art, it's a science as well.

As for the pace, I guess you just have to accept that you have to adjust to the world and not vice-versa. Not everyone is blessed with the same background that you've had.

If you have ideas on how the course content or teaching style can improve, don't hesitate to let your teacher know. Grown ups are used to constructive criticism.

To end, here's some food for thought:
"It's only when the cup is empty that it can be filled." -Jiddu Krishnamurti

Anonymous said...

Good luck to all of us! Well it is not just about showing what we know rather that we must know how to know other things that we do not know. All we can have is just an open mind to broaden are skills. Moreover, it is Ateneo wants us to be.

Anonymous said...



"There is such a thing as WRITER'S BLOCK, 'ya know."

'Yan ang dinadahilan ko sa sarili ko kapag hindi ako mkapagsulat ng matino. Ngunit subalit datapwat, mahal ko talaga ang RAYTING. Ito ang dahilan kung bakit hindi ako tumitigil hanggang sa magkonekta ulit ang mga synapses ko.


'Di hamak namang mas madaling magsulat kesa magCALCULUS, no.




Ang suwerte ng klasmeyt mo. Sana magkakolum din ako sa jaryo, kahit sa TIKTIK lng.


Anu nga ho pla ang kurso nio?


power elyens mistik porses op neytyur!


sUgar-rUsh♥ said...

Nakaka-relate ako, pero hindi sa English Class ko nangyari yan. Sa ibang subject, at ang masama pa, sa MAJOR subject ko.. :(


for you to be able to survive, you have to ADJUST.. :D

to add more, (sana mag-agree lahat sakin) sa college kasi hindi ka dapat umaasa sa mga professors mo lang, you should find your own way in order for you to learn. If you need to skip lunch break para lang makapag-research sa library, do it so. :D ganun talaga.

Just my two cents..

Mo4-the-best said...

Hello. I just happened to chance upon your entry. Though I can't completely sympathize with you since I didn't take En11 (ergo, my Mo4-the-best pseudonym) last year, I've heard a lot of comments about the subject being really basic, kid-stuff, and such. But you have to understand that En11 is really supposed to be about reinforcing writing skills. Personally, I think it would've been better if you got into a merit English class, preferably Mr. Abola's. Getting into his class made me realize how much I still had to improve on my writing.

But given that you are in an En11 class, and you can't really do anything about that at the moment, the best piece of advice I can give you is to enjoy the ride. Like when you get bored, let your mind wander (but don't forget to at least pretend you're listening to your prof!).

My freshman classes taught me how to be patient and flexible, and how to lose some of my pompousness (which is very important not only in school but in asking favors from other people. :)

Try to warm up to your prof, and keep an open mind. Remember that the best learners are those with an open mind and a humble heart.

P.S. Botany and Zoology are the hardest natsci classes.

Anonymous said...

i know how you feel pare... especially if you feel na you are writing an A-paper pero the teacher just finds it a B-paper because he/she was not inspired or something... dyan talaga ako sometimes napipikon sa English profs dito sa Ateneo

unleash... said...


can i put you in my blog list?

coz i find your blog very interesting...


Mikee said...

carmela wala pa ko natatanggap. baka ok na i-follow up mo.

-aoi sora- said...

I can relate to what you're trying to say. When I entered the official students' publication of our college, I asked far-out questions about the style of writing in the newspaper. I was so used to creative writing that I clashed my knowledge about it with news writing (my designated section). Later on, even though I still preferred writing stories and haikus, I learned the pattern to be followed. In the long time, I also realized the importance of frankness in news. Just imagine the broadsheets publishing news written with flowery words. An article about the MV Princess of the Stars could already be a novel.

Sanayan lang yan. Umalma din naman ako nung una (Nung pinadugo ng EIC namin yung article ko..heehee :P). Natutunan ko na lang tanggapin yung 'katotohanan'. Ang estilo ko sa pagsulat ay iba sa estilo na nararapat sa dyaryo. Wala pang balitang nalalathala na 'sing haba ng isang nobela.

Anonymous said...

i told you, i've had too many dramas than you. (i have my moments)

you should have said to me its suppose to be that way, so that i didn't embarrass myself. ahaha.

-mich. (okay now i sound so bitchy) nga pala. di ko pa pala binibigay yung link ng blog ko. so? haha.

lame lame lame. ahah.

Anonymous said...

uhm. this is a weird question but hey, why not give it a shot.

"where can i watch your two year old episode with kim sa your song?"

eeeee. naman.! gusto ko mapanood. tsk.

-mich. tnx. ;)

Chester said...

dumaan lang ako, idol..

pAu said...

Can you link me?

Lorenz said...

I can't help but comment... 2 in a row right? :)) I can relate and I coudln't have said it better!

Allan said...

quoted from the movie The Forbidden Kingdom..

Jason Tripitikas: You think you'll teach me the No Shadow Kick? Oh, and the Buddha Palm Technique. There's a guy in Virtua Fighter 2, who does the Buddha Palm Technique.
[Lu gives him a cup]
Jason Tripitikas: Thanks, Lu. And he does the Iron Elbow. And he does the One Finger Death Touch.
[the cup starts overflowing]
Jason Tripitikas: The cup's full. Stop! It's full!
Lu Yan: Exactly, how can you fill your cup if already full? How can you learn Kung Fu, you already know so much. No Shadow Kick, Buddha Palm! Empty your cup.
[Jason empties his cup]
Lu Yan: [looks at him in surprise] Hopeless. It is hopeless!


Anonymous said...

o man... it's a good thing i visited your blog today, mikee, after about a year of not doing so. it's 2nd sem here at UP diliman like there at ateneo. i'm taking up a subject which i was only forced to take. i don't need it because i'm shifting to another course next year (it's a long story). i loathe attending the class or waking up early just to attend it. basically, i truly believe I DON'T NEED THE SUBJECT. it won't help me in any way! but, okaaayy... maybe the lessons i learn from it will come in handy in the future. okay wala lang. sharing.

Hernanie said...

I am one of your fans here in the province of Capiz. I have also a passion in blogging but sometimes I feel it is a boring activity. I have no time to post a new article.

I have joined seo contest and thanks God I am on the first page of google but I did not win.

I am so busy today because I am working now and I prioritize my work.

There will be an audition here in Roxas City of PBB, I want to join pero alam ko naman na hindi ako makukuha but I want to try.

Good luck bro sa career mo at sa iyong studies. If you have a time just visit my blog.....

Anonymous said...

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